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Posted by on Sep 29, 2013 in Kids Tablet Wifi Posts | 69 comments

Kindle Fire HD(2nd Gen) vs New Kindle Fire HD(3rd Gen)

Kindle Fire HD(2nd Gen) vs New Kindle Fire HD(3rd Gen)

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Comparing the Kindle Fires

There are some differences in the new Kindle Fire HD that might make it a difficult decision of which model to buy, Kindle Fire HD 2nd gen or new Kindle Fire 3rd gen. The price isn't going to be significantly different as the old model is going for about $100 and the new model will be selling for $139.

Visual Differences

2nd Generation

kindle fire 2 gen vc

3rd Generation

kindle fire 3 gen vc

You will notice one of the major differences is the lack of any camera on the new Kindle Fire. It also  has a little different shape because the volume and power are on the triangulated back. The other to ports you won't see are a microphone and a mini HDMI port.

The mini HDMI port isn't a big deal if you have a PlayStation 3/4 or a Samsung TV because the 3rd gen will connect wirelessly to those electronics.

The lack of camera will eliminate photos, videos and video calling which is why they eliminated the microphone as well.

Spec Comparison

2nd Generation

Dual Core 1.2 GHz

7" 1280 x 800

Dual Speakers

Dual Band/Antenna WiFi

16 GB or 32 GB

11 Hour Battery


2nd Gen Review

3rd Generation

Dual Core 1.5 GHz

7" 1280 x 800

Dual Speakers

Dual Band/Antenna WiFi

8 GB or 16 GB

10 Hour Battery


3rd Gen Review


So why trade in your 2nd gen model for the newer model. I wouldn't. The real truth is the old model was originally the 2nd tier model and cost $199.

If your budget is under $150 and you want a Kindle then get a 2nd gen model. It has more options, costs less, and has more memory.

 The Kindle Fire HDX would give more perspective and a better comparison. If your looking to upgrade your old Kindle Fire HD then the HDX is one great looking and running piece of equipment. It will be released on October 18th and would blow both of these models out of the water but also starts at $229.

See the New Kindle Fire HDX
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  1. Does anyone know if the angry birds telepods kindle fire HDX??

    • Yes they do on the Star Wars 2 version I was able to use these.

  2. Thanks for helping clear up the 2 versions of the Fire HD mystery.
    We ordered a Fire HD for my son and actually thought they had shipped the wrong thing because it looked nothing like my Fire HD.
    Here’s a VERY IMPORTANT problem with the new version of the Fire HD when buying it for kids. Lack of camera means no use of Telepods for Angry Birds Star Wars or Go!. As this was a very popular and lucrative move for Rovio, I am sure that others will follow in their footsteps and use the camera for value added content.
    Just FYI.

    • I agree. I like the previous model better as well. We got angry bird Star Wars figures as stocking stuffers.

      One good thing is other popular things like Skylanders also produce a code that can be used in place of the QR code. We can only hope either the next model comes with a camera or all the companies add type able codes. This is how they brought the price down on the HD model From $199 last year to this years model to $139.

      Amazon is always innovating and trying to meet the needs of it’s consumers. We do have an educational curriculum to look forward to next year. Supposed to be part of the FreeTime subscription.

  3. Thank you! This is so confusing! I thought I understood after reading all these posts but I am still confused.

    I got the $99 deal from Best Buy for the Kindle Fire HD 7 (previous generation) – so is that or is it not same as 2nd generation? Or what is it titled on amazon? Thank you, thank you!

    ~ Jen

    • It is titled on Amazon as Kindle Fire HD previous generation. I prefer this to the new one. You get 16 GB of memory and a camera which is not on the new one.

  4. My understanding is that the Kindle Fire is superseded by the Kindle Fire HD and the Kindle fire HD (now called ‘previous generation’) by the Kindle Fire HDX – hence the apparent difference in specification between the original HD and what, in name at least, seems to be its upgrade. Not very clever labelling on Amazon’s part, since for quite a while customers, and even reviewers, were justifiably confused.

    • I 100% agree. I labeled mine just by which set of tablets they came out with. The new HD came out with the 3rd generation of tablets, the HDX. It’s hard to go back and change names without being strongly penalized by search engines.

  5. Ryan, thanks for all of your great work in evaluating kids tablets. I am using your information and opinions almost exclusively (because they appear to be the best) to decide what to get for my kids. I have decided on the Kindle Fire HD 2nd gen 16G (with camera) – edging out the Kurio 7s. I want the camera so my kids can Skype the relatives. My kids are 7 and 10. However, I can’t find any of the 16G 2nd gen for near the $100 you reference. Any ideas where I might purchase two of these for close to $100? The best I have seen is refurbished models for $129 on Amazon.

    • Those were Black Friday and Cyber week specials. The closest you are going to get is the what you have already found. Best Buy and Amazon sold out quickly of these 2 specials.

  6. I purchased two new kindle fire hd models for my kids this x-mas. they were sold as 3rd generation fire hd models. not the hdx models. my question is about buying a case for them. I cant find one that says it is for 3rd generation hd models. only 2nd generation. is what I bought actually a 2nd generation hd model? thanks for your help.

    • 2nd gen HD model and HDX model are shaped identically. You should not have any issues with a case fitting either of those descriptions.

  7. So basically theres 1st the kindle fire,2nd kindle fire hd (2 versions), and now the hdx. Right?

    • Correct. I would change my title but Google would strongly penalize me for this. I wrote it before they were labeled by places like best buy.

  8. What is the difference between previous, first, and second generations? I ordered a Kindle HD 7 (16 GB) from Best Buy. Trying to buy a case cover and keep seeing different generations. TY

  9. I am giving my 7 year old a Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ for Christmas. I have been looking for a hard case for it but am unable to find one. Do you have any recommendations?

    • You can try here at the otterbox site. I couldn’t find anything on Amazon that I would normally suggest. They are all sold out.

  10. I’m looking to buy a Kindle Fire HD. I can currently get Kindle Fire HD 7” 16GB – 2012 version or Kindle Fire HD 7” 8GB – 2013 version for exactly the same price, which one would you go for?

    • I prefer the old model because of the extra memory, and the camera to skype. Both are great buys so it’s more about what features you want. The new one has a faster processor and the new Mojito OS.

  11. My daughter is 8. All she is worried about is getting the Furby Boom app. Which version of Kindle Fire HD would support the app? I have seen people saying that only certain generations would support it??? Thanks!

    • I have it on last years HD model and this years HDX model. Your welcome. I don’t think it is limited on any of the HD models or above.

      • are you saying that I should be able to get the Furby Boom app on any HD or HDX model?
        also.. what is the difference between ‘previous generation’ and ’2nd generation’? All these titles and prices are so confusing.

        • The previous gen was last years model and is actually a pretty good deal still if you can find them. I’m pretty sure Best Buy already sold out in most locations. I got the app on both of my previous gen HD and new HDX model. The new Kindle Fire doesn’t have a camera like the old HD model did but has a better processor. Those are the 2 major differences.

          • I have called Amazon app store and Hasbro, neither are any help. I read a lot of reviews that said 2nd generation HD will not support Furby Boom app. I am planning to get the 3rd generation. Will 3rd generation support Furby Boom?
            I wish other customer service people were as helpful as you are!

          • I think they require a camera to work is why the new Kindle Fire HD will not work. We have the previous Kindle Fire HD which has a camera and the HDX which has a camera.

  12. Hi-
    Thanks for posting all this information. It is a REAL HELP.
    I currently have a blackberry tablet that I like just fine, and my 1st grader uses it to watch Amazon Prime videos thru the browser. This is NOT OPTIMAL however, because he is able to PURCHASE videos thru the browser. MADDENING!

    So I’m looking at a Kindle for his own.. but I need to know: Do video purchases require a Password on the Kindle? I am assuming YES but I would like confirmation about that.
    How does the process of selecting a video (free or otherwise) work on a Kindle?


    • There is a FreeTime App that keeps them locked inside with no ability to purchase apps or videos. There is also a setting you can check that will require a password every time a purchase is trying to be made. See my Cyber Monday deals for the Kindle Fire HD. It’s $50 off today.

  13. I have a question. I want to get my 8 and 10 year old a tablet. After reading up on it, it looks the Kindle fire HD 7 might be the way to go. They would like the camera feature, so I am torn between a new model or a refurbished past model from Amazon. Also do you recommend the protection plan on this item?
    Thank you for your help….

    • I would go to Best Buy and get the previous model for $99 on Black Friday. For $100 I would save my money as the cost of geek squad would be more than the tablet by the time the manufacturer’s warranty ran out.

      Your welcome thanks for the question

  14. Does the 2012 kindle fire hd come with ads?

    • They all do. It’s a $15 fee to have them removed from you wallpaper before entering the tablet.

  15. Ok, so I am wondering about the commenter talking about the Prime instant video download. That is not something you can get on the second generation HD? What exactly is the prime instant video download? Is this a free feature for prime members? Is there a limit on the number of downloads?
    Thanks for the info. Trying to decide which version to buy for my son. He really doesn’t need to be able to make video calls or skype. But more memory is probably important.

    • It’s one of the 3 features you get for joining Amazon Prime. There is no limit to how many you watch. You don’t get to download and keep. It’s a streaming video like Netflix. It’s available on all the Kindle Fires. The memory and camera were more important than a little faster processor for me.

      • ok, so it IS available on the second generation Kindle Fire HD?
        It seemed in one of the comments you said it was not available on the second gen, only on the 3rd. thanks!!

        • oh, I see. the streaming is available on the second gen but the free video downloads for offline viewing is not.

          • Looks like you found the answer before I got to your comment. One complaint is that only certain movies are available for this new option on the 3rd Generation of Kindle Fires.

  16. This is very useful thanks.

    One point I think you should add is that the 3rd gen device comes with the charger included whilst the 2nd gen does not.

    Seems odd that an upgraded device comes with less functions, I’m thinking the camera here. I’m therefore planning on getting the 2nd gen device ahead of the 3rd gen as a couple of Ghz in performance is probably not noticeable to a 6 year old.

    One question: are you aware if video calling can be enabled in the Freetime mode? I would like to be able to make video calls/skype calls beteewen devices in the house but retrict any external inbound or outbound calls.

    • It does come with a 5W wall plugin and the old model just comes with the USB cord.

      You can skype with the old model but that would be a setting inside the actual app. You do have to approve users or know who you are going to skype and send a request to that user to be able to use the app. If they knew friends users names they could send requests to them. I don’t use a lot of video calling so I really couldn’t tell you of a more secure that will behave the way you want but I’m sure someone has made one.

  17. Ok.. I am soo confused as to which one to get for my son. I have been looking at the Kindle Fire HD 7″ with 16gb.. Is that the 1st gen or the 2nd gen?? I know this one has the front facing camera, but other than that what is the difference between the 2 generations?? The 3rd generation are the HDX models right??? Thanks for all your help.

    • It’s the first gen or previous model on Amazon. Yes the 3rd generations are the HDX models which the new Kindle Fire HD(2nd gen) came out with.

  18. I’ve decided on a 2nd generation Kindle after reading reviews taking to you, I just had 1 more question I really hate they don’t have expandable memory so if I get a 16 how does free time affect that? And free time allows them apps books tv shows?

    • FreeTime is like a store that costs nothing inside. You have the 10,000 pieces of content and you choose what to download. You can delete it if they move on to new games to keep memory freed up. I find my son uses the same books, videos, and apps all the time though. The videos and some of the apps require WiFi and that’s how you can manage this tablet with less memory and why they use such a fast WiFi system so your not waiting for your downloads.

      On a side note they are known as previous generation and new Kindle Fire HD. There are actually only 2 HD models which makes them 1st and 2nd generation but the new HD was released in the 3rd generation(3rd year of new Kindles), why I labeled it 2nd gen and 3rd gen.

  19. Does the Kindle Fire HD 16 gb (second generation) have a camera? If not is the first generation Kindle Fire with camera still available and is it 16 gbs. Thank you

    • You do get a front facing camera on last years HD model. Used for skyping etc.

  20. Does the 2nd generation offer the “Prime Instant Video Download” option like the 3rd generation does? I need to buy three kindles for my three boys and it would be a big plus to be able to watch prime videos offline in the car.

    • That’s one of the new features for the new line. I have a 2nd gen model and it doesn’t give me that option. You basically swapping a camera for this feature and a better processor. You won’t have is much memory with the 3rd gen so I would suggest getting the 16 GB model as memory fills up quick and there is no SD card slot.

      Thanks for the questions

  21. iI really wish I would of known the difference before I bought my kindle fire hd 3rd generation today. Luckily its still in the box. I will be returning it for the 2nd generation model. The camera is why I wanted to upgrade from my fire.

    • I think one of the pictures I saw lead me to the same conclusion too until I actually did the research. I think the 2nd gen is better anyways. The processor isn’t quite as fast but you can skype, you get more memory and it is cheaper. Hope you buy your next one through us and share this website with your friends on FB and G+

  22. This article is a bit confusing as everywhere else refers to these two models as the 1st-gen and 2nd-gen. It’s the new Kindle Fire HDX that is officially known as the 3rd-gen model.

    • It came out with the 3rd generation or releases so it is being called 3rd generation. The new HD model that is running $139 for a new one is in Amazons 3rd release of tablets. It is only the second HD available though. I hope that makes sense.

  23. Very useful clear article thanks. It is difficult to tell on the Amazon website what the differences are.

    • That’s my goal is to make it very simple to understand and break the info down for my visitors. Thanks for the comment and visiting

  24. Just by looking at the side-by-side comparison, it appears the 2nd gen is the better option.

    • I agree. The only advantages of the new one are the faster processor and new OS. I’d rather save $20 and get last years model with 32 GB of memory.

      Thanks for the comment.

  25. Bought my wife one for last Christmas. It has been the best thing I got her in a while she doesn’t leave it down to the extent I can now watch the footy without getting nagged to turn channels. :)

    Seriously a good piece of kit and the new one will be even better.

    • Yeah I bought one for my son and he loves it. I subscribed to FreeTime unlimited and it has so much for him to do.

      After he goes to bed we sneak it and watch movies on Amazon Prime.

      The new Kindle Fire HD is only $139 and is just as good as last years model.

      If you really want a high performing Kindle then the new Kindle HDX has a quad core processor and amazing 1920×1200 screen. It looks super sharp and runs $229.

  26. I won’t be upgrading this time round – I’ve had my Fire HD for less than a year. Maybe next time.

    • Yeah I won’t be upgrading unless I get the HDX which is really great looking. The new kindle fire is a great product for a first time kindle owner. Great price and great specs for $139. Plus you get FreeTime unlimited which is great for kids entertainment and reading.

      • I read where you mentioned freetime unlimited. Does this come on both the 2nd gen and the 3rd?
        Also how do the kindle fires compare to the Samsung Galaxy tablet?


        • FreeTime Unlimited comes with both of these tablets. It’s the parental controls and optional subscription to 10,000 plus apps, books, videos for kids.

          The Samsung Galaxy Tab is a very good tablet as well, they are going to cost quite a bit more to get the Google Play app and a pair of cameras. I would buy the Kindle Fire HDX before I spent more money on a Galaxy Tab again. The look and sound of Kindle’s tablets is just so much better if the users like music and movies.

          • after reading your reviews I am definitely buying my 5yr old a kindle fire but im confused as amazon are calling the one on sale previous generation and the others new kindle fire hd ??

          • Previous model came out on the 2nd generation of kindles and the new one came out with the third generation of kindles. There are only 2 HD models but there have been 3 generations or 3 years where they have produced a different line of tablets.

            The previous models are better in my opinion and were originally priced at $199 and had more options. The new ones start at $139 and have 8 GB less internal memory.

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