January 31, 2012

How does Kindle Fire work outside US!

I have tested Norway, and I guess my results reflects pretty much the rest of Europe too. This is what you should be aware of if you decide to buy a Kindle Fire while in US or from other internet sites:

FYI - My Kindle Fire was bought in BestBuy in Houston while my boyfriend was working there last week.

Step 1 - Out of the box experience

Just as you know, I have a normal Norwegian user login with amazon.com and I have a normal Norwegian Visa card attached to my Amazon account. No more!

The content of the Kindle Fire box was simple
  • 1 Kindle Fire
  • 1 US charger
  • That's it

I turned the gadget ON
No pain! The Kindle Fire is half way charged and all I had to do was to wait 30 seconds. My wi-fi network was automatically added. The only thing I had to do was type in my wi-fi password. Easy peasy! GREAT!

Connection with Amazon
After my successful wi-fi connect a pop-up window appears which asks me to fill in my Amazon user-id and password. And wooops, I am logged in and all my e-books that I have previously bought for my Kindle Keyboard is updated and put on my Kindle Fire's front page without me doing anything. GREAT!

Time & Date
I am then automatically prompted for time zone and if I want metric measures or not. No searching for "Settings" menu. GREAT!

Kindle Fire Silk browser
The first that hits me is that the browser is fast! I go to my own photo website which I know is a bit heavy to load, but this is a piece of cake. I am impressed! Ok, we have a pretty decent wi-fi connection, but still. GREAT! When it comes to zoom and scroll the pages, I am not that impressed. Some of my normal websites, as my own book blog, I cannot zoom or scroll down. Not even if I switch between landscape and portrait mode. NOT GREAT!

Next on my list is to test all the available choices from the main menu. Here are the Norwegian results ;-)

When I go to the newsstand it is empty. Understandable. I don't have any Norwegian newspapers or magazines available so I hit the Amazon "Store" button to see what they can offer. Here are a lot of newspapers and magazines, but NONE are avaible for me because I do not have an american credit card! NOT GREAT!

This works! I can log on to my normal amazon.com account and buy my e-books directly to my Kindle Fire with my Norwegian Visa credit card. The e-books get stored in the Cloud and I can access my books both from my Kindle Fire and my Kindle Keyboard. GREAT!

Music, Video, Apps
To buy and/or download any of these three is NOT available. Both music, video and apps - even the free ones - need me to have an American credit card attached to my account. I can do the film trailers, but no more. NOT GREAT! :-(

This works both on my Kindle Keyboard and my Kindle Fire. No problems with sending my own Word or PDF's to my Kindle. GREAT!

The virtual keyboard
Some of the reviews I have read says that the Kindle Fire virtual keyboard isn't good at all. A lot of people have severe problems with getting it to register when they "push" a letter. I don't find this a problem at all. It works perfectly! GREAT!

Screen quality
Superb! Nothing more to say about that! And I am very picky when it comes to screens being a hobby photographer. The pictures are sharp with very good color saturation and contrast. You can adjust the screen to your liking, but the standard setup was perfect for me. GREAT! I will not, however, use my Kindle Fire for reading books. I so much prefer the e-inc on my Kindle Keyboard. No one above, no one even close...!!! 

Amazon Prime
When you buy a Kindle Fire you get a free Amazon Prime membership. The membership gives you the possibility to stream over 10.000 commercial free movies and tv shows from the video library. Well, no use for me - I don't get any access to the video library from Norway! If you want to stream you need both an American credit card AND an American IP address. NOT GREAT.

Step 2 - My experience with an American credit card from Norway

As it comes, we actually have an American credit card because we do a lot of business in the USA. I put my American credit card onto my amazon.com account, and wooops -
  • I can buy and subscribe to News and Magazines. GREAT!
  • I can buy and download both Music and Apps. GREAT!
  • I can't, however, stream video and tv shows. I still need an American IP address to do that. NOT GREAT!

It is not easy to get an American credit card. You cannot just apply for one and get it. There should be a solution to this problem - somewhere. I haven't given up :-)

Step 3 - Extended testing and experience

NEWS - 29.01.2012: It is possible to stream both tv and video from amazon.com! 

  • Log on to: www.unblock-us.com
  • Follow the "how to" for Android
  • And there you go!!

This software fakes a US IP address! It was so easy when I just found the correct SW! Now I stream tv and video and can take advantage of the full Prime membership too.

Any problems? Contact:  mykindlejoy@gmail.com

Good luck! :-)

Updated: 31.01.2012


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