Yes, an iPhone 6 Plus can replace a Kindle Fire HDX (or other small tablet)

Since getting the bigger iPhone, the Kindle Fire HDX has been gathering dust.
Written by James Kendrick, Contributor
(Image: James Kendrick/ ZDNet)

Regular readers know I am a tablet guy. I own 3 - 4 of them at any given time. I use the iPad Air for work and the others for more tablet-like activities. Two of the current tablets in my possession are both Kindle Fire HDX models. I got the 8.9-inch Kindle first, followed by the more portable 7-inch version.

Both of the tablets from Amazon had gotten heavy use until I took delivery of the iPhone 6 Plus. Since then neither Kindle has been turned on much.

See also: iPhone 6 Plus and iPad Air: Outstanding duo for work

I am getting a steady influx of correspondence from readers wanting to know if the big new iPhone can replace one tablet or another. While it depends on the individual, it surprises me to admit that based on my experience so far the iPhone 6 Plus can indeed replace a tablet.

The iPhone handles leisure activities with ease, and even some work activities are executed nicely. The display shows enough information at once to make it almost as good as the smaller Kindle Fire HDX. I like larger displays for extended sessions but find the 5.5-inch screen of the iPhone 6 Plus to be more than adequate.

To test this I have not carried either Kindle Fire HDX with me on my daily travels. With one exception I’ve used the iPhone for everything I’d normally do on the Kindle. After only a few days I realized I didn’t miss the Kindle Fire HDX at all, and that means the new iPhone is replacing the tablet.

After only a few days I realized I didn’t miss the Kindle Fire HDX at all, and that means the new iPhone is replacing the tablet.

Yesterday I brought the Kindle Fire HDX 7 for the day, expecting to find that I did like using it better on the go than the iPhone due to the larger screen. That’s not what I found, however, as after a few hours I put the Kindle in the bag and pulled out the iPhone 6 Plus.

The sharp, vivid display of the iPhone makes looking at it for long periods quite nice. That, coupled with the better apps on iOS, makes the iPhone more enjoyable than using the Kindle Fire HDX. That is key for a tablet, you must like using it without feeling compromised by the experience.

I’m not ready to give up on the Kindle Fires completely, but if it keeps going the way it is currently I might. The iPhone 6 Plus is big enough to be useful, and much more portable. That fits my lifestyle perfectly since I’m always on the go, plus the phone is always with me anyway.

I still like the Kindles, and especially Fire OS. Both of them are as nice to use as always, but I like the iPhone 6 Plus better. That may not be the same for others but it’s what I am finding in the real world.

The same is probably true for any large smartphone. The big screens on these handsets are now approaching the size of smaller tablets. Many will likely find them to be sufficient for typical activities performed on tablets. I recommend checking out big phones in person to see how you like doing these functions.

Businesses looking to deploy small tablets to workers should think about going with a large phone instead. It will save the cost of an additional gadget if a big phone will do the trick.

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