|3-Year Protection Plan plus Accident Protection for Fire HD 8 (6th Generation - 2016 release)
|OMOTON All-New Fire HD 8 (2016 Release) Screen Protector, [9H Hardness] [Crystal Clear] [Bubble Free] Tempered Glass Screen Protector for Fire HD 8 Tablet (6th Gen 2016 5th Gen 2015)
|Fintie Folio Case for Amazon Fire HD 8 (2016 6th Generation), Slim Fit Premium Vegan Leather Standing Cover with Auto Wake / Sleep for Fire HD 8 Tablet (2016 6th Gen Only), Love Tree
All-new Fire HD 8, now with up to 12 hours of battery life, 2X the storage and 50% more RAM for faster performance – made for all day entertainment.
Enjoy your entertainment with a fast 1.3 GHz quad-core processor. Fire HD 8 now delivers faster performance thanks to a 50% increase in RAM over the previous model.
Fire HD 8 features a widescreen 1280 x 800 high-definition display with over a million pixels (189 ppi) and a bright, vivid picture.
Now with 2X more internal storage, Fire HD 8 comes standard with 16 GB. Expand your tablet’s storage by up to 200 GB using a microSD card, and keep photos, movies, and compatible games and apps with you.
Now with up to 12 hours of mixed-use battery life, Fire HD 8 gives you the flexibility to go where the day takes you.
Fire HD 8 features a 2 MP rear-facing camera for taking photos or shooting 720p video. The front-facing VGA camera is perfect for Skype calls with friends and family.
Amazon engineers Fire tablets to hold up against everyday life. As measured in tumble tests, Fire HD 8 is 2X more durable than iPad Mini 4 (and costs a lot less too).
Choose from millions of Kindle e-book and magazine titles. Connect with the largest online community of book lovers on Goodreads. Discover over a million titles with a Kindle Unlimited subscription. Also, listen to your favorite books with Audible.
Enjoy all your favorite movies and TV shows on Amazon Video, Netflix, HBO NOW, and more. Discover hundreds of thousands of TV episodes and movies, plus fling Amazon Video content to your TV using Second Screen.
Over 300,000 apps including favorites like Facebook, Twitter, and Spotify. Plus Amazon Underground, a one-of-a-kind app store experience where over 2,000 apps, games, and even in-app items are 100% free. Play great titles like Frozen Free Fall, Angry Birds Slingshot Stella, and Sonic Dash from developers like Disney, Gameloft, Rovio Entertainment, and more.
Alexa provides quick access to the entertainment you want, including music, games, audiobooks, and more. You can also ask Alexa questions, check your calendar, get news, find sports scores, and even control your smart home. All you have to do is press and ask. Alexa will be available via a free over-the-air software update in the coming months.
When connected to Wi-Fi simply press the home button for 2 seconds then ask. Alexa will respond to you and will even show visual responses to certain questions.
Alexa on Fire tablets helps make the everyday easier. Just press and ask to set alarms and timers, check traffic, your calendar, to-do or shopping lists, and more.
Whether you’re looking for your favorite playlist on Spotify or need a quick joke, you can ask Alexa. Just press and ask for a song, artist or genre, and stream directly over Wi-Fi. Alexa also provides voice control for Pandora, Spotify, TuneIn, IHeartRadio, and more.
Now you can ask Alexa a question and get an immediate voice response. When you press and ask, Alexa can pull up your flash briefing, Wikipedia articles, news, sports scores, and more.
Alexa works with devices such as lights, switches, thermostats, and more from WeMo, Philips Hue, SmartThings, Insteon, Nest, ecobee, and Wink. Switch on the lamp before getting out of bed, turn on the fan or change the temperature on your thermostat while reading in your favorite chair, or dim the lights from the couch to watch a movie—all voice controlled from your tablet.
In addition to Alexa, our next Fire OS update will also allow you to quickly access great game play directly from the Games tab with Twitch, the world’s leading social video platform and community for gamers. Fire tablet owners will also have easy access to over 65,000 recommendations from ComiXology, which provides an unrivaled library of comic books, graphic novels, manga and more.
Fire OS is the best entertainment experience on a tablet with quick access to the things you do most. The home screen includes dedicated content pages for books, games, and apps, video, music, audiobooks, and Newsstand, making it quick to pick up right where you left off. Powered by Amazon’s recommendations engine, you can quickly browse books, movies, TV shows, music, apps, and games suggested just for you.
Fire tablet owners have access to a one-of-a-kind app store experience where over 2,000 apps, games, and even in-app items are 100% free. Experience titles from top developers including Disney, Rovio Entertainment, Gameloft, Zeptolab, and Sega of America without ever having to pay for the app or in-app purchases.
Family Library links your Amazon account to that of your spouse or partner so you can easily share apps, games, audiobooks, and books, and it now allows Prime members to share their Prime Video content. Access your family's content across devices—both Amazon devices and free Amazon apps for other platforms, including iOS and Android.
With ASAP (Advanced Streaming and Prediction), Amazon movies and TV episodes are ready for you to watch instantly. ASAP dynamically adapts to your viewing habits.
On Deck automatically downloads Prime Video (for Prime members) and the first episodes of Amazon Original Series while your device isn’t in use, ensuring that there is always something new to enjoy instantly, even when offline.
Screen Sharing brings Mayday-powered customer service to Fire tablets. Simply call customer service and Amazon experts can connect to your Fire tablet to co-pilot through features by drawing on your screen, walking you through how to do something yourself, or doing it for you—whatever works best.
Most helpful customer reviews
8056 of 8285 people found the following review helpful.
Great basic tablet for Amazon fans
By Desert Rat
As a background, I am a retired Information Systems professional and I am writing my first impressions of the NEW Fire HD 8 released on September 21, 2016 from the perspective of being a long-term Kindle user. I have all the current e-readers and Fire devices from Amazon including the basic Kindle, the Paperwhite (2013,2014,2015 models), the Fire HD6, Fire HD7, Fire HDX7 and Fire HDX8.9 (3rd and 4th generation), the old Fire HD 8 and the Fire HD 10. Here is a summary of my initial impressions of the new Fire HD8.
Amazon has replaced the original HD 8 released in 2015 with an “All-New” HD 8. Amazon is also removing the Fire HD6, which is a shame as it is a great little tablet.
The new HD 8 differs from the old version as follows:
BEST NEW FEATURE:
The price has been reduced! The 16 GB version of the old device cost $169.99 with special offers (ads). The new 16 GB version costs 89.99 and you can get a 32 HB version for $30 more.
Amazon has removed the ability to mirror your display on Miracast devices such as TVs. Now that feature is now only available on generation 4 and 5 Fires including last years HD 8. However, you can still cast Prime videos to a FireTV or Fire Stick.
WHAT COMES IN THE BOX:
The HD8 Fire, a short 3-foot USB cord and a power adapter so you can charge and use the device right out of the box.
The new HD8 is a fraction thicker than the 2015 HD8. Leather cases for the old HD 8 will fit the new HD 8 but hard shell cases will not. However the auto wake feature of some older cases won't work.
One complaint I had about the earlier versions was that the back was very slick and slippery to hold without a case. The new version is finely matted or textured so it is much easier to hold without dropping it and is no longer a fingerprint magnet on the back.
The resolution of the screen is the same 1280 x 800. However, the new HD 8 seems to have darker blacks with more contrast when compared to the older version. The display is nice and bright but still barely readable in bright sunlight. Amazon has added adaptive brightness to the new 2016 HD 8. When enabled, the brightness of the display changes depending on the level of light in the room. Practically speaking, this is only useful indoors when adjusting for night time reading because it is difficult to see the display in bright outdoor sunshine.
I do like that you can choose your own wallpaper! It comes with 9 stock images and if you don't like one of them, you can choose your own image in your Amazon Photos folder.
Both the new and old HD8 use a System on chip (SoC) platform where the CPU, GPU and Bluetooth are integrated on one chip platform. The new HD 8 has a faster MediaTek MT8163V/B 64-bit quad-core processor advertised as running at 1.3Ghz. Tests show that this processor operates with a CPU frequency of 1300 MHz max and 600 MHz min.
The old processor was a MediaTek MT8135 32-bit processor which was advertised as having one quad-core processor operating at 1.5GHz. Tests reveal that operating speeds were 1200 MHz max and 364 MHz min frequencies.
The GPU (graphics processing unit) on the new HD8 is an ARM Mali-T720 versus the older PowerVRg6200. Overall, the newer chip operates faster than the old chip.
Bluetooth version has been upgraded from 4.0 LE to 4.1 LE.
The HD8 is now available with 16 GB and 32GB instead of 8 GB and 16 GB and Amazon still has a slot where you can insert a microSD card. The 2016 HD 8 accepts a MicroSD card up to 200 GB instead of the maximum 128 GB on the 2015 HD 8.
I recommend purchasing the 32GB version instead of ordering the 16 GB and adding an SD card. You will probably not need an additional card with the 32 GB version, but if you find that you are running short of space, you can always add one later. If you do add an external card, I do not recommend installing apps on an auxiliary card for several reasons. 1) Some apps WON’T install on auxiliary cards and those that do, use space on the internal drive as well as the microSD card. 2) the Fire apps seem to run faster on the internal drive. 3) If your SDcard goes bad, you are going to have devote some time reinstalling all your apps and resetting your settings.
More importantly, the new device has 1.5 GB of RAM versus 1.0 GB. Because of these upgrades, the new HD 8 is much snappier than the old version.
It is heavier: 12.0 ounces vs 11.0 ounces thanks to the larger battery
The battery life is a big improvement. The new battery has been sized up to 4,750 mAh from the previous version which had a 3,210 mAh battery. The older model was rated at 8 hours but the new model is rated at 12 hours of mixed use. My biggest criticism of the old version was the battery which ran down very rapidly. I just kept the thing plugged in all the time because I could only use it for about 5 hours, not 8 hours, without being plugged in. The new version is definitely improved and it seems to last about 50% longer than the old one. Your own results may vary from mine depending on use.
Sadly, Amazon installs a single antenna and has removed the 802.11ac wireless protocol from the new HD 8. What does this mean? In a nutshell, speed.
802.11 ac WiFi is much faster, but its peak speeds are not really the selling point. Its speeds at long range are. The AC protocol factors in “beamforming.” Beamforming is a “smart signal” which detects where connected devices are and increases signal strength specifically in their direction. So the performance as well as higher speed of 802.11ac are maintained far better at long range. Speed is not a factor for really short actions such as downloading books but if you plan on downloading movie videos, plan on taking a long lunch break.
When testing both my old and new HD8 devices from a far corner of my house, the new 2016 HD 8 connected at 65 Mbps but the old 2015 connected at 433 Mbps.
As you can see, the results show how much faster 802.11ac operates.
The new HD 8 has been reduced to the same camera specs as the basic Fire. The camera quality is not as good on the new HD 8 as the old HD 8. Instead of maintaining a 720 HD front-facing camera with a 5 MP rear-facing camera with 1080p HD video recording, the new HD 8 comes with a VGA front-facing camera with a 2 MP rear-facing camera with 720p HD video recording. The quality of the new camera is obviously inferior and it shows when taking pictures. The image inferiority is really obvious when used in indoor settings. There is no flash so the pictures often come out very grainy when used indoors.
This is where the HD 8 shines. Amazon includes Dolby Atmos and dual stereo speakers. The HD 8 has one of the best sounds, both in quality and loudness, as any tablet I own.
UPDATE October 14, 2016. I need to clarify my comment about the sound. The speakers are terrible on all the Fires, including this one. This has become so second nature to me that I always use headphones, bluetooth speakers and occasionally even pair up my device to my Amazon Echo. When connected to an alternate speaker device, the sound quality is excellent.
The volume buttons are placed along the top of the HD 8 along with the power button, the headphone jack and the power receptacle. So all the buttons you would touch are on top. No buttons are on the sides or bottom.
The nice feature of the volume buttons is that they are “sensitive” to the orientation of the tablet. So if you are watching a movie in landscape mode with the volume buttons on the left, the upper button increases volume and the lower button decreases sound. If you flip the tablet 180 degrees so that the buttons are now on the right, most devices will use the same buttons for volume but in order to increase volume, the button you will need to press is now the LOWER button. The Fire HD 8 is smart enough to reverse the functions so that the upper button still increases the volume.
Atmos is a surround sound technology, developed in 2012, that expands upon the current 5.1 and 7.1 set-ups. With Atmos, each speaker has its own feed, enabling new front, surround and ceiling-mounted height channels. I was watching a movie with cheap headphones and thought I heard helicopters fly by my house. It took me a minute to realize that the sound was from the helicopters in the movie. It really sounded like they were coming from the left and moving to the right OVERHEAD. Wow, I was impressed!! (Note: I used Bluetooth headphones to test the Atmos quality of the sound.)
The new 2016 HD 8 location services are only WiFi-based. Some older Fires such as the HDX 7 and the HDX 8.9 also included GPS and a-GPS. Assisted GPS (a-GPS) significantly improved startup performance of a GPS satellite-based positioning system.
What this means is that location services in the new HD 8 really does not exist because there is no GPS location service utilizing satellites. Instead, the device approximates your location based on your WiFi IP address. When WiFi is turned off or not available, apps that utilize location services such as mapping apps do not work. This is a real bummer because I use my older devices in the car while traveling with downloaded maps and would like to replace them with the HD 8. The older Fires work so much better than my phone because of the larger screen size. This was a feature I really miss in the current Fires. I could connect to my car Bluetooth to listen to music and Audible books and receive driving instructions at the same time. I could also set my HERE map app to let me know when I was driving over the speed limit to ensure that my foot didn’t become a little too heavy.
2016 HD 8 is Fire OS 5.3 based on Android 5.1.1, API level 22. 2015 HD8 is based on Android 5.1, API level 22. Effectively, the settings menus are slightly different.
I like the new HD 8. It is a good basic tablet for those who love the Amazon experience. Even though it has some features that have been degraded, overall it is a snappier and brighter tablet at a very reasonable price. I cannot evaluate the Alexa enhancement nor On Deck for Prime members feature as they have not been released for any Amazon Fire yet.
The 8-inch size seems a good balance for those who want only one device. It is slightly larger than the basic Fire but not so cumbersome as the HD 10. If you only want one Amazon tablet, I would recommend this one, especially if you are an avid Amazon prime customer. If you have the older HDX 7 or the 2014 HD 7, it is probably not worth the upgrade unless you are running out of storage space.
If you want a device to read books, I recommend that you get the Paperwhite or the Voyage. They can be read ANYWHERE, even in bright sunlight, have incredible battery life and have a few features specific to reading that are not available on the Fires.
There are some default settings that I change for personal use. All changes are done from the Settings menu. For those who want to know what I prefer, some of the more important changes are:
1) I change the wallpaper. Amazon has some nice pictures but I like my own better.
2) I set the display sleep to 10 minutes instead of the default 5 minutes. I get sidetracked too often so need the extra time so that my display doesn’t go into sleep mode.
3) I set the “Find Your Tablet” to “ON.” You never know if it could be stolen or if you do stupid things like leave your tablet at Starbucks. :-}
4) I turn “Collect App Usage Data” to “OFF.” If you play a lot of games or use certain Amazon Underground apps that require it, you might need to keep this on.
5) I disable auto-correction. Under Personal->Keyboard and Language->Fire Basic Keyboard Settings->Text Correction->Auto-Correction, I select Off. I hate it when I am typing and I don’t catch it when the tablet changes my words because the auto-correction decided on something totally irrelevant.
6) I change my search provider from “Bing” to “Google” under Apps & Games->Amazon Application Settings->Silk Browser->Advanced settings->Search engine
7) I change my Email group into conversations settings. Go to Settings->Conversation Settings->Group Messages Into Conversations and set to “OFF.” Too many times, I can’t tell if I got a reply because it’s buried in the conversation.
8) I also change my “After delete, go to” setting to “Older message.” When I am reading an email and delete it, I prefer to go to the next message instead of back to the list of messages.
9) Under Home Settings, I turn Home Recommendations OFF as well as turning Show Apps on the Recent Page OFF. This helps to remove clutter.
10) On the Home screen, I move my more frequently used apps to the top so that I don’t have to scroll down to find them. The less used ones, I arrange alphabetically so that I can find them as I scroll down.
CAVEAT: The Amazon Fire tablets do not use Google play so many Android applications such as Google maps and a lot of games are not available. There are ways to get around this but I don’t recommend it unless you know what you are doing. I also noted that a few apps on my old tablet do not show up as available on my 2016 HD 8. I use HERE WeGo which is an excellent replacement for Google Maps. Now I don’t have Google maps or HERE. Amazon has its own Map app but it is inferior to the other two.
3628 of 3735 people found the following review helpful.
Confused about which model to buy? Read this for a non-techie review
By John Ryan
[[VIDEOID:f32a86745bdb871c67c20acacf96675b]] One advantage of a big family is you get to review everyone’s tech. Over the years this has included several iPads, the entire Amazon Fire range, and now this - the Fire 8 released September 2016. I bought this for my daughter, (13 going on 20), and she loves it.
As I work in IT, I'm aware just how confusing technology can be, so I'll avoid references to jargon, and focus on the experience instead. I’ve broken the review up into sections so you can skip the bits you’re less interested in.
I’ll compare this device to the rest of the small Amazon Fire range, in particular the cheaper Fire 7” and Fire 6” HD in addition to the four times more expensive iPad Mini 4.
While the screen resolution is not quite up to the “retina” of the more expensive iPad, this is a much better experience than the cheaper 7” device, and the build quality is great. It really does feel a lot more expensive than it is. For me, that extra inch in screen size (and better resolution), makes all the difference. It’s a great tablet for the daily commute, light and easy to hold in one hand.
Web and gaming performance from the snappy processor and 50% more memory make this a pleasure to use, and although the screen is highly reflective (and useless in bright sunlight), the improved resolution over my Fire 7” is noticeable, especially reading eBooks. it even ran the graphically intensive “Airborne 8”, and is certainly great for watching films and TV.
The cameras are good, but not perfect, and the improved sound quality from the stereo speakers are a bonus, but these are perhaps the biggest compromise points on the device.
I’d say, the best things about this tablet is the impressive 12 hour battery life (yes it really will go the distance), and the storage which starts at 16 or 32Gb but you can add up to 200Gb. A few years ago, that used to be a huge hard disk - bigger than this tablet.
Of course, you’ll also need to add a $10-$30 case, and a $12 for a 32Gb micro-SD card, but you’re getting a lot of tablet for the money. This certainly gets my vote.
My advice: If you’ve an Prime membership (and can download and watch movies on your commute), this is a great device. For web-surfing, eMail and the odd game it’s terrific, and the hand held size means it’s easy to use with one hand. Equally for a child or young “tween” it’s a great value tablet - but buy a case to protect it.
85% - Value for Money.
90% - Design and Build Quality
85% - Screen (Bright and clear but a reflective finger magnet)
85% - Web performance
80% - Gaming Performance
90% - Sound (Dual stereo speakers)
65% - Camera. (Main camera good, selfie very grainy)
75% - Storage and Expansion (16/32Gb with 200Gb extension)
90% - Battery (Realistic 12 Hours)
83% - Overall – very impressive
Clearly, Amazon have made some compromises, to hit the magic price point. Here’s the details:-
Value for Money — 85%
While it’s almost double the price of the (year older) Fire 7” tablet, it compares well to the 7” and 6” HD devices. With a faster (more modern) processor and 50% more memory it zips through tasks. The bigger 8” screen is great, and build quality and battery life very impressive. If you’re on a tight budget (and who isn’t) consider the 7” - but (with this device), you’re getting a faster, better build device that might last you a bit longer.
Similarly, while it doesn’t quite have the polish of the Apple iPad Mini 4, you could buy four of these for the same price, and still have enough left over for additional storage and accessories. Read on for other buying options - there’s several ways to save (or spend) money.
Design and Build Quality — 90%
At 311g it’s 2g lighter than the smaller 7” sibling, but looks and feels solid and well built with no flex when you press the Gorilla Glass screen (same as the hugely more expensive iPad mini). The rear is a matt textured finish instead of the smart aluminium back of the iPad, and Amazon claim it’s twice as durable. It certainly won’t collect scratches on the rear, and (in a kid proof case) survived multiple 4 foot drop tests onto a marble floor.
The volume and power buttons (plastic with a tiny bit of wobble), are along the top with the headphone socket and power. Personally, I think the button placement (at the top in portrait mode) a bit odd. All the buttons are in the same place, but changing volume while holding it in landscape mode felt strange.
Overall though, for this price point, (almost) top marks on build quality. This device feels more expensive than it is, and is a better build than the 7” Fire.
Screen Quality — 85%
A one inch difference from the 7” to 8” HD doesn’t sound much, but watching a video or playing a game it feels a lot bigger and more immersive. The 800x1280 screen resolution is MUCH better than the 600x1024 on the cheaper 7”. While you’ll not notice much in everyday use, if you read an Amazon Kindle book, it’s a pleasure on this device, but a grainy experience on the 7.
Colours are bright enough, but this is still a budget device, and overall I found the screen far from vibrant, but certainly good enough for everyday use.
You do get the same “In plane switching” (IPS) display as the iPad which means it has a wide viewing angle. On similarly priced budget tablets without this, I’ve found the screen and colours fade as you tilt the device left/right or up/down. This may not seem much of an issue until you’re playing a game where you constantly tilt and turn the tablet to navigate a race course - in which case it gets really frustrating.
True of all but the most expensive tablets which have an anti-reflective coating, the screen is awful in bright sunlight. It’s hugely reflective, and is a real fingerprint magnet. Having said that, at this price point I’ve go real complaints. The alternatives are not a lot better.
Of course if you’ve got an Amazon Fire TV (or superb value $40) Fire Stick, you can stream music, photos or movies to your TV.
Web Performance — 85%
The Mail Online is a good test for web performance as it’s jam packed with photos, text and graphics. Pleased to say, although there were slight delays in loading the pages (typical of the price point), scrolling and zooming in/out was a breeze. I’ve reviewed other tablets which quickly become frustrating with stuttering delays in zooming, but the modern processor handled it well.
Gaming Performance — 80%
My standard set of gaming tests include a range of apps including Angry Birds, Goat Simulator and Cut the Rope. I also tested the graphically challenging “Asphalt 8” which ran surprisingly well. It was quickly responsive to twists and turns, and appeared bright and clear.
Do keep in mind, this is a budget device. I’m sure you’ll find some top-end games which don’t run quite as smoothly or have reduced quality graphics. However, for the occasional game player - it certainly works fine.
Sound Quality — 90%
Unlike the cheaper 7” which has a single speaker, this has a pair of stereo speakers along the top or bottom edge (in landscape mode) which I quite liked. The means if you’re watching a film you get stereo sound from the bottom (or top if you flip it around), and you don’t block it with your hands. Of course playing “Temple Run” in landscape mode you do block at least one speaker, but that’s a compromise I can live with.
In terms of sound quality, it’s not bad. A bit tinny as you’d expect, but plenty loud enough to embarrass you when you start up an app in a quiet public library or train journey. Of course you’ve also got the option of a bluetooth speaker or headphones via wireless or using the 3.5mm socket on the top.
Cameras — 65%
Typically one of the biggest compromises on a budget tablet, you get an impressive 5 MegaPixel main camera and a 720P selfie on this, which compares well to the pretty basic 2MP/VGA set up on the cheaper 7”.
While you’ll almost always get a better image quality from a more expensive smartphone, the image quality of both photos and video was surprisingly good for the money, although using the “selfie” camera in low light looked really awful - the image quality was really grainy.
Shooting video indoors, images were clear, although shooting out through a window tricked the light balance a bit, and indoors looked really dark. Overall good though.
Finally, a photos of the garden on a sunny day compare pretty well against the 7 times more expensive iPhone shot, and better than the Fire 7, so no real complains.
Storage and expansion — 75%
Again a compromise area, this comes with 16 or 32Gb of which around 70% should be free out of the box for Apps, photos and videos, although you’ll probably need to add more.
Thankfully, this is easily remedied, and you can add a micro SD Card (a bit like a mobile SIM card, but it holds data instead). You can fit a card up to a gigantic 200Gb (Gigabytes). I’d advise you add a 32 or 64 Gb card - search for “Class 10 Micro SD card”. Or click on SanDisk 32 GB micro SD Memory Card for Fire Tablets and All-New Fire TV
Here’s a quick capacity summary:-
32Gb = 11,400 JPG photos or 65 SD or 32 HD movies or 8,000 MP3 songs
64Gb = 22,800 photos or 130 SD or 64 HD movies or 16,000 songs
128Gb = 45,600 photos or 260 SD or 130 HD movies or 32,000 songs
Even 32Gb of storage will hold thousands of photos or apps, but video uses the most space, hence the benchmark above. I bought a 64Gb myself. Lots of space.
I love this feature (not available on the iPad), which means you could (for $40) buy a 128Gb of additional space, and download months worth of TV or films - for free if you have an Amazon Prime account.
Battery Life and Power — 90%
The quoted battery time is an impressive 12 hours, although watching YouTube videos over WIFI with the screen at maximum brightness you might not reach that. Having said that, I used it off and on for three days on a single charge, and it lasted for ages. On that (admitted unscientific) basis, I think 12 hours is probably realistic.
You won’t realise just how great this feature is, until you’re on a long haul flight or car journey with a small child. It even beats the ground-breaking 10 hour battery of the iPad Mini 4 at four times the price.
Compared to other Fire Tablets?
For the techies out there, here’s the specs of the 3 similarly sized tablets in the range:-
* Fire 7 - HD 6 - HD8
* Screen Size: 7” - 6” - 8”
* Price: $50 - $70 - $90
* Processor: Quad Core 1.3GHz - 1.5 GHz - 1.5 Ghz (Slightly faster)
* Memory: 1Gb - 1Gb - 1.5Gb (50% more memory)
* Pixels per inch: 170 - 252 - 189 psi (11% better image detail)
* Resolution: 600x1024 - 800x1280 - 800x1290 (better screen)
* Storage: 8Gb - 16/32Gb - 16/32Gb (double the built in memory)
* Battery: 7 Hrs - 8 Hrs - 12 Hrs (+5 hours battery life)
* Weight: 313g - 290g - 311g (about the same)
* Front Camera: 2MP - 2MP - 5MP (Much better camera)
* Selfie Camera: VGA - VGA - 720P
Comparing tech specs there doesn’t seem a lot in it, which is why reading reviews of actual experience is important. You get a faster 1.5Ghz processor, 50% more memory (means you can run more stuff at the same time), a bigger better quality (8” screen) and better cameras with stereo speakers. Build quality is however significantly better than other models, and battery life at 12 Hrs (normal use) is outstanding.
What’s the total cost?
OK, so you’re looking at spending $90 on an tablet computer, but what will it REALLY cost you? Here’s a breakdown of possible costs/options:-
* $90-$105 - Fire 8” HD Tablet (with or without adverts)
* $12-$43 - a 32-128Gb Micro-SD card for extra storage
* $10-$30 - for a case to protect it from scratches and knocks
* $5 - for a screen protector (optional)
So that’s a total of between $117 and $183 depending whether you go for this and a case and a huge 128Gb of additional storage. For young kids (see below) you could also add $5 a month ($3 with Prime membership) for “FreeTime” unlimited access to educational games, books and movies.
If you’ve not already got Amazon Prime at $11 a month you should consider it. You’ll be able to download and watch TV and movies for free to this device and watch them during your daily commute. (Something you can’t currently do with Netflix). In total you get:-
* Amazon Instant: access to hundreds of TV programmes and movies including Mr. Robot and Suits. Effectively another Netflix with the ability download to your tablet.
* Music: Unlimited downloads of songs or personalised radio stations. Effectively another Spotify without any ads
* Audible Playlists: To listen to Audible books on your smartphone or tablet
* Kindle eBooks Lending Library: Borrow books to read in the Kindle App for free
* Photo Storage: Including unlimited free storage for your photos in the cloud.
* Free two day delivery: On your Amazon purchases.
Then of course if you’ve got Amazon Instant for TV and Movies, you can buy an Amazon Fire TV ($90) or the superb value Amazon Fire TV Stick at $40 - then you can watch a movie on the tablet on the way home, and finish it on your TV.
Me - I used to have entirely Apple stuff - now I’m afraid I’m a convert to Amazon. So be warned, what starts with a $90 tablet may be the starting point to an entire world of stuff.
What’s the other Tablet Options?
Amazon now have a tablet at every price point from $50 to $229 but which to buy? For me it all comes down to: Price, Size and Speed. Having owned and tested them all, I’d recommend:-
* Cheapest Tablet: $50 - 7” Tablet. A year older than the 8” HD, but a decent device for the money
* Best Small Device: $90 - 8” HD. This device, fast and well built, with 12 hour battery life.
* Best Full Size: $229 - 10” HD. If you need the bigger screen, but buy a case or expect the rear get scratched. Having said that, a Grade A used iPad Air 2 is available on eBay for around $289, and that’s a much better device. Your call.
Personally I’d avoid the Amazon HD 6 or HD 8 (if indeed they’re still on sale). The HD 6 is good, but small and 2 years old, and the 8 has an odd screen aspect ratio.
Any good for Kids?
One huge benefit of this over an iPad Mini is you can set up a child profile to limit access to inappropriate stuff. You can set up several profiles if it’s a shared device (yeh like that’s ever going to happen), and enter the child’s age. They’ll get a far simpler (and easier to navigate) menu, with the Apps, books, games and (amazingly) web access suitable to their age range.
I’d delighted my “tween” (going on 20 year old), is protected from the nasty stuff on the internet, and I even set up a profile for my 4 year old granddaughter who’s limited to age appropriate (eg. Disney) web pages on a simplified web interface.
You can even limit total screen time, or vary it so they have unlimited access to books, but restricted time on games and nothing after 9pm. No arguments.
The only downside I can see is you can’t download kids films and TV from Amazon Instant in the Kids profile - you’ll need to supervise them from an profile with access to everything. I suspect this is so you’re steered towards buying a “FreeTime” subscription at $3 a month (with prime) which gives access to a library of age appropriate stuff for kids aged 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12. This includes a range of movies (eg. Finding Nemo), books and games.
The Amazon App Store
Firstly an “App” is a small “Application” a program which runs on a tablet, and there are thousands available including games and educational programs. According to “Statisca”, Amazon had 600,00 available (April 2016) compared to 2.2m and 2m in the Google and Apple Web store which means you won’t find EVERY app on Amazon, but you should find the most popular ones including “Asphalt 8”, “Temple Run” and "Cut the Rope”. I couldn’t find my favourite (Air Wings) which runs on Apple and Google devices only.
Worth noting, you can’t (easily) run Apps from the Apple or Google App store - they run on Apple or Android devices only. This means if you’ve bought a game on your Android Smartphone, you may need to buy it again for this device (annoying but true). Having said that, many thousands are free or Ad supported, and “Amazon Underground” even has a selected set of “normally paid for” Apps (on Google/Apple) which they give for free - all part of making this tablet a success.
Basically, if you’ve invested a huge amount of money in Google Apps and games you might want to look elsewhere. If you have some app you can’t live without - search for it on Amazon. You can see which Amazon Apps are available.
However, (provided you’re technically minded), you can install the Google Play store on this (and any) Amazon tablet. Just search for “You Tube cJ__xOSuc94” for details.
As a fan of Apple devices, I’m surprised to report this is a really impressive device for the money. I’ve tested and reviewed several similarly priced “budget” tablets for sale on Amazon, and this is a great quality table. Truly inexpensive without being “cheap”. I love it, my daughter loves it too, and even my 4 year granddaughter when she comes to visit.
I do hope you found this review helpful. Have a great day.
3296 of 3435 people found the following review helpful.
Amazon did it right this time, really enjoying my tablet! (3 updates)
I am thrilled with the new Fire HD8 - even before it gets Alexa! At that time I will likely be ecstatic! I am far from a tablet novice - I had the original fire; the $50 fire; the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3; and the Galaxy Tab S 10.5. My phones have always been Samsung flagship phones, currently the S7 Edge. I say this to show that I 1) have experience with kindle fires, and 2) generally tend to have high standards for my most used devices -- I KNOW what is a good tablet and what is a so-so tablet. Admittedly, my previous fires have been "so-so", but I wanted something inexpensive yet adequate to take places with me instead of my Galaxy Tab S 10.5.
My HD8 is the 32gb option, with offers. Most users will likely be fine with 16gb and perhaps an added 32gb or 64gb SD card. However, I know how I use my devices, so went with the 32gb option, as well as a 64gb micro SD card. In the 48 hours I have had my new Fire, it has become my device of choice, even over my $500 samsung (more convenient size). I use the large samsung tablet as a computer replacement; whereas the new Fire replaces my two 7 inch tablets as the "go to" device.
Before receiving it, I wasn't sure about the low resolution (1280 x 800) on this tab, but honestly, it's not a problem! Sure, it's not bright and beautiful like my Tab S ... but its crisp, clean, and clear. The colors are sufficient, but not vibrant, sadly. (The comparison photo below is the HD8 (2016) and Fire 7 (2015).
Sound is quite good, with good volume. The speakers are on the left side when portrait, on top (or bottom) in landscape. I prefer them on top. The sound is good enough that you can enjoy a movie without having to use earphones, unless in a noisy environment, in which case you would likely want to use earphones anyway. Music was okay, but I prefer listening through bluetooth headphones for premium quality, and it delivers there also.
Whatever chip is used for the cpu is zippy and responsive. I have tested and used a variety of apps, games, and functions in trying this tablet out, and there has been no lag whatsoever, no hesitation, no hangups. Using the silk browser, surfing the web was quick and easy. At most, there was a half second lag for some graphics heavy pages (note that my high speed router is in my room, but even so, the $50 fire lags, not so this one!)
The only feature that is "less than" on this tablet, are the cameras. The rear facing camera is only 2mp, and photos with it are about what I expected ...slightly pixelated, washed out colors, print is readable but not crisp. It's usable in a pinch, when the alternative is no picture/video, or for reference/documentation; but it's not what you would want to use for travel or family photos that are of importance. For reference photos, pet photos, posting to facebook, it's adequate, but "just".
Battery life is excellent. I multi-task and heavily use tablets, with a lot of twitter (have found it to be battery intensive on all devices); a lot of web use, music streaming, texting (on messenger) and watching you tube. I've already gone through two battery cycles (100% to 15%) and the first one was ten hours (actual use time) and the second nearly 11, so it's very close to the maximum advertised.
Overall, this is a super tablet, and the bargain price makes it that much more so. It has exceeded my expectations and hopes in most all functions, and will be a welcome alternative for throwing in my backpack.
UPDATE: October 30, 2016 The Alexa update was pushed to my device on Oct 29th (verified with amazon customer service) and it "bricked" my tablet, rendering it unusable, will not turn on. After several hours on phone with four reps at customer service, it is being returned for a refund. Replacements are always refurbished items, so I chose refund instead. I still think it's a great tablet, but sometimes there are issues, and in the interest of honesty and full disclosure, needed to add this.
2nd UPDATE: November 10, 2016 Okay, apparently this is the "Goldilocks" of my tablets (just right!) and I could not live without it. By the 10th day without it, I was really, REALLY missing it, so I ordered a new one, this time investing in the extended warranty "just in case". I received the new one today, everything is perfect with it, and it feels so, SO good to have a Fire HD8 back in my hands. I know it sounds silly, but even though the specs of this are less than one of my tablets, and slightly better than two 7" ones - the 7" ones now feel too small, and the 10.5" one I have is just too large for most uses. The 8" Fire is just the right size for everything short of computer replacement. In the few hours of use, I've checked everything out and all is well. I will, however, update again, in about two months, to make sure this review is kept current. Right now, despite the issue with one tablet, it's still at least 4.5 stars in my book, but I won't hesitate to revise if that changes.
3rd Update: December 31, 2016 It's now been 7 weeks with my second Fire HD8 tablet. All is working well, and I now rate it a solid 4 stars. I use the playstore and several google apps on my device, and there are no issues. I also ad several apps that frequently updated throughout the day, like periscope, facebook, twitter, news aggregators. With all of these apps, the tablet began lagging badly at least once a day, sometimes twice, and even with an app like Cleansweep on it, I would have to reboot. Finally, I uninstalled periscop and the news aggregators; but kept facebook and twitter and a few others similar. That made a huge difference in the lag. There just isn't enough RAM to handle heavy updating every half hour or so, nor does the tablet recover ram well. I also run 10 email accounts on the tablet (I use "bluemail") and set most of them to sync once daily, just two of them sync every hour. With the tweaks I have done, I am happy with the Fire HD8, and it runs smoothly most of the time.