Amazon has long been renowned for its affordable technology. Furthermore, though their items may not be as aesthetically pleasing as their peers, they are well-built, feature-packed, and excellent value for money. The Fire HD 8 Tablet continues this trend! With minor improvements over its predecessor, this tablet will impress newcomers, but it won’t be as groundbreaking for existing customers.
With a familiar finish, fans of the Amazon tablet range will feel right at home. Moreover, a 2MP rear and front-facing camera enables you to video call, record, and take pictures to your heart’s content. On top of this, the slick interface is reliable, smooth, and responsive. However, if you’ve used an Apple or Samsung device, the UI will feel a little cumbersome by comparison.
For this review, I was kindly provided with a protective case specifically designed for the Fire HD 8 Tablet. This was a necessary addition as it makes the device much more user-friendly while keeping it protected. However, more on this later.
What’s in the box of the Fire HD 8 Tablet?
- The packing is rudimentary, attractive, and recyclable. However, the box isn’t as robust as I’d have expected. Accordingly, it is much lighter and less substantial than its peers.
- The Fire HD 8 Tablet is protected by a slim paper sleeve. Moreover, it has a familiar plastic finish with a tactile and grippy rear panel. The buttons are comfortable to use and easy to find. Additionally, the USB-C charging point is conveniently placed.
- The USB-C charging cable is moderately sized and of good quality. Thankfully, if the cable isn’t long enough, you can replace it with any standard USB-C charging cable.
- A USB-A plug. Unlike other tech brands, Amazon provides you with a USB-A plug to charge your device.
- A simple user manual. Though not entirely necessary, you can study the fundamentals with the quick start guide.
If you have an earlier version of this device, you’ll notice limited differences. Yet, if you are new to the brand or you have a much older iteration, this will be a vast improvement. Thanks to the enhanced Hexa-core 2.0 GHz processor, the Fire HD 8 Tablet is up to 30% faster than the previous models. This is perfect as the UI isn’t as rapid as its peers. However, the improved processing power paired with the 2 GB of RAM makes this a pleasant experience.
Alongside this, the battery life is reassuringly good. You’ll get up to 13 hours of streaming, gaming, or reading out of one charge. What’s more, the USB-C charging option gets you back up and running in around 5 hours. This may seem slow compared to other devices, but with some forward planning, it isn’t as painful as it first appears.
The 8-inch HD display is pleasant, crisp, and responsive. This compact screen enables you to watch Amazon Prime, catch up TV, or Netflix with ease. The 1280×800 (189 PPI) resolution won’t blow you away, but it’s suitable for this sized device. On top of this, you’ll enjoy Dolby Atmos as standard.
High-end features are desirable. Yet, I want my tablet to be user-friendly and easy to set up. Thankfully, if you use any other Amazon item, you’ll be extremely comfortable. However, if you are new to this, you’ll enjoy a straightforward procedure that takes under 10 minutes to sort out. Furthermore, once your device is connected to your Amazon account, you can create additional profiles for your family with ease.
As expected, the Fire HD 8 Tablet allows users to download many popular apps. Additionally, if you have any kids in your household, you can set parental controls to keep them safe. Sadly, though, the app store isn’t as vast as the iOS or Play alternative, so this may cause some frustrations. This is a minor complaint, as I was able to install apps and play the games that I wanted. However, it is something that must be considered depending on your requirements.
It wouldn’t be an Amazon product if it didn’t have Alexa! The voice-operated AI helps you to search for apps, movies, TV series, and much more. At the press of a button, you can let your tablet and Alexa do all the work. However, if you don’t wish to use this excellent feature, it can be disabled in the settings.
One of my significant concerns is the responsive nature of the on-screen keyboard. Other tablets have disappointed me in the past. Their clumsy ways and slow response times make it an arduous and frustrating experience. Well, thankfully, the Fire HD 8 Tablet is different. The keyboard is a pleasant size and is unbelievably accurate. As such, I enjoyed typing emails, using the Internet, and searching for apps from the store.
Though the camera isn’t that strong, it is more than sufficient for the price point. With 2 MP for both front and back lenses, the photo quality isn’t that spectacular. However, the 720p recording is nice enough if you haven’t got your mobile phone or high-end camera to hand.
The Fire HD 8 Tablet case.
You can use this tablet without a case if you so wish. Yet, I’d say they are essential as they keep it protected. Furthermore, they look fantastic, and you can stand your tablet up with ease. The grey model-specific case has a textile finish. Moreover, there is a pleasant-looking Amazon logo. The hardened material keeps the device protected as well as holding it in place with ease. Furthermore, the camera is not obstructed and the buttons are easy to use.
Alongside the robust design, you’ll enjoy a magnetic finish that keeps it closed. This feature doubles up as a stand and can be used in both portrait or landscape options. This was particularly handy when listening to Amazon music, watching Prime, or streaming a film. Though this case is a minor addition to the setup, I believe it improves usability and should be something you invest in.
Is the Fire HD 8 Tablet worth it?
The Fire HD 8 Tablet can be purchased as a 32 GB version or a 64 GB version. I was provided with the latter and both options can be expanded up to 1 TB with a micro SD card. Alongside this, there is a plus version which improves both the RAM and the rear camera. However, this comes at an additional cost. On top of this, you can buy one with or without advertisements. The difference in price is minimal, so pay a little more and get a cleaner experience.
The model variants to one side, the Fire HD 8 Tablet, is an exceptional device for the money. Not only is it extremely user-friendly, but it is faster than previous iterations, more robust than the iPad mini, and it has a pleasant and vibrant screen. Additionally, it isn’t too heavy, and the familiar finish is reassuring. Accordingly, I was impressed and I recommend that you buy it here!
(More information on Amazon can be found here!)