The Fire tablets are fully tailored to the Amazon cosmos: Android serves as the operating system, through which Amazon places its own Fire OS user interface. This makes operation very easy, but it also has its limitations.
The Google Play store for loading apps is missing; instead, Amazon has installed its app store. There are many typical applications here, but not all of them. If you want to be sure, you can check in advance on the Amazon homepage under “Apps & Games” whether something essential is missing.
The Amazon services such as the shop, Prime Video, music, books, photos, etc. are installed ex-works and cannot be uninstalled – after all, the customer should consume them.
And at the start, there is no way around the introductory video to the voice assistant Alexa, who is, of course, warmly recommended. Anyone who likes to be on the go at Amazon has easy access to all of their content.
Fire HD 8 Plus
The star of the new trio is that Fire HD 8 Plus (10th generation). Its performance data read promising – and also prove themselves in use. The drive is provided by a 2 GHz quad-core processor, which is supported by 3 GB RAM. It works well with it. The tablet reacts smoothly, websites and apps load quickly, and videos also run smoothly.
HD display somewhat pixelated
The HD display offers a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels. One thing is exact: the collection cannot match Apple or high-quality Samsung tablets with Full HD resolution. Fonts and pictures appear somewhat pixelated. Videos are not as sharp as on a premium device. But you can live with what is offered – especially with a view to the price tag of 119 euros.
The sound from the dual speakers is also surprisingly good. Even Dolby Atmos is supported.
There is 32 GB of internal storage that can be expanded by up to 1 terabyte using a micro SD card. 64 GB is installed for 149.99 euros. At the prices mentioned, Amazon displays advertising on the lock screen that disappears after unlocking – it doesn’t hurt us. If you don’t want to see any offers, you pay EUR 134.99 or EUR 164.99.
The battery performance was compelling in the practical test. Amazon claims up to 12 hours of mixed-use. That’s realistic. The included 9-watt power supply and USB-C cable fully charge the device in four hours. According to the Qi standard, the Fire HD 8 Plus can be the first Amazon tablet to be supplied with new energy wirelessly.
Wireless charging dock for a surcharge of 35 euros
Amazon itself offers a 10-watt charging dock in a bundle for a surcharge of 35 euros, which also serves as a stand for the tablet. The Fire HD 8 Plus is inserted in landscape format and automatically switches to show mode after the appropriate setting. It can be operated by voice via Alexa, can control networked devices, and replaces an Echo Show.
Cameras moderate, artistry good
There is a 2-megapixel camera in front and back. You can use it to make video calls, but of course not take photographs seriously.
With a weight of 355 grams, the Fire HD 8 Plus is not too heavy in hand. The plastic housing is neatly processed. However, the display preserves fingerprints and more often asks for the cleaning cloth. A fingerprint sensor is not to be expected at this price. It is unlocked at the push of a button.
Fire HD 8
The Fire HD 8 even costs only 99.99 euros (with 32 GB and advertising on the lock screen). There is not much to report. The hardware is almost the same as the Plus model: 8-inch HD display with 1280 x 800 pixels, quad-core processor with 2.0 GHz, 32 or 64 GB of memory (expandable by 1 TB ), USB-C, up to 12 hours of runtime, dual speakers, Dolby Atmos, 2 MP camera at the back and front.
However, the RAM is only two instead of 3 GB, and charging via the included power supply takes five instead of 4 hours; wireless refueling is impossible.
The differences are not severe. The Plus model sometimes reacts a bit more quickly, but the Fire HD 8 is also suitable for surfing, shopping, and watching videos.
If you want to use the tablet on the go, you should take a look at Amazon’s tailor-made, textile-coated protective cover. The tablet is securely in a plastic shell. The flap holds magnetically and protects the display with a soft pad. However, that is Case for the Fire HD 8 at 35 euros. It is quite expensive compared to the tablet – as I said, Amazon does not earn with the hardware.
The cover fits both the simple and the plus model and is available in four colors.
Fire HD 8 Kids Edition
Amazon also has a child-friendly version of its new 8-inch model. The Fire HD 8 Kids Edition is 134.99 euros and includes Amazon Freetime Unlimited membership for one year. It offers the little ones thousands of age-appropriate books, audible audiobooks, videos, learning apps, and games.
Also, the tablet is in a child-friendly, stable case in blue, pink, or violet. It is soft, has a good grip, and protects both the child and the device. The fold-out stand that stands the tablet upright is practical. Also useful: the two-year carefree guarantee. If the surfboard breaks, Amazon provides a replacement free of charge.
For 120 euros, Amazon has with the Fire HD 8 Plus a very decent tablet in the program. The hardware runs smoothly and stably. The display is not a high-flyer, but the show is okay given the price. It is always suitable for media consumption and surfing.
The option to replace an Echo Show with the charging dock offers added value for everyone who relies on Alexa and its home networking options.
Those who can do without it are almost identical in construction Fire HD 8 similarly well served for 100 euros. The same applies here: for the Amazon world. The tablet is a practical, inexpensive solution. If you want more, you have to pay more and have a look at other providers.
The Fire HD 8 Kids Edition With a free year of Freetime Unlimited, parents have the opportunity to limit and control the media consumption of the little ones – including motivation to learn and read. Children’s hands can easily grip the durable cover.