Amazon Fire HD 8 Tablet Review: a Great Value Family Tablet

Welcome to this Amazon Fire HD 8 Tablet review. I just saw this on Amazon so I thought I would take a look to see whether it’s any good…

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Video review:

Build Quality & Screen

It is a pretty decently built device, with the case feeling sturdier than many other cheap tablets. However, the screen does still feel like the ones on other cheap tablets.

The 8 inch IPS display has a wide range of viewing angles, making it good for reading. The resolution is 1280 x 800, which is is a bit higher resolution than the cheaper version of this tablet. It’s not quite a retina quality display like you find on more expensive tablets, but good enough for enjoying books, videos, and games.

Processor & Memory

It has a 1.3 GHz processor, 1.5 GB of RAM, and 16 GB of internal storage space, 11 GB being available to use when you first buy it (5 GB is used for running the operating system and apps). This can be significantly expanded using the microSD card slot, which can take up to 200 GB cards. This is great because Amazon actually allows you to download their movies for watching offline, so you can easily store them on the memory card.

Cameras & Speakers

It has two cameras on it which are good enough for taking average photos, but you wouldn’t want to rely on it for taking high-quality photos. Don’t throw away your digital camera just yet.

The stereo speakers are on the bottom. To get the stereo effect you need to have it in the landscape position. If you have it in the portrait position then it means all the sound comes out the left side. So it’s obviously been designed for use when watching movies.

The sound quality of the speakers is okay if a bit tinny. This is to be expected from a tablet at this price range, though, and will be good enough for most people.

Controls & Ports

The left side has the power switch, USB port for charging and connecting to USB devices, a volume control, and a headset and microphone adapter.

Ads

There are several versions of this tablet. This version is subsidised by adverts. When you first log onto it, you will see an ad. You can pay extra for a version without the ads, but this may take the price just over $100. Alternatively, you can get a version with double the internal storage but still with the ads.

Operating System & Apps

This tablet runs Android, but it’s a special Amazon version of Android. This means it doesn’t come with Google Play, although it is possible to install Google Play if you really want it. Some people may find it a little tricky, though, so if you are heavily invested in using Google Play apps, this may not be the best tablet for you.

What you do get access to, though, is all the Amazon apps. This includes a lot of free apps for Amazon Prime members. You will also notice it has a different web browser called Silk.

A lot of the more common apps and games you will be able to find, such as Netflix and Pac-Man 256. YouTube can be viewed using a virtual app which looks more like accessing it via a webs browser.

Performance

Web browsing is pretty fast, as do many popular 3D games. However, in a Slingshot Benchmark test it came out far below the iPhone 6s, sitting only just above the Blue R1 HD. For most people, it won’t make much difference because most of the games are designed to be able to run on a device like this.

It does have a considerably longer battery life than many other tablets under $100, lasting between 10 and 12 hours depending on what you are using it for.

Child-Friendly Environment

Parents can set up a child account for their child. This provides a kid-friendly interface which can be controlled by the parent. You can choose which apps you want them to have access to, how long you are going to allow them to spend on the tablet, and so on. So this is an option if you want to buy a tablet for your child.

There are two key things missing that you will get with a dedicated kids tablet, though. One is a tougher casing, and the other is an extended warrantee in case the child breaks it.

Who is it for?

This tablet is a great choice as a general family tablet that anyone can use to watch videos, play games, and surf the web. The child-friendly controls mean that parents can let their children use it, safe in the knowledge that they are protected from adult content. The low price means you won’t need to worry quite so much if it’s used a lot by several different family members and just left lying around the house.

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I hope you found this Amazon Fire HD 8 Tablet review helpful. If you have any comments or questions, please post them in the comments section below.

All the best,
Marcus.

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