The new Amazon Fire HD 8 tablet has been released; this 2022 update to Amazon’s middle-sized tablet family replaces the 2020 model and includes four different tablets in total.
That’s right, Amazon has released four tablets: the standard Fire HD 8, a Plus model, a Kids’ Edition version, and a Kids’ Edition Pro device, indicating that Amazon isn’t concerned with confusing its customers with too many options. These all end up replacing members of the Amazon Fire HD 8 (2020) family, with only minor upgrades. We’ll walk you through the new Fire HD 8 below to give you an idea of what’s new.
Price and Availability
The new base Amazon Fire HD 8 costs $99 / £99 for 32GB storage, which would be a slight price increase over the previous-generation model’s $89 / £89 starting price. A 64GB version of the tablet will also be available, but the price has not yet been disclosed.
The Fire HD 8 Plus costs $119 / £119, which is slightly more than the previous model’s asking price of $110 / £110. Both the Fire HD 8 Kids for younger users and the Fire HD 8 Kids Pro for older kids cost $149 / £149 – these models are more costly because they include protective cases as well as special software designed for children.
Amazon Fire HD 8 vs Plus vs Kids vs Kids Pro
Before we dive into the standard Amazon Fire HD 8, we should probably go over the variants so you know how they differ. To begin, the 8 Plus is a more expensive version of the standard HD 8. It has more RAM, wireless charging, and a higher-resolution camera, but that’s about all it has. If you want, you can buy a dock for it that works with the wireless charging to turn the Fire HD 8 Plus into an Amazon Echo imitator.
Both the Kids and Kids Pro models are intended for younger users: the former is for children aged 3 to 7, while the latter is for children aged 7 to 12. The tablets come with large protective cases, and the software is quite restrictive, limiting the user to content and apps suitable for this user group. To better control what the child can access, a parental account can be linked. In addition to the standard kids models, Amazon offers Disney Design bundles with Mickey Mouse and Disney Princess-themed cases for $159.99. Cases are also available for the non-kids Fire HD 8 and Fire HD 8 Plus for $29.99.
Design and Display
The designs of Amazon’s tablets aren’t exactly revolutionary, but that’s to be expected given the price. The slates, such as the new one, are large plastic rectangles with a screen on the front – what did you expect from a tablet? The new model includes a USB-C charging port, a 3.5mm headphone jack for wired audio, a power button, and a volume rocker.
The new Fire HD 8 differs from its predecessor in that it is thinner, lighter, and, according to Amazon, more durable: the slate “tested twice as durable as the iPad mini in tumble tests.” However, the modifications are most likely minor. This Amazon Fire tablet, like all others, is named after its display, that also means it has an 8-inch HD screen. This is unchanged from the display on the 2020 model, which we found to be adequate for certain entertainment tasks but not great.
Camera and Battery Life
You’re probably not buying the Amazon Fire HD 8 for its photographic abilities, but having something for video calling is always useful. The Amazon Fire HD 8 has a 2MP front and 2MP rear camera, which are adequate for video chats but not much else. If you need more camera power, the Plus model has a 5MP rear camera.
In terms of battery life, Amazon claims the device will last 13 hours, which is one hour longer than the 2020 model. That’s for watching content, but if you’re just reading an e-book or checking your emails, you’ll have more time. However, the charging speed does not appear to have changed, so you will still have to wait well over an hour and a half for the device to be fully charged.
Performance, Specifications and Software
In terms of performance, the new Amazon Fire HD 8 hasn’t changed much. The processor is 30% faster, according to the company, but it still has 2GB of RAM (3GB for the Plus model), so the differences are likely to be minor. Amazon’s tablets, on the other hand, are notoriously slow, as they are designed for entertainment purposes such as watching TV shows, listening to music, and playing low-level games, which do not necessitate a high level of processing power.
You can get the tablets with 32GB or 64GB of storage, but if neither of those options is sufficient, you’ll be glad to know that memory can be expanded up to 1TB. In terms of software, Amazon’s tablets are all restricted to the company’s own operating system, which is actually a heavily modified version of Android. This is heavily integrated with the brand’s own services such as Prime Video, Prime Music, Kindle, and so on, so you’ll need to be a Prime member to take advantage of it.
This does not imply that Amazon engages in anti-competitive behaviour, and you can also download apps such as Disney Plus, Netflix, and Spotify, as well as use various games and apps available on Amazon’s app store. It’s unclear whether they’ll make our best cheap tablet roundup, but they’ll undoubtedly appeal to those looking for a low-cost slate with some family-friendly features.