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Amazon Fire HD 8 (2020) tablet: Review

Amazon Fire HD

Amazon Fire HD 8 (2020): is it worth your purchase?

If you are looking for a cheap tablet , the new Amazon model, Fire HD 8, can become one of your best options. For less than € 100 you get 2 GB of RAM and up to 64 of storage (for a tablet with that price it is quite a lot). 

Retail price (RRP)

From $ 89.99

Amazon Fire HD 8 (2020) tablet review

Amazon recently updated its latest tablet models . In this case, it launched three different models, although at the moment not all are available in Spain. These three new tablets were the Fire HD 8, Fire HD 8 Plus and the Fire HD 8 Kids Edition. 

The second offers one more giga of RAM for $ 109.99, a price that we would be willing to pay if the model were available in our country. On the other hand, the tablet for boys and girls, also not available, costs $ 139.99 and comes with a reinforced case, among other things.

In this case, we have had the opportunity to test the model that is available in Spain, the Amazon Fire HD 8. As we mentioned above, it seems to us an excellent option if you are looking for a low-budget tablet . 

Design and display

The design of the Fire HD 8 is practically identical to that of the previous model. Aesthetically it offers a fairly standard design: a black finish, the back is made of plastic, the edges are rounded and the black frames around the screen are perhaps a little thicker than we would like. 

Still, we cannot forget that we are dealing with a tablet device that does not reach 100 euros. This makes us value its standard, correct and resistant design much more.

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At the top are the volume up and down buttons, the power off button, the charging input, and a 3.5mm headphone input that many will appreciate. At the top right is the slot that will allow you to expand the memory of the tablet with an SD card (up to 1 TB). 

The 8-inch screen has a 16:10 aspect ratio, giving it a noticeably different shape than the similarly-sized iPad mini 4 that has a 4: 3 screen. The screen doesn’t seem to have an oleophobic coating, which means the screen gets dirty quite quickly.

On the left side, the two stereo speakers indicate that this tablet is mainly designed for video consumption, since you will want to watch your series and movies by placing the tablet horizontally (then the speakers are on top). 

screen

If we go into analyzing the screen more carefully, we can affirm that what is lost in construction quality (always comparing with more expensive models) disappears if you conceive this tablet as a tablet to consume video. 

The 8-inch IPS screen has a resolution of 1280 x 800 with 189 dpi. It supports HD video playback, but is slightly below the Full HD resolution you’ll find on other models. 

Still the quality is quite good, especially considering its price. We have been able to enjoy content on Amazon Prime Video, streaming with wifi and as we say, the quality is good. 

amazon fire 8

Earlier we mentioned that the screen gets dirty quite often. This will make darker series, such as Mr. Robot, look “muddy.” 

On the other hand, the brightness is quite good, we could see videos decently well outdoors, the viewing angle is also quite wide. You can use the ‘Blue Shade’ function to configure the brightness and color of the screen according to your preferences. 

This tool aims to reduce the amount of blue light emitted by the screen, something highly recommended if you are going to use the device before sleeping. 

The Fire HD 8 can also be used to read books through the Kindle app. In this case we prefer the electronic ink screens of a Kindle, but even so, the tablet is still pleasant to use also for reading. 

Performance and battery

Now, realistically, in a device like the Fire HD 8, that is, an inexpensive tablet , surely you are not very interested in knowing about the processor or the RAM power. 

Why? Because it is a device designed for streaming or for browsing the Internet or social networks. You do not need the latest ultra powerful processor to carry out these tasks (we would not recommend spending more if this is how you are going to use the tablet ). 

If you are going to download videos, you will be interested in the internal memory. In this case you can choose between 32 or 64 GB. Something very favorable and worth noting is that you can expand the internal memory up to 1 TB with a microSD card. 

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In Amazon are available a lot of cards of this type. Keep in mind when spending on a microSD that it is highly unlikely that you will ever fill a tera of space. 

Regarding RAM, we are facing 2 GB, one giga more than the previous generation model. It is not much RAM, especially considering that even the latest smartphone models start to come with a minimum of 4 GB of RAM. However, once again we repeat that it is highly unlikely that you will need more. 

Based on our personal use with the tablet , performance is optimal. It is not perfect and it is not the fastest of the performances (we have noticed some delay in some specific case), but still it continues passing the performance exam. 

Amazon promises 12 hours of battery life, something that after having used the tablet , we can say that it is true. Obviously, it all depends on how you use it, if you are playing videos all day, the battery will last less. But on average, giving normal use to the tablet , we have been able to spend up to two days without charging. 

Tools

Camera

We meet again (as in the previous model) with 2 MP front and rear cameras. They are not good cameras, but there they are. However, nowadays, our mobile phones come with excellent cameras, so excellent that you will not feel the need to take photos with your tablet. 

The 2 MP of the front camera was enough to be able to make a video call and that the other person could see my image with sufficient clarity.  

Sound

Its two speakers are suitable for watching series and movies on your own, but they are not powerful enough to be used as a speaker at a party or meeting with friends (especially after having tried the incredible power of the Amazon Echo Show 5 ). 

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They are compatible with Dolby Atmos technology, and the truth is that it works quite well. Beyond the low power of the speakers, the sound quality is good, no distortion is detected at any time and, as we say, both power and quality are excellent for enjoying series and movies individually. 

Alexa: Hands-free mode

This tool has already arrived with the Fire HD 8 of 2018. It basically consists in that if you activate Alexa and also the ‘hands-free mode’ option, you can use the tablet as if it were an Echo device without the need for the device screen is on. 

Thanks to this, you can ask Alexa to play your music, ask her what the weather will be, or ask her to set an alarm, among many other things. 

software

The Fire HD 8 runs a version of Android customized by Amazon. As you surely know (and if you do not know it is important to take it into account before buying this tablet ), Amazon is not compatible with Google apps. 

If you are subscribed to Amazon Prime , you can get the most out of Fire HD 8. You can take advantage of Amazon Music, the platform for series and movies Amazon Prime Video or browse the Amazon page to make your purchases. 

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The interface is intuitive and, although it is different, you easily get used to it. At the top you will have the main Amazon options: ‘Books’, ‘Video’, ‘Games & Apps’, ‘Shop’, ‘Audible’, etc.

On the main screen you will see the applications that you install along with those that are installed by default, as you can imagine, Amazon applications (Amazon, Prime Video, Music, etc.). 

You can download the applications from the Amazon Appstore. You can download other streaming content apps like Netflix or Disney Plus in case you don’t have an Amazon Prime Video account.

Price and availability

The 2020 Amazon Fire HD 8 is available on Amazon Spain for € 99.99. If you choose the 64 GB option it will cost you € 129.99. Both prices are for “special offers”, which means that you will admit there are ads on the lock screen. 

On the other hand, we recommend that if you are going to get this tablet you also have an Amazon Prime subscription . The cost of this service is quite cheap compared to others, in addition to including a lot of services in one price. You can pay € 4.99 a month or € 36 for a whole year. 

You can use the tablet without having a subscription with Amazon Prime, but we think that you will get the most out of this subscription. 

Verdict

The Amazon Fire HD 8 is worth it depending on what your needs are. If you are looking for a cheap tablet with which to watch series and movies and surf the Internet, the Fire HD 8 may be one of the best options available for its incredible value for money. 

On the other hand, you will have to give up Google Play and Google applications, although as we say, it will not be a real inconvenience if you are going to use it to watch series. 

Although its specifications are not the most powerful, it does offer optimum performance, with a good screen and sound quality and a compact and resistant design. The duration of its battery is quite good too, a point to keep in mind. 

If you need a device for more demanding functions or if you can not do without Google Play, then we recommend that you take a look at models from other brands, but if not, the Amazon Fire HD 8 is a very good purchase option. 

Technical specifications

  • Screen: 8-inch HD 1280 x 800 (189 dpi)
  • Processor: 2.0 GHz Quad-Core with 2 GB of RAM
  • Memory: 32 or 64 GB (expandable up to 1 TB with microSD card)
  • Weight: 355 grams
  • Size: 202 x 137 x 9.7mm
  • Port: USB Type C (2.0)
  • 2 MP front and rear cameras
  • Dual speakers 
  • Battery: 12 hours (charging time: 5 hours)

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