Amazon Fire HD 8 review: A brilliant combination of function and value
For about a 10 years, Amazon has been the king of on the web browsing. Need to have a ebook with a few quid off? Amazon. Unexpected emergency fancy costume outfit? Amazon.
The firm has properly determined that it should really not try to contend with the ideal higher-conclude tablets, but as a substitute make very affordable products that are home windows to all its ideal on the web written content. The up-to-date 2017 Amazon Fireplace High definition 8 tries to great a combination of operate and price, but no matter if or not you are going to concur it does depends on no matter if you are eager to make investments in an Amazon Prime membership.
See our operate down of the twenty ideal tablets here and our review of the High definition 8’s large brother, the Fireplace High definition 10.
Price tag and where by to acquire
Generally, the Fireplace High definition 8 is £79.99, but there is absolutely sure to be savings on Black Friday. You should not miss out on out on a excellent price pill for even much less expensive.
Predictably, you can acquire the Fireplace High definition 8 immediate from Amazon. It is nicely priced for the specs, setting up at £79.99 with 16GB of storage, double the previous era.
There’s also a 32GB choice that costs from £99.99. These two selections display adverts on the lock display screen for video games, books, movies and music from Amazon. If you never want adverts (we didn’t) they will cheekily cost you £10 more for the satisfaction. Still, we imagine £79.99 for a 16GB pill is a excellent deal.
As with the Fireplace seven, there is a certain Kids Edition which costs £129.99. This is excellent price: it provides you the 32GB product, in addition a colourful bumper circumstance, a two-year, no-quibble warranty in addition a year’s membership to Fireplace for Kids Limitless. And this is nicely value the £30 quality about the regular 32GB product.
View the Amazon Fireplace High definition 8 2017 on Amazon listed here.
Layout and construct
The up-to-date Fireplace High definition 8 has the identical structure as its 2016 predecessor. The new pill yet again has an 8in display screen with black bordering bezels and has a matte plastic rear casing in four colour selections: black, blue, canary yellow, maritime blue and punch red.
We’d say that the black model is preferable, only simply because it does not give absent the tablet’s cheapness. Our red review sample, although not horrendous in visual appearance, did maintain reminding us it only charge eighty quid.
Then yet again, if you like shiny colours or you’re acquiring for a baby, the colours are quite appealing. The unit as a whole actions 214 mm x 128 mm x 9.two mm, a type you will hardly observe in a backpack or purse.
Even though the plastic back again is not quality in any way, the product total is shockingly durable. There’s hardly any give or flex in the plastic, offering the pill a reassuring heft. The front of the product has no bodily buttons, all of which are reserved for its best edge.
It needs only 3 a lock/electricity button on the best suitable subsequent to the micro-USB port and microphone, and a quantity rocker on the best still left subsequent to the headphone jack. On the rear is a 2Mp digital camera, although the front is a extremely minimal-res VGA lens for video calling and (extremely grainy) selfies.
There is also a welcome micro-SD card slot on the best suitable edge of the Fireplace High definition 8 that supports up to an extra 256GB of storage – outstanding to see on such an very affordable product. The two speakers, a person at the best and a person at the base edge of the still left edge as you keep it portrait give absent the preferable landscape orientation that Amazon has in mind.
It commences to give absent the point Amazon is expecting you to observe Amazon Prime films on the Fireplace High definition 8.
A product termed the Fireplace High definition 8 clearly has an High definition display screen, with a resolution of 1280 x 800 and 189ppi. Also promised is High definition video playback, which fortunately holds true and looks outstanding.
We streamed some episodes of Mr Robot making use of our Amazon Prime account, and the photo was razor sharp – but we had to have the display screen brightness really a great deal on utmost. You’ll discover you are going to require to do so for most use cases on the Fireplace High definition 8, as if not the display screen looks quite murky.
There is no oleophobic coating on the display screen possibly, so you are going to be continuously rubbing it clean even just after a few minutes.
Although video playback is High definition, text and icons display a little bit pixelated. This does not detract from readability, but Fireplace High definition 8 reserves its ideal display capabilities for High definition written content immediate from Amazon Prime. In our use, even streaming films from YouTube have been usually a little bit grainy in comparison to our expertise on extra higher-conclude tablets.
However, this was not much too noticeable and as with a great deal of the expertise of the High definition 8, we have been reminded that this did only charge £79.99 – but this finishes up getting a good reflection fairly than a nagging disappointment. At this selling price place, there is normally compromise, and with the Fireplace High definition 8 there is an acceptable degree of it.
Specs, performance and characteristics
At its heart the Fireplace High definition 8 is a streaming product. Amazon pre-masses it with applications for Kindle, Amazon Video, Amazon Appstore, Amazon Game titles, Amazon Music… you get the notion. Even though a first rate adequate net browsing resource, the Fireplace High definition 8 is intended as a portal to Amazon written content. An Amazon Prime membership is consequently not just preferable it’s really a great deal important. Devoid of a person, you’re locked into the Amazon ecosystem without the need of the critical to unlock something.
The specs of the product reflect that it’s ideal made use of for media streaming or minimal-requirement video games. The processor is a 1.3GHz quad-core with 1.5GB RAM – essentially adequate for the sorts of written content you have accessibility to. The pill is frequently responsive, but its quickest when working with Amazon’s individual applications. Stray into applications like Fb or the Silk browser and items chug a minimal slower.
We made use of the trial month of Amazon Prime that is promoted when you established up the pill, and discovered that it was a breeze to boot up tons of movies and Television exhibits, sync all of our existing Kindle books and hook it up to our (non-Amazon) electronic mail account. You really don’t have to get Prime if you just want to use it as a Kindle, even though.
The Fireplace High definition 8 is a pure media use product. The pointed out 2Mp digital camera will not get you the Pulitzer, and the dreadful front-struggling with VGA digital camera is hardly excellent adequate for video calls – it does operate, even though this is extra dependent on a first rate Wi-Fi connection than something else.
Even though it is capable of recording video in 720p High definition, the 2015 generation of Fireplace High definition 8 had a 5Mp digital camera, which hints at some of the corners slash to maintain the new model underneath £100.
We also savored the capability to obtain Prime written content immediate to the product. Our sample had 16GB, which is not poor, but the attraction is to adhere a micro-SD card in it. Then you can obtain a myriad of video, music, books and extra to the product for offline playback. Video in individual looks excellent if you decide on to obtain in 720p High definition, but you can also decide on from two reduce excellent photo files to help save storage space.
The two speaker grills give shockingly crisp, very clear audio, but their situation is a little bit troublesome – possibly conclude of possibly the best or base edge when held horizontally. As with most tablets, we’d propose a first rate pair of headphones (none are involved) to ideal observe movies or Television.
All that ability is packed into a product that weighs 314g, just a sliver about the excess weight of Apple’s 299g iPad mini 4. Amazon cites 12 hours of battery lifestyle with regular use, which we discovered correct in prolonged use.
Be knowledgeable that even with the bundled electricity adaptor, it can take the Fireplace an annoyingly sluggish 6 hours to entirely cost. You’ll have to don’t forget to plug it in overnight if you’re just about out of juice, or have spherical a electricity bank.
Application and applications
As the pill operates Amazon’s individual Fireplace OS, you never have accessibility to the full wealth of written content accessible to customers of Apple’s iOS or Google’s Participate in Keep. This is not to say that the Amazon Appstore is absolutely constrained, it just can take us back again to the requirement of an Amazon Prime membership should really you desire to justify obtaining the Fireplace High definition 8.
However, if you truly didn’t want to acquire into Prime but like the selling price, applications accessible to you from the Amazon Appstore such as Fb, BBC iPlayer and even Sky Go or Netflix mean that you can however use the High definition 8 as a primary Net product with 3rd celebration streaming companies.
But provided the prominence of Amazon’s companies in the interface and the simplicity at which it will allow you to accessibility them with a membership, we’d however propose pairing the High definition 8 with Prime if you want to be entirely content with it.
See also: Netflix vs Amazon Prime Video
At this place it’s value noting that Google applications are not accessible from the Appstore. This indicates it’s tricky to propose the Fireplace High definition 8 as a operate or productiveness resource (while the Evernote app is accessible) simply because you cannot sync existing Google calendars, Google Travel and, importantly for casual customers, YouTube. You can however accessibility YouTube by way of Amazon’s Silk browser, but the browser is a bit clunky and unrefined, and highlights yet again that the Fireplace High definition 8 is ideal when only streaming by means of Amazon applications.
Nor can you obtain well-liked applications like Microsoft Phrase. However, if you want a pill that will allow simple streaming of your favorite Television exhibits with the bonus of accessibility to social media, Skype and on the web banking, the High definition 8 is nicely value considering.
A cool addition is a native Alexa app. It really is not arms absolutely free voice activated, but faucet and keep the household button and you can ask Amazon’s voice assistant Alexa something (you really don’t have to even say Alexa with this technique).
It performs shockingly nicely, and the voice by itself appears extra natural than Apple’s Siri or Google Assistant. In the Alexa app, you can link to your Google calendar, Spotify account and extra to add to what it can do.
For common dilemma on climate, net lookups and extra this is a excellent feature to have on such a inexpensive pill. Superior operate, Amazon.
One more excellent feature of the Fireplace High definition 8 is Amazon’s Fireplace for Kids app. Really should you desire to entertain your young children with the pill, you can established up a different profile for them to use.
This will allow you to established parental controls, restrict what written content they can accessibility and even established time limits to protect against square eyes. It cleverly time limits video games and films but leaves unrestricted time for examining, assisting you to persuade the suitable balance of studying by way of a pill they may well want to consistently get their arms on.
This and other characteristics, such as a children digital camera method and a Bed Time feature which encourages regime make the Fireplace High definition 8 a excellent choice for a mum or dad who would like accessibility to their individual Prime membership on the identical product, but with the capability to mould their child’s use of the pill all over unique, net-safe and sound preferences.
A single point to take note is that Amazon cheekily (or maddeningly, dependent on your temper) doesn’t let you give your baby accessibility to certain Amazon Prime written content without the need of to start with signing up to Fireplace for Kids Limitless. It commences from £1.99 for every month, but provided you previously might commit £79.99 for every year on Prime membership, it’s really troublesome. It does highlight how normally Amazon’s adverts and more payment selections encroach unpleasantly on the consumer expertise.