Amazon is a fine contender to having some of the best tablets around. At Android Central, we’ve been covering and testing tablets for a very long time. It goes without saying that we know what makes a tablet stand out.
Amazon Fire 7
Thin, light, and durable
$50 at Amazon
- Powerful tablet for a small price
- Hands-free Alexa is now included
- Light and thin
- Lower resolution screen
- Only mono speaker
The Amazon Fire 7 tablet is certainly one that will be a great gift for someone who’s looking for a tablet that isn’t too pricey, but without it being terrible in the process. Its inclusion of hands-free Alexa will also win over a few individuals. Though, if you’re planning to use the tablet for mobile gaming, then RAM and Amazon’s app store may be enough to put you off.
Amazon Fire HD 8
$80 at Amazon
- Higher HD resolution
- Dual stereo speakers
- Longer battery life than Fire 7
- Heavier than Fire 7
- Limited initial storage options
- More expensive
The Fire HD 8 is just a little bit more than the Fire 7 in almost every way. Its screen is slightly bigger and sharper, it has dual stereo speakers instead of a mono speaker, it has more RAM and better battery life, and yes, it weighs a little bit more. All that being said, it is over 60% more than the Fire 7.
Which one will suit you best?
The two Fire tablets are very much alike, but the Fire HD 8 has some important upgrades for that extra $30 asking price. For starters, there’s a higher resolution display, and though not a massive increase in PPI, it looks noticeably better than the 7-inch model. There’s also more RAM, a second speaker, and a fairly significant boost in battery life over the smaller one.
For media lovers, the Fire HD 8 is also going to deliver better audio, with stereo speakers and Dolby Atmos support for an all-around better experience watching video content or listening to music. The HD 8 like the HD 10 also supports Show Mode, which, with the optional dock, turns your tablet into essentially an Echo Show you can then take outside with you.
Here’s the thing, though. The Fire 7 is a better choice for a tablet to give to your young ones. At $50 it’s verging on impulse buy territory, and the new model has a better screen and dual-band Wi-Fi support to boast over its predecessor. For someone looking for the cheapest tablet possible that isn’t garbage, the Fire 7 is still the one we recommend, especially for young ones.
|Display||7-inch IPS (1024 x 600)||8-inch IPS (1280 x 800)|
|CPU||Quad-core 1.3 GHz||Quad-core 1.3 GHz|
|Resolution||1024 x 600 (171 ppi)||1280 x 800 (189 ppi)|
|Storage||16 or 32 GB (microSD by up to 512GB)||16 or 32 GB (microSD by up to 400GB)|
|Battery||Up to 7 hours||Up to 10 hours|
|Platform||Fire OS||Fire OS|
|Connectivity||Dual-band Wi-Fi||Dual-band Wi-Fi|
|Audio||Mono speaker, built-in microphone||Dolby Atmos, dual stereo speakers, built-in microphone|
|Colors||BlackTwilight BluePlumSage||BlackMarine BluePunch RedCanary Yellow|
|Dimensions||7.6″ x 4.5″ x 0.4″ (192mm x 115mm x 9.6mm)||8.4″ x 5.0″ x 0.4″ (214mm x 128mm x 9.7mm)|
As you can see, both of these tablets are excellent low-cost options, and both have their pros and cons. Both are Alexa-enabled for example, and both have Fire OS as their platform. Heck, both also come in child-friendly Kids Editions.
Yet, if you’re looking for a decent, low-cost tablet to consume media, browse the web, check your email, and even play some games on, the Fire HD 8 is the one to get. The $30 difference is small enough that the improvements you get are well worth the extra investment.
Amazon Fire 7
Durable and for all
$50 at Amazon $50 at Best Buy
With hands-free Alexa, multiple fun colors, and access to tons of great content, the Fire 7 Tablet is a fun gadget to have around for all ages.
Amazon Fire 8 HD
High-def with improved sound
$80 at Amazon $80 at Best Buy
Long lasting and spacious
The Fire HD 8 makes the right tradeoffs in screen, storage, and price to make it a great entertainment tablet.