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Should you buy the Amazon Fire HD 8 or the Fire HD 8 Kids Edition?

Protected investment

Fire HD 8 Kids Edition

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$140 at Amazon

Pros

  • Year of Amazon FreeTime Unlimited included
  • Great kid-proof case
  • Fantastic parental controls
  • Expandable storage

Cons

  • More expensive than standard Fire HD 8

Kids Edition tablets are an excellent choice for younger children, packed with deeper parental control, a free year of FreeTime Unlimited full of kids content, and a two-year “worry-free” warranty. Put all of that into a kid-proof case, and you have a fantastic tablet for your little one.

Snappy tab

Fire HD 8

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From $90 at Amazon

Pros

  • Great price
  • Optional 64GB built-in storage
  • Expandable storage

Cons

  • No included case

For someone who may be looking for a tablet that offers better performance than an entry-level device that isn’t going to break the bank, the Fire HD 8 is a great option. With enough specs to ensure smooth operation, and an easy to hold size, it makes for an excellent tablet for watching movies or reading a good book.

When digging into the differences between the fire HD 8 2020 vs Kids Edition, you can see that they are small, but depending on your needs, they are significant. Knowing what the plan is for your tablet is key in understanding which to buy, especially when the differences aren’t so much on the surface. Let’s look at what separates these two devices and which you should get.

Reading between the lines

Amazon tablets continue to almost yearly updated to the hardware and still keep the excellent prices. 2020 saw the Fire HD 8 get its update and in-kind, so did the Kids Edition. The price of entry for the 8-inch tablet is low, making it a fantastic buy when you’re looking for an entertainment device. So what makes the Kids Edition, well, a Kids Edition? It boils down to the software, a case, and some back-up from Amazon.

Weight 19.4 oz 12.5 oz
Display 8″ HD 8″ HD
Dimensions 9.2″ x 7.2″ x 1.0″ 8.0″ x 5.4″ x 0.4″
Storage 32GB 32 or 64 GB
Expandable Storage Up to 1TB Up to 1TB
Screen Resolution 1280 x 800 (189 ppi) 1280 x 800 (189 ppi)
Battery life Up to 12 hours of multimedia Up to 12 hours of multimedia
Camera 2MP front and rear-facing cameras with 720p video recording 2MP front and rear-facing cameras with 720p video recording
Alexa enabled Off by default Yes – hands-free
Colors Pink, Blue, Purple Black, Twilight Blue, Plum, White
Audio Dual speakers with Dolby Atmos Dual speakers with Dolby Atmos
Case Kid-safe case included No case included
Parental Controls Yes Yes
FreeTime Unlimited One year included Not included
Ports USB C, 3.5mm headphone jack USB C, 3.5mm headphone jack
Warranty 2-year 90-day limited warranty

As you can see in the table above, these two devices are essentially the exact same. Aside from a 64GB option for built-in storage on the standard Fire HD 8 and the included case for the Kids Edition, the separation between the tablets isn’t too physical.

Each of these 8-inch tablets offers a solid set of internals, allowing them to be great for media consumption or even a bit of gaming. The 1280×800 HD display gives you an excellent screen for reading books from the Kindle store, watching shows from Prime Video, or playing a game from the Amazon Appstore. The increased RAM to 2GB will give the performance a much-needed boost from the prior 1.5GB.

Things break, and if you plan on giving this tablet to a child — a 2-year “worry-free” warranty will be well worth it for that added cost.

So what is the reason for the added cost for the Kids Edition? The case is a massive part of it. The included case is a soft rubber foam that offers exceptional protection for that inevitable drop that comes from letting a child play with almost anything.

Each of these tablets come with a warranty should something go awry. That added cost for the Kids Edition version brings the benefit of a two-year warranty over the standard 90 days. Amazon calls the increased warranty a “worry-free guarantee,” so if the tablet breaks for any reason in that two-year period, Amazon will replace it for free — and that’s definitely worth something.

The extra money you pay for the Fire HD 8 Kids Edition is about more than just a big foam rubber case.

On the Kids Edition, Amazon also bundles in a free year of its FreeTime Unlimited that boasts over 20,000 books, videos, and games all specially curated for kids. FreeTime can be added to the standard Fire HD 8, although the monthly cost of $3 per month, or $70 a year, for a family plan might not be worthwhile. FreeTime Unlimited allows for increase parental controls that let you set up the device specifically for your child. They only see the content you approve, and in an interface that they can navigate more easily.

Which one should you buy?

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It all comes down to the primary reason for the purchase. If the tablet will be in the hands for a younger child for the majority of the time, go for the added cost of the Kids Edition tablet. The included case will be very much appreciated for those accidental drops. Should the tablet get broken, you’ll be glad you have the added warranty. Then, you can pair all of that up with the free year of FreeTime Unlimited to get all the kids content and parental controls you could want.

However, if you plan on this tablet is for an older kid, or you’ll be using it most of the time, you can save the upfront costs. It is possible to get the same experience on the standard Fire HD 8 tablet, but if the enhanced parental controls, younger content, and bulky case aren’t necessary for your situation — forgo that cost. You can get a more age-appropriate case and enjoy the tablet any way you choose.

It’s play time

Fire HD 8 Kids Edition

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Staying safe

$140 at Amazon
$140 at Best Buy

The Kids Edition offers all of the great performance of the regular Fire HD 8, but with added protection and content for kids. The included case will keep the tablet safe from accidental drops, and the two-year replacement warranty will cover you should it get damaged. With the free year of FreeTime Unlimited, there’ll be plenty of kid-safe content to keep your little one entertained.

For the grown-up

Fire HD 8

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Even adults like to have some fun.

From $90 at Amazon
From $90 at Best Buy

Amazon has given the Fire HD 8 some nice upgrades with increased RAM, faster CPU, and improved charging with USB-C. The specs will ensure your movies, games, and reading all look great on the HD screen.

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