The Best Amazon Fire Tablet for Your Needs
If you’re looking for an Android tablet, but don’t want to splash out too much money, Amazon’s Fire HD range is an excellent place to start.
However, what do you get when you buy one? And with so many models at different price points, which is the right one to choose?
Here’s our guide to the best Amazon Fire HD tablets.
What Is the Amazon Fire Tablet?
Kindle Fire tablets, now known as Fire HD tablets, are a range of highly affordable devices that combine the core tablet functionality with Amazon services, including Alexa.
Fire tablets run a heavily customized version of Android called Fire OS. Its interface brings all of Amazon’s content—books, videos, music, and so on—to the forefront. It also comes without any of the Google apps and services that you may use on other Android devices.
Amazon has replaced the most important of these with its own alternatives, including the web browser and maps app. In place of Google Assistant, you get Alexa, which many people prefer.
And instead of the Play Store, you get the Amazon Appstore. It’s reasonably well-stocked; major apps like Netflix, TikTok, and other notable brands are offered, plus plenty of indie titles. But it doesn’t have nearly the breadth of choice you get from Google. You can sideload the Play Store on a Fire tablet if you want to, though.
Fire tablets are great if you’re a heavy Amazon user, but you don’t have to be. You can use them as regular tablets, too. There’s a web browser, an email client, and you can check Facebook and Twitter. You can even play a few games, although these aren’t gaming devices.
When you buy a Fire HD, you can choose whether or not to have it include Special Offers—ads on the lock screen, in other words. They’re fairly inoffensive, but you can spend a little more to get an ad-free version.
The Newest Kindle Fire Tablet
The newest Kindle Fire tablets are the Fire HD 8 and Fire HD 8 Plus. The former is a very nice upgrade to the hugely popular eight-inch model. It has a faster processor, more memory, slightly slimmer bezels, and USB-C connectivity. There’s a kid’s version, too. The Plus device adds even more RAM as well as wireless charging.
The range is fleshed out with the entry-level Fire 7, and the high-end Fire HD 10. Likewise, there are Kids Editions of those as well. You might be able to find some older models still on sale, but we wouldn’t recommend them. Fire tablets aren’t really designed to be future-proof, so the modest saving you’ll make on the price isn’t really worth the poor performance you’ll likely get.
Best Overall Fire Tablet: Fire HD 10
Given the similarities in hardware specs across the Fire range, your idea of the best Fire tablet might be the one with your preferred screen size. Yet the Fire HD 10 is undoubtedly the top of the range model, and the closest to an iPad alternative, at a fraction of the price.
The device comes with a Full HD display and a pixel density of 226ppi. You’ll get an impressive 12 hours of use from a single charge. And, when it comes time to recharge, it charges via USB-C in under four hours.
There’s an octa-core processor—the fastest in the Fire HD range—backed with 2GB of RAM. You can add extra storage with microSD cards up to 512GB. The device is best for media consumption rather than productivity or creativity. If that’s your main use for a tablet, you can’t really go wrong with the Fire HD 10.
Best Fire Tablet for Portability: Fire HD 8
Amazon’s two eight-inch tablets hit the sweet spot for size. The unit is bigger than your phone but still highly portable. If you want a tablet to put in your bag when heading out, you cannot look past them. Our pick is the new Amazon Fire HD 8—it’s the cheaper of the two, but has a considerable amount to offer.
It’s 30 percent faster than the previous generation and has 2GB of RAM. The bezels are a touch smaller, too, contributing to a sleeker, more modern design. You can select up to 64GB of storage, and expand to an additional 1TB via a microSD card. The battery promises 12 hours of use, and charges via a USB-C port. Only the 1280×800 resolution display is unchanged from the previous version.
If you’re happy to pay more, opt for the Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus. It’s a little extra, but this gets you 3GB of RAM—which should help make the tablet more future-proof—and there’s support for wireless charging. That said, you need to buy the charging dock bundle for this.
Best Value Fire Tablet: Fire 7
The Fire 7 is the cheapest model in the range, and possibly most affordable Android tablet on the market. That’s the case when the tablet is sold at full price, but there are often deals which reduce the price further. Given the low price, you shouldn’t expect the highest specifications or greatest performance.
The Fire 7 has a lower resolution screen than the other models and is not designed for heavy use—push it too hard, and it will be laggy. However, as long as you don’t overload it with tasks, it can do a good job. The Fire 7 works well as an ereader, as well. It’s certainly an upgrade over an in-seat video screen on an airplane.
The tablet is also ideal for following recipes in the kitchen, especially as it comes with Alexa support, too. With up to seven hours of battery and support for memory cards up to 512MB, the Fire 7 is a great value entertainment device.
Best Fire Tablet for Kids: Fire HD 7 Kids Edition
The Kids Editions of the Fire tablets are toughened versions of the main models with child-friendly software. Although they are slightly more expensive, you get additional benefits like a kid-proof case and a two-year guarantee. Fortunately, if the tablet breaks, Amazon will replace it for free. The Fire HD 7 Kids Edition is a good starting point for children.
Installing Netflix will keep them entertained on long car journeys, and the tablet can handle basic games and simple drawing apps. The device also includes a one-year subscription to the FreeTime service that gives you access to 20,000 apps, games, books, and educational content from a range of well-known brands. There’s also full parental controls, allowing you to limit screen time, for example.
Do More With Your Fire Tablet
Amazon’s Fire devices are some of the best value Android tablets you can buy today. Furthermore, there’s a Fire tablet for every use and requirement. Whatever your budget, you should be able to find a model that suits your needs.
Once you’ve bought your Fire HD tablet, it’s time to take advantage of the device’s full potential. So, be sure to take a look at our Amazon Fire Tablet tips to get started.
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