Amazon’s new Fire HD 8 and 8 Plus are two high-performance tablets that are sure to make any home feel like a digital oasis. They feature powerful processors, gorgeous displays, and great battery life, plus a whole host of extras, including a wireless charging dock and USB-C ports.
The Amazon Fire HD 8 and 8 Plus have an excellent battery life. Both tablets offer 10 hours of use on a charge, which is the same as the iPad Air 2.
If you’re in the market for a budget tablet, the Fire HD 8 is a solid choice. It’s a great value, too, as it’s priced at just $120 for 32GB, or $140 for 64GB. With this price, you’ll get a decent display, good speakers, and a long battery life.
If you’re looking for a bigger screen, the Fire HD 8 Plus is a better choice. This newer version of the Fire HD 8 has a larger screen, a faster processor, and an extra gigabyte of RAM.
But the Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus doesn’t have a modern look, and its special features aren’t useful. While it’s faster than the standard Fire HD 8, it’s still only a 2GHz budget chip. As a result, switching between apps is choppy, and swiping between home screens isn’t smooth.
For the most part, the new Fire HD 8 has improved on the original, offering a slightly faster processor and a better front camera. That said, there are some minor design changes, and the overall device remains somewhat spartan.
One drawback to the Fire HD 8 is the low-resolution screen. Though the 1280 x 800 resolution is acceptable, its 189ppi is noticeably low. When you’re watching videos, reading small text, or viewing pictures, you’ll notice it.
The rear and front cameras are surprisingly good, but the front-facing camera isn’t very clear in video call mode. There’s also a bit of input delay, and it can be difficult to make video calls in portrait mode.
Both the Amazon Fire HD 8 and the Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus feature an 8-inch display. While this is a good size for watching movies or TV shows on the go, the screen resolution isn’t as high as you’d expect. It’s basically just 720p, which is a bit odd. However, the display is a step up from the sub-HD Fire 7 and is suitable for indoor use.
Despite the relatively low resolution, the display does a great job of displaying pictures and videos. The image quality is clear and bright enough for both indoor and outdoor viewing.
Unfortunately, the Amazon Fire HD 8 is also limited by its ad-supported software. The ads appear front and centre on the home screen and lock screen. These ad-supported apps are a bit annoying, especially if you want to browse the Amazon store. But, overall, the display is passable and the price is attractive.
On the other hand, the Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus is a much more premium tablet, with a faster processor and additional RAM. It also includes a wireless charger. There’s a microSD card slot, 3.5-mm audio jack and USB Type-C port.
Compared to the standard Fire HD 8, the Fire HD 8 Plus is a slightly smaller tablet with a thinner profile. The screen isn’t quite as sharp, but it’s still better than most Android tablets.
In addition to the new hardware, the Fire HD 8 Plus features a new Game Mode that hides notifications, allowing you to play games without interruption. You can also add an optional HDR mode. That’s a bit of an overkill for a tablet that costs just $99, but the Game Mode is a welcome feature.
The Amazon Fire HD 8 and 8 Plus are 8-inch tablets that can also function as an Echo Show. They offer wireless charging and can support Qi-certified chargers. They can stream movies from Prime Video and Netflix, and can also be used as a web browser.
Compared to the original Fire HD 8, the new model has a better front-facing camera, a better rear-facing camera, and an improved display. However, the overall experience feels dated.
While the standard model is still a very affordable tablet, the new Fire HD 8 Plus is not. It’s a slightly more expensive version of the base model, but not by much.
The new version features an improved display, a better rear-facing camera, a new front-facing camera, and a better overall design. That said, the tablet is still a bit small, and its resolution isn’t great. There’s also a lack of depth and clarity in the videos it plays.
The new model has a larger display, a faster processor, and a better battery. It’s expandable up to 1 TB. You can also use it with hands-free Alexa. For added convenience, the tablet includes a microSD card slot and a USB-C port. In addition, you can also add a Wireless Charging Dock.
The new version of the tablet also has a new front-facing camera that’s easier to use for video calls. Unlike the previous camera, the new one is situated in the centre of the left bezel, rather than the top. This makes it easier to find your way around, especially in portrait mode.
Amazon also recently added HBO Max. If you’re a fan of the cable network, this is a great upgrade. Now, the Amazon Fire HD 8 and 8 Plus can also play HBO shows and movies.
Switch to USB-C ports
Amazon is now selling its Fire HD 8 and 8 Plus tablets with USB-C ports. These models are faster to recharge, and they are compatible with a wider range of devices, too. This update is also designed to boost performance. Its new processor will improve the experience by 30%, and it’s capable of playing games and streaming high-resolution video.
The tablet itself has two speakers, a microSD card slot, and a USB-C connector. It’s available in white, plum, or black. And as a bonus, it features wireless charging.
Like the previous versions of the Fire HD, the 8 Plus comes with a front-facing and rear-facing camera. You can also use the device to make hands-free calls or as a mini-Echo Show. There are also new skills for Alexa, including new Alexa voice commands.
However, it’s worth remembering that the 8 Plus is a budget chip. That means you should expect some lag and poor battery life. If you want to use it as an all-around device, it’s worth getting the standard model.
While the 8 Plus is better for gaming and using Alexa voice commands, it’s still a poor performer. Its LCD panel isn’t very bright, and it’s not incredibly well-defined.
Nevertheless, it’s an affordable portable entertainment device. Besides, it has a headphone jack, so you don’t have to buy a separate headset. It also has onboard parental controls, so you can control what kids can watch.
The Fire HD 8 is also available with 32GB or 64GB storage. It has a quad-core processor and dual speakers. Those are all the things you’d expect from a modern Fire tablet, but the screen is not quite up to par.
Wireless Charging Dock
If you have a Fire HD 8 or Fire HD 8 Plus, you’ll want to make use of a Wireless Charging Dock. The accessory allows you to charge your tablet while you’re watching videos, reading books, or enjoying other activities. It uses the Qi wireless charging standard. This is the same technology used in many third-party wireless chargers.
In addition to allowing you to easily charge your tablet, the Wireless Charging Dock also turns it into an Alexa-powered smart display. This is the same functionality available on the Echo Show. With this accessory, you’ll be able to access a variety of skills, including “Alexa, turn on the lights” and “Alexa, play ‘Are You Smarter Than a Robot’.”
Whether you’re looking for a portable entertainment device or a powerful Android tablet, you’ll find that the Amazon Fire HD 8 and Fire HD 8 Plus are capable of providing an enjoyable experience. They have larger screens, better front-facing cameras, and more RAM than previous versions.
The Fire HD 8 Plus’s battery life is impressive, too, lasting up to 12 hours. And the new Fire HD 8 includes a faster processor and 1 TB of expandable storage, which will help you store more videos, songs, and other content.
Amazon’s Fire HD 8 is not without its shortcomings, however. While its performance is adequate, its cameras are disappointing. Also, there’s not much flexibility with its software. Most of the time, you’ll have to stick with a single Amazon app, and there’s a limited selection of third-party apps.
Despite its flaws, the Amazon Fire HD 8 is still an appealing choice. In fact, the tablet is one of the most affordable options for a portable entertainment device.