New Amazon Fire HD 8 tablet review

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I might be a bit late to the game when it comes to Amazon’s Fire tablets, but now that I’ve had a chance to play around with one, I’ve been enjoying the experience. Amazon recently launched the newest version, dubbed the “all new” Fire HD 8, and it’s got some good improvements over the previous generation.

Getting this device set up couldn’t have been easier. Once it’s charged up you’ll log into your Amazon account and it automatically populates you previously purchased e-books and Prime videos.

There are some changes and improvements to this tablet from previous versions (none of which I’ve tried). While the price has increased from the Fire 7, you’re getting a bit of a bigger device; the previous Fire was 7″ to the new one’s 8″ size.

The resolution has been increased, from 1024 x 600 (171 ppi) to 1280 x 800 (189 ppi) and putting it into HD territory. Storage has been increased, as has the RAM. Storage previously was 8 or 16 GB (expandable by up to 256 GB) the new Amazon Fire HD 8 now has 16 or 32 GB (expandable by up to 400 GB). The CPU is still the same (a Quad-core 1.3 GHz) but where it had 1 GB of RAM before, now it’s got 1.5 GB of RAM. Battery life has also increased from 8 to 12 hours. Camera and quality

Fire HD 8 includes an improved front-facing 2MP camera with 720p video for HD video calling.

How to take a screen shot on Fire HD 8?

To take a screenshot on a Fire HD tablet, just press and hold the volume down button and the power button simultaneously.

Audio quality

The audio quality is also good; the tiny speakers get really loud and should be enough to annoy your whole row and everyone around you on the plane! Fortunately, the headphone jack means you shouldn’t have to.

It takes about 6 hours using the micro-USB power adaptor included in the box, or slightly longer with other micro-USB power adaptors that you may already have. That should give you about 12 hours of battery life.

No Alexa connectivity in Canada… yet

Fire Tablets in the USA have Alexa smart digital assistant functionality built in, but this feature hasn’t been enabled in Canada yet. You’ll see the app on the tablet and you can click on it to open it up, but nothing works yet. I asked Amazon why it’s not working and when it should be enabled, and all they could tell me is– they’re working on it.

And… No Show Mode… yet

With Show Mode on your Fire HD 8 or Fire HD, Alexa voice responses are enhanced with full screen visuals. Since Alexa isn’t enabled on this tablet, the function doesn’t work, but what this feature is supposed to do is turn your tablet into a defacto Echo device with a screen, like the Echo Show.

Since this feature isn’t available in Canada, I wasn’t able to test it out.

And no Video Calling…yet

Once again I have to point out a feature that’s not yet available. For video calling to work on this tablet you need Alexa to function. Annoyingly, I can see my Fire HD tablet inside the Alexa app on my phone, but it just reads, “offline”.

Again, I hope the Alexa issue is resolved soon so all these fun and helpful features can be taken advantage of.

Overall thoughts on Amazon Fire HD 8 tablet

I was surprised by how much I like this tablet. It’s compact and light but it is a bit on the thick side. Even so it’s quite versatile; it makes me realize just how much I’ve come to rely on Amazon for things like shopping, music and now videos.

While this tablet definitely doesn’t have the capabilities of something like an iPad Pro, it’s also a much less expensive tablet, priced at an astoundingly affordable $99CAD for the 16GB size and $129 for twice the memory at 32GB.

The screen and audio quality are fine and the variety of apps available is excellent.

What I disliked most about this tablet is all the features that aren’t available… yet. Video calling, Alexa voice control, Show Mode and more. While these will likely be delivered in a future software update, it’s too bad they’re not ready now. Even so, if you’re getting this tablet, at least you know some of its future potential. But if these are features you need and want now, you might be better off with a different tablet, though you’re definitely going to pay more for it.

Overall there’s a lot to love about Fire HD and there will be even more when Alexa comes to play. if you want a low priced but versatile tablet for travel or the kids, or to supplemetn another tablet you may already have, getting the all new Fire HD 8 is a no brainer.

Comments

The Almighty B1zznotch says:

Very good review. Keep up the good work. If you want to make the tablet even better get google play services on the tablet. Plenty of YouTube video showing you how to do this

Fiano Anthonio says:

Is it still worth without Amazon Prime subscription?

Simon Phillips says:

When I take it to church and connect to the internet it opens a screen with “Fire …” loading screen… then 20 seconds later it goes to the home page.. 3 seconds later it goes to “Fire…” and so forth and it wont stop, even after reset, the only fix for this is to factory reset it. I sent one into the lab and no resolution as yet… some internet connections on wifi causes this on multiple devices of the 8 inch tablet. Anyone else have this problem?

Chloe Collins says:

does anyone know how it compares to the 7

David Jared says:

I have one

angelf falcon says:

*Install google playstore, then nova launcher and its way better*
btw .. you shouldve got the 10 in one. that one has Alexa handsfree, i just bought it for 120 euros

Scott Goldie says:

Hi Erin! My sister use to have older version and she wasn’t happy with it due some of things she needs like video recording. So, she switch to Apple IPad Pro. Have a great day!!

Zachary Stonebarger says:

I got mine for 59.99 on 5 monthly payments and as I’ve found out all the new 2018 8th gen fire HD 8 tablets have a static followed by a light pop/click sound if you enabled touch sounds or keyboard clicks. Mine and my wife’s does it. Other than that this is the best Amazon fire tablet I’ve owned. Better than the HD 8 7th gen by far but the 7th gen didn’t have the static pop sound coming from the speakers. It does handle games better. I tried playing RS3 on the HD 8 on the 7th gen and the new 8th gen and it runs much better on the 8th gen even though the min requirement is 2gb of RAM. The processor is much faster than the 7th gen and the battery life is better than the 7th gen. I still haven’t found out if the 8th gen runs OpenGL ES3.1 or lower than that though. All in all the 8th gen HD 8 is far better than the 7th gen HD 8.

Ron M says:

Thanks for the review Erin.

dunno yolo says:

Purchased apple iPad pro and really regret it way overpriced waste of money

Varun Monga says:

Nice review, I ordered one for my kid today @ $59.99 !!

Work from Home Reps dot COM says:

They have 10 inch also and 3 different colours if you are living in the usa

Marcelo Nogueira Texeira says:

COMO COMPRO ESTE TABLET???? AQUI NO BRASIL NAO ENCONTRO!!!!

Danny Usher says:

Does it work well for games? I was thinking of buying it for my kids instead of an iPad. And if so, how many games do you think you could fit on it.

Wayne Keenan says:

i have an amazon fire but find it just a link to amazon it sucks really it does. if only you could wipe all of the amazon software off it lol

MrPaka420 says:

you tube app?

vmm mbm says:

Is it being introduced in India? when?

Page Unknown says:

Try charging it in 6 months – notorious for becoming v difficult

Thomas Schreiber says:

I have a 5th generation kindle fire, the one before the fire 7, and it sucks, slow, balky screen and it stalls constantly. The wi fi reception is poor as well, you need to be closer to the modem than my other tablets. My Nvidia tablet has the same problems. My Samsung is the best one.

Steve Jordan says:

The 16 gb is on sale for $79 right now and the 32 gb for $109 and I got my 16 gb during prime day for $69.

omniscientmoon77 says:

So weird about things not working in Canada.

gypsy2112 says:

I got a great deal from TSC. It was a Showstopper. I got the 32 gig for $104.00 it came with a,coupon code for a free case from Casable, 1 year of office suite and a couple of other things. I like it but I find it a bit slow

Rodney Krezek says:

I’m a cross boarder shopper and my question is: If i buy one from Amazon.com (not Amazon.ca) and have it shipped to an address in the states. When I cross the boarder bringing it into Canada will the Alexa features be still be enabled, or does the device recognize that its in Canada and disable the affected apps you mention?
Thinking about buying 2 of these for Christmas and would really like to find out an answer to this.

Pat Harris says:

Yeah, I think I want to get this amazon 8 tablet for my middle brother for christmas this year.

Karl Evason says:

got this and the dock last week-all working with show mode etc on in UK-quite good-hope you get it soon. btw i got 32gb version with show mode dock for £109-not a bad deal as it does more than a stand alone alexa device

Meng Chew says:

Should we wait for the foldable phone or a tablet?

Atlas says:

Question, when I was watching a video I don’t know what I press but it said swipe up from bottom or down from the top exit window mode. And now some videos on prime won’t play in full screen.

Brenda Bailey says:

I’m in the UK and all the features work here. This is my first Amazon media product. Although I shop at Amazon and get all of my CDs and downloads from there. So this is great for that. Got the tablet on offer. I think the screen and sound quality are really good for the price.

Adam Beckett says:

On the hardware side: 1.5 GB RAM is … not optimal, imho. These days 2GB System RAM should be the minimum. Even on budget tablets. Lenovo & Co. at the same price point offer it. Amazon went cheap on the wrong end. It is only available on their Fire HD 10.

Rei da noite says:

how to view books on sd card in kindle fire?

FlyBaby says:

The older one I had worked fine but dont buy one with low memory (8-16 gigs), Amazon constantly forces you to take updates and forces you to delete apps you like and need.

Noy Telinú says:

Uh… No. They had fire HD 8 before. This isn’t a new version of last year’s 7 inch one. It is a new version of the fire HD 8. For some reason. Why only upgrade 1 of the 3 I don’t know. The difference between the 2018 and 2017 ones are just a better camera.

Vinicius Moraes says:

Multi touch?

alsteven44 says:

When I open my hd8, the screen open a naked lady & lots of adds

John Doe says:

How well does YouTube work on it? Another video said YT doesn’t work to good on it .

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