WHEN YOU BUY a Fire HD tablet, you’re not assured top of the ambit technology. Or if you are, afresh you should actively catechism how the amount is about a third that of its rivals. Yes, Amazon sells cheap, but not that cheap.
Like affairs own-brand amount beans rather than Heinz, you apperceive compromises are actuality made, and they’re still on abounding affectation with the latest Fire HD tablet. It can be apathetic beeline out the box, the awning is appealing anemic and it’s about as glassy as a Lego brick, but admitting all this, it charcoal a arrangement at its £80 amount point.
It’s no iPad Pro, but if you appetite article that you can use to browse the web and watch Netflix on, or approach off to a clumsy adolescent after annoying about breakages, afresh the Fire is the book for you.
Only this time it has an ace up its sleeve: it moonlights as an Echo Show. And it’s a masterstroke.
Design and displayIf you were beneath illusions that you were accepting a arrangement iPad Pro aback you paid your £80, this will be bound burst aback the artefact arrives in the post. Thick bezels run all the way about the 8-inch affectation like a arrangement account frame, and rather than the bottle aback that’s all the acerbity with the best cher tablets you get a bright-coloured artificial casing.
It’s not a bad look, by any means, but it is all a bit Fisher Amount compared to the antagonism – abnormally in the ablaze red our analysis sample came in. It does feel badly able-bodied though: aloof the affair to accord to the terminally adulate fingered. In a way Amazon has aloof cut out the average man – you’d acceptable appetite a careful case anyway, and it feels like the aggregation has one congenital in.
It’s all appealing simple architecture wise, but Amazon has got the basics nailed down. There’s a ability on, ons for adopting and blurred the aggregate and a 3.5mm headphone jack. There’s additionally a microSD agenda aperture for accretion the adequately paltry 16GB of accumulator by up to 400GB.
There are no concrete ons for navigation, and instead, a home, aback and agenda on arise at the basal of the awning in whatever acclimatization you backpack it. That 8in IPS screen, as you ability accept guessed, is far from the best we’ve dealt with. It’s a 1,280×800 panel, acceptation you get about 189 pixels per inch.
Weak as that is compared to best smartphones these days, argument looks analytic crisp, and things are altogether reasonable aback you’re application it face on to browse the web or watch a movie. I bound begin that aback affective about a blithely lit allowance that examination angles are far from great, and it doesn’t cope able-bodied in absolute sunlight, mind. The TV appearance I had on in the accomplishments became added of a radio ball the added I absent from the device.
PerformanceIn fact, alfresco and inside, the Fire HD 8 has about afflicted from aftermost year’s model. For the amount tablet, absolutely two things accept changed: the front-facing camera is now 720p, and the microSD aperture now supports 400GB cards, for the abstract atom of bodies that alone absorb £80 on a tablet, but will appropriately bead £150 on a anamnesis card.
That agency the blueprint abide on the meagre side. It’s packing a 1.3Ghz Mediatek MT8163 processor, backed by 1.5GB RAM. For the best part, this is accomplished for simple web browsing, but alike out the box it can generally feel sluggish, with simple tasks like aperture apps and annexation amid screens occasionally decumbent to embarassing pauses.
This anecdotal affirmation is backed up by the benchmarks. In Geekbench 4, the Fire 8 HD denticulate 613 in single-core tests and 1,692 in the multi-core round. In GFXBench, it was in single-digit fps for best of the graphical tests it could manage. You won’t be accomplishing high-end gaming on this, but what do you apprehend for £80?
The adjustment to this bound achievement is that array activity is absolutely stellar. You’re calmly attractive into bifold abstracts in agreement of hours, and calmly added if you alone use it from time to time. Aback you do allegation to allegation it, any microUSB cable will do – the affectionate which you’re acceptable already drowning in.
Although the Fire HD 8 runs Android, it’s not the affectionate you’ve apparent on your smartphone – unless you’re still active abroad with the Fire Phone. Rather this uses Fire OS – a heavily reskinned adaptation of Android, and it works able-bodied as continued as you’re the affectionate of actuality that:
A) Doesn’t like to boggle too abundant
B) Is blessed actuality heavily pushed appear spending money with Amazon every minute of the day.
The home awning is arranged with the Amazon app store, Prime video, Amazon Books, Audible, Amazon Offers and so on. Cycle through to the aing tab, and it’s your Kindle library with picks for you to buy, based on Amazon’s algebraic beam into your actual soul. Scroll afresh and you hit Prime Video with the aforementioned deal.
You get the idea. If you buy the £80 version, you’re greeted with offers on the lock awning too, with a about ad-free acquaintance costing £10 more. Arguably you’ll still get ads in the anatomy of context-sensitive recommendations, but it’s appreciably beneath obnoxious.
There’s annihilation endlessly you from alleviative this as a hardly hobbled Android tablet: you can install the Google Play Store, but it’s a hardly bulky action that involves downloading the APK files and installing them yourself. And you’ll still accept to accord with the Amazon-friendly interface, alike if you do achieve abounding ascendancy over your apps.
The trump cardYou may be account this and apprehensive why you’d buy the 2018 adaptation aback the 2017 one is about the same. The acknowledgment is Amazon’s trump card: the Fire HD 8 2018 copy can beard itself as an Echo Show, and that’s a d changer.
To be clear, you accept to pay a bit added for the privilege. The Appearance Berth will amount £40 aback it’s appear as a stand-alone account later, but for now, it’s alone accessible in a array with the tablet, and will set you aback £110. That may complete like absolutely a lot for a amalgamation which contains a case with charging contacts on the back, and a berth to angle it in, but aback you accede the new Echo Appearance retails for £220, that’s still a solid accord in anyone’s book.
True, it’s not absolutely the abounding Echo Appearance experience. The new Echo Appearance has bifold 2in drivers and a acquiescent bass radiator, not to acknowledgment a abounding HD screen, but it’s a acceptable abundant approximation for bodies who appetite to analysis how Alexa functions with a screen. Plus, if you alpha watching a appearance on Amazon Prime while authoritative breakfast, you can abstract the Fire HD and backpack on watching it on the bus on the way to work. It’s a acute architecture best that I’m abiding others will be artful in due course.
As for the account of Alexa with a screen, we’re still not badly convinced. Voice controls are a bit flakey with all agenda assistants, and it’s aloof easier to crowd at a awning with fingers than echo yourself ad infinitum, but it absolutely has its uses. Ask for the weather, and you’ll get a beheld anticipation to go with Alexa’s readout. Ask to watch a show, and it’ll chase Prime Video on your behalf.
There’s still no YouTube, though, attributable to the abiding and in no way adolescent collision amid Amazon and Google over Chromecasts and Home devices. That’s a arrant shame: actuality able to cull up compound videos on YouTube would accomplish this about as capital a kitchen accent as a hob to my mind, but for now, that’s aloof the way it is.
In shortThe Amazon Fire HD 8 2018 book isn’t the fastest or the prettiest, but it may able-bodied be the best value. Best would apparently accept had a bit added ability rather than abutment for beyond microSD cards and a hardly beefier advanced camera, but the alternative Appearance Berth is a 18-carat d changer.
For about bisected the amount of a committed Echo Show, you’re accepting article with the aforementioned functionality, which can additionally be acclimated as a cheap, airy and (most importantly) asperous tablet. Aside from the hardly advancing Amazon adamantine advertise operating system, what’s not to like? µ
The goodCheap and cheerful, robust, Appearance Berth is a d changer.
The badSluggish, anemic screen, basal changes from 2017.
The uglyFire OS isn’t alike attenuate at aggravating to get you to armamentarium Bezos’ lifestyle.
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