Amazon fire HD 8 is the updated (10th generation) version of Amazon's entry-level tablet. The Fire HD 8 model offers an 8 “HD (800 × 1280 pixels, 189ppi) screen, a 2 GHz quad-core processor, a battery with up to 12 hours of battery life, dual band WiFi connection (802.11a / b / g / n / ac), USB-C (2.0) port for charging, 3.5mm stereo jack, bluetooth 5.0 LE. There is an accelerometer and an ambient light sensor.
The storage space starts at 32GB and is expandable up to 1Tb thanks to the microSD slot. Compared to previous models, the latter offers more storage space, higher-performing processors (the manufacturer talks about 30% improved performance) and longer battery life. Below is the proof and our impressions.
Packaging, appearance, weight
The device arrives in a rectangular box inside which we find: the actual tablet (202x137x9.7mm) aesthetically not very different from the previous model, the 5W USB power supply, the charging cable (USB-A / USB-C). The tablet fits comfortably in the hand and is light (335 grams). At the top we find the volume +/- buttons, the power button, the microphone, the USB-C, the headphone jack; on the left side we have the speakers and the front camera; on the right side the slot for the micro SD.
First power on, store and Kindle unlimited
At the first start up, the language is requested and the default font size can be selected; select the WiFi network, indicate the network password, indicate the email address (or mobile number) and the Amazon password (if we are not registered you can register from scratch) and we are almost ready.
You can enable / disable location services, auto save photos and videos (automatically upload photos and videos to Amazon cloud from your device), turn on WiFi password saving. Once the configuration is complete, we can subscribe to Kindle unlimited (Amazon e-book store that allows you to read books with the Kindle App).
The operating system is FireOS , based on Android; not all the apps for Android are available but among the available apps there are the most famous: Prime Video, Amazon Music, Twitch, Netflix, Spotify, Plex, Instagram, DAZN, TikTok, Facebook, Pinterest, Disney Plus, Amazon Photos, Minecraft , Skype, Amazon Kindle. However, apps such as TimVision, Mediaset Play, Sky GO, Infinity, NOW TV are not available. Amazon obviously prefers to focus on its services (audiobooks, books, games, music and videos) but where it is not possible to use apps, you can obviously opt for access via browser with Silk.
We used various apps without problems and were able to play 2160p movies horizontally without any inconvenience. Among the peculiarities of the Fire HD 8 is the Game Mode, which promises a “distraction-free” gaming experience by preventing the display of elements on the display (eg notifications) and improvements possible by specific automatic optimization functions inherent in the system.
Sample book downloaded from Amazon Kindle
As for the camera compartment, both the front and rear are 2MP. The quality is not very high (in our shots inside we noticed an often blurry appearance even in good lighting conditions) but if you have to take a photo occasionally, we can do it without obviously expecting too much. It is also possible to shoot video in HD at 720p. There are no special recording modes, such as slow motion or things of this type but, we repeat, that it makes no sense to think of using a tablet of this kind in this area. You can take advantage of the free phone app and view photos on your Fire tablet and smartphone, syncing everything even with your computer. The stock app allows you to connect people and family devices and store your shots in one safe place. However, it is possible to exchange photos on the fly with Mac and PC by sending the shots via Bluetotoh.
Image taken inside with Fire HD 8's camera
The new FIre HD 8 has a good autonomy; we did not carry out any tests with the stopwatch in hand but it can be used safely for many hours without problems. The manufacturer talks about 12 hours of battery life by reading, surfing the web, watching videos and listening to music. USB-C charging is easy to use and the tablet charges fully in less than 5 hours (with its own cable and charger). You can use a low power charger (or even a computer's USB port) but of course it will charge slower.
Performance and conclusions
Performance is good, in line with the cost of the device. The tests we ran with Geeknbench show average speeds higher than many more expensive Android tablets and actually about thirty percent faster speed than the 2017 Fire HD. You can safely run games like “Shadow Fight 3”; with others like “Asphalt 9: Legends” it is better to reduce the graphics settings. The touchscreen responds quickly and accurately and overall performance is more than good. As already mentioned, Amazon focuses on its services, offered at any time and opening apps of various types. The various apps performed very well, without major hitches. The Silk browser also performed on various test sites, showing a score of 519 out of 555 with HTML5test (HTML5 compatibility) and good speed in the Jetstream 2 benchmarks.
The microSD card reader does not reach the high speeds that can be achieved with dedicated PC readers but offers performance offered on average by other tablets. When using games and other apps we never noticed excessive heat and therefore there should be no problems even with long gaming sessions. We tried to “stress” the CPU with GFXBench GL but the tablet reacted well.
On the audio side, you cannot expect too much from the two small speakers and this aspect did not impress us at all (the total lack of bass is noticeable when listening to music). Fortunately, it is possible to connect accessories to the headphone jack (and others via Bluetooth). In conclusion, it is a good entry-level tablet, with an excellent price-performance ratio, perfect especially if we take advantage of the various Amazon services.
The integrated SoC is powerful enough and allows you to do everything you could possibly want. The battery life is more than good and an overall ideal product for those who subscribe to Amazon services, are looking for a tablet but do not want to spend too much. There are some features that devices with “pure” Android offer, but if you want to download the Google Play Store, a choice that invalidates the Amazon warranty.
Price and Availability
In Italy, the new 10th generation Fire HD 8 tablet is sold for 99.99 euros; shipments will start from 3 June but it is already possible to book it. Among the peculiarities of the device, the ability to take advantage of unlimited cloud storage for Amazon content and photos taken with Fire tablets. Specific cases in blue-gray, light gray, anthracite and mauve are also available at a price of 34.99 euros. The Amazon cases are of the magnetic type: they remain tightly closed and obviously do not obstruct access to buttons, ports and cameras.