- So-so display
- No Google Play access
- Ad heavy
- Limited app store
At a glance, the Amazon Fire HD 8 (2020) looks like nearly every other options in Amazon’s budget-conscious tablet series. What has actually changed and is it worth the price?
Nothing has changed much from the Fire HD 8’s predecessors. It features a matte plastic back which reviewers found grippy and the 8 in the name refers to the size of the tablet -- which reviews described as a comfortable handful. The color options available include black, blue, purple, and white.
The Amazon Fire HD 8 (2020) has an 8-inch screen but without the resolution you might expect from a 2020 release. Reviews noted the screen is not sharp. You won't be able to make out subtle details in movies or games. But what it lacks in definition it makes up for in brightness. Just don’t take it outdoors, reviewers found outdoor use difficult.
Laptop Magazine stated, “Despite the Amazon tablet’s rival-defeating brightness, I found the screen to be a bit dim when I used the Fire HD 8 outside.”
Reviewers found the Fire HD 8 (2020)’s performance underwhelming but fair for the price point, nothing sluggish and jittery multitasking and long load times. The tablet is best for media consumption. As long as you don’t mind a less defined picture, it plays movies and shows just fine.
Software & Storage
As with previous Amazon tablets, the software is heavily gated towards Amazon services. Underneath that shell is a modified version of Android 9 Pie which does not offer support for Google apps and services. So you won’t be able to access Gmail, YouTube, and other popular apps natively.
The Amazon Fire HD 8 (2020) comes with two cameras -- one on the front and one on the back -- and both are 2MP. Review note they produce okay pictures but are nothing you would upload to social media. One change which pleased reviewers is how Amazon has moved the camera on the back of the tablet to now work in landscape instead of only allowing for portrait.
Battery life is one of the few ways that the Amazon Fire HD 8 (2020) impressed. With light usage and utilizing the standby mode, some reviewers stated they only had to charge the tablet once every couple of days. Watching media -- both local videos or streaming services -- takes more out of it though, bringing it to more like 10 to 13 hours of battery life.
Tom’s Guide said, “The Amazon Fire HD 8 provides shockingly long battery life — going even longer than the 12 hours that Amazon claimed it would last.”
The speakers on the Amazon Fire HD 8 are located on the top ridge rather than the back panel. Audio for this device was acceptable and had clear tones but some reviewers wished they could turn the speakers up more.
Specs at a Glance
- Matte plastic chassis
- 8-inch LCD display
- 2 GHz quad-core MediaTek MT8168 processor
- 2GB of RAM
- Fire OS 7
- 16GB/64GB internal storage with MicroSD support
- Front and back 2MP cameras
- 4,850mAh battery
The Amazon Fire HD 8 (2020) performed as expected for a low budget tablet. The features are there and it’s usable, but reviewers felt a large portion of the tablet’s value lied in whether you signed up for Amazon’s Prime service. Without it, there was little point in owning one except as a cheaper option to keep your kids happy.
Android Police states, “The main problem here is still Fire OS. It's better than it used to be, but every aspect of the system is still an advertisement for Amazon products.”
Tom’s Guide says, “For casual TV watching and music listening, the Fire HD 8's screen and speakers prove it to be a solid device for all the basics.”
Laptop Magazine adds, “I would highly recommend the Fire HD 8 for one specific audience: Prime subscribers and frequent patrons of Amazon platforms such as Kindle and Audible. If you fall into this category, you’ll love the Fire HD 8.”
Prices (Where to Buy)
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