The new Amazon Fire HD 8 has been released; This 2022 update to Amazon’s mid-sized tablet family replaces the 2020 model and has four different tablets in all.
That’s right, Amazon released four tablets: There’s the standard Fire HD 8, a Plus model, a Kids’ Edition version, and a Kids’ Edition Pro device, because Amazon clearly isn’t worried about confusing its shoppers with too many options.
They all replace the Amazon Fire HD 8 (2020) family members, though updates are pretty limited. To give you an idea of what’s new, we’ll show you the new Fire HD 8 below.
Amazon Fire HD 8 pricing and availability
The new entry-level Amazon Fire HD 8 is $99 / £99 for 32GB storage, which is a small price increase over the top-end model’s $89 / £89 starting cost. A 64GB version of the tablet is also on sale, but hasn’t given the price for that in advance.
The Fire HD 8 Plus retails for $119 / £119, which is again slightly more than the $110 / £110 asking price of the previous slate version.
Both the Fire HD 8 Kids, designed for younger users, and the Fire HD 8 Kids Pro, designed for older kids, are $149 / £149 – these models are more expensive because they have protective cases and special software designed for children.
Pre-orders for all these tablets start September 21st and go fully on sale in October.
Amazon Fire HD 8 vs Plus vs Kids vs Kids Pro
Before we delve into the standard Amazon Fire HD 8, we should probably run through the variants so you know how they differ.
Firstly, the 8 Plus is a more premium version of the standard HD 8. It has more RAM, wireless charging, and a higher resolution camera, but not much else. You can buy a dock for it, which works with wireless charging to turn the Fire HD 8 Plus into an Amazon Echo copycat if you want too.
Both the Kids and Kids Pro models are designed for younger users: the former is aimed at 3-7 year olds, while the latter is for 7-12 year olds. Tablets come with large protective cases and the software is quite restrictive, blocking the user from content and apps appropriate for that group of users. A parental account can be linked to better control what the child can access.
Amazon Fire HD 8 Design and Display
Amazon’s tablets don’t exactly have revolutionary designs, but that’s to be expected with the price.
The whiteboards, including the new one, are big plastic rectangles with a screen on the front – hey, it’s a tablet, what did you expect? The new model has a USB-C port for faster charging, a 3.5mm headphone jack for wired audio, a power button and a volume control.
The new Fire HD 8 has had some design tweaks over its predecessor, as it’s thinner, lighter and, according to Amazon, more durable: the company says the slate was “testing twice as durable as the iPad mini in drop tests”. But the changes are likely small.
As with all Amazon Fire tablets, this one is named after its display, meaning it has an 8-inch HD screen. This hasn’t changed from the 2020 model’s display, and we found that the display wasn’t great, but it worked well for certain entertainment tasks.
Amazon Fire HD 8 cameras and battery life
You’re probably not buying the Amazon Fire HD 8 for its photographic prowess, but it’s always handy to have something for video calling.
The Amazon Fire HD 8 has a 2MP front and 2MP rear camera, and at that resolution, they’re suitable for video chatting, but not much else. If you want an additional camera grunt, the Plus model has a 5MP rear camera.
In terms of battery life, Amazon cites the device as lasting 13 hours of usage, which is an hour longer than the 2020 model. That’s for watching content, but you’ll get more time if you’re just reading an e-mail. book or checking your emails.
The loading speed doesn’t seem to have changed; so you’ll still be waiting well over an hour and a half for the thing to fully charge.
Amazon Fire HD 8 Performance, Specs, and Software
In terms of performance, not much has changed with the new Amazon Fire HD 8. The company says the processor is 30% faster, but it still has 2GB of RAM (3GB for the Plus model), so the differences will likely be small. .
Amazon’s tablets tend to be quite slow as they’re designed for entertainment purposes like watching TV shows, listening to music and playing low-end games, so you don’t need a lot of processing power.
You can choose the tablets with either 32GB or 64GB storage, but if neither option is enough, you’ll be pleased to know there’s expandable memory up to 1TB.
As for the software, Amazon’s tablets are all locked to the company’s own operating system, which is actually a heavily modified version of Android. This has tight integration with the brand’s own services like Prime Video, Prime Music, Kindle and so on, so it’s best to be a Prime subscriber to get the most out of it.
This does not mean that Amazon engages in anti-competitive measures, and you can also download apps like Disney Plus, Netflix and Spotify and use various games and apps available on the Amazon app store.
Whether they’ll make it to our best roundup of cheap tablets remains to be seen, but they’ll no doubt be favored by those looking for an affordable slate with some familiar functionality, as always.