November 23, 2020

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Amazon Fire HD 8 2020 review: Higher price, but upgrades keep it a bargain

With versions out there in seven-, eight- and ten-inch screen dimensions and priced as very low as $fifty right before Key Working day special discounts, Amazon’s Fire tablets have extensive been the go-to choice for deal gadget hunters. But with its 2020 refresh of the eight-inch Fire Hd eight tablet, extensive the Goldilocks choice of its line, Amazon is adding a twist that may well leave you wondering which one particular to invest in. There are now two eight-inch versions to choose from: a baseline Fire Hd eight beginning at $ninety (£90), and the $one hundred ten (£110) Fire Hd eight Furthermore, which adds wi-fi charging and somewhat superior overall performance. The tablet isn’t really now out there in Australia but the beginning selling price converts to about AU$a hundred and sixty.

Like

  • Quicker processor than last version
  • Rapid USB-C charging
  • Better entrance digicam placement
  • 2GB of RAM (up from one.5GB)
  • Fingers-totally free Alexa voice assistant
  • Enhanced battery lifetime

You should not Like

  • Hd eight Furthermore provides nice action-ups for just a little bit much more money
  • Display is Hd but not 1080p (could be sharper)
  • Amazon Appstore is restricted when compared with Google Enjoy and Apple Application Shop
  • Amazon Key membership is a ought to

The two versions seem equivalent on the outdoors. The Hd eight Furthermore is only out there in a slate coloration while the standard Hd eight is out there in black, white, plum, twilight blue and slate. But apart from the white version, they all have a black bezel close to the screen. Both of those versions are enhanced around the past 2018 Fire Hd eight version with a quicker processor, USB-C charging, superior Wi-Fi overall performance and a bump from 16GB to 32GB of storage in the base product. The standard Hd eight has 2GB of RAM — that is up from one.5GB — and the Hd eight Furthermore has 3GB of RAM, which is where you get the overall performance improve. The USB-C charging does assistance minimize charging situations by about an hour from the past Hd eight, with the Hd eight Furthermore charging even quicker.

The 2018 Fire Hd eight (still left) is taller but somewhat slimmer than the new Fire Hd eight and Hd eight Furthermore. 


David Carnoy/CNET

What is a big offer is that Amazon has moved the entrance-facing digicam. It utilised to be at the best of the tablet when you experienced it in portrait manner. Now it is on the aspect, so it is at the best when you have it in landscape manner. That helps when you happen to be undertaking movie calls with Zoom and other movie-calling applications, like Amazon’s very own. The new product is a little bit wider than the 2018 Hd eight, but it is shorter and the bezel is now a similar width close to the entire screen, which remains the same eight-inch size. Only a higher-conclusion tablet like the iPad Professional has much more screen and fewer bezel: Other finances tablets generally have wide bezels.  

Thanks to the combination of a new 2GHz quad-main MediaTek 8168 processor and some program updates, battery lifetime is now rated at twelve several hours of “mixed use” as an alternative of ten.  The other tiny update is that the microSD growth slot now accepts up to 1TB cards. Formerly, the maximum capacity was 512GB.

So all in all, there are some sizeable adjustments. And you will have to fork out much more for them. As stated earlier mentioned, the standard Hd eight now costs $ninety as an alternative of $80 and the Hd eight Furthermore with wi-fi charging and the further gigabyte of RAM is $20 much more at $one hundred ten. The selling price for the Furthermore goes up another $20 if you invest in the companion wi-fi charging dock for the Furthermore, which you possibly want to do.

The Fire Hd eight now attributes USB-C charging.


David Carnoy/CNET

Both of those new Fire Hd eight versions have the same one,280×800-pixel resolution screen as the past Hd eight. The screen is technically Hd but it is generally 720p and not 1080p. It truly is good for watching video clips but it is not almost as sharp as the screen you get with, say, an iPad, which is why you happen to be spending a whole lot fewer for this. At 355 grams, the new Fire Hd eight weighs a contact fewer than its 363g predecessor.

A number of years back again, the Hd eight seemed sluggish, but its overall performance has steadily enhanced and now it is rather zippy (Amazon states the new Hd 8s are 30% quicker than the 2018 Hd eight many thanks to the new processor and program optimization). It isn’t really as responsive as an entry-stage iPad, which is often on sale for about $250, but it is general rather smooth and I didn’t have any issue running games like Asphalt 9: Legends. That stated, the eight-main processor and GPU — the graphics processor — are quicker in the ten-inch Fire Hd ten, which also has a sharper 1080p screen. When that product goes on sale for $100, it is possibly the finest price in tablets. But some persons are searching for a more compact, lighter tablet and the Hd eight is a substantial bump up from Amazon’s most inexpensive tablet, the Fire seven.

The much more high-priced Hd eight Furthermore attributes wi-fi charging and is out there in a bundle with a wi-fi charging dock. The Hd eight Furthermore automatically goes into Clearly show Manner when in the dock.


David Carnoy/CNET

I didn’t see a big variation in overall performance among the Hd eight Furthermore and standard Hd eight, but the further gig does assistance. Applications open up a contact quicker and it can assistance with multitasking and much more graphically powerful applications. It never hurts to have much more RAM, I can tell you that. 

The Hd eight Furthermore looks to wirelessly charge on any Qi-enabled charging pad — at least the kinds I experimented with with seven.5 watts or higher charging ability. But you definitely want the charging dock that Amazon bundles in for an further 20 bucks. That’s due to the fact one particular of the big appeals of the Fire Hd eight Furthermore is that you can drop it in the dock and it automatically goes into clearly show manner, turning your tablet into anything a lot like an Echo Clearly show eight, comprehensive with fingers-totally free accessibility to the Alexa voice assistant. It truly is continue to making use of the tablet’s internal speakers as an alternative of a real speaker and the tablet doesn’t have a much more considerable microphone array for picking up your voice like an Echo speaker does. But it performs nicely more than enough and the sound is Okay for watching movie (it is not so fantastic for new music). You could wirelessly join a Bluetooth speaker to increase the sound.

The standard Fire Hd eight is out there in white and other coloration possibilities.


César Salza

I set the dock in my kitchen area and utilised the Hd eight Furthermore as a mini Television due to the fact I have Spectrum Television as my cable company. There occurs to be a Spectrum app that provides me all my channels on the Fire Hd eight or Hd eight Furthermore so extensive as I’m on my dwelling network (you get a lowered selection of channels when you happen to be away from your dwelling network). Like the Fire Hd ten, the Hd eight now has a image-in-image manner for watching movie in a tiny window in the corner of the screen while making use of the tablet’s other applications, these kinds of as making use of a browser to seem up recipes. You could get a cover with a created-in stand — Amazon sells plenty of people, like its very own properly developed but high-priced addresses — and develop the same setup for watching video clips with possibly the Hd eight Furthermore or standard Hd eight. But you would not be equipped to wirelessly charge the tablet at the same time.

The Fire Hd eight has often been a helpful tablet for consuming Amazon movie content material, ebooks and new music, and it is continue to particularly helpful for Key customers. You can also enjoy other streaming movie solutions these kinds of as Netflix and Hulu, but the choice of applications in the Amazon Appstore has often been restricted when compared with what is actually out there for Android and iOS, especially when it arrives to games. You is not going to find applications for Vudu or HBO Max, for occasion (though HBO Max may well be coming).

The tablet runs on Amazon’s most up-to-date Fire OS, a personalized version of Android P, which was launched in the slide of 2018. And while Amazon doesn’t encourage it, you can put in the Google Enjoy store by adhering to some instructions on the web. That would let you to operate a whole lot much more applications. But some persons may well truly feel intimidated by the system.

The past Fire Hd eight was common with mothers and fathers seeking an reasonably priced tablet for their young ones. If that is who you happen to be acquiring this for, the standard Hd eight is heading to be just good. (You can find also a $a hundred thirty Children Edition that bundles in a protective scenario and a 12 months of Amazon’s Freetime Limitless all-in-one particular subscription services that provides young ones accessibility to hundreds of age-acceptable publications, video clips, applications, Audible publications and games.)

I like getting equipped to wirelessly charge the Fire Hd eight Furthermore and the dock is properly developed. I assume you will conclusion up making use of the tablet much more due to the fact it does double obligation as a much more modest Echo Clearly show substitute it is generally often charged and prepared to go when you want to use it outdoors the dock. That stated, the bundle with the dock is now $forty much more than the standard Hd eight, and for some people that is a big bounce in selling price if you happen to be searching for a finances tablet.

The past Fire Hd eight bought for as very low as $fifty in the course of the holidays last (and other flash profits this 12 months). This one particular possibly is not going to go that very low, but be expecting to see it for $20 to $30 off at some stage in the long run. At $ninety, it is a decent price, and it will be a real deal if it drops to $60 or $70. I do would like the screen were being 1080p, but you apparently cannot have anything at this modest selling price.

Editors’ take note: Simply because the Fire Hd eight reviewed right here is extremely similar to its sibling item, the Fire Hd eight Furthermore, most of this language is borrowed from our evaluate of that product.