Amazon Fire HD 8 2018 review: Basic to the extreme, but hands-free Alexa is a nice bonus

Very inexpensive at $79.99 with particular provides • Show is just right sufficient for ‘intake • ‘ with nice colour accuracy • Sound is strangely balanced • Entrance dealing with digicam is just right for video calls • Arms-free Alexa

Processor is moderate however sluggish for heavy duties and video games • No get right of entry to to the Google Play Retailer for apps • YouTube isn’t supported

At $80, the Fireplace HD Eight generally is a reasonable Echo Display substitute, or a elementary Android pill that works neatly for eating media.

At $80, you’ll’t be expecting a lot from the Amazon Fireplace HD Eight.

Whilst the corporate is asking it a brand-new tool, the Fireplace HD Eight stays in large part unchanged. It keeps the similar design as its predecessor and there are slight enhancements. However that is not essentially a nasty factor.

Amazon is not competing with Apple’s iPad Professional or a Pixel Slate. It is a elementary pill working a custom designed model of Android (coined Fireplace OS). You get Alexa on board, and likelihood is that it is going to be used for eating content material like presentations from High Video or Netflix. Plus, it is nice for taking note of track, internet surfing, or even video chatting.

Particular provides are so much much less discrete

Is it worth it?

Is it price it?

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The speculation of marketing a Fireplace pill for much less (supplemented through commercials) is a neat thought, particularly because it does not interrupt the person revel in.

In any case it may be a double-edged sword, because you do avoid wasting cash up entrance, however stated commercials would possibly encourage you to make extra purchases down the road. It may be even worse in case your glossy new pill leads you down the trail of an addictive recreation with in-app purchases. 

Probably the most first issues that struck me about those particular provides is that they are extra in-your-face and inspire impulse purchases much more than up to now. They are plagued by daring, colourful graphics and extra specific “purchase now” or “obtain now” buttons.

Whilst my unit had particular provides, I may see myself paying the $15 price to take away them. Particularly if I supposed to make use of the Fireplace HD Eight as an Echo Display-like tool.

A elementary design

A simple low-end plastic design.

A easy low-end plastic design.

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The Fireplace HD Eight has a elementary plastic design that screams reasonable. Not like different pills that provide extra grip, the HD Eight has a clean and matte plastic again. You’ll get it in both black, blue, yellow, or crimson. I have been checking out out the blue model, which is a dismal military. However if you are searching for a pop of colour, you must go for the neon yellow.

Amazon additionally packed a rear-facing 2-megapixel digicam within the left-hand nook. It sort of feels like a odd addition for such an inexpensive pill, however I’m going to contact on that just a little later. 

If you wish to have a virtually bezel-less pill, you must most probably prevent studying now. The bezels are the very first thing you’ll be able to realize whilst you pick out it up. They define the Eight-inch 1,280 x 800 HD show, which seems like an older-generation iPad minus the house button. The bezels are most commonly there as a value saver and to provide help to cling the tool. Additionally they space the 2-megapixel front-facing digicam. 

The I/O is in a weird spot.

The I/O is in a peculiar spot.

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The charging port, quantity rocker, energy button, and headphone jack are discovered at the most sensible of the tool. There are two units of audio system at the left, and a microSD card slot at the proper. The amount rocker at the most sensible is a plus for gazing a video whilst in panorama orientation.

General, it is a comfy pill to carry. It does not scream high-end, however at simply 363 grams and nine.7 millimeters thick, it is moveable sufficient. I additionally discovered that gazing motion pictures and studying some information from the internet browser was once moderately comfy. Even higher, it did not upload an excessive amount of weight to my backpack for commuting. 

Growing old specifications

Whilst the cameras were given an improve and new options have been added this time round, Amazon did not choose to replace the processor. A 1.3GHz quad-core MediaTek nonetheless powers the Fireplace HD Eight 2018 with 1.5GB of RAM. Merely put, it may possibly maintain the fundamentals, however pushing it even just a little may end up in slowdown. It is lackluster at easiest in the case of gaming. (Overlook about taking part in one thing like Fortnite or PUBG.) On Geekbench it scored a 530 on unmarried core and 1,502 on multicore, which is not nice.

Amazon didn't really refresh the hardware.

Amazon did not in point of fact refresh the .

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Streaming Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon High video must be simply fantastic. The similar is going for internet surfing and light-weight application duties. The processor can not maintain more than one taxing apps working on the similar time, despite the fact that. I had a number of apps crash whilst checking out, so it is best to play it secure.

The Eight-inch HD show remains to be beautiful elementary. I might have preferred to look some enhancements with brightness and NIT ranges, in addition to the reflectiveness. Because of this, it may be exhausting to make use of outdoor when the solar is shining, however for gazing movies indoors or in mattress, you are fantastic. 

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The audio system carried out beautiful neatly. Simply make certain to not duvet them up. It does not get just about as loud as an iPad Professional, however it gifts a balanced combine that might be fantastic for numerous other people. 

Cross complete throttle with hands-free Alexa

One welcome improve is hands-free Alexa, this means that the Fireplace HD Eight is principally an Echo Display when it is in Display Mode. So sure, at $80 you’ll get a less expensive Echo Display, albeit with some compromise. You’ll be able to get a large amount of financial savings, given the $229 price ticket for the second-generation Echo Display. It is the most important alternate and works beautiful neatly.

On the other hand, leaving Alexa on can expend your battery briefly. Additionally, whilst you’ll flip the characteristic on or off, Amazon says to be expecting a most of Eight hours at the 2018 model without or with Alexa. That is down from 12 hours at the 2017 type. Heavy use will deliver it slightly below, however I discovered with Alexa on and with conventional use you hit Eight hours simply. 

With the characteristic enabled, you’ll communicate to Alexa from the opposite facet of the room, and the far-field microphones do a tight activity. Those audio system don’t seem to be the loudest, however if you are no longer an audiophile, this will likely stay a minor nitpick. Amazon additionally sells a Display Mode Dock for $39.99 that principally turns your tool into an Echo Display. Bonus: It additionally solves the ability downside as you’ll go away it plugged in.

Restricted apps

If you are hoping you’ll get any app your center needs, you’ll be able to be profoundly dissatisfied. Amazon remains to be at odds with Google, and the Google Play Retailer isn’t to be had at the Fireplace HD Eight or any Fireplace pill. Whilst you’ll side-load it via an APK, it is a bit of a sophisticated activity.

As an alternative, you’ll be able to be caught with Fireplace OS-compatible apps within the Amazon App Retailer. You’ll be able to realize some huge ones lacking, particularly as many builders don’t seem to be as keen to move for this retailer. It generally takes a couple of weeks or months when they release on iOS or Android earlier than it arrives to Fireplace OS. 

So, honest caution: whilst you’ll get Netflix, Hulu, and different big-name apps, indie choices might be exhausting to seek out.

For media intake and light-weight duties best

On the finish of the day, you’ll’t whinge a lot about an $80 pill. You have got a good suggestion of what you are getting moving into and the Fireplace HD Eight is a straightforward tool. For media intake, gentle duties or informal gaming, or even the use of it as a type of moveable Echo Display, you’ll be able to be fantastic.

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On the other hand, this is not going to be a pc, iPad, Chrome OS, or complete Android tool substitute. For that, you are taking a look on the $329 iPad or an older iPad Mini. 

On the other hand, if you are within the Amazon ecosystem with a High club, you’ll be able to get get right of entry to to a lot of TV presentations and films from the get-go. Upload in Kindle Limitless, and you’ll perform a little studying. Simply make certain that you are OK with a restricted app variety and function that could be slower than you want.

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