Which Amazon Fire Tablet should you get?
Best Kindle Fire Tablet Android Central 2019
When the original Kindle Fire was released way back in 2011, many thought Amazon was onto something with a low-cost, easy-to-use tablet experience. You know what? They were right! Today there are no fewer than six Fire tablet devices on offer from Amazon, if you count the Kids Editions. Out of them all, we think the Fire HD 8 hits that sweet spot of price, performance, and portability.
Best Overall: Fire HD 8 Tablet
The Fire HD 8 sits in-between the Fire 7 and Fire HD 10 in more ways than one. It’s roughly in the middle of the two sizes of course, but it’s also priced in the middle. Those two data points alone justify the Fire HD 8 as our pick for the Fire tablet to get, but let’s explore a little bit more about what makes this device special.
For starters, it’s the lowest-priced Fire device you can get with an HD screen at 1280×800. The base model comes with only 16GB of storage, but you can easily and cheaply add to that with a microSD card and expand up to 400GB to take all of your content with you. With up to 10 hours of battery life, you’ll have plenty of juice to watch several movies or play games on the go. The device features Dolby Atmos in its dual stereo speakers, and also comes with a headphone jack so that you can enjoy your music or videos. You won’t get access to Google apps, but the Amazon app store has better offerings than it used to.
Our favorite feature here is its hands-free Alexa. You can simply call out to Alexa to ask questions or give commands. On that note, not only is this device great as an entertainment portal, but it can also serve as a smart home hub. You can use the touchscreen or Alexa to control your lights and thermostat, show you who’s at the front door through your Ring camera, or video chat with friends and family through its 720p HD video camera. You also get two 2-megapixel cameras — one on the front and one on the back.
Even though the Fire HD 10 has a bigger screen with a higher ppi (pixels per inch) resolution, we think the Fire HD 8 has all you need for a fantastic entertainment experience. Plus, it’s price at nearly half the price of the larger Fire, so you could almost get two of these for the price of one Fire HD 10!
- HD display
- Expandable storage
- Dual stereo speakers
- Hands-free Alexa
- 10 hours of battery
- Limited initial storage options
- Google apps not included
Fire HD 8 Tablet
The Goldilocks tablet
The Fire HD 8 makes the right tradeoffs in screen, storage, and price to earn our recommendation as the Amazon Fire tablet to get.
Best Value: Fire 7 Tablet
Every great product line has its entry point, and for the Fire tablets that’s the Fire 7. Newly updated in late 2019, this latest version is the perfect portable companion for anyone who just wants a low-cost tablet to watch their favorite shows on, play games, read their favorite new Kindle book, or maybe occasionally surf the web or check Facebook. As with the other Fire tablets, this device comes with 2-megapixel front and rear cameras and a 720p HD video camera, so you can still snap some decent shots and video chat to your heart’s content.
If you wanted to get an affordable family tablet to share with your kids, this is a great option. With the savings you’ll get on this device, you can easily afford to pick up a protective case (maybe one that isn’t neon pink or yellow!). You can also add FreeTime Unlimited to this or any other Fire tablet whenever you want.
You can still access all of your favorite content from Amazon and other services through this device, and even though it’s not HD resolution, the screen looks good enough for most use cases. The battery life is decent, and you can add to its internal storage with a microSD card. The Fire 7 is already cheap, but you can often find it on special for even less, making this practically an impulse buy.
- Lowest point of entry into Fire ecosystem
- Expandable microSD storage
- Easy hands-free Alexa
- Not HD resolution
- Lower-quality mono speaker
- No protective case included
Fire 7 Tablet
The most affordable Fire tablet
With hands-free Alexa, multiple fun colors, and access to tons of great content, the Fire 7 Tablet is a fun gadget to have around for all ages.
Best for Entertainment: Fire HD 10 Tablet
If you want the most immersive video and gaming experience on a Fire tablet, then you want a Fire HD 10. We know it’s the most expensive Fire, but you know what? It’s still pretty darn affordable! Just try finding another Android tablet or iPad of this size at anywhere close to this price.
The newly-updated Fire HD 10 is the only Amazon tablet with a full HD 1080p display, coming in at 1920×1200 resolution. It offers up to 12 hours of battery life including video watching, web browsing, and music listening, and it comes with Dolby Atmos, dual stereo speakers, and a headphone jack. It features a VGA front-facing camera with 720p HD video recording, and has the same 2-megapixel cameras as on the HD 8.
As its size would suggest, the Fire HD 10 comes with more storage (up to 64GB) that is expandable up to 512GB, and it has the best processor of the Fire tablet line. You can use that storage and processing speed to watch hours of Prime Video, Netflix, or Showtime, and playing mobile games on that full HD screen is a delight.
Even though it may seem a bit heavy for some at just over a pound (17.8 oz), we find it to be a fantastic device for reading books, newspapers, magazines, or even websites — particularly if you need or want to enable a larger font. There is just so much more screen space to view your content on!
- Full HD display
- Biggest screen for best viewing experience
- Dolby Atmos and dual stereo speakers
- More storage than competitors
- 12 hours of battery
- Cameras are still pretty low resolution for a “high-end” device
- Highest priced Fire tablet, non-Kids Edition
Best for Entertainment
Fire HD 10 Tablet
Full on fire
The Fire HD 10 is the perfect entertainment device. With its full HD screen and Dolby Atmos stereo speakers, it’s like a little TV in your hands!
Best for Kids: Fire HD 8 Kids Edition Tablet
Some may take objection to this pick based on the price alone. You see, the Fire HD 8 Kids Edition is significantly more expensive than the Fire HD 8 tablet even though they are essentially the same device. So why is this so? It’s really about all of the extras, which adds up to a good value.
Amazon’s Kids Edition Fire tablets all come with a kid-proof case to protect the devices from inevitable accidents, and in the case (pun intended) of the Fire HD 8 Kids Edition, you can get them in blue, pink, or yellow. In addition to the case, Amazon throws in a two-year worry-free guarantee, so you can send the device back at any time if it gets damaged, and Amazon will send you a new one.
Just as important as physical device security is digital peace of mind. The Fire HD 8 Kids Edition comes with parental controls that allow you as the parent to decide what your child can and cannot do on-device. For example, it is easy to set screen time limits, curfews, or limit content. Alexa and in-app purchasing are disabled by default. The device also comes with one year of FreeTime Unlimited which gives you access to 20,000 apps, books, videos, games, audiobooks, as well as educational content from PBS Kids, Nickelodeon, Disney and more.
Back to the specs, this tablet features 32GB of storage, with the option to expand up to 512GB via the microSD card slot. Of course, you also get unlimited cloud storage for any content purchased through Amazon. The device can get up to 10 hours of battery life depending on usage, and it features dual stereo speakers and, blissfully, a headphone jack. There is also 2-megapixel front and rear-facing cameras and a 720p video camera for those times when you want to have the kids chat with the grandparents.
- HD Display
- Expandable storage
- One year of Amazon FreeTime Unlimited included
- Two-year warranty included
- Kid-proof case included
- No built-in stand with case
- Limited internal storage
- Significantly more expensive than “regular” Fire HD 8 Tablet
Best for Kids
Fire HD 8 Kids Edition Tablet
Great display with tons of kid-friendly features
Get this one if you have young kids and want to easily monitor their screen time and usage. Also, the included case and warranty will protect the device!
The lineup of Amazon Fire tablets has never been so complete, and we can understand why these devices are so popular. They offer a great entertainment experience with industry-leading parental controls and child content option, as well as and access to Alexa and Amazon’s connected home ecosystem, at a fantastic value. Aside from the iPad, no other tablet series can compete!
When looking at the Fire tablets we feel that the Fire HD 8 is the best choice for most people. It’s not too big, not too small, and features an HD screen, expandable storage, and hands-free Alexa. At the price, you can feel comfortable picking one or two up without much thought, and you can easily share it with your family members if you choose.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Jeramy Johnson is proud to help to Keep Austin Weird and loves hiking in the hill country of central Texas with a breakfast taco in each hand. When he’s not writing about Amazon products and services, he’s defending his relationship with his side-chick Alexa to his family. You can follow him on Twitter at @jeramyutgw
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