- Wireless charging and accessories give it style
- Relatively affordable tablet
- Plastic body is grippy and durable
- Reliable battery life
- Lock screen ads are provided by default
- Fire OS is still limited in functionality and app support
- Has a “last resort” camera
For years, the Fire HD 8 Plus has been one of Amazon’s best-selling tablets, and I’m not surprised. It has a useful 8-inch screen and just enough storage (32GB) and RAM (3GB) for apps and games, and even the latest model is relatively affordable at $120.
If you’re considering a tablet that can play your child’s favorite YouTube videos or control your home’s Alexa-supported devices or even double as a digital cookbook, then Amazon’s Fire HD 8 Plus is a no-brainer at a glance. fraction of the cost of Cheapest iPad.
But unless you’re an Amazon Prime member, the Fire HD 8 Plus – like every other Fire tablet – isn’t an impulse buy as Amazon’s constant promotions suggest. For all the reasons to buy the latest tablet, there are just as many to look elsewhere. Here is the breakdown.
|Display||8 inch 1280 x 800 IPS LCD screen|
|Storage||32 GB or 64 GB (up to 1 TB via MicroSD)|
|Rear cameras||2MP wide|
|Battery||Up to 12 hours|
|Operating system||Fire OS on Android 11|
How is the design?
While the Fire HD 8 Plus wasn’t designed to withstand the cruelty of children – that’s what the Children’s Edition is for – it can definitely take a hit or two. Instead of the usual mix of glass and aluminum found on more expensive tablets, the $120 Fire HD 8 Plus is decked out in textured plastic and an 8-inch screen that scratches more easily than it does not crack.
So you might be surprised to learn that I’m a fan of the plastic design of the Amazon tablet. Today’s consumerism has gotten me so used to mothering my tech products that being able to use the Fire tablet without worrying too much about damaging it is refreshing. My tester arrived with a kickstand case which provides an extra layer of protection and functionality, but I felt confident enough to primarily review the HD 8 Plus without it.
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Along with the otherwise basic design of the Fire HD 8 Plus, there are a host of ports and slots to maximize your tablet’s potential, including a 3.5mm headphone jack, USB-C port, and card slot. microSD that can expand the base 32GB (or 64GB) storage up to 1TB. If you plan to use the tablet to stream shows, browse the internet, and play apps and games, the 32 GB should suffice. For nothing more, the 64GB Fire HD 8 Plus would make the most sense.
The best way for me to describe the display on the Fire HD 8 Plus is adequate. It doesn’t get ultra-bright for a comfortable outdoor viewing experience, but the 400 nits brightness is satisfactory for indoor use. To my surprise, the viewing angles of the 1280 x 800 panel are admirable, with minimal color shift when holding the tablet in different orientations.
My biggest gripe with the screen is the shoddy oleophobic coating – the layer of composite that is supposed to repel oil and grease. I’ve been testing the tablet for about two weeks now and the screen is absolutely covered in smudges and fingerprints. It’s nothing a screen protector can’t fix, but it’s still a worrying sign for a tablet you’ll likely be using for years.
How does he manage daily tasks?
For $120, you really can’t complain about the performance of the Fire HD 8 Plus. This year’s model sees an extra gigabyte of RAM which, from what I’ve seen running the usual apps and services like Disney+, Amazon Shopping, Facebook and YouTube, the tablet is more capable than ever of going through without difficulty . Sure, there might be a slight input lag when pressing on it, but if you value a tablet’s widescreen functionality more than, say, the speed at which it can open apps, then you’ll be happy. of the Fire tablet.
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I also hope that “large display size” is higher than “camera quality” on your priority list, since the Fire HD 8 Plus has two mediocre 2MP cameras, one on the front and one other at the back. Even in the brightest environments, the sensors would tower over subjects, causing a white effect that doesn’t make for the most flattering photos. Night photography is worse.
Sticking with features that work well on tablets, let’s talk about one aspect that sells the Fire HD 8 Plus for me: Show mode, which essentially turns the 8-inch laptop into an Echo Show, dialing between a slideshow relevant news articles, weather information, time and even recipes. It’s a smart way to make your tablet handy even when you’re not holding it, much like what Samsung did with The Frame TV and what Google plans to do with the next Pixel tablet.
Ideally, Show Mode should be used in tandem with Amazon’s. wireless charging stationbut i found the above kickstand case just as functional.
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Terms and conditions of application
The Fire HD 8 Plus, like all other Amazon devices running Fire OS, runs on a stripped down version of Android. That means the software experience can be almost too limited, including what’s available on the App Store.
If you’re an Amazon Prime member who thrives in Amazon’s ecosystem of shopping, video streaming, and smart home services, you won’t be short of choices in the virtual store. But for everything else, including YouTube, a web version shortcut is the best you can find. This is not the end of the world. There are only a few limitations with YouTube for the web compared to the official app, which adds up to a noticeably short experience.
And then there’s Amazon’s cost-saving (and money-saving) feature: lock screen ads. At the basic level, the Fire HD 8 Plus comes with an ad-supported lock screen, which means that every time you press the power button to put the device to sleep, it displays a slideshow of advertisements for games, applications and services. It’s not the biggest deal breaker in my eyes – and you can totally pay $50 more for the HD 8 Plus ad-free – but it’s still a nuisance.
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Battery and charging
The battery life of the Fire HD 8 Plus is unquestionably long. Amazon rates the tablet for up to 12 hours of use, and I got similar numbers in my two weeks of testing. This was with Show Mode enabled, which makes the time display all the more impressive.
To recharge it, Amazon bundles a USB-C cable and the charging brick, the latter being often excluded from tablets these days.
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At the end of the line
If you’ve ever wondered which tablet you should buy for casual browsing, mobile entertainment, or even for a kid, and your first instinct was to search Amazon, you’re the perfect customer for the Fire HD 8 Plus. At $120, the latest model isn’t the cheapest of the Fire tablet bunch, but it’s certainly a compelling option for its crisp visuals, durable build quality, and exceptional battery life. The downsides include poor camera quality and app support, as well as an abundance of ads if you opt for the base model. If you (or your child) don’t mind these compromises, then the latest Amazon tablet is a surefire pick-up.
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