Amazon Fire HD 8 and 8 Plus Review (2022): Unrivaled Value

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Deal Score0

If you need barely extra energy, there may be additionally the Fire HD 8 Plus ($150), which gives an additional gigabyte of RAM, wi-fi charging, and a 5-megapixel digital camera (to the bottom mannequin’s 2-megapixel—neither are superb, so do not let this be the promoting level of the Plus). The further RAM may be very welcome, however the distinction right here will not be as noticeable as it’s with the 10-inch Fire HD Plus. If you need to get actual work achieved, you are able to do it on the the 10-inch Fire HD, however neither mannequin of the Fire HD 8 will give you the results you want.

Fire HD 8 Kids

Photograph: Amazon

Fire HD 8 Gaming Bundle

Photograph: Amazon

Along with the Plus mannequin, Amazon has fairly a number of different bundles, just like the Fire HD 8 Kids fashions, which function protecting instances, some further software program, and content material bundles together with parental controls. There’s additionally now a gaming bundle that comes with a (*8*)Luna controller ($169), although given the constraints of Fire OS, I am unable to think about this interesting to many players.

Therein lies the primary rub with Fire tablets—Amazon’s software program.

What’s Wrong

Out of the field, Amazon’s Fire tablets provide an expertise that jogs my memory of the hyper ad-saturated world of Idiocracy

From the second you attempt to unlock your Fire HD 8, you’re confronted with an onslaught of advertisements and dark-patterned designs engineered to get you clicking on stuff, particularly for those who go for the ad-supported fashions. Just do not. Spend the additional $20 to free your self from among the advertisements. Don’t fear, you may nonetheless have Amazon content material pushed on you each time you a lot as take a look at your Fire HD 8. This is, as they are saying, the value of admission. You need an inexpensive pill? You’re going to get a pill that feels prefer it must get extra money out of you at each flip.

Fire OS, Amazon’s fork of Android, has been up to date to make use of Android 11, which continues to be two full variations behind inventory Android. Other than the app-switching display screen and few minor theme particulars, I couldn’t inform a lot of a distinction. Fire OS nonetheless gives the identical fundamental expertise, which is not essentially dangerous, however is restricted by its app retailer.

Out of the field, Fire HD 8 tablets don’t provide any Google apps or any entry to the Google Play retailer. The choice within the Amazon app retailer is what you may name missing. Want to observe YouTube? Chat on Slack? Nope, not taking place. Even if you wish to argue that this can be a pill largely for consumption and does not want a lot of what is within the Google Play Store, YouTube is a obvious omission. My suggestion can be that you probably have particular apps you need to use, browse Amazon’s app retailer before you purchase to ensure what you need is out there (you probably have an Android system, you may obtain and browse Amazon’s app retailer right here).

What about “sideloading” Google Play? We do have a information on How to Install the Google Play Store on an Amazon Fire Tablet, however sadly that information does not work for this mannequin. Or a minimum of, it does not work with the present model of Fire OS. Some Reddit customers who’ve obtained a software program replace to Fire OS 8.3.1.3 declare that they’ve been in a position to set up and use Google Play. My evaluation unit is to this point caught at Fire OS 8.2.1.2, which, I can verify, will set up the Google Play Store itself, however doesn’t let you log in and set up any apps from it. I’ll replace our information with information on how one can do it as soon as I can verify that it really works. At some level, you doubtless will be capable of set up the Play Store, however you may’t proper now.

Amazon’s 2022 Fire HD 8 stays good at what it’s designed to do: stream Amazon content material. If you are a Prime subscriber and desire a small, inexpensive system to make use of on the sofa, within the kitchen, and even with a stand to impersonate an Echo Show, the Fire HD 8 is not dangerous. But for those who can afford it, the 10-inch mannequin gives a significantly better general expertise and stays our high decide. If you actually need to rating a deal, look ahead to the subsequent Prime Day to roll round, when, usually, Amazon’s Fire tablets may be had for half-price.

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