The Amazon Fire HD tablets, 2017 edition
Back in 2015, Amazon released the Fire HD 7 and Fire HD 8 tablets as a budget option to their previous generation of the high end HDX tablets. The HDX tablets failed to compete in the premium segment alongside the Ipads and Samsung tablets.
2 years later, Amazon has released the refresh Fire HD 7, Fire HD 8 and Fire HD 10 2017 versions at a starting price of $50, $80 and $150 respectively, these sound like really good deal in 2017. Let’s get into the details and find out if it’s the best budget tablet out there?
Why is it so cheap?
You are basically signing up to become a walking talking billboard for Amazon. There are Ads and offers by Amazon which show up on the lock screen. (You can pay extra to remove them)
The prime reason that the Fire HD is so cheap is well…Prime. Amazon wants everyone to have this inexpensive device to get them hooked to their Prime services with the likes of Prime online delivery for shopping, Kindle books and Prime Video all of this made very easy with the likes of Alexa.
Having said that, this is still not a premium device and would not be able to keep up with a $300+ tablet. It would have a plastic feel, unlike the premium unibody metal designs that feel solid in your hand.
This is a heavily customized version of Android, Fire OS, which doesn’t come preloaded with Play store, gmail and all the other google apps. Amazon has their own version of the store with plenty of apps, but an Android tablet without a Play store just seems wrong. Important point to keep in mind is if you had purchased any apps on the Play store for any other Android device it would not be available on your Amazon Fire HD tablet.
Use cases/Why would someone buy?
If your primary use case is media consumption, this is a very tempting buy and can’t do much better at these price points. The Fire HD 10 with a 1920X1200 resolution along with Stereo Dolby Atmos speakers is great to watch 1080p full HD videos on your favorite streaming platforms like YouTube, Netflix and Amazon Prime.
It can make for a great reading device as well, obviously not as good as the Amazon’s e-ink kindles, but with the blue light filter option in-built reducing the strain while reading, it is a good option.
If you do manage to sideload the Play store on your Fire HD tablet, it could be made into a small productivity device with access to google apps like Gmail and Google drive when you pair it with a good portable keyboard like the Logitech K380/K480 to work at a cafe.
Another reason someone would like to buy this budget device, would be to try out the Alexa Virtual Assistant.
Moreover you can by this device for kids as it is inexpensive and you can use it for light gaming and web browsing.
Pros(Considering the price point)
- Good screen resolution
- Great sound
- Alexa Virtual Assistant
- Battery Life
- Very Inexpensive
- Micro SD slot expandable to 256GB
- OTG support
- No google apps
- Fire OS is based on a very old version of Android Lollipop
- MediaTek processor is decent but can’t handle too much heavy lifting.
- Getting sucked into a new Amazon eco-system with Prime and their Ads.
Would love to hear your views, use cases and why you would or wouldn’t buy the Amazon Fire HD tablets.