Fire HD 8 Tablet with Alexa, 8″ HD Display, 16 GB, Black – The full review

What is the Amazon Fire HD 8?

The Fire HD 8 is one of the cheapest tablets you can buy from a recognizable brand. It costs around $79.99, and unlike similarly priced Android slates it’s not completely terrible.

If you consider yourself a tech-head and aren’t buying for someone else, you may want to consider spending a little more. However, the Fire HD 8 is perfect for those with more modest expectations, and easy to recommend to family buyers that aren’t after something as fancy as an iPad.

It’s the perfect way to binge on some Prime content, and the addition of Alexa finally gives it something other tablets simply don’t have.

The Fire HD 8 Design

One of the best aspects of the Amazon Fire HD 8 is that while it is a cheap tablet, it doesn’t appear instantly dated like some others in this price category. It isn’t thick or heavy, and it doesn’t sport an ultra-wide screen surround that can make a tablet seem bulky and old-fashioned.

Just look at the space to the left and right of the screen; there’s enough room to fit your thumb, but not so much that the Amazon Fire HD 8’s footprint appears much larger than the display at its centre. It’s a little thicker than the last Fire HD 8 at 9.2mm, however.

Its build is solid for the price. There’s just the tiniest bit of casing flex under significant hand pressure and the display doesn’t distort when you press down on the front

The top-most part of the plastic casing does move inwards by about a millimetre under finger pressure, but this is more likely to be the battery cover. While non-removable, it’s mostly there to look nice and take the brunt of any impact; the real structure of the Amazon Fire HD 8 is inside.

I’m looking at the red version of the Amazon Fire HD 8. It’s a pleasant shade and has a textured finish that both looks and feels better than glossy plastic. The tablet is also available in a wide array of hues, including a vivid new yellow that I have a soft spot for.

The Fire HD 8 succeeds in a manner that sounds like an insult: it isn’t rubbish. However, I’ve used many sub-$100 tablets over the years that are, frankly, rubbish – and a constant reminder that you opted to cheap out.

Amazon Fire HD 8 – The Screen

The screen, however, may put a few folk off. Its specs are basic, as is the case with all the lower-cost Fire tablets, but what is most evident is the lack of display contrast in a well-lit room.

The screen is highly reflective, making blacks appear quite grey. This isn’t the usual symptom of the LCD screen’s backlight showing through, but is a result of the different layers of the screen’s structure reflecting a small amount of ambient light.

As such, the Amazon Fire HD 8 will look quite low energy compared with your smartphone, unless you increase the screen brightness by quite some margin; this will make the contrast seem better. There’s no Auto brightness setting here, so you have to make any alterations manually.

My final thoughts

With millions of songs from thousands of artists, the Amazon Digital Music Store brings all your favorite music to your fingertips. Music you buy on your Fire tablet is saved to Your Music Library for free, and you can play or download it anytime.

Unlock more music with Amazon Music Unlimited, just $7.99 per month for Prime members ($9.99 per month for non-Prime members).

Audible offers more than 180,000 titles in audiobooks, including best sellers, romances, thrillers, and much more.


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