Amazon Fire HD 8 (2020) Review


 Amazon Fire HD 8 (2020) Review

Editors' Note: This is still the most recent version of the Amazon Fire HD 8. The review has been updated for 2021.

Amazon has sold its low-cost Fire tablet lineup for years now, and it isn't shy about making it clear that it's a way to enjoy Amazon content on the go, letting the company offer a quality product for a relatively low price. The Fire HD 8 ($89.99) is a cute, easy-to-use 8-inch tablet that works entirely within Amazon's walled garden. For basic streaming video, picture books, kids' games, and Zoom calls, it's the best sub-$100 tablet available today, with a faster processor and more RAM than the 2018 model. But because Amazon restricts the Fire HD 8 to its own inadequate app store, you don't get nearly the range of services you'll find on other Android and Apple tablets.

Our Editors' Choice overall for an inexpensive tablet is the bigger Fire HD 10. It has a faster processor and more RAM, giving it better performance all around, although it uses the same limited app store.

Features and Performance
The Fire HD 8 comes in black, blue, purple, or white. The base $89.99 model has 32GB of storage and ads on the lock screen; you can remove the ads for $15, or upgrade to 64GB of storage for $30. (All models have a microSD card slot for media storage that supports all current card capacities.) You can add wireless charging and more RAM, making the tablet a Fire HD 8 Plus, for an extra $20. There's also a Kids' Edition, with a rugged case, an extended warranty, and an Amazon Kids+ content subscription, for $139.99.

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Tough back
The plastic back panel seems relatively tough
The tablet has a tough little plastic body, at 8.0 by 5.4 by 0.4 inches (HWD) and 12.5 ounces, with a decent, but not great, 1,280-by-800, 189ppi screen. This is the first generation of Amazon tablets to charge via USB-C, although that doesn't necessarily mean speedy charging; it just means you can charge it with the cable for your recent Android phone.


With a Mediatek MT8168A chipset running at 2GHz and 2GB of RAM, the tablet turns in unimpressive benchmark performance. It got 4448 on the PCMark Work 2.0 benchmark and 101.32 on the Basemark Web browsing benchmark, both of which can be likened to a low-end smartphone. The Fire HD 10 gets 50% faster results on web benchmarks.

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Performance is a bit sluggish. The user interface is designed to work well on this tablet, but you can tell that scrolling complex pages gets a bit janky. It's not at all an unusable experience, but it's definitely a low-end one. Games are a mixed bag. An older action game, Asphalt 8, played smoothly, but another one, Riptide GP 2, dropped frames significantly; it functioned fine on the Fire HD 10. Kids' games, such as the Toca Boca series, were OK.

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