Fire HD 8 Tablet with Alexa, 8" HD Display, 16 GB, Black - with Special Offers (Previous Generation - 6th)
- Fire HD 8, now with up to 12 hours of battery life, 2X the storage, and 50% more RAM for faster performance
- Stunning 8" HD display, a 1.3 GHz quad-core processor, and Dolby Audio. Available in four colors.
- Now with the Alexa cloud-based voice service - just press and ask
- Enjoy millions of movies, TV shows, songs, Kindle e-books, apps and games
- Prime members get unlimited access to a huge selection of songs, books, videos and more
- 16 or 32 GB of internal storage and a microSD slot for up to 200 GB of expandable storage
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Fast and responsive
Enjoy your entertainment with a fast 1.3 GHz quad-core processor. Fire HD 8 now delivers faster performance thanks to a 50% increase in RAM over the previous model.
Power when you need it
Now with up to 12 hours of mixed-use battery life, Fire HD 8 gives you the flexibility to go where the day takes you.
Beautiful HD display
Fire HD 8 features a widescreen 1280 x 800 high-definition display with over a million pixels (189 ppi) and a bright, vivid picture. Enjoy movies and games in a crisp, clear HD resolution, with less glare and more brightness thanks to a stunning IPS (in-plane-switching) LCD display.
Capture life’s moments
Fire HD 8 features a 2 MP rear-facing camera for taking photos or shooting 720p video. The front-facing VGA camera is perfect for Skype calls with friends and family.
No more worrying about storage space
Now with 2X more internal storage, Fire HD 8 comes standard with 16 GB. Expand your tablet’s storage by up to 200 GB using a microSD card, and keep photos, movies, and compatible games and apps with you. Plus enjoy free unlimited cloud storage for all your Amazon content and photos taken with your Fire tablet.
Stands up to everyday life
Amazon engineers Fire tablets to hold up against everyday life. As measured in tumble tests, Fire HD 8 is 2X more durable than iPad Mini 4 (and costs a lot less too).
Choose from millions of Kindle e-book and magazine titles. Connect with the largest online community of book lovers on Goodreads. Discover over a million titles with a Kindle Unlimited subscription. Also, listen to your favorite books with Audible. Plus, enjoy exclusive Kindle features you only get from Amazon like X-Ray, Whispersync, Vocabulary Builder, Page Flip, Blue Shade and more.
Enjoy all your favorite movies and TV shows on Amazon Video, Netflix, HBO NOW, and more. Discover hundreds of thousands of TV episodes and movies, plus fling Amazon Video content to your TV using Second Screen. Enhance your video experience with features you only get from Amazon, including ASAP, X-Ray, On Deck, and FreeTime Parental Controls.
Over 400,000 apps including favorites like Facebook, Twitter, and Spotify. Play great titles like Frozen Free Fall, Angry Birds Slingshot Stella, and Sonic Dash from developers like Disney, Gameloft, Rovio Entertainment, and more.
Alexa comes to Fire Tablets
Alexa provides quick access to the entertainment you want, including music, games, audiobooks, and more. You can also ask Alexa questions, check your calendar, get news, find sports scores, and even control your smart home. All you have to do is press and ask.
Whether you’re looking for your favorite playlist or need a quick joke, you can ask Alexa. Just press and ask for a song, artist or genre, and stream directly over Wi-Fi. Alexa also provides voice control for Amazon Music, Pandora, TuneIn, IHeartRadio, and more.
One Press. Millions of Possibilities.
When connected to Wi-Fi simply press the home button for 1 second then ask. Alexa will respond to you and will even show visual responses to certain questions.
Now you can ask Alexa a question and get an immediate voice response. When you press and ask, Alexa can pull up your Flash Briefing, Wikipedia articles, news, sports scores, and more.
Everyday tasks made easier
Alexa on Fire tablets helps make the everyday easier. Just press and ask to set alarms and timers, check traffic, your calendar, to-do or shopping lists, and more.
Control your smart home
Alexa works with devices such as lights, switches, thermostats, and more from SmartThings, Insteon, Nest, ecobee, and Wink. Switch on the lamp before getting out of bed, turn on the fan or change the temperature on your thermostat while reading in your favorite chair, or dim the lights from the couch to watch a movie—all voice controlled from your tablet.
Compare Fire Tablets
|Price||$49.99 $29.99||$79.99 $49.99||$229.99|
|Resolution||1024 x 600 (171 ppi)||1280 x 800 (189 ppi)||1280 x 800 (149 ppi)|
|Colors||Black, Marine Blue, Punch Red, Canary Yellow||Black, Marine Blue, Punch Red, Canary Yellow||Black, White, Silver Aluminum|
|Processor||Quad-core 1.3 GHz||Quad-core 1.3 GHz||Quad-core up to 1.5 GHz|
|Content||Access to millions of movies, TV episodes, songs, books, apps, games, and more||Access to millions of movies, TV episodes, songs, books, apps, games, and more||Access to millions of movies, TV episodes, songs, books, apps, games, and more|
|Audio||Mono speaker, built-in microphone||Dolby Atmos, dual stereo speakers, built-in microphone||Dolby Atmos, Dual stereo speakers, Built-in microphone|
|Storage||8 or 16 GB (expandable by up to 256 GB), Free unlimited cloud storage for Amazon content||16 or 32 GB (expandable by up to 256 GB), Free unlimited cloud storage for Amazon content||16, 32 or 64 GB (expandable by up to 200 GB), free unlimited cloud storage for Amazon content|
|Camera||VGA Front-facing camera + 2 MP rear-facing camera with 720p HD video recording||VGA Front-facing camera + 2 MP rear-facing camera with 720p HD video recording||720p HD Front-facing camera + 5 MP rear-facing camera with 1080p HD video recording|
|Connectivity||Dual-band Wi-Fi||Dual band Wi-Fi||Dual band Wi-Fi|
|Battery Life||Up to 8 hours of reading, surfing the web, watching video, and listening to music||Up to 12 hours of reading, surfing the web, watching video, and listening to music||up to 8 hours mixed use|
|Weight||10.4 oz (295 grams)||13 oz (369 grams)||15.2 oz (432 grams)|
|Dimensions||7.6" x 4.5" x 0.4" (192mm x 115mm x 9.6mm)||8.4" x 5.0" x 0.4" (214mm x 128mm x 9.7mm)||10.3" x 6.3" x 0.3" (262 x 159 x 7.7 mm)|
|Customer Support||Screen Sharing + email, web, and phone||Screen Sharing + email, web, and phone||Screen Sharing + email, web, and phone|
New Fire OS 5 features
In addition to Alexa, our latest Fire OS update allows you to quickly access great game play directly from the Games tab with Twitch, the world’s leading social video platform and community for gamers. Fire tablet owners will also have easy access to over 65,000 recommendations from ComiXology, which provides an unrivaled library of comic books, graphic novels, manga and more.
Share content with Family Library
Family Library links your Amazon account to that of your spouse or partner so you can easily share apps, games, audiobooks, and books, and it now allows Prime members to share their Prime Video content. Access your family's content across devices—both Amazon devices and free Amazon apps for other platforms, including iOS and Android.
Find the things you love easier
Fire OS is the best entertainment experience on a tablet with quick access to the things you do most. The home screen includes dedicated content pages for books, games, apps, video, music, audiobooks, and Newsstand, making it quick to pick up right where you left off. Powered by Amazon’s recommendations engine, you can quickly browse books, movies, TV shows, music, apps, and games suggested just for you.
No more waiting
With ASAP (Advanced Streaming and Prediction), Amazon movies and TV episodes are ready for you to watch instantly. ASAP dynamically adapts to your viewing habits.
On Deck automatically downloads Prime Video (for Prime members) and the first episodes of Amazon Original Series while your device isn’t in use, ensuring that there is always something new to enjoy instantly, even when offline.
Integrated on-device tech support
Screen Sharing brings Mayday-powered customer service to Fire tablets. Simply call customer service and Amazon experts can connect to your Fire tablet to co-pilot through features by drawing on your screen, walking you through how to do something yourself, or doing it for you—whatever works best.
Try Prime free for a month
If you haven't tried Amazon Prime in the past, we'll give you a 30-day free trial. Experience what millions of members already enjoy—unlimited streaming of thousands of hit movies and TV episodes, ad-free access to over a million songs, reading a Kindle book a month for free, and Free Two-Day Shipping on millions of items. Learn more
Unlimited reading on any device
Prime Reading gives you unlimited access to over a thousand books, current issue magazines, comics, Kindle Singles, and more. With access from any device – including your phone, tablet, or Kindle – you can read however you want, whenever you want.
Stream thousands of movies and TV episodes with Prime Video
With Amazon Prime, members enjoy unlimited streaming of thousands of movies and TV episodes at no additional cost, including award-winning Amazon Original Series Transparent, top HBO shows; like True Blood, Girls, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and more popular movies and TV shows; like Downton Abbey, Under the Dome and Transformers: Age of Extinction.
No Wi-Fi, no problem—Prime Video downloads
Exclusive to Prime members, download thousands of Prime Video movies and TV episodes. Watch downloaded videos anywhere—on a plane, on vacation, in the car, or wherever you don't have a wireless connection. Prime Video offers offline viewing, included at no additional cost.
Over a million songs free with Amazon Music
Amazon Music gives Prime members unlimited, ad-free access to over a million songs, more than a thousand playlists, and hundreds of stations with unlimited skips. Find more music from your favorite artists, your favorite genres or let Amazon’s personalized recommendations introduce you to your next favorite band.
Add SHOWTIME, STARZ, and more to Prime
Prime members can add SHOWTIME, STARZ, and more to their Prime membership. These subscriptions are ready to watch anywhere, anytime—no cable or satellite subscription required. Starting as low as $2.99 a month, Prime members can go to Amazon Video to pick and choose their favorite channels to subscribe to, giving them instant access to episodes the same time they air on TV, including Homeland and The Affair from SHOWTIME, and Outlander and Ash vs Evil Dead from STARZ. Prime members can try any or all of these subscriptions with a free trial, and can cancel anytime.
Hundreds of Thousands of movies and TV episodes to stream, buy, or download
Whether you're a Prime member or not, enjoy a huge selection of TV episodes and movies, plus exclusive features like ASAP and Amazon FreeTime. Fire Tablets are an easy way to enjoy Netflix, Amazon Video, HBO NOW, Hulu Plus, and low-cost movie rentals.
Looking to cut the cord or get more from your cable?
Now you can watch TV without cable with subscriptions to apps like HBO NOW and Showtime, and with Sling TV—which includes ESPN and CNN—you can watch the big game or live news. Or use your cable subscription to stream what you love with on-demand through apps like HBO GO, Showtime Anytime, and Watch ESPN.
Watch on the big screen
Fling Amazon movies and TV shows from your tablet to your big-screen TV using Second Screen. This turns your TV into the primary screen, freeing up your Fire tablet to provide playback controls, a customized display for X-Ray, or simply be a place to email, browse the web, and more while you watch a movie. Second Screen is available for Amazon Fire TV, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation 4.
Exclusive titles at the lowest prices
Over one million exclusive titles that you won't be able to find anywhere else. Shop the Kindle Store for millions of books, newspapers, and magazines. Over one million titles are priced at $2.99 or less. Over two million are $9.99 or less.
Read as much as you want with Kindle Unlimited
Choose from over one million titles and thousands of audiobooks. From mysteries and romance to sci-fi and more, freely explore new authors, books, and genres on any device for just $9.99 a month. Create virtual bookmarks with Whispersync, so your Fire tablet picks up right where you left off. Try Kindle Unlimited free for 30 days. Learn more
Enjoy vibrant magazines
Our interactive magazine experience allows you to start reading in just a few seconds with access to any back issue at any time on the cloud. Plus, most Kindle Magazines come with a 30-day free trial.
Share with friends on Goodreads
Fire tablets are integrated with the world’s largest site for readers and book recommendations, with over 40 million members, 1.1 billion books added, and 43 million book reviews. See what your friends are reading, share highlights and rate the books you read with Goodreads on your Fire tablet.
NEW—Flip through books while saving your place
Page Flip makes it easy to find pictures, charts, maps and even your notes and highlights from different parts of a book. While you swipe to other pages or zoom out to see page thumbnails, Page Flip automatically saves the page you’re reading, pinning it to the side of your screen so you’ll never lose your place.
Read comfortably at night…
Blue Shade is an exclusive Fire OS “Bellini” feature that works behind the scenes to automatically adjust and optimize the backlight for a more comfortable nighttime reading experience. Simply tap Blue Shade on the quick actions menu to turn on this feature and enjoy your favorite book, news article, app, or any other nighttime activity without straining your eyes.
…without giving up a good night’s sleep
Recent studies by Harvard Health Publications have shown that evening exposure to blue light from electronic screens can suppress our bodies’ production of melatonin, a naturally occurring hormone. The suppression of melatonin can prolong the time it takes to fall asleep, which in turn can delay REM sleep and reduce alertness the following morning. Blue Shade gives you the option to fine-tune the color settings, with the device intelligently adjusting the color filtering so that at any color or brightness, the blue wavelength light is always sufficiently suppressed compared to other wavelengths.
Over 400,000 apps and games
Fire tablets feature instant access to thousands of the most popular free and best-selling games, social media, premium TV and movie providers, and so much more.
The best games
Enjoy best-selling games such as Game of War - Fire Age, SimCity BuildIt, Candy Crush Soda Saga, Monument Valley, and Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft.
Huge music selection
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.
Ad-free access to over a million songs with Prime Music
Prime members can enjoy unlimited, ad-free access to over a million songs, over a thousand playlists, and hundreds of stations. Find more music from your favorite artists, follow along to lyrics with X-Ray, or let Amazon's personalized recommendations introduce you to your next favorite band.
Listen to your favorite books
Audiobooks are great for your commute, while cooking, working out—all those times you can listen but can't read. Audible, an Amazon company, offers more than 180,000 titles, including best sellers, romances, thrillers, and much more. Every book is read by a professional narrator, including leading Hollywood actors such as Jake Gyllenhaal (The Great Gatsby) and Kate Winslet (Matilda).
Sync books across multiple platforms with Immersion Reading
Fire tablets can synchronize Kindle text with companion Audible audiobooks with real-time highlighting to create a more immersive reading experience, as well as deepen learning and comprehension. More than 60,000 Kindle books and companion Audible audiobooks are available across a wide array of genres.
Introducing Amazon Music Unlimited
For just $7.99/month for Prime Members (non-Prime price: $9.99/month), stream tens of millions of songs and explore curated playlists, stations, and weekly new releases—on-demand and always ad-free. Plus, with offline listening, your music is always at your fingertips.
Designed with kids in mind
When kids use Amazon FreeTime, it's like they have their very own personalized tablet. The background color and fonts change to a kid-friendly design and they only see the titles that you give them access to.
Over 10,000 kid-friendly titles with FreeTime Unlimited
Amazon FreeTime Unlimited is the first-ever all-in-one subscription that brings together books, games, educational apps, movies, and TV shows—all the types of content that kids and parents love. From just $2.99 per month, enjoy unlimited access to content including titles from Disney, Nickelodeon, Sesame Street, PBS, and more.
Perfect for parents
Amazon FreeTime is built from the ground up to help give parents peace of mind when it comes to tablet use. Parents can create a profile for each of their children and choose which books, apps, games, and videos they want to give their kids access to. Amazon FreeTime is free on every Fire tablet.
Fire Kids Edition also available
The Fire Kids Edition includes the Fire tablet, 1-year of Amazon FreeTime Unlimited, and a Kid-Proof Case—up to $109 in savings. Plus a 2-year worry-free guarantee. Learn more
Limit screen time, so they don’t just play
With Amazon FreeTime, parents can set daily limits for tablet use, or restrict certain categories—like games and video—while leaving unlimited time for reading.
Content on hundreds of devices
It's easy for you to access your content on other devices. The books, videos, audiobooks, and music that you buy can be enjoyed on other devices through Amazon apps, including apps that are available for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, game consoles, TVs, and more.
Sync your content across all your devices with Whispersync
Start streaming a movie from Amazon Video on your Fire tablet, pause, then resume watching the same scene on your TV. Whispersync remembers how much you've watched, read, or listened to so you can pick up right where you left off, no matter which device you are using.
Free cloud storage
With every Fire tablet, you get free, unlimited cloud storage for all your Amazon content including unlimited storage on photos you've taken with your Fire tablet, so you can rest easy knowing that you'll never accidentally lose the content you love. See details
Top customer reviews
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Amazon has replaced the original HD 8 released in 2015 with an “All-New” HD 8. Amazon is also removing the Fire HD6, which is a shame as it is a great little tablet.
The new HD 8 differs from the old version as follows:
BEST NEW FEATURE:
The price has been reduced! The 16 GB version of the old device cost $169.99 with special offers (ads). The new 16 GB version costs 89.99 and you can get a 32 HB version for $30 more.
Amazon has removed the ability to mirror your display on Miracast devices such as TVs. Now that feature is now only available on generation 4 and 5 Fires including last years HD 8. However, you can still cast Prime videos to a FireTV or Fire Stick.
WHAT COMES IN THE BOX:
The HD8 Fire, a short 3-foot USB cord and a power adapter so you can charge and use the device right out of the box.
The new HD8 is a fraction thicker than the 2015 HD8. Leather cases for the old HD 8 will fit the new HD 8 but hard shell cases will not. However the auto wake feature of some older cases won't work.
One complaint I had about the earlier versions was that the back was very slick and slippery to hold without a case. The new version is finely matted or textured so it is much easier to hold without dropping it and is no longer a fingerprint magnet on the back.
The resolution of the screen is the same 1280 x 800. However, the new HD 8 seems to have darker blacks with more contrast when compared to the older version. The display is nice and bright but still barely readable in bright sunlight. Amazon has added adaptive brightness to the new 2016 HD 8. When enabled, the brightness of the display changes depending on the level of light in the room. Practically speaking, this is only useful indoors when adjusting for night time reading because it is difficult to see the display in bright outdoor sunshine.
I do like that you can choose your own wallpaper! It comes with 9 stock images and if you don't like one of them, you can choose your own image in your Amazon Photos folder.
Both the new and old HD8 use a System on chip (SoC) platform where the CPU, GPU and Bluetooth are integrated on one chip platform. The new HD 8 has a faster MediaTek MT8163V/B 64-bit quad-core processor advertised as running at 1.3Ghz. Tests show that this processor operates with a CPU frequency of 1300 MHz max and 600 MHz min.
The old processor was a MediaTek MT8135 32-bit processor which was advertised as having one quad-core processor operating at 1.5GHz. Tests reveal that operating speeds were 1200 MHz max and 364 MHz min frequencies.
The GPU (graphics processing unit) on the new HD8 is an ARM Mali-T720 versus the older PowerVRg6200. Overall, the newer chip operates faster than the old chip.
Bluetooth version has been upgraded from 4.0 LE to 4.1 LE.
The HD8 is now available with 16 GB and 32GB instead of 8 GB and 16 GB and Amazon still has a slot where you can insert a microSD card. The 2016 HD 8 accepts a MicroSD card up to 200 GB instead of the maximum 128 GB on the 2015 HD 8.
I recommend purchasing the 32GB version instead of ordering the 16 GB and adding an SD card. You will probably not need an additional card with the 32 GB version, but if you find that you are running short of space, you can always add one later. If you do add an external card, I do not recommend installing apps on an auxiliary card for several reasons. 1) Some apps WON’T install on auxiliary cards and those that do, use space on the internal drive as well as the microSD card. 2) the Fire apps seem to run faster on the internal drive. 3) If your SDcard goes bad, you are going to have devote some time reinstalling all your apps and resetting your settings.
More importantly, the new device has 1.5 GB of RAM versus 1.0 GB. Because of these upgrades, the new HD 8 is much snappier than the old version.
It is heavier: 12.0 ounces vs 11.0 ounces thanks to the larger battery
The battery life is a big improvement. The new battery has been sized up to 4,750 mAh from the previous version which had a 3,210 mAh battery. The older model was rated at 8 hours but the new model is rated at 12 hours of mixed use. My biggest criticism of the old version was the battery which ran down very rapidly. I just kept the thing plugged in all the time because I could only use it for about 5 hours, not 8 hours, without being plugged in. The new version is definitely improved and it seems to last about 50% longer than the old one. Your own results may vary from mine depending on use.
Sadly, Amazon installs a single antenna and has removed the 802.11ac wireless protocol from the new HD 8. What does this mean? In a nutshell, speed.
802.11 ac WiFi is much faster, but its peak speeds are not really the selling point. Its speeds at long range are. The AC protocol factors in “beamforming.” Beamforming is a “smart signal” which detects where connected devices are and increases signal strength specifically in their direction. So the performance as well as higher speed of 802.11ac are maintained far better at long range. Speed is not a factor for really short actions such as downloading books but if you plan on downloading movie videos, plan on taking a long lunch break.
When testing both my old and new HD8 devices from a far corner of my house, the new 2016 HD 8 connected at 65 Mbps but the old 2015 connected at 433 Mbps.
As you can see, the results show how much faster 802.11ac operates.
The new HD 8 has been reduced to the same camera specs as the basic Fire. The camera quality is not as good on the new HD 8 as the old HD 8. Instead of maintaining a 720 HD front-facing camera with a 5 MP rear-facing camera with 1080p HD video recording, the new HD 8 comes with a VGA front-facing camera with a 2 MP rear-facing camera with 720p HD video recording. The quality of the new camera is obviously inferior and it shows when taking pictures. The image inferiority is really obvious when used in indoor settings. There is no flash so the pictures often come out very grainy when used indoors.
This is where the HD 8 shines. Amazon includes Dolby Atmos and dual stereo speakers. The HD 8 has one of the best sounds, both in quality and loudness, as any tablet I own.
UPDATE October 14, 2016. I need to clarify my comment about the sound. The speakers are terrible on all the Fires, including this one. This has become so second nature to me that I always use headphones, bluetooth speakers and occasionally even pair up my device to my Amazon Echo. When connected to an alternate speaker device, the sound quality is excellent.
The volume buttons are placed along the top of the HD 8 along with the power button, the headphone jack and the power receptacle. So all the buttons you would touch are on top. No buttons are on the sides or bottom.
The nice feature of the volume buttons is that they are “sensitive” to the orientation of the tablet. So if you are watching a movie in landscape mode with the volume buttons on the left, the upper button increases volume and the lower button decreases sound. If you flip the tablet 180 degrees so that the buttons are now on the right, most devices will use the same buttons for volume but in order to increase volume, the button you will need to press is now the LOWER button. The Fire HD 8 is smart enough to reverse the functions so that the upper button still increases the volume.
Atmos is a surround sound technology, developed in 2012, that expands upon the current 5.1 and 7.1 set-ups. With Atmos, each speaker has its own feed, enabling new front, surround and ceiling-mounted height channels. I was watching a movie with cheap headphones and thought I heard helicopters fly by my house. It took me a minute to realize that the sound was from the helicopters in the movie. It really sounded like they were coming from the left and moving to the right OVERHEAD. Wow, I was impressed!! (Note: I used Bluetooth headphones to test the Atmos quality of the sound.)
The new 2016 HD 8 location services are only WiFi-based. Some older Fires such as the HDX 7 and the HDX 8.9 also included GPS and a-GPS. Assisted GPS (a-GPS) significantly improved startup performance of a GPS satellite-based positioning system.
What this means is that location services in the new HD 8 really does not exist because there is no GPS location service utilizing satellites. Instead, the device approximates your location based on your WiFi IP address. When WiFi is turned off or not available, apps that utilize location services such as mapping apps do not work. This is a real bummer because I use my older devices in the car while traveling with downloaded maps and would like to replace them with the HD 8. The older Fires work so much better than my phone because of the larger screen size. This was a feature I really miss in the current Fires. I could connect to my car Bluetooth to listen to music and Audible books and receive driving instructions at the same time. I could also set my HERE map app to let me know when I was driving over the speed limit to ensure that my foot didn’t become a little too heavy.
2016 HD 8 is Fire OS 5.3 based on Android 5.1.1, API level 22. 2015 HD8 is based on Android 5.1, API level 22. Effectively, the settings menus are slightly different.
I like the new HD 8. It is a good basic tablet for those who love the Amazon experience. Even though it has some features that have been degraded, overall it is a snappier and brighter tablet at a very reasonable price. I cannot evaluate the Alexa enhancement nor On Deck for Prime members feature as they have not been released for any Amazon Fire yet.
The 8-inch size seems a good balance for those who want only one device. It is slightly larger than the basic Fire but not so cumbersome as the HD 10. If you only want one Amazon tablet, I would recommend this one, especially if you are an avid Amazon prime customer. If you have the older HDX 7 or the 2014 HD 7, it is probably not worth the upgrade unless you are running out of storage space.
If you want a device to read books, I recommend that you get the Paperwhite or the Voyage. They can be read ANYWHERE, even in bright sunlight, have incredible battery life and have a few features specific to reading that are not available on the Fires.
There are some default settings that I change for personal use. All changes are done from the Settings menu. For those who want to know what I prefer, some of the more important changes are:
1) I change the wallpaper. Amazon has some nice pictures but I like my own better.
2) I set the display sleep to 10 minutes instead of the default 5 minutes. I get sidetracked too often so need the extra time so that my display doesn’t go into sleep mode.
3) I set the “Find Your Tablet” to “ON.” You never know if it could be stolen or if you do stupid things like leave your tablet at Starbucks. :-}
4) I turn “Collect App Usage Data” to “OFF.” If you play a lot of games or use certain Amazon Underground apps that require it, you might need to keep this on.
5) I disable auto-correction. Under Personal->Keyboard and Language->Fire Basic Keyboard Settings->Text Correction->Auto-Correction, I select Off. I hate it when I am typing and I don’t catch it when the tablet changes my words because the auto-correction decided on something totally irrelevant.
6) I change my search provider from “Bing” to “Google” under Apps & Games->Amazon Application Settings->Silk Browser->Advanced settings->Search engine
7) I change my Email group into conversations settings. Go to Settings->Conversation Settings->Group Messages Into Conversations and set to “OFF.” Too many times, I can’t tell if I got a reply because it’s buried in the conversation.
8) I also change my “After delete, go to” setting to “Older message.” When I am reading an email and delete it, I prefer to go to the next message instead of back to the list of messages.
9) Under Home Settings, I turn Home Recommendations OFF as well as turning Show Apps on the Recent Page OFF. This helps to remove clutter.
10) On the Home screen, I move my more frequently used apps to the top so that I don’t have to scroll down to find them. The less used ones, I arrange alphabetically so that I can find them as I scroll down.
CAVEAT: The Amazon Fire tablets do not use Google play so many Android applications such as Google maps and a lot of games are not available. There are ways to get around this but I don’t recommend it unless you know what you are doing. I also noted that a few apps on my old tablet do not show up as available on my 2016 HD 8. I use HERE WeGo which is an excellent replacement for Google Maps. Now I don’t have Google maps or HERE. Amazon has its own Map app but it is inferior to the other two.
My HD8 is the 32gb option, with offers. Most users will likely be fine with 16gb and perhaps an added 32gb or 64gb SD card. However, I know how I use my devices, so went with the 32gb option, as well as a 64gb micro SD card. In the 48 hours I have had my new Fire, it has become my device of choice, even over my $500 samsung (more convenient size). I use the large samsung tablet as a computer replacement; whereas the new Fire replaces my two 7 inch tablets as the "go to" device.
Before receiving it, I wasn't sure about the low resolution (1280 x 800) on this tab, but honestly, it's not a problem! Sure, it's not bright and beautiful like my Tab S ... but its crisp, clean, and clear. The colors are sufficient, but not vibrant, sadly. (The comparison photo below is the HD8 (2016) and Fire 7 (2015).
Sound is quite good, with good volume. The speakers are on the left side when portrait, on top (or bottom) in landscape. I prefer them on top. The sound is good enough that you can enjoy a movie without having to use earphones, unless in a noisy environment, in which case you would likely want to use earphones anyway. Music was okay, but I prefer listening through bluetooth headphones for premium quality, and it delivers there also.
Whatever chip is used for the cpu is zippy and responsive. I have tested and used a variety of apps, games, and functions in trying this tablet out, and there has been no lag whatsoever, no hesitation, no hangups. Using the silk browser, surfing the web was quick and easy. At most, there was a half second lag for some graphics heavy pages (note that my high speed router is in my room, but even so, the $50 fire lags, not so this one!)
The only feature that is "less than" on this tablet, are the cameras. The rear facing camera is only 2mp, and photos with it are about what I expected ...slightly pixelated, washed out colors, print is readable but not crisp. It's usable in a pinch, when the alternative is no picture/video, or for reference/documentation; but it's not what you would want to use for travel or family photos that are of importance. For reference photos, pet photos, posting to facebook, it's adequate, but "just".
Battery life is excellent. I multi-task and heavily use tablets, with a lot of twitter (have found it to be battery intensive on all devices); a lot of web use, music streaming, texting (on messenger) and watching you tube. I've already gone through two battery cycles (100% to 15%) and the first one was ten hours (actual use time) and the second nearly 11, so it's very close to the maximum advertised.
Overall, this is a super tablet, and the bargain price makes it that much more so. It has exceeded my expectations and hopes in most all functions, and will be a welcome alternative for throwing in my backpack.
UPDATE: October 30, 2016 The Alexa update was pushed to my device on Oct 29th (verified with amazon customer service) and it "bricked" my tablet, rendering it unusable, will not turn on. After several hours on phone with four reps at customer service, it is being returned for a refund. Replacements are always refurbished items, so I chose refund instead. I still think it's a great tablet, but sometimes there are issues, and in the interest of honesty and full disclosure, needed to add this.
2nd UPDATE: November 10, 2016 Okay, apparently this is the "Goldilocks" of my tablets (just right!) and I could not live without it. By the 10th day without it, I was really, REALLY missing it, so I ordered a new one, this time investing in the extended warranty "just in case". I received the new one today, everything is perfect with it, and it feels so, SO good to have a Fire HD8 back in my hands. I know it sounds silly, but even though the specs of this are less than one of my tablets, and slightly better than two 7" ones - the 7" ones now feel too small, and the 10.5" one I have is just too large for most uses. The 8" Fire is just the right size for everything short of computer replacement. In the few hours of use, I've checked everything out and all is well. I will, however, update again, in about two months, to make sure this review is kept current. Right now, despite the issue with one tablet, it's still at least 4.5 stars in my book, but I won't hesitate to revise if that changes.
3rd Update: December 31, 2016 It's now been 7 weeks with my second Fire HD8 tablet. All is working well, and I now rate it a solid 4 stars. I use the playstore and several google apps on my device, and there are no issues. I also had several apps that frequently updated throughout the day, like periscope, facebook, twitter, news aggregators. With all of these apps, the tablet began lagging badly at least once a day, sometimes twice, and even with an app like Cleansweep on it, I would have to reboot. Finally, I uninstalled periscope and the news aggregators; but kept facebook and twitter and a few others similar. That made a huge difference in the lag. There just isn't enough RAM to handle heavy updating every half hour or so, nor does the tablet recover ram well. I also run 10 email accounts on the tablet (I use "bluemail") and set most of them to sync once daily, just two of them sync every hour. With the tweaks I have done, I am happy with the Fire HD8, and it runs smoothly most of the time.
4th update (and perhaps final) and tips -- April 22, 2017
I use the Fire HD8 daily, all day long, going through a battery cycle a day, sometimes more. With recent firmware updates, my Fire tablet is running smooth and fast, and I very rarely experience any lag. I used to reboot it daily, now I do so once a week or less. Apparently the firmware updates made a difference. I also have tweaked this tablet to the max, and thought I would share a few basic tips. (I really feel like, at this point, I should just write a Fire HD8 guide ... but I digress.)
Get to know your tablet. Go through every single setting and sub setting and sub-sub setting and tweak anything you want. You can always go back and change it later.
Turn off everything automatic, unless it's a feature you like. Turn off: on-deck, adaptive brightness, automatic navigation, recommendations and most notifications. This streamlines the ram usage.
Keyboards are apps, email is an app, if you don't like the ones on the tablet, go to the amazon appstore and install an alternative one.
Reading up on this problem and trying to fix it, lots of people have experience the same issues. I would not buy this again, considering that it's faulty and Amazon won't stand behind their faulty product), but if I did choose to I would purchase the warranty. I took the warranty to be more of a "if I break this" kind of a thing, not a "if the product just stops working for no reason you'll need it" kind of thing. I was wrong.