If you need barely extra energy, there’s additionally the Fire HD 8 Plus ($150), which provides 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 additional RAM could be very welcome, however the distinction right here is just not as noticeable as it’s with the 10-inch Fire HD Plus. If you wish to get actual work executed, you are able to do it on the the 10-inch Fire HD, however neither mannequin of the Fire HD 8 will be just right for you.
Along with the Plus mannequin, Amazon has fairly just a few different bundles, just like the Fire HD 8 Kids models, which function protecting instances, some additional software program, and content material bundles together with parental controls. There’s additionally now a gaming bundle that comes with a Luna controller ($169), although given the restrictions of Fire OS, I am unable to think about this interesting to many players.
Therein lies the principle rub with Fire tablets—Amazon’s software program.
Out of the field, Amazon’s Fire tablets supply 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 might be confronted with an onslaught of adverts and dark-patterned designs engineered to get you clicking on stuff, particularly when you go for the ad-supported fashions. Just do not. Spend the additional $20 to free your self from a few of the adverts. 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 worth 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 remains to be two full variations behind inventory Android. Other than the app-switching display and few minor theme particulars, I couldn’t inform a lot of a distinction. Fire OS nonetheless provides the identical primary expertise, which is not essentially dangerous, however is restricted by its app retailer.
Out of the field, Fire HD 8 tablets don’t supply any Google apps or any entry to the Google Play retailer. The choice within the Amazon app retailer is what you would possibly name missing. Want to look at 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 evident omission. My suggestion can be that if in case you have particular apps you wish to use, browse Amazon’s app retailer before you purchase to verify what you need is accessible (if in case you have an Android gadget, you may obtain and browse Amazon’s app retailer 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 users who’ve acquired a software program replace to Fire OS 18.104.22.168 declare that they’ve been capable of set up and use Google Play. My evaluation unit is thus far caught at Fire OS 22.214.171.124, which, I can verify, will set up the Google Play Store itself, however doesn’t help you log in and set up any apps from it. I’ll replace our information with data on how you can do it as soon as I can verify that it really works. At some level, you doubtless will have the ability to 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 need a small, inexpensive gadget 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 when you can afford it, the 10-inch model provides a significantly better general expertise and stays our high decide. If you actually wish to rating a deal, look ahead to the following Prime Day to roll round, when, usually, Amazon’s Fire tablets could be had for half-price.