So, what are the differences between Fire HD 8 Plus (2020) vs Fire HD 8 2020 (10th Gen) vs Fire HD 8 2018 (8th Gen)?
This Fire tablet guide explains the significant differences among Fire HD 8 Plus (2020), Fire HD 8 2020 (10th gen), and Fire HD 2018 (8th Gen) to help you understand the benefits of the improvements.
Update: there is a newer version of Fire HD 8: Fire HD 8 2022 (12th Gen).
Fire HD 8 Plus (2020) vs Fire HD 8 2020 (10th Gen)
Fire HD 8 Plus and Fire HD 8 2020 share identical dimensions and ports. So, the cases for these two tablets are interchangeable. The hardware inside these two tablets is almost identical, with two exceptions (read on).
You can also use the micro SD card as internal storage on both devices as well.
There are two major differences between Fire HD 8 Plus (2020) and Fire HD 8 2020.
Difference 1. Fire HD 8 Plus has a 3GB RAM
Amazon increased the RAM in Fire HD 8 (10 gen)to 2GB (from 1.5GB in previous generations). And Fire HD 8 Plus further increases the RAM to 3GB.
So, Fire HD 8 Plus is the Fire HD tablet with the largest RAM currently. Remember, the latest Fire HD 10 (Fire HD 10 2019) only has 2GB RAM. More RAM is good news for heavy users. Most Android games can be played smoothly.
Difference 2: Fire HD 8 Plus supports wireless charging
Another “plus” feature of Fire HD 8 Plus is Qi wireless charging. Again, Fire HD 8 Plus is the first Amazon tablet with wireless charging. You can put the Fire HD 8 Plus on the wireless charging pad to charge the tablet without using the USB cable.
The benefits of supporting wireless charging include:
- Free up the USB port for other accessories when charging. For example, you can use a USB thumb drive when charging.
- Turn the tablet into Echo Show while sitting on the charging pad. Although Amazon eliminated the requirement of a show mode dock (i.e., you can turn on show mode on Fire HD tablet without any accessories), a standing wireless charging pad (like this one, or this one) can support the tablet and charge it simultaneously.
- More charging options.
Wireless charging is actually a surprise feature of Fire HD 8 Plus because very few tablets (Huawei MatePad Pro, and ancient Google Nexus 7) supported wireless charging.
The two biggest tablet manufacturers, Samsung and Apple, do not offer wireless charging on the tablet.
You may check Fire tablet buyers' guide on whether you may consider the Plus version or the standard version.
Fire HD 8 2020 (10th Gen) vs Fire HD 8 2018 (8th Gen)
Now, let's check the improvements of Fire HD 8 2020 (10th Gen) (vs the 8th Gen). From now on, Fire HD 8 2020 includes the Fire HD 8 Plus model unless specified explicitly.
Fire HD 10 2019 (9th gen) is the first Fire tablet with USB-C. Fire HD 10 2021 (11th gen) and Fire HD 10 Plus also come with a USB-C port. Now, on the 10th Gen Fire HD 8, Amazon finally ditched the micro-USB and adopted the modern and versatile USB-C. USB-C allows you to use more accessories, although Amazon only implemented basic USBN Type C specs. The advantages of USB-C (discussed in this post) include:
- The connector is symmetric. You can easily insert the cable into the port without turning on the light.
- More protocols can be supported.
- You can use more USB accessories without needing USB-OTG.
- You may charge the tablet faster (read on) with a standard charger with USB-C Power Delivery.
- You may charge the tablet with other USB-C devices if you want.
For most Fire HD tablet owners, the most significant advantage is 15W fast charging (read on).
Fire HD 8 2020 uses a faster (up to 2.0 GHz) MediaTek MT8168 chipset. The raw clock speed is about 30% faster than the 1.5G Hz MediaTek MT8163. Therefore, Amazon claimed the 10th Gen Fire HD 8 is 30% faster. Of course, in the real world, performance improvement is gained with improved GPU and more RAM (read on). In the 12th Gen of Fire 7 (2022), Amazon also opted for this CPU.
Traditionally, Amazon equipped 1GB RAM on Fire HD 7, 1.5GB on Fire HD 8, and 2GB on Fire HD 10. Now, on Fire HD 8 2020 (10th Gen), Amazon increased the RAM to 2GB. Although it is still dwarfed by the 8-12GB RAM in some flagship smartphones, it marks a 30% increment. On Fire HD 8 Plus, as mentioned earlier, Amazon doubled the RAM to 3GB. In fact, for most Fire HD 8 owners, increasing the RAM gives more benefits than bumping up the CPU speed. You can also use the split-screen multi-window features for more apps.
Fire HD 8 2020 offers two storage options: 32GB and 64GB, which doubles the storage option for Fire HD 8 2018. Of course, it is easy to use a micro SD card to expand the storage on Fire HD tablets, but the speed of internal storage is always faster than the fastest micro SD card in the market.
Fire OS 7
Fire HD 8 2020 was released with Fire OS 7, which is based on Android Pie (Android 9). Fire HD 8 2018 was released with Fire OS 6 and can now be updated to the same version of Fire OS 7. However, Amazon does not offer to update Fire OS 7 to Fire OS 8.
Fire HD 8 2020 (10th Gen) added the WiFi 5 (802.11ac) support. So, you can expect faster WiFi connections if your router supports WiFI 802.11ac.
Bluetooth 5.0LE support is added to Fire HD 8 2020 (10th Gen). Theoretically, you can get more reliable Bluetooth connections in the broader range. And more accessories work with the tablet. Please note that Amazon did not implement the dual audio feature (playing audio on two connected devices simultaneously).
Support micro SD card up to 1TB
On the previous generation of Fire HD 8, you can use a micro SD card up to 400 GB. Now, you can use a micro SD card up to 1TB on the 10th Gen of Fire HD 8. Please note, with Fire OS 7, you can use the micro SD card as internal storage (adoptable storage), as explained here.
Thanks to the USB-C port, Fire HD 8 2020 (10th Gen), Fire HD 8 Plus, and Fire HD 10 2019 (9th Gen) support “fast” charging up to 15W. But there is a catch. The bundled charger is only 9W. And you need to get a 15W (or higher) wall charger. And here is the second catch. You must use a USB-C wall charger that supports USB Power Delivery (PD). FYI. Almost all USB-C chargers in the market support the USB PD. And here is the third (and the last) catch. You need to use a USB-C to USB-C cable to get the 15W charging. In the box, Amazon only offers you a USB-A to USB-C cable. So, you need to get: 1). a USB-C to USB-C cable (like this one); and 2). a USB-C wall charger with 15W or higher output (like this one). Please check this guide on how to use fast charging on Fire HD 8 2020 (10th Gen), Fire HD 8 Plus, and Fire HD 10 2029 (9th Gen).
Do you have any questions on the differences between Fire HD 8 Plus (2020) vs Fire HD 8 2020 (10th Gen) vs Fire HD 8 2018 (8th Gen)?
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