Amazon Fire tablet (Fire 7, Fire HD 8, and Fire HD 10) is the most affordable Android tablet on the planet. Fire tablet buyer’s guide 2022 help you decide:
- Is a Fire tablet right for me?
- Which Fire tablet is for me?
- How to get the best deal on a Fire tablet.
In this Fire tablet buyer’s guide 2022, I will first explain the difference between the Fire tablet and the Android tablet, when you may consider buying a Fire tablet, and when you should not consider the Fire tablet at all. The current (2022) models of Amazon Fire tablets are compared to explain the differences among these available models in 2022. You can then decide whether you should get the 7″ Fire 7 or 8″ and 10″ HD tablet based on your budget usage, portability, and special needs.
Fire tablet buyer’s guide 2022 also explains what are the additional features or upgrades in the Plus version for Fire HD 8 and Fire HD 10. Kids edition is also discussed in detail so that you may know whether you should consider it.
This Fire tablet buyer’s guide 2022 finally explains why you should not buy a Fire tablet of the old generation and why you should avoid the refurbished Fire tablet.
Difference between the Fire tablet and the Android tablet
Amazon Fire tablet is not exactly an Android tablet, although it is often quoted as the most affordable Android tablet.
Amazon Fire tablet differs from a “normal” Android tablet in a few aspects, including:
- No official Google Play Store access. The official app store is Amazon’s Appstore, whose app pool is less than 1/10 of Google Play.
- No Google-related apps, for example, Gmail, YouTube, Photos, and Chrome.
- Some Android apps may not work with the Fire tablet.
- You cannot change the default launcher (unless you sideload Google Play Store).
- Some default apps cannot be changed in Fire OS.
Amazon actually purposely created the “incompatibility” with Android. They want you to use Amazon services ONLY, instead of Google’s.
The Fire OS, which is based on Android, removes almost all Google-related services and replaces them with Amazon’s. This is not an issue when you replace Chrome with Silk browser.
But when coming to the app store. Amazon not only adds its Appstore but also disables Google Play. And to block Google Play, the whole Google Play Framework, including some security and privacy features, has to be removed or blocked.
And this is the source of all problems.
Android allows the co-existence of the vendor’s App Store and Google Play Store. For example, on all Samsung phones and tablets, you can find both Samsung’s Galaxy Store and Google Play.
Anyway, the Fire tablet is NOT designed as an Android tablet. Instead, it is designed as an Amazon device.
Who may consider a Fire tablet?
As an Amazon device, the Fire tablet is an important component of Amazon ecosystem.
You may consider a Fire tablet, if
- You are an Amazon Prime member or are considering it.
- You own a lot of content on Amazon. Although all content can be accessed from an Android tablet or iPad, the Fire tablet offers centralized access.
- You need a tablet for entertainment and reading, not for work.
- You need a tablet for your kids or grandma.
- You are considering Amazon Kids+, which is an excellent add-on to the Fire tablet if the tablet is for young kids (younger than 13).
- You are comfortable with sideloading apps. If you need any Google services, you have to sideload the Google Play store.
- Your budget is very limited. With a comparable configuration and performance, you cannot find a better deal than the Fire tablet.
Although Amazon enjoys a cosy relationship with Microsoft and all Office apps are available for the Fire tablet, we seldom recommend the Fire tablet for business use for two reasons:
- You need an Amazon account for the Fire tablet. The integration of the Amazon account in Fire OS is mainly for home use.
- You very likely need some Google services for your work.
Of course, if you just need a tablet for Zoom (or Teams) meetings and/or editing/sharing office documents, yes, the Fire tablet is sufficient and can be considered.
Although you can sideload Google Play Store and some Google apps to the Fire tablet (as explained in this guide), it is not recommended for business use. There are possibly some unknown compatible issues.
Please continue on this Fire tablet buyer’s guide 2022 to see which Fire tablet is for you.
Who should NOT consider a Fire tablet?
The Amazon Fire tablet is probably not for you, if:
- You need a tablet with mobile data connectivity. All Fire tablets are WiFi only.
- You need a tablet for work that requires some sort of Google services.
- You need a performance tablet for games. The Fire tablet is “just enough” for casual games. Heavy mobile games normally require resources beyond the Fire tablet.
- You are not an Amazon customer. The Fire tablet requires an Amazon account.
- You need to use a few apps that are not compatible with Fire OS.
- You sometimes need to take some photos with the tablet. The front and rear cameras on the Fire tablet are very basic. They are generally good enough for video calls, but normally not good for photos.
- You have more than $220 to spend on the tablet. The most expensive Fire tablet currently is the 64GB version of Fire HD 10 Plus. The list price is $219.99. Normally, you can get it at a lower price.
Anyway, the Fire tablet is not for everyone. It depends on your needs and preferences.
The current models and variations of the Fire Tablet
In this section of Fire Tablet Buyer’s Guide 2022, we now compare the current models of Fire tablet in 2022. We do not recommend you to buy older versions or refurbished Fire tablets (explained in the last two sections of the Fire Tablet Buyer’s Guide 2022 below).
Amazon currently offers 3 base models of the Fire tablet:
- Fire 7.
- Fire HD 8.
- Fire HD 10.
The Kids Edition is available on all these 3 models with a 2-year hardware warranty, kid-proof case, and one-year Amazon Kids+ subscription. We will discuss it later in this guide.
Fire HD 8 and Fire HD 10 offer the “Plus” edition with some hardware upgrades. Fire HD 10 and Fire HD 10 Plus are also offered as a Productivity bundle, which will be discussed in a separate section of this Fire Tablet Buyer’s Guide 2022 (read on).
The following table compares the current models and variations of the Fire Tablet in 2022.
|Features/model||Fire 7||Fire HD 8,|
Fire HD8 Plus
|Fire HD 10,|
Fire HD 10 Plus
|Fire OS version||8||7||7|
|Screen resolution||1024 x 600|
|1280 X 800 |
|1920 X 1080 |
|CPU||Quad-core 2.0 GHz|
|Quad-core 2.0 GHz|
|Octa-core 2.0 GHz|
|GPU||Mali-G52 3EE MC1||Mali-G52 3EE MC1||Mali-G72 MP3|
|SD card support||up to 1TB||up to 1TB||up to 1TB|
|USB Port||USB-C (2.0)||USB-C (2.0)||USB-C (2.0)|
|Battery life||10 hours||12 hours||12 hours|
|Charging time with|
|USB-C fast charging||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Wireless charging||No||Plus version only||Plus version only|
|WiFi||Dual-band, WiFi 5|
|Dual-band, WiFi 5|
|Dual-band, WiFi 5|
|Bluetooth||5.0 LE||5.0 LE||5.0 LE|
|Location Services||WiFi (no GPS)||WiFi (no GPS)||WiFi (no GPS)|
x 117.59 mm
x 9.67 mm
|202 mm |
x 137 mm
x 9.7 mm
x 9.2 mm
|Weight||282 g||355 g||465 g|
|List price||from $59.99||from $89.99||from $149.99|
|Feature/Model||Fire 7||Fire HD 8|
Fire HD 8 Plus
|Fire HD 10|
Fire HD 10 Plus
We will update this table if any new Fire tablets are released.
What are the considering factors when buying a Fire tablet?
Once you plan to buy a tablet, you need to consider a few factors. The Fire tablet buyer’s guide 2022 considers the following 4 factors
- Your budget.
- Your intended usage.
- Portability requirements.
- Special needs.
The Fire tablet is the most affordable tablet on the planet, up to now. Period.
A $329 budget for the cheapest iPad allows you to buy one Fire 7+ one Fire HD 8 + one Fire HD 10 at the full list price. You still have another $29 cash in your pocket.
Even Samsung’s cheapest Tab A7 Lite (2GB/32GB/WiFi) is 77.7% higher than Fire HD 8, based on the list price.
As mentioned, the most “expensive” Fire tablet is Fire HD 10 Plus, whose price tag is $179.99.
For all Amazon devices, you should not buy them at the list price unless you need them urgently. Every year, Amazon offers huge (usually 20-40%) discounts on the Fire tablet at least a few times a year. So, you just pay attention to the price change.
Of course, we recommend you purchase the “current” version. The reason is explained in the section (below) “About buying older generations of Fire tablets” of this Fire Tablet Buyer’s Guide 2022.
You need to buy a tablet because you want to use it for something.
The Fire tablet normally is good enough for the following usage:
- Browse websites.
- Read books.
- Watch videos.
- Listen to music or audiobooks.
- Play games.
- Online shopping
- Online learning.
- Edit office documents.
- Video or conferencing calls.
- Reply emails.
- Use social network apps.
The Fire tablet usually is a bit underpowered for the following usages:
- Edit photos/videos.
- Play heavy games.
- Take photos.
- Record videos.
Fire OS stripped almost all Google-related features. Although you may sideload the Google Play store and some Google apps to the Fire tablet, there may be some unknown issues. So, it is not recommended to use sideloaded Google services for your business. A cheap Samsung tablet should give fewer troubles with Google-related apps.
In addition to some unknown issues with Google services, some Google features will not work on the Fire tablet. For example,
- Family Link child and teen.
- YouTube Kids. The YouTube app should work on the Fire tablet, but not the YourTube Kids.
Another perspective of usage is who is going to use it.
Amazon Fire tablet is very user-friendly, especially for the non-tech-savvy. It simply works without confusing settings and unnecessary tweaks. The parental control (Amazon Kids) on the device also makes it a good option for kids.
So, the Fire tablet is generally good for:
- Kids who require parental control.
- Users who want that the gadget just works without fiddling around.
Amazon Kids (old name: Amazon FreeTime) does not require a subscription and is free. Amazon Kids+ adds a subscription to age-appropriate books, audiobooks, apps, and videos for kids.
The size and weight determine how you can carry the tablet around.
All of the Fire tablets weights less than 500g. So, it is usually not a big issue if you carry it in the backpack. There are no big differences in size and weight among current tablets in the market.
However, if you plan to carry it in a smaller bag, you need to consider the 7″, 8″ and 10″ form factors.
You need to know whether you have any special needs for the tablet.
For example, you may want to use your bank app on the tablet. Very likely, the app is not available in Amazon Appstore. If you check the app in the Google Play Store, you may find it is not available either if you check it from the Fire tablet.
Some apps, especially some banking apps, or streaming apps, maintain a list of compatible devices for the app in the Google Play store. You cannot easily sideload them, and they usually will not work if you sideload them.
Some users may need some special accessibility settings. Such settings available in the stock Android may be stripped or altered in Fire OS.
Anyway, it is important to check whether you have any special needs for apps and accessibility features.
When to consider Fire 7?
Fire 7 is the smallest and the cheapest Fire tablet.
Traditionally, the Fire 7 is in the category of the under-$50 tablet. But the current model (12th Gen) is priced at $59.99, which is $10 higher than previous generations.
The $10 price increase actually narrows the gap between Fire 7 and Fire HD 8 considerably. For the 32GB model, the price difference between Fire 7 and Fire HD 8 (11th Gen) is only $10.
You may consider Fire 7 when:
- You want to get a tablet as small as possible. But it should be large enough to read books and watch videos.
- Your budget is really very tight.
For the current generation of Fire 7, as mentioned earlier, the 32GB version is actually not attractive as the 32GB version of Fire HD 8. With $10 more, you will get a better (and bigger) screen and better sound. of course, Fire HD 8 will be a bit heavier.
Please note, if you mainly use the tablet to read books and check social networks, the 7″ screen is good enough.
When to consider Fire HD 8
Fire HD 8 is a versatile tablet. It is generally small enough to put in most bags so that it is easy to carry it around with you. It is not so heavy (355g). The screen is big enough to enjoy HD movies.
Also, Fire HD 8 screen has a 16:10 aspect ratio. This increases the usable screen area noticeably compared to an 8″ screen with a 16:9 aspect ratio (as in Fire 7 and Fire HD 10).
You may consider Fire HD 8 when
- A 10″ tablet is a bit too big to carry around.
- You do not want to spend more than $100 on a tablet.
- You spend a lot of time reading books on the tablet.
- You spend a lot of time watching videos on the tablet alone.
Fire HD 8 is the most practical tablet to enjoy Amazon content: books, music, videos, games, and audiobooks.
When to consider Fire HD 10
Fire HD 10 is the biggest tablet in the line. It is generally the fastest among the Fire tablet.
The full HD resolution of a 10″ IPS screen is good enough for everything. You really do not need a higher resolution.
You may consider Fire HD 10 when
- You do not mind the size and weight of a “normal” tablet.
- You need a big screen for your documents and Excel sheets.
- You want to enjoy videos with your kids together.
- You spend a lot of time watching videos on the tablet.
- You spend a lot of time editing documents on the tablet.
- You need to open some PDF documents on the tablet.
The Fire HD 10 is a general-purpose tablet. But it is slightly too bulky for reading Kindle books.
When to consider the Plus version
Amazon offers the Plus version of Fire HD 8 and Fire HD 10.
The two features added to the Plus version are:
- 1GB more RAM. So, Fire HD 8 Plus gets 3GB RAM and Fire HD 10 Plus gets 4GB RAM.
- Wireless charging. Qi wireless charging was added to charge the tablet battery without using the USB-C port.
For Fire HD 8 Plus, another upgrade is the include 9W wall charger. 5W charger is a standard configuration for Fire HD 8. Please note, Fire HD 8 also supports 9W and higher (up to 15W) charging. The difference between Fire HD 8 and Fire HD 8 Plus is only the included charger.
Both Fire HD 10 and Fire HD 10 Plus come with a 9W wall charger in the box.
1GB more RAM is very useful if you need to switch among a few apps frequently. It also makes most games faster.
Wireless charging adds one more way to charge the tablet. But you cannot use wireless charging and USB cable charging concurrently. If you already have a wireless charger, or you may need to use the USB port for other accessories (e.g., a USB thumb drive), you will find wireless charging useful.
So, you need to check whether you actually need the two additional features for a price of $20 (for Fire HD 8 Plus) or $30 (for Fire HD 10 Plus).
When to consider the Kids edition
Amazon offers the Kids edition (Kids and Kids Pro) of Fire 7, Fire HD 8, and Fire HD 10, for an additional $50. This Fire tablet buyer’s guide 2022 will try to explain what you get for the $50 and whether you should consider it or not.
Kids and Kid Pro: what is the difference?
Do NOT confuse the Kids Pro with the Pro version of the tablet discussed earlier. They are totally unrelated.
Kids version is for kids aged 3-7. In comparison, Kids Pro is for kids aged 6-12.
The tablet hardware is exactly identical. The differences between Kids and Kids pro are:
- The case/cover is different.
- Whether the home screen theme can be customized.
- Whether digital store can be accessed.
- Whether only handpicked websites can be browsed.
The Kids version comes with a bumper-style protective case; while the Kids Pro version comes with a slim protective case. Of course, the bumper-style case offers more protection. But it looks very bulky. Bigger kids may prefer the slim case. Both covers are well designed.
The last 3 differences are mainly in the default parental controls. You can overwrite them in the parental control settings. Or you can adjust the kid’s age to change these settings automatically.
The Kids Edition tablet requires a parent Amazon account. Parents can use the tablet as a normal Fire tablet. Kids will only access content added to them and Amazon Kids+ content (subscription).
What do you get for the $50?
In the Kids edition, you essentially get the following 3 items for the $50:
- A kid-proof case (MSRP: $29.99).
- One-year subscription to Amazon Kids+ (MSRP: $4.99/month or $48/year for Prime members and $7.99/month or $79/year for non-Prime members)
- Two-year worry-free guarantee (not sold separately).
Amazon claims you will save $70 if you buy separately. But it seems Amazon does not sell the 2-year worry-free warranty separately. The $7.99 2-year accidental Accident Protection Plan is totally a different story.
Anyway, if you are not a Prime member and subscribe monthly, yes, the claim is legit.
The protective case is decent and offers excellent protection for the tablet. The 2-year worry-free guarantee is, of course, a nice option for devices to be used by kids.
Please note, Amazon simplified Amazon Kids+ subscriptions in June/July 2022. All subscriptions include unlimited access for up to 4 kid profiles. The single child plan and Family plan were no longer available.
The one-year Amazon Kids+ subscription cannot be stacked with the existing subscription. So,
- If you are paying the Amazon Kids+ subscription monthly or annually, the subscription will be cancelled with a pro-rated refund. The free one-year Amazon Kids+ subscription starts.
- If you are currently enjoying the free one-year Amazon Kids+ (e.g., comes with Echo Dot Kids), then the existing subscription will be cancelled without a refund, and the new one-year Amazon Kids+ subscription starts. Your existing Amazon Kids+ subscription will be forfeited, not extended.
So, if you plan to get a tablet and Amazon Kids+ for your kids, then yes, it saves you money to get the Kids edition.
Remember you do NOT need Amazon Kids+ subscription if you only need parental controls. Amazon Kids is free.
So, if you do not need Amazon Kids+, then the Kids Edtion is probably not a good choice. It saves you money to buy the normal Fire tablet and case separately.
You may check our Amazon Kids+ guide (coming soon) for more details on how to maximize the benefits of Amazon Kids+.
When to consider the Productivity bundle for the Fire tablet
Amazon offers a “productivity bundle” for Fire HD 10 and Fire HD 10 Plus. It will cost you $70 more than buying the tablet only.
This Fire Tablet Buyer’s Guide 2022 will check whether you should spend an additional $70 for it.
The productivity bundle includes:
- The tablet (Fire HD 10 or Fire HD 10 Plus).
- A Bluetooth keyboard with detachable case (MSRP: $49.99)
- 12-month subscription to Microsoft 365 Personal. (MSRP: $69.99, usually $58.99).
So, if you need both the Bluetooth keyboard (see this guide on how to use it) and Microsoft 365, then you may consider buying them as the productivity bundle. It saves you about $40 compared to purchasing them separately. The Bluetooth keyboard is surprisingly good at that price point. You can also use some special keys and shortcuts tailored for Fire HD 10 tablet.
However, if you do not need the Microsoft 365 subscription, or you do not like the Bluetooth keyboard, then you should not consider the productivity bundle. It saves you money to buy the tablet and accessories separately.
About buying older generations of Fire tablet
When a new generation of the Fire tablet is released, Amazon may want to clear the stock of the previous generation.
We do not recommend our readers to buy older generations of Fire tablets, although the price may be enticing.
For example, for Fire HD 10, the current version is Fire HD 10 Gen 11, released in 2021. The previous generation is Fire HD 10 9th Gen, released in 2019. Although the list price of these two models did not change, the specs improved a lot in the newer version, as explained in this guide. So do not be trapped in the high discount for the previous generation (Fire HD 10 2019 in this case).
You should always buy the current (latest) generation of the Fire tablet for better performance and longer security updates. Amazon promised a 4-year security update after they stop selling the device on Amazon as a new one (not refurbished). So this means the current model usually has at least one or two years longer security updates because Amazon refreshes each model every 2 to 3 years.
About buying a refurbished Fire tablet
Thanks to the generous returning policy, Amazon gets a lot of returning Fire tablets.
Of course, most of these Fire tablets will end up in other users’ hands as a replacement or a “refurbished” device.
Amazon usually offers a high (sometimes more than 50%) discount for these Fire Tablets.
Although the pricing is enticing, you probably should stay away from these deals unless your budget is extremely limited.
There are a couple of reasons against buying a refurbished Fire tablet:
- They are usually not the current generation Fire tablet.
- Some of them have been proven to be problematic. The problem that the previous owner faced may come again sooner or later. The rectifying and certification process often fails to detect some defects.
- Although you get a one-year limited warranty, it is troublesome to return and get another refurbished device. This explains a few owners keep getting faulty replacements.
Of course, we believe Amazon maintains a high standard for refurbished products. And they usually honour the warranty without issues
But a tablet has hundreds of electric components. Some issues can only be triggered after actual usage, not a lab test.
Anyway, you may consider the refurbished Fire tablet only if you are constrained by your budget. If the device works without issues, it could be a good deal.
Do you have any questions about the Fire Tablet Buyer’s Guide 2022?
If you have any questions about the Fire Tablet Buyer’s Guide 2022 or need help buying a Fire tablet, please let us know in the comment box below. The community will try to help you.
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