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Android Software Hardware Technology

Amazon Refreshes Fire 7 and Fire HD 8 Tablets (betanews.com) 28

BrianFagioli quotes a report from BetaNews: Amazon's tablets have needed a refresh for a while now, and today it happened. The company announced two newly updated models -- the Fire 7 ($49) and the Fire HD 8 ($79). They both feature Alexa support, of course, and are designed for a quality experience with all types of media, such as movies, music, and books. The 7-inch has a 1024 x 600 resolution, while the 8-inch variant has 1280 x 800. Best of all, they are extremely affordable. At these insanely low prices, you might expect anemic performance, but both come with a respectable Quad-core 1.3 GHz processor. The Fire 7 has 1GB of RAM, while the HD 8 has 1.5GB. Regardless of which model you select, you will also get both front and rear cameras. The low cost might make you think they will be cheaply made, but Amazon claims they are more durable than Apple's newest iPad.
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Amazon Refreshes Fire 7 and Fire HD 8 Tablets

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  • Woweee! That totally puts my existing 1920x1080 Kindle Fire 7 inch tablet to shame!

    • by crow ( 16139 )

      Yup. That's shockingly low resolution. Amazon is cutting corners to go cheap. Other obvious shortcuts include:

      2MP rear camera and VGA front camera--that's a front camera that's even lower resolution than the screen!

      RAM is only 1GB. That's very limiting these days.

      Still, at $50, it's not a horrible device for kids.

      • It's also not a horrible device for adults. It's a great "oh, well, I lost it" machine.

        I have a Fire 7 from last year, and it's really a decent device. Not for serious work, but for watching videos and such. Slap a memory card in it and you can kill a lot of time with no risk to a more expensive machine.

        Heck, for older stuff, it's not like you need a lot of resolution. I have a bunch of old TV shows and movies that came off of DVD, and you don't require
        a 1920x1080 screen when the content is natively 640 x 4

      • Its not a horrible device for adults either.

    • I thought their whole idea was as books. My Verizon Ellipsis 10 contains all my books
  • We now return you to your regularly scheduled news program

  • by slaker ( 53818 ) on Wednesday May 17, 2017 @08:01PM (#54438041)

    FireOS does not include access to the Play Store, but adding it is really just a matter of installing three APKs and signing in to your Google account if you feel like you really need it. The Amazon App store does have some pretty big holes in it; Firefox isn't available in it, for example.
    Amazon devices have nice, bright screens and good battery life in their favor. They also have a fairly straightforward launcher. I'd also put forth that Amazon FreeTime is a pretty good sandbox kid mode, but Amazon did finally make it available outside its own devices as of a few weeks ago. No, these things aren't $400 super-premium tablets. But for the money, it's hard to complain about what Amazon is selling. These guys are worlds nicer than $50 No-name Chinese knock off devices.

    Down side is that they're hard to root. The default launcher doesn't support widgets (not that I miss them) and has a somewhat limited subset of configurable options compared to Android + the Play Framework. But I've bought these for my nieces and since they do Youtube and Minecraft for cheap, all is well.

    • by jabuzz ( 182671 )

      The Freetime sandbox mode has two huge holes in it for kids. For some reason Plex is not allowed to use the SD card for synced content, but if you copy content onto the SD card then VLC will play it fine. Right pain in the backside as for little ones you need to copy the content they want over for them, where they could have done it themselves from the Plex interface.

      The other problem is the nightime (aka no blue light) bit does not work when in the Freetime sandbox. This is an even bigger WTF.

      However as yo

    • by unrtst ( 777550 )

      I'm not a fan of how locked down these are, nor the steps to get play store, or play store apps, onto the device. You note that you just have to install a few apk's. The problem is, all the howto's for this point to various 3rd party sites to get the apk's. For example: https://www.howtogeek.com/2327... [howtogeek.com]
      That has you get them from apkmirror.com

      All the directions read like an email from the early 90's that's trying to get you to download and run something to install a virus.

      Where are the steps to verify these

  • I thought the article would say they're refreshing MY Kindle so it will actually do something again.
  • Now they just need to add a wireless charger so I can use it for an alarm clock in addition to late night reading. How many USB ports? If I decide to use it for Alexa I'm going to have to hook it up for an external microphone preferably with a mockup of HAL so I know I'm going recorded but I'll also need power to be plugged it. If it only has one USB then I'd need a powered HUB designed for android in addition to this. Unless I used Bluetooth/Mic/and Speakers.... hmmmm Nah, bluetooth sound isn't as good

    • by rossdee ( 243626 )

      I already have a (last years modek) HD 8 that has a faster processor and an ED slot so I can yse it as a music plater as well as an Ereader
      The HD8 is fine but its too big for my pocket
      I don't need a camera

  • Amazon Fire HD 8 already had 1280x800 8" screen and 1.5GHz Mediatek CPU.
    • On the 7:
      1mm thinner and 18g lighter and has a 7in display with higher contrast than before thanks to a new polarising filter.

      Battery life is now up to eight hours rather than seven, and there's dual-band instead of single-band 802.11n

      Probably similar on the 8, so not much!

    • It fact the cpu and camera on the new 8 seem to have been downgraded to as on the 7.

    • Amazon Fire HD 8 already had 1280x800 8" screen and 1.5GHz Mediatek CPU.

      A US $10 price cut to $80 and the MicroSD slot can now handle cards up to 256GB, from 128GB.

  • After being rather satisfied with how well Amazon's 2nd gen Fire Stick runs Kodi, I figured one of their tablets might be equally as good for portable viewing of H.265 (HEVC) content. Until I looked at the specs, that is.

    If you want to watch full HD video, these tablets are absolute turds.

  • My ipad 2 is really slow since the last update I was able to apply. Previously it was absolutely great to bring on trips to watch videos, do some browsing and emailing, yet now I only use it as a wake up alarm. Of course a current gen (or soon upcoming) ipad is more powerful and integrates nicely with my other apple devices and icloud photo syncing etc, but a Fire HD8 seems sufficient for my use case at a much lower cost.
    Hence, thinking about saving a few hundred dollars with this FireHD8, at the expense
  • For such a shockingly low price, you might think that they'll burst into flame at any moment, but both come with a sealed compartment to keep the flames in. And in case your eyebrows were furrowed with concern that a tablet costing less than an avocado toast might wake up in the middle of the night to consume the flesh of your children, Amazon claims that their tablets are checked for hexes, curses, and rabies before leaving the factory, unlike Apple's iPad line.

  • These Fire tablets are silly and no good replacements for a proper Kindle. What the world needs, is an updated version of the 9.7" Kindle DX. Mine broke, and my two other Kindles are not suitable for reading technical documents or stuff with lots of tables. We need a big-screen Kindle and we need it now. #rantmode=off #sony-DPT-RP1_looks_really_good_at_700$

  • I have the 4th generation 6" Fire Tablet. It's getting a little long in the tooth but it works fine, has the same quad core CPU. But down to 3.9GB on the device.

I tell them to turn to the study of mathematics, for it is only there that they might escape the lusts of the flesh. -- Thomas Mann, "The Magic Mountain"

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