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Amazon Fire 7 Tablet review: ultimate economy is both a blessing and a curse

Amazon Fire 7 Tablet review: ultimate economy is both a blessing and a curse

With the Amazon Fire 7 Tablet, Amazon has an extremely inexpensive tablet for adults and children. We'll tell you whether it is worth the compromise on performance for these huge savings. A little spoiler: that's not a lot in terms of hardware, but it's different in terms of software.

Rating

Good

  • Low price
  • Good battery life
  • Infinite content
  • Practical cover
  • Kids Edition: Suitable for children of all ages

Bad

  • Old-fashioned design
  • Scant equipment
  • Poor performance
  • Poor display
  • No "real" Android

Amazon Fire 7 (9. Generation) release date and price

The Amazon Fire 7 with 16 GB of internal memory and Amazon advertising just $100 - it really couldn't be much cheaper. The Kids Edition comes with an extremely robust case and a two-year worry-free warranty. If the tablet breaks down during this period, no matter what, you can simply send it in and get a new one.

 

A design from the old times - but not the GOOD old times

At the first sight of Amazon Fire 7, you inevitably wonder if time has stood still. With the extremely bold bezels around the display, the plain plastic back and the outdated micro-USB port, the Amazon tablet looks like a device from the early days of the tablet - the Google Nexus 7 sends its greetings! It's barely a centimeter thick but not as light you might think from its size. The workmanship is ok, but the Amazon Fire 7 doesn't look high quality . With the extremely tightly calculated price, however, this is no wonder.

Amazon offers different covers for the tablet, and these make the whole thing more attractive. The case can also be used to stand the Fire 7 up, either horizontally or vertically. The thick cover of the Kids Edition protects the Fire 7 in every situation but also makes it incredibly bulky. The folding stand in the case is enormously practical and looks very stable.

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No beauty from behind either. / © AndroidPIT

The display of the Fire 7 is sufficient, nothing more

The screen of the Amazon Fire 7 is - as the name suggests - 7 inches large. The resolution is 1,024 x 600 pixels and thus does not even reach 720p. The pixel density of the LCD panel is 170 ppi. It's not very sharp on paper, and you can see it in real life. The display is a little pixelated, not particularly sharp and also not excessively bright. The viewing angle stability is mediocre. That all doesn't sound particularly immersive, and unfortunately that's true. For a TV series on the road that's enough for me, but nobody will be able to enjoy blockbusters movies on this display. For reading books on the Kindle app, the screen, which is rather warm in color, is quite suitable.

One remote control for the complete Amazon offer

The Amazon Fire 7 Tablet runs Fire OS, the AOSP (Android Open Source Project) based version of Android. The current version Fire OS 6.3.1.2 is still based on Android 7, but is regularly updated by Amazon with security updates. Official Google apps are missing as well as the Google Play Store. Amazon, however, has its own alternative apps on board for everything. And the trump card: all Amazon content. And all of it, from games to countless movies, videos, series and books to music. Anyone who is an Amazon Prime customer and makes extensive use of Amazon's streaming offer will get their money's worth here. Alexa's on board too, of course.

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The Fire 7 Kids Edition has its own interface for children. / © AndroidPIT

The Fire 7 is like a remote control for the complete Amazon range. This defines the target group very precisely: t hose who only use Amazon from time to time for shopping will probably want to skip this device. After all, there isn't even a YouTube app, but a browser has to be used for it. But those who know the Amazon universe like the back of their hand and access all the content anyway, have it gathered here in one place, and for extremely little cost.

In the Kids Edition, you can fine-tune the tablet for each child that will use it. Via the web interface you can define exactly who can do what, when and for how long with the Fire 7 Kids Edition. It's really good and it doesn't cost any extra. What else is practical is that with the normal account, parents can use it just like the regular Fire 7.

Amazon Fire 7 is very weak

Our normal benchmarks tests do not run on Amazon Fire 7. But that's not too bad, because the values would be pretty awful anyway. With the 1.3 GHz fast quad-core processor from Mediatek and 1 GB RAM, the Amazon tablet is extremely weak and that leads to the performance being pretty lame . The Amazon Fire 7 allowed itself longer and longer thinking times in my test again and again. Sometimes it does not react and takes extremely long to launch an app or jerks when scrolling. When watching a film, reading a book or listening to music, that doesn't bother you, but it does bother you with everything else. We are dealing here with an extremely inexpensive tablet, but to be honest: a little more would have been possible.

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The Amazon Fire 7 likes to be work at a leisurely pace. / © AndroidPIT

Bluetooth or headphone jack - the choice is yours

With Amazon Fire 7, you'll be able to watch movies, watch series or listen to music on the go, thanks to its portable format. Most people will use headphones, which they can connect via Bluetooth or the 3.5mm jack. This is good and offers a lot of flexibility. The Amazon Fire 7's internal speaker does its job satisfactorily, but you shouldn't expect miracles. Nevertheless, there are tablets with poorer sound that cost significantly more.

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The sound of Amazon Fire 7 is fine. / © AndroidPIT

Two cameras, neither of which is any good

The Amazon Fire 7 has two cameras, one in the front, and one at the back. Let's be honest: You really don't want to take any photos or videos with it. You're looking at a  2-megapixel resolution, fixed focus, no flash, no stabilization, no nothing. For a short video call this is enough - if the light is right - but not enough for more.

The battery lasts long enough

Amazon does not provide accurate performance data for the Fire 7 battery. However, the weak hardware and the not particularly high-resolution display ensure that the tablet is automatically relatively power-saving. With Fire 7 you can easily watch three or four movies before you run out of power. The whole old-school thing continues with the charging, which is done via Micro-USB. There is no trace of USB-C on Amazon tablets yet.

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USB-C is not found on Amazon Fire 7. / © AndroidPIT

The Amazon Fire 7 has a very small target group

Let's get this straight: If you are looking for a tablet to work with, for graphically elaborate games or for a "pure" Android experience, this is the wrong one. The Amazon Fire 7, whether in the normal version or the Kids Edition, is technically not up to date, the hardware is outdated and the design is from yesterday. The Amazon Fire 7 does not really score top marks points in any area.

But you won't find a cheaper tablet, and those who are at home in the Amazon cosmos will find everything they need to enjoy their music, movies, series or books on the go. The Amazon Fire 7 is simply not meant for more. With the Kids Edition, the software becomes even more of a trump card, because parents can set exactly how long and for what the little ones can use their tablet. And if it breaks despite the fat shell, Amazon simply exchanges it.

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  • storm 3 months ago Link to comment

    this was a race to the bottom. The galaxy tab s5e is probably the best android tablet value right now.

    The fire8 can be rooted and loaded with LineageOS. But some important driver issues remain for now.