Amazon Launches a New Budget 8″ Fire HD 8 Tablet for $89

What with the leak on the benchmark site, the FCC paperwork, and the weird status of the Fire HD 8's product listing page on Amazon, it should come as no surprise that Amazon has launched a new 8" Android tablet with a slightly faster CPU and weaker cameras.

It also comes with Amazon's virtual assistant, Alexa, and is up for pre-order today for $89. It ships on 21 September.

Amazon Launches a New Budget 8" Fire HD 8 Tablet for $89 e-Reading Hardware Fire

The new Fire HD 8 runs Fire OS 5 on a quad-core 1.3 GHz CPU with 1.5GB RAM, and 16GB or 32 GB internal storage. Its 8" display has a resolution of 1280 x 800, and the two cameras can take 2MP and VGA-resolution images.

The tablet also has a microSD card slot, Wifi, Bluetooth, and a 4.75 Ah battery which should provide up to 12 hours of battery life while listening to music, watching videos, and browsing the web.

Amazon is selling the Fire HD 8 in black, blue, magenta and tangerine, with prices starting at $89 for the ad-subsidized model with 16GB of storage. In contrast, last year's Fire HD 8 cost $149 at launch.

All in all, there's no reason to upgrade from last year's model, and aside from the price there's little reason to recommend the new model over the old.

But there is one thing.

The new Fire HD 8 is going to be the first Fire tablet to get Alexa, the cloud-based voice service that is the brain behind Amazon Echo and other smart home products.

It just got even easier to enjoy endless entertainment on your Fire tablet with Alexa, the cloud-based voice service that is the brain behind Amazon Echo. When connected to Wi-Fi, simply long-press the home button and ask Alexa to play your favorite song, open a game, or read you the latest audiobook—Alexa provides quick access to the entertainment you want.

Alexa is coming to other Fire tablet models, including last year's Fire HD 8 and the Fire HD 10. (The $49 7" Fire is not mentioned, however.)

This could be a good reason to upgrade if you have an older tablet. I, for example, have a 2014-era Fire HD 7, and I would replace it except that I have little interest in Alexa.

how about you?

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: He's here to chew bubble gum and fix broken websites, and he is all out of bubble gum. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills at the drop of a hat. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.

17 Comments

  1. Anne8 September, 2016

    If I didn’t already have a Fire HD 8 16gb Tangerine (which I got for $100 during their unadvertised sale), I would totally get one of these new ones. I envy the faster speed and better battery life. I think they have a real winner in this new one.

    Reply
  2. DaveMich8 September, 2016

    If it were just easier to get the whole Google Play store on this thing it would be a slam dunk. Absent that, my last tablet purchase was an Astro Tab 10″ for about the same price.

    Reply
  3. Shirley Dulcey8 September, 2016

    Amazon lists the resolution of the new tablet as 1280×800, not 1920×1280. Bit of an oops there. If it had actually had a 1080p+ display it would have been an excellent buy at that price; as it is it’s OK but not earthshattering. The claim of 12 hours of battery life is also nice.

    The comparison table on the page for the new tablet says that Alexa Enabled for the 7″ Fire (as well as the Fire HD 10 and the new Fire HD 8) is “coming soon”. So perhaps it will happen for that model as well as the upscale ones. Alexa doesn’t require much hardware; the voice recognition is done in the cloud.

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder8 September, 2016

      The comparison table on the page for the new tablet says that Alexa Enabled for the 7? Fire

      That wasn’t in the press release, thanks.

      Reply
  4. Fjtorres8 September, 2016

    Uh, the Amazon pre-order page lists resolution as 1280×800 for both the 16 and 32GB models.

    “Stunning 8″ HD display (189 ppi / 1280 x 800), a fast 1.3 GHz quad-core processor, stereo speakers with Dolby Audio, and rear and front-facing cameras. Available in four colors.”

    Is there a third one with higher res?

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder8 September, 2016

      No, this was a PEBKAC error.

      Reply
      1. Fjtorres8 September, 2016

        Too bad.
        I have a 128GB SD card just begging for a cheap home witha good view.

        Reply
  5. Shirley Dulcey8 September, 2016

    The bump to 1.5 GB RAM should also help performance. Android devices with only 1 GB are rather slow at switching from one app to another. I’d have rather seen 2 GB, but it’s better than nothing.

    Reply
  6. Rob Siders8 September, 2016

    They’ll pry my HDX from my cold, dead hands. It’s smaller, lighter and faster.

    Reply
  7. John Hopper8 September, 2016

    From the picture, the aspect ratio of this new model looks more like 4:3, whereas I think the earlier HD8 was closer to 16:9?

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder8 September, 2016

      The screen resolution is the same on both models.

      Er, the same as on last year’s model.

      Reply
  8. Tom S8 September, 2016

    Note that it does not ‘come with Alexa’ – that feature is ‘coming soon’. I should think there are Android tablets with better specs with a real app store (Google Play) for about the same price, and with better Kindle and Audible apps. IPad mini 2 is almost 3 years old but it would run circles around this spec wise and I think you can get 16GB model for under $200. And again, a far better App Store, Kindle, Audible apps etc.

    Reply
  9. Amber8 September, 2016

    A 2007 webcam quality camera. Oh dear. 🙁
    The colours are pretty though.

    Reply
  10. John Aga9 September, 2016

    My 2013 Nexus 7 has much better stats. WUXGA 1900 by 1200, 323 PPI, 1.5ghz quad core processor, 2gb ram 16 GB internal storage and on and on. Amazon has been going backwards since my favorite Fire tablet the HDX 7 inch.

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder9 September, 2016

      Yep.

      The tablet market has been aiming for cheaper rather than better tablets. That trend has been going on since 2013, as your specs suggest.

      Reply
  11. Lynne Connolly24 September, 2016

    I wouldn’t swap my 2013 Nexus 7 even for the extra inch! I’ve just rooted the Nexus and put Nougat on it. Smooth as silk.
    But I know people who would want one. The Kindle Fire is $89 in the States, £89 in the UK. I’ll wait for my annual visit to the States.

    Reply
  12. […] last two Fire tablet launch events took place in the fall – in September 2016 and September 2015, to be exact. Furthermore, Amazon placed a six-month embargo on the FCC filings […]

    Reply

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