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.
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?