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.
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?
Anne September 8, 2016 um 10:31 am
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.
DaveMich September 8, 2016 um 11:32 am
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.
Shirley Dulcey September 8, 2016 um 11:50 am
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.
Nate Hoffelder September 8, 2016 um 12:06 pm
That wasn’t in the press release, thanks.
Fjtorres September 8, 2016 um 11:53 am
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?
Nate Hoffelder September 8, 2016 um 12:08 pm
No, this was a PEBKAC error.
Fjtorres September 8, 2016 um 12:19 pm
I have a 128GB SD card just begging for a cheap home witha good view.
Shirley Dulcey September 8, 2016 um 11:56 am
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.
Rob Siders September 8, 2016 um 12:05 pm
They’ll pry my HDX from my cold, dead hands. It’s smaller, lighter and faster.
John Hopper September 8, 2016 um 12:28 pm
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?
Nate Hoffelder September 8, 2016 um 12:37 pm
The screen resolution is the same on both models.
Er, the same as on last year’s model.
Tom S September 8, 2016 um 12:52 pm
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.
Amber September 8, 2016 um 2:24 pm
A 2007 webcam quality camera. Oh dear. 🙁
The colours are pretty though.
John Aga September 9, 2016 um 7:35 pm
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.
Nate Hoffelder September 9, 2016 um 7:56 pm
The tablet market has been aiming for cheaper rather than better tablets. That trend has been going on since 2013, as your specs suggest.
Lynne Connolly September 24, 2016 um 10:09 am
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.
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