Max Parker is the Deputy Editor for Trusted Reviews and Recombu. Your best bet is sticking to Amazon's app store. If you’ll largely use the Fire HD 8 Plus to control your smart home, make use of Amazon Music or digest the latest Kindle releases, the second-rate screen is unlikely to be a deal-breaker. The Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus is great for families or just anyone who won’t use a tablet enough to justify even splurging on the cheapest iPad. Personally, I'd go with the Echo Show 8 in my kitchen, but with the Fire HD 8 Plus as a portable smart home control tablet that I can take around the house. But for those accustomed to streaming high-resolution video content, a tablet with a Full HD display is almost certainly more suitable. Sign up to get breaking news, reviews, opinion, analysis and more, plus the hottest tech deals! This is super-annoying, ugly and I am sure it has an effect on performance. Assisted by the new Game Mode, which disables Alexa, hides notifications and optimizes performance, games such as Real Racing 3 and SimCity BuildIt ran slightly smoother, while navigating between home screens and apps felt marginally quicker.
It does come in a few pastel-shaded colours, including soft hues of blue and pink. The optional Wireless Charging Dock transforms the Fire HD 8 Plus into a smart display, automatically activating Show Mode for a full-screen Alexa experience while charging the tablet. None of the slowdown ruins the whole experience and after using it for a few days I wasn’t noticing it as much. Like the Fire HD 8, the Plus runs Amazon's Fire OS, based on Android 9.1. Videos streamed from Prime Video or Netflix are watchable – just don’t expect features like 1080p playback or HDR. BA1 1UA. That does bear out to some extent – most notably when using the new Game Mode – but general performance is still short of swift and only owners of the previous model are likely to notice the improvements.
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Thank you for signing up to TechRadar. Look elsewhere. Built around Amazon’s subscription ecosystem, the skinned Android software puts the company’s content above all else, offering precious little flexibility. Swipe across from the Home screen and you’ll find pages dedicated to Video, Games & Apps, Shop, Music, Audible and Newsstand, all of which offer little room to manoeuvre away from the overwhelming arsenal of Amazon-branded content. While you can hack Google's store onto the tablet, it's unsupported and may fail at any time, so I can't recommend doing that.
That means no access (out of the box, anyway) to Googe’s services (YouTube, Gmail. Whether it’s worth spending more for the higher capacity variant depends on whether you like to download content. If you click an affiliate link and buy a product or service, we may be paid a fee by that merchant. That’s two hours longer than the previous version and, in mixed-use conditions, proves an accurate estimate.
Amazon reckons it cuts the recharging time by an hour compared to the microUSB input of the previous version and, when used with the bundled 9W adapter, fully charges the tablet in less than 4 hours. Other than his home town of New York, his favorite cities are Barcelona and Hong Kong. For a quick bout of The Simpsons on Disney Plus or keeping the kids quiet on a long journey it gets the job done. If you’re primarily buying this for a way to read Kindle books I really would suggest just going for a dedicated Kindle reader instead. The whole user-experience is very different from your typical Android tablet. But the company threw a curveball with the 2020 update to its mid-size slate by unveiling two variants: the Fire HD 8 and the Fire HD 8 Plus. If you don’t use, and have no intention of using, any of Amazon’s services then you’re better off looking elsewhere. As with all Fire tablets, Amazon’s Prime subscription service is deeply integrated into the user experience of the Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus. The display on the Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus is identical to the 8-inch panel found on its standard sibling and, in turn, the 2018 version before it. Wireless charging makes for an ideal Alexa-enabled kitchen tablet or bedside companion. You can rid your device of these ‘Special Offers’ for £10. See our full Fire HD 8 review for more details. But if you’re in the market for a slate that’s capable of slick gaming or multi-tasking, it’s probably worth shelling out for a faster tablet. It’s £30 more expensive than competing Fire tablets, but for the extra cost you get an extra 1GB of RAM, wireless charging and three months worth of Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited subscription (usually worth £7.99 a month). With a Kindle I can read for hours without so much as a jerk in the wrist. But the more expensive Plus also ships with additional RAM and wireless charging smarts that work with the optional dock. The Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus is a slightly souped-up version of the HD 8. Bath As with all Fire tablets before, the Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus is locked to Fire OS, Amazon’s heavily skinned version of Android. Even with the brightness cranked all the way up I couldn’t comfortably read without finding a shady spot.
The Plus is the smarter choice for owners of the 2018 version, but with an unchanged display and similar skills, the standard model is an equally capable entertainment slate for new Prime subscribers. Alexa is something of a saving grace. If you’re an Amazon services subscriber the Plus’ upgrades make it one of, if not, the best tablets you’ll find at this price. The 32GB storage option costs $110 / £110 (roughly AU$200, though Amazon’s tablets aren’t usually released in Australia), while the larger 64GB version retails at $140 / £140 (around AU$255). This is by no means a gaming machine, but I found it fine for casual titles and it’s such a great size for this purpose. The Echo Show 8 is a real smart display/speaker; you're not going to use it for reading or games, but it's a much more pleasant way to listen to music while you cook. That is, of course, mostly down to its price and the fact it’s so tired into Amazon’s absolutely massive ecosystem. It offers more speed and a couple of features you probably don’t expect to find on a tablet that costs this little. The regular Fire HD 8 has a mere 2GB – right on the cusp of what’s acceptable for an Android device – while the Plus ups that to 3GB. So is it worth the extra expense? The Fire HD 8 is durable and, like the brand’s Kindles, doesn’t require a lot of looking after. It retains all of the poor parts of the standard model – average screen quality, middling performance, disappointing cameras – but splits the vote by adding a dash of speed and wireless charging support.
Just about all the controls and ports are grouped on the tablet’s top.
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