Amazon Fire HD 10 (2017) review

Amazon finds a way to offer more for less

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Battery life

  • Up to 10 hours of mixed use from a single charge
  • Takes five hours to full charge from zero

Amazon boasts that the Fire HD 10 (2017) offers impressive battery life of around 10 hours of mixed use. We found that to be accurate on the whole, though it obviously depends on precisely what you do.

After a day where we watched three TV episodes, browsed the web, and dipped in and out of a couple of games, there was plenty in the tank at bedtime. Playing 20 minutes of Star Wars: Commander claimed 4% of the battery life.

Our 90-minute HD video test, with the brightness and volume cranked up, took the battery from 100% down to 84%, so the Fire HD 10 only lost 16%. The Asus ZenPad 3S 10 lost 30% in the same test, while the new iPad lost just 15%, and Amazon’s smaller Fire HD 8 (2017) lost 17%.

The Amazon Fire HD 10 has good battery life, considering it has to power that 10.1-inch display.

We were a great deal less impressed with the charging time. It charges via micro USB, which means you inevitably try to plug it in the wrong way every time and, to make matters worse, it takes five hours to fully charge from zero with the cable and adaptor provided. Use a different cable and adaptor and it can take even longer.

Camera

  • Extremely poor-quality cameras
  • VGA front-facing camera and 2MP main camera

We can see the point of a front-facing camera if you like to use your tablet for video chats, but the rear-facing camera on a tablet is superfluous for us.

Society has agreed that anyone taking photos on a tablet in public, especially at a busy event, should be shunned, and yet every tablet maker feels compelled to include one.

Amazon has really done the bare minimum here. There’s a horrible VGA front-facing camera, which will serve you well for video chat if you want to hide your identity.

The main camera is rated at 2MP. In anything less than ideal lighting conditions it produces blotchy, grainy shots that we would have deleted ten years ago.

Surprisingly, it has an HDR mode, but you’re in for a long wait if you want to use it. Tap the shutter, go off and make a cup of tea, and it might have processed the shot by the time you return. If you don’t use a tripod or prop your Fire HD 10 somewhere securely, then you can expect horribly blurry results.

If you’re going to do cameras this badly, why bother? Everyone understands it’s cheap. We wish Amazon would just ditch the cameras altogether and drop the price a little further.

Camera samples

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This indoor photo is noisy and pixelated

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Here’s an indoor shot with HDR on, but it still looks blotchy and fuzzy

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Even taking your time in good light, the results are terrible

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The slightest movement when taking an HDR shot results in everything looking blurred

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