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- Doesn't live up to Amazon's battery life claims
- Charges slowly
Amazon says the Fire HD 8 (2016) will last for up to 12 hours. However, it didn't do that well in our regular battery test, which involves playing a 720p MP4 file that lasts for 90 minutes, at maximum screen brightness.
This took 29% off the battery, suggesting the slate will last for five hours of video. This is not great, but bear in mind it will last longer with the screen brightness reduced. You will want to use maximum brightness for any outdoor viewing, though.
The bigger, or at least more irritating, problem is charging speed. It's slow. Using a very basic adaptor with only 1A of current, charging from flat takes 5-6 hours in our experience. You won't find tablets that charge in a half-hour or so yet, but this is a particularly slow one.
- Terrible cameras
- Effective HDR mode
Given the Fire HD 8's price, it's no surprise the cameras are poor. The one on the back has a 2MP sensor, and is almost certainly designed to take pictures that are only going to be viewed on the tablet's screen.
As soon as you zoom into any image, it starts to look soft, blurry or pixelated because the resolution is so low.
Image quality is very poor too. Unless you have one of the worst phones currently available, its camera will decimate the image quality of the Fire HD 8 (2016). The tablet has a reasonably effective HDR mode, but it amounts to polishing a turd. This is one of the worst cameras in a new mobile device this year.
We don't blame Amazon for this, though. It's a sensible way to lower the Fire HD 8's price and is a very good thing to sacrifice. We'd rather have 16GB storage (rather than 8GB) than a better tablet camera.
The front camera is bad too. It has a VGA sensor, the lowest of the low. It gives something for kids to muck about with, though, and that's really the main thing. Quality isn't really the aim.
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Andrew is a freelance journalist and has been writing and editing for some of the UK's top tech and lifestyle publications including TrustedReviews, Stuff, T3, TechRadar, Lifehacker and others.