Amazon Fire HD 8 (2016) review

Not perfect, but the best you can get for the price

Amazon Fire HD 8 (2016) review

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The Amazon Fire HD 8 (2016) is the best tablet you can get at the price. That alone secures it a recommendation.

This is not a technological upgrade over the last Fire HD 8, but it takes the last version's most important bits and lowers the price significantly by degrading a few of the less important parts.

If you're a true gadget lover, you might want to consider spending a bit more on something with a better screen and more flexible software. However, if you're happy to fit yourself into the Amazon system and can put up with the budget parts, this is an excellent buy.

Who's this for?

The Amazon Fire HD 8 (2016) is for people who want a cheap tablet. That's it. If you only have £90/$90 to spend on a tablet, you can't do better than this right now. And there are no signs that's going to change any time soon.

Only buy this tablet if you're willing to get on with the way Amazon tablets roll, though. They're not like other slates.

Amazon Fire HD 8 (2016) review

Should you buy it?

If you want a cheap tablet at this price, go ahead. Samsung, LG and Sony have nothing to offer that's worth considering.

However, if you've read every page of this review and care about things like camera, audio and screen quality, you should probably spend a bit more. There's nothing remotely near the price we can recommend, though. Low cost tablets have been treading water for years.

If your demands are higher, look for an Asus ZenPad S 8.0 or a good deal on a refurbished or second-hand iPad mini 2.


There aren't many alternatives that are quite as affordable as the Amazon Fire HD 8 (2016), but there are a few options you might want to consider.

Samsung Galaxy Tab A 7.0

Galaxy Tab A

The tablet closest in price you'll find from Samsung is the Galaxy Tab A, the 7-inch version. And it's still a lot more expensive than the Fire HD 8 (2016). It also has far less storage at just 8GB.

Its benefits include much better cameras and a much more conventional take on Android. It has Samsung's own interface, but that looks and feels much closer to the Android standard.

If they were sold at the same price, we'd probably recommend the Samsung, but they're not. The Galaxy Tab A 7.0 costs 50% more, highlighting the key to the Fire HD 8's appeal.

Amazon Fire

Amazon Fire

We're talking about the bog-standard Amazon Fire tablet here, which is even cheaper than the Fire HD 8 (2016). It's not a terrible tablet, but it is even more compromised.

Screen resolution is lower, and even though the display is smaller, the lower pixel density leaves it looking a bit more pixelated.

Its design is also dumpier, looking relatively dated because the screen bezels are larger. Also consider that to get the HD 8-matching 16GB version you need to pay a little extra. If you're going to use a tablet quite a lot, the HD 8 upgrade is worth it.

Lenovo Tab3 7

Lenovo Tab3 7

At the time of writing, we've only had a quick look at the Lenovo Tab3 7, but it's one of the obvious alternatives to the HD 8. It's also slightly cheaper.

However, just like the baseline Amazon Fire, it's also a lesser tablet. A 7-inch, lower resolution screen will make it worse for gaming. It also only has 1GB of RAM, which may cause some basic performance issues.

The main reason to consider it is because it has a more conventional take on Android, using Google Play and Google's apps rather than third-party alternatives.

First reviewed: October 2016

Andrew Williams

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.