If you need barely extra energy, there’s additionally the Fire HD 8 Plus ($150), which gives an additional gigabyte of RAM, wi-fi charging, and a 5-megapixel digital camera (to the bottom mannequin’s 2-megapixel—neither are superb, so do not let this be the promoting level of the Plus). The further RAM could be very welcome, however the distinction right here isn’t as noticeable as it’s with the 10-inch Fire HD Plus. If you need to get actual work achieved, you are able to do it on the the 10-inch Fire HD, however neither mannequin of the Fire HD 8 will give you the results you want.
Along with the Plus mannequin, Amazon has fairly just a few different bundles, just like the Fire HD 8 Kids fashions, which function protecting instances, some further software program, and content material bundles together with parental controls. There’s additionally now a gaming bundle that comes with a Luna controller ($169), although given the constraints of Fire OS, I can not think about this interesting to many avid gamers.
Therein lies the principle rub with Fire tablets—Amazon’s software program.
Out of the field, Amazon’s Fire tablets supply an expertise that jogs my memory of the hyper ad-saturated world of Idiocracy.
From the second you attempt to unlock your Fire HD 8, you might be confronted with an onslaught of adverts and dark-patterned designs engineered to get you clicking on stuff, particularly in case you go for the ad-supported fashions. Just do not. Spend the additional $20 to free your self from a few of the adverts. Don’t fear, you will nonetheless have Amazon content material pushed on you each time you a lot as have a look at your Fire HD 8. This is, as they are saying, the worth of admission. You need an inexpensive pill? You’re going to get a pill that feels prefer it must get more cash out of you at each flip.
Fire OS, Amazon’s fork of Android, has been up to date to make use of Android 11, which continues to be two full variations behind inventory Android. Other than the app-switching display and few minor theme particulars, I couldn’t inform a lot of a distinction. Fire OS nonetheless gives the identical fundamental expertise, which is not essentially dangerous, however is restricted by its app retailer.
Out of the field, Fire HD 8 tablets don’t supply any Google apps or any entry to the Google Play retailer. The choice within the Amazon app retailer is what you would possibly name missing. Want to look at YouTube? Chat on Slack? Nope, not occurring. Even if you wish to argue that this can be a pill largely for consumption and does not want a lot of what is within the Google Play Store, YouTube is a obtrusive omission. My suggestion can be that when you have particular apps you need to use, browse Amazon’s app retailer before you purchase to verify what you need is on the market (when you have an Android gadget, you may obtain and browse Amazon’s app retailer right here).
What about “sideloading” Google Play? We do have a information on How to Install the Google Play Store on an Amazon Fire Tablet, however sadly that information does not work for this mannequin. Or at the least, it does not work with the present model of Fire OS. Some Reddit customers who’ve acquired a software program replace to Fire OS 188.8.131.52 declare that they’ve been in a position to set up and use Google Play. My evaluation unit is to date caught at Fire OS 184.108.40.206, which, I can affirm, will set up the Google Play Store itself, however doesn’t help you log in and set up any apps from it. I’ll replace our information with information on the way to do it as soon as I can affirm that it really works. At some level, you doubtless will be capable to set up the Play Store, however you may’t proper now.
Amazon’s 2022 Fire HD 8 stays good at what it’s designed to do: stream Amazon content material. If you are a Prime subscriber and desire a small, inexpensive gadget to make use of on the sofa, within the kitchen, and even with a stand to impersonate an Echo Show, the Fire HD 8 is not dangerous. But in case you can afford it, the 10-inch mannequin gives a significantly better general expertise and stays our prime decide. If you actually need to rating a deal, watch for the following Prime Day to roll round, when, sometimes, Amazon’s Fire tablets could be had for half-price.
…. to be continued
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