Fire HD 8 Kids Tablet Review

Fire HD 8 Kids Tablet

10

10.0/10

Fire HD 8 Kids, our best 8-inch kids tablet—now faster, includes a full-featured Fire HD 8 tablet, Kid-Proof Case with built-in stand, 1 year of Amazon Kids+ (Fire for Kids Unlimited) and a 2-year worry-free guarantee. Enjoy the vibrant 8” HD display, 20% longer battery life, 30% faster processor, 32 GB storage, enhanced Wi-Fi and USB C for easier charging.

We already own a Fire 7 (5th gen) and an iPad mini (2nd gen). Surprisingly enough, this Fire HD 8 was bought to replace the iPad. My kids prefer the Fire, and they fight over who gets to play it. The reason is simple: the iPad requires games to be bought individually from the App Store, and since popular games like the Toca Life series are £4 each, I have to limit the number of games they’re allowed.

In contrast, the Fire for Kids app allows them to browse and download anything they want, from a curated, age-appropriate selection, of games, video, books and Audible audiobooks. They like the fact that they can download without asking for permission. Meanwhile I can control things like screen-time limits or age filters from either the parental control screen on the device, or the Amazon Parent Dashboard webpage. It’s a safe walled garden. That’s the main selling point of this device. Everything else is nice-to-have, but ultimately irrelevant.

Fire HD 8 Kids Tablet Review

Fire HD 8 Kids Tablet Review

The 8-inch (1280 x 800) screen is a huge improvement versus the 7-inch (1024 x 600) one. It might not seem like much on paper, but it’s really noticeable when playing games and watching video. Due to the slightly more rectangular aspect ratio, the screen looks significantly bigger than our iPad mini (despite the difference in diagonal measurement being only 0.1 in). Presumably the 10-inch model would be better still, but I didn’t want anything that bulky.

The USB-C port is another nice-to-have. Our older Fire tablet uses Micro USB, and I still, after all these years, have to check the orientation to make sure I’m plugging it in the right way. Sure, it’s not a big deal, but it’s nice to get rid of this little annoyance.

Fire HD 8 Kids Tablet Review

The stand looks like a gimmick, but it’s already proven to be very handy. The angle is steeper than I expected (almost vertical, and can’t be adjusted), but it’s just right for watching video without having to prop it against something. As for its durability, all I can say is that I bought the Fire 7 with Kid-proof case when it first came out… (checks notes) 5 years ago. It gets dropped pretty much every day, and it still survives. That’s pretty durable.

Yes, it’s not perfect. I’ve tried to use it as a ‘grown-up’ tablet, and I find the Fire OS rather too ‘locked-down’. The Amazon App store has a reasonable selection (including, surprisingly, apps like Skype and Zoom), but the lack of Google Play apps like Gmail and Google docs quickly becomes frustrating. But my kids have never needed any of that, and realistically, these devices weren’t made for ‘real work’.

Another thing to watch out for is that it needs a bit of setup out of the box. You need to connect to WiFi, enter your Amazon password, skip through a 2-minute intro video and set up a child account before it’s ready to use. Mine also required a software update right out of the box. All told, it only took about 10 minutes to set up, but it’s probably best to do this before handing it over to an excited child.

Overall, the Fire HD 8 Kids Tablet is a must-have for any families with children.

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