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Best Amazon Fire Tablets

Updated October 2018
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

  • 5 Models Considered
  • 5 Hours Researched
  • 1 Experts Interviewed
  • 164 Consumers Consulted
  • Zero products received from manufacturers.

    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Why trust BestReviews?
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

    Shopping guide for best Amazon Fire tablets

    Last Updated October 2018

    It’s a bit of an understatement to say that Amazon makes a lot of products – it’s known for having its own brand of everything from gym socks to batteries – but there are only a few product categories where Amazon is truly thinking outside the box, and one is tablets.

    Amazon Fire tablets are based on the Android mobile operating system but run a customized version that’s designed around the company’s services, so the tablets do all of the things that other tablets do, but they also integrate with Amazon services, Amazon FreeTime for kids, or Prime Video for Amazon Prime members.

    If you’re a fan of Amazon’s ecosystem of services, content, and products, you’ll get a lot more out of a Fire tablet than you will from a traditional tablet. Read on for our shopping guide to Amazon Fire tablets to discover which one is right for you!

    Amazon Fire tablets are built with accessibility in mind. For example, all Fire tablets include a built-in screen reader, all Amazon video content is in subtitles, and most models are compatible with third-party braille displays.

    What’s so special about Fire tablets?

    Tablets are everywhere, and just about every tech manufacturer out there makes its own. To stand out from the crowd, Amazon offers several features you can’t find anywhere else. Here are our favorites.

    Fire tablets include Alexa, Amazon’s digital assistant

    Amazon’s voice-controlled digital assistant, Alexa, is several orders of magnitude better than any of the competing services (like Apple’s Siri, or Google Home). With a Fire tablet, you can use the built-in microphone to access everything Alexa offers, from news updates to control over your smart home devices. Having Alexa on a tablet is like having the best digital butler in town at your beck and call.

    Amazon’s iPad-killer gets everything right

    The Fire HD 10 is about as close to flawless as a tablet gets – its gorgeous 10.1” screen delivers outstanding video, its 10-hour battery lives up to the claims, and it supports hands-free Alexa, so you can interact with the world-class digital assistant without lifting a finger. What’s not to love?

    Fire tablets can be used for video calls with other Amazon devices

    One of the best features of Amazon’s Echo line of digital assistant products is how each can be used for audio and video calling with one another. And now Fire tablets are getting in on the act. When paired with the right charging dock, you can use the built-in camera and microphone to call a loved one’s Echo device or accept calls from the Amazon devices of friends and family.

    Fire tablet kids’ models curate and moderate content

    Amazon’s Fire Kids Edition tablets aren’t just built for surviving your child’s rugged lifestyle – they’re also designed to keep children engaged with healthy content and safe from online dangers. Whether you need to make sure your kid is only using educational apps, or you simply want to manage screen time, Fire Kid Edition tablets offer an unparalleled level of control and safety.

    EXPERT TIP

    If you want to make video calls with someone who doesn’t own an Alexa device, you can still use Microsoft’s Skype service. The Skype app can be installed on any Fire tablet, and Skype offers apps for all major popular platforms including Windows, OS X, and iOS.


    Staff  | BestReviews

    Fire vs. Fire HD vs. Fire Kids Edition tablets

    Amazon offers a variety of Fire tablets, each designed for unique uses. Here’s how to tell them apart.

    Fire tablets

    These are typically on the small side – around 7 inches – and feature low-resolution screens. Standard Fire tablets do the basics well: run apps and play media, and they’re snappy and responsive. However, entry-level Fire tablets do cut a few corners. For example, each has only one speaker instead of two and much less random-access memory (RAM) than other models.

    The perfect tablet for casual use

    Amazon’s Fire HD 8 is a perfect middle ground: it strikes the right balance of size, specs, and affordability, and it’s relatively speedy to boot. If you’re looking for a tablet that’s portable enough to go on vacation with you and capable enough to help you document it through photos and social media, the HD 8 is your best bet.

    Fire HD tablets

    These come in larger sizes and offer significant upgrades to standard Fire models, like an HD screen, more memory, and premium audio options (like Dolby Atmos for headphones). If you need a capable tablet that will take several years before it starts to slow down, go for a Fire HD.

    Fire Kids Edition tablets

    These are built around the needs of little ones: they come in colorful, durable cases that are built to handle all kinds of abuse, while still including the capable hardware of the Fire HD tablets. Every Fire Kids Edition tablet comes with one free year of FreeTime, Amazon’s digital service for kids that offers access to digital kids’ books, videos, and educational games. The tablets also include robust parental controls, so you can manage what your children see and how much time they spend in front of the screen.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    Although all Fire tablets include Bluetooth support, they don’t work with Bluetooth headsets that include a microphone or low-energy Bluetooth devices. If you plan on using your Fire tablet with a specific Bluetooth accessory, search the web first to determine if it’s compatible.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    In order to prevent children from making unauthorized purchases or accessing inappropriate content, Amazon’s Fire Kids Edition tablets do not support Alexa, Amazon’s voice-enabled digital assistant.

    Fire tablet prices

    Each of the different Fire tablets can be upgraded, but not every upgrade is worth it. This is what you’ll get for your money when you shop for an Amazon Fire tablet.

    Between $50 and $149: At this price, you’ll see Amazon’s most basic tablets. Models in this range are limited to a 7- or 8-inch screen and include lower storage options (for example, models with 32GB of storage are easy to find in this price range, but if you’re looking for one with 64GB, you’ll have to pay more). If you need a basic tablet for everyday tasks, you can easily find a good deal in this price range, but if you need a bigger screen or a tablet for frequent use, it’s worth considering other models.

    Between $150 and $200: Amazon offers its best and brightest in this price range – Fire tablets that include plenty of storage space, plenty of RAM, and bigger, more resolute screens that truly dazzle. If you need a tablet that can keep up with you all day long – or you just want one with a better screen – look into Amazon’s more expensive models.

    Built for kids, inside and out

    The Fire HD Kids Edition line of tablets was built for parents by parents – every aspect from the ultra-durable housing to the built-in parental controls is designed to give kids a safe, engaging experience. Kids love using FreeTime, Amazon’s subscription-based platform for fun, educational content. Grown-ups love being able to track and manage their kids’ screen time.

    Tips

    • Restarting a tablet is always the best first troubleshooting step. If your Amazon Fire tablet ever freezes or starts behaving erratically, hold down the power button for 40 seconds to force a restart. It will resolve most problematic experiences. If your Amazon Fire tablet continues to act up, contact Amazon’s support team – famous for its customer care.

    • Move all your most frequently used tablet apps to the home screen. You can customize the order in which your apps appear by simply tapping and holding them to rearrange them. Put the apps you use most on the default home screen so you’ll never have to go digging around for your favorites again.

    • Take advantage of a Fire tablet’s security features and establish a PIN code. Even if you don’t use your tablet for your personal email or social media, it’s still easy to make Amazon purchases and in-app purchases on Fire tablets, even by mistake. Save yourself the headache and keep your information safe by setting a PIN code that only you know.
    Different Fire tablet models include different warranties. For example, the entry-level models typically have a 90-day warranty, while the Fire Kids Edition tablets come with a “two-year worry-free guarantee.” Before deciding which model is right for you, compare warranties.

    FAQ

    Q. Can I buy apps for my Amazon Fire tablet from the Google Play Store?

    A. Not by default. While it’s definitely possible to install the Google Play Store (and apps from the Google Play Store will indeed work on Amazon’s Fire tablets), installing it can only be done by “side-loading,” a process by which you use a separate computer to manually force an app onto a tablet or smartphone. Side-loading isn’t tremendously difficult, but it can require some trial and error. Keep in mind that while it’s certainly an option to use the Google Play Store on Fire devices, there aren’t that many benefits because most useful Android apps are already available through Amazon’s Fire-specific app store.

    Q. Why are some Amazon Fire tablets described as coming with “special offers”?

    A. Amazon offers two ways to purchase its Fire tablets: at full price, with no restrictions, and at a discount, with “special offers.” That means personalized ads appear on the lock screen. If you don’t mind seeing an ad every time you unlock your Fire tablet, this can be a great way to save money on your purchase, but if you consider ads a hassle, it might be worth paying full price. If you buy a fire tablet with “special offers,” you can always change your mind later and pay an upgrade fee to have the ads removed.

    Q. What are the differences between an Amazon Fire tablet and an Amazon Kindle?

    A. Amazon’s Fire tablets are Android-based tablets that run a wide variety of apps. Tablets are basically touchscreen computers that can be used for both “lean back” activities (like streaming movies or browsing social media) and “lean forward” tasks (like word processing or gaming). In contrast, Amazon’s Kindle devices are e-readers: black-and-white tablets tailored to the activity of reading e-Books. Kindle devices can be used to purchase and borrow digital books – and boast a much longer battery life – but they don’t run traditional apps.

    The team that worked on this review
    • Bronwyn
      Bronwyn
      Editor
    • Devangana
      Devangana
      Web Producer
    • Eliza
      Eliza
      Production Manager
    • Jacob
      Jacob
      Editorial Manager
    • Jaime
      Jaime
      Writer
    • Katie
      Katie
      Editorial Director

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