With options that cost as low as $49.99, Amazon Fire tablet devices have made waves in the tech industry as one of the best choices among low-cost gadgets. Now the release of the latest model, the Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus, puts these tablets even closer to the competition in terms of performance.
The Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus boasts of faster performance than the other model, the Amazon Fire 8 tablet. It also comes with wireless charging capabilities and bigger storage. And you get all of these features for less than half the price of its closest competitors such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite.
In this Amazon Fire 8 review, we take a closer look at what you can get with the device as well as how it stacks up to the competition and the regular model.
Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus pricing
The Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus comes in 2 sizes – 32 GB and 64 GB. While the 32 GB option costs $109.99, you can sometimes get it on sale at Amazon for as low as $79.99. The 64 GB version will set you back around $139.99.
You can also get the Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus from other leading retailers such as Best Buy and Target, but Amazon usually offers the best deals. Not to mention some of the other perks of getting it directly from the manufacturer such as bundle offers.
Note that although this model comes with wireless charging capabilities, you need to purchase the dock separately to make use of this feature. And Amazon lets you bundle the tablet with the Angreat Made for Amazon Wireless Charging Dock for $119.98 for the 32 GB option and $149.98 for the 64 GB device.
The charging dock will set you back around $39.99 on its own. So if you’re going to make full use of the tablet’s wireless charging capabilities, it might be worth considering this bundle offer.
Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus features
The Amazon Fire Tablet 8 Plus has a basic yet solid design, prioritizing function over form with a rounded plastic frame. Although it doesn’t look sleek or flashy like some high-end tablets, it has a sturdy feel, so it’s not too high-maintenance.
Amazon has also improved on the front-facing camera placement with this tablet, shifting it from the top to the side. So you have it at the top when it’s in landscape mode, making it much more convenient when you have to get on a video call.
Simple, straightforward setup
Setting up your new Amazon Fire 8 Plus tablet doesn’t take a lot of time and isn’t too complicated. Even if you’re new to the Fire OS, the layout doesn’t vary too much from what you get with Android tablets. So you should be able to easily navigate as soon as you switch the tablet on for the first time.
Note that it doesn’t come with pre-installed Google apps and services, so you’ll need to get those separately by installing an APK (Android application package) from the Play Store.
Seamless access to Amazon content
One of the best parts about the Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus, or any Amazon Fire tablet for the matter, is the smooth integration with other Amazon services. You can use the tablet to seamlessly access your Prime Video library with thousands of original titles and hit TV shows at your disposal. If you don’t have a subscription already, check out our Prime Video review to learn more.
It includes Prime Music, which comes with your Amazon Prime subscription and lets you access millions of songs with zero commercial interruptions. You even get Amazon Photos, which is a decent alternative to Google Photos and seamlessly integrates with Alexa. This makes it a lot easier to access your photo albums through other Alexa-enabled devices.
The easy integration with other Amazon services means you can also connect it seamlessly with the brand’s range of streaming media players such as the Fire TV devices. To learn more about how these devices work, check out our review of the Fire TV Stick. We even have a review of the Fire TV Cube if you’re considering that option.
Wireless charging capabilities
One of the main highlights of the Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus is the Qi wireless charging feature. This is a major feature that sets it apart from the regular Amazon Fire 8 tablet. You can charge this tablet on any Qi-enabled charging pad. And once you drop it in the dock, the tablet automatically switches to show mode and works like an Echo Show.
So you can use voice commands to control your tablet, make video calls, stream your favorite shows, and more. While it won’t function exactly like an Echo Show, especially due to the lack of real speakers, it provides a decent experience as a combination tablet smart display on a budget.
Good performance and battery life
The Fire 8 Plus offers slightly better performance overall than the regular Fire 8 tablet. With 3 GB RAM and a 2.0 GHz quad-core processor, it works 30% faster than the regular model. So it lets you fluidly swipe through pages and offers a smooth transition when switching between apps.
It also offers a decent battery life that lasts for about 12 hours of mixed-use. This puts it above high-end tablets like the iPad, which typically gives you up to 10 hours at best.
Although the Fire HD 8 Plus is high definition (HD) ready, the device isn’t full HD. So although it allows HD streaming, it doesn’t support 1080p. You get to stream in up to 720p, which is decent but not particularly sharp.
The final cut
Overall, the Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus is one of the best budget-friendly tablets out there with a solid build and a decent performance. But the display leaves some room for improvement as it doesn’t support 1080p streaming and has a reflective screen. So if you need something solely for streaming, you might want to check out other Amazon Fire tablet reviews for better alternatives. But if you’re looking for a low-cost tablet that does the job, it’s definitely worth a try.