Currently unavailable.
We don't know when or if this item will be back in stock.
Select delivery location

Fire HD 8 Tablet, 8" HD Display, Wi-Fi, 16 GB - Includes Special Offers, Black (Previous Generation - 5th)

4.1 out of 5 stars 9,761 ratings

Currently unavailable.
We don't know when or if this item will be back in stock.
The ad-supported option (also known as Special Offers or Lockscreen Ads) displays sponsored screensavers on your device's lockscreen. Learn more
  • Our thinnest tablet yet and almost 2x more durable than the latest iPad Mini
  • Stunning 8" HD display with over a million pixels (189 ppi / 1280 x 800)
  • Fast quad-core processor up to 1.5 GHz. Rear-facing 5 MP camera and front-facing HD camera.
  • Coming soon: Alexa, a cloud-based voice service that provides quick access to the entertainment you want, including music, games, audiobooks, and more. Ask questions, shop, find news, weather, and more - just press the home button and ask.
  • Amazon Underground, a one-of-a-kind app store experience where thousands of apps, games and even in-app items are 100% free - including extra lives, unlocked levels, unlimited add-on packs and more
  • Enjoy millions of movies, TV shows, songs, Kindle e-books, apps and games -- including Netflix, Facebook, HBO, Pandora and more
  • 8 GB or 16 GB of internal storage. Free unlimited cloud storage for all Amazon content and photos taken with Fire devices. Add a microSD card for up to 200 GB of additional storage.
Technical Details

Technical Details

Technical details

Display

8” touchscreen, 1280x800 resolution at 189 ppi, HD video playback with fully laminated IPS LCD display

Size

8.4” x 5.0” x 0.3” (214 x 128 x 7.7mm)

Weight

11.0 ounces (311 grams)
Actual size and weight may vary by configuration and manufacturing process

CPU & RAM

MediaTek Quad-Core: 2 @ 1.5 GHz + 2 @ 1.2 GHz , with 1 GB of RAM

Storage

8 GB (4.5GB available to user) or 16 GB (11.6 GB available to user) of internal storage. Add a microSD card for up to 200 GB of additional storage for even more movies, TV shows, music, photos, personal videos, and apps.
Some apps may require that they are installed on internal storage.

Battery Life

Up to 8 hours of reading, surfing the web, watching video, and listening to music. Battery life will vary based on device settings, usage, and other factors such as web browsing and downloading content. Actual results may vary.

Charge Time

Fully charges in under 5 hours using the micro-USB power adapter included in the box, or slightly longer with other micro-USB power adapters that you may already have

Wi-Fi Connectivity

Single-antenna, dual-band Wi-Fi. Supports public and private Wi-Fi networks or hotspots that use the 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n or 802.11ac standard with support for WEP, WPA, and WPA2 security using password authentication; does not support connecting to ad-hoc (or peer-to-peer) Wi-Fi networks

4G Connectivity

N/A

Ports

USB 2.0 (micro-B connector) to connect to a PC/Macintosh computer, or to charge your device with the included power adapter; microSD slot for external storage

Audio

3.5 mm stereo jack and integrated stereo speaker with Dolby Audio

Content Formats Supported

Kindle (AZW), KF8, TXT, PDF, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively, Audible Enhanced format (AAX), DOC, DOCX, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, non-DRM AAC, MP3, MIDI, PCM/WAVE, OGG, WAV, M4V, MP4, Dolby Digital (AC-3), Dolby Digital Plus (E-AC-3), AAC LC/LTP, HE-AACv1, HE-AACv2, MKV, AMR-NB, AMR-WB, HTML5, CSS3, 3GP, VP8 (WEBM)

Sensors

Accelerometer, gyroscope

Camera Specs

720p front-facing HD camera. 5 MP rear-facing HD camera

Location Services

Location-based services via Wi-Fi

Available Colors

Black, Magenta, Blue, Tangerine

Additional Features

External volume controls, built-in Bluetooth with support for A2DP compatible stereo headphones, speakers, microphone, and LE accessories support

Accessibility Features

VoiceView and Screen Magnifier enable access to the vast majority of Fire tablet features. VoiceView features IVONA's award-winning natural language text-to-speech voice. Fire OS 5 also includes system wide closed caption settings, adjustable font sizes up to 50% larger, and a variety of book reading text adjustments such as adjustable colors and text spacing. Also includes adjustable font sizes/color, and built-in Oxford dictionary Learn more about these features

System Requirements

Fire HD is ready to use right out of the box—no setup, no software to install, no computer required to download content

Warranty and Service

1-year Limited Warranty and service included. Optional 1-year, 2-year, and 3-year Extended Warranty available for U.S. customers sold separately. Use of Fire HD 8 tablet is subject to the terms found here

Included in the Box

Fire HD 8 tablet, USB 2.0 cable, 5W power adapter, and Quick Start Guide

Generation

5th generation - 2015 release

Search in reviews, Q&A...

See questions and answers

Customer reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5
9,761 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on February 19, 2016
Customer image
2.0 out of 5 stars Review of Fire OS 5
By Nosh F. on February 18, 2016
Fire OS 5 Review

This review is aimed specifically at the major software update we just received, not at the particular Kindle Fire model. I myself use an HDX 8.9 which I love in terms of its hardware, and until the system overhaul that OS 5 brought had loved for its software as well. Since this review will be rather lengthy, you can just read the headings that seam pertinent to you. I will be reviewing this in terms of comparison and contrast with how it has improved or devolved since Fire OS 4.

Topics:
LOCK SCREEN
PULL-DOWN MENU
MAIN USER INTERFACE (UI)
BUILT-IN APPS
BUGS

1. LOCK SCREEN
Pros: The lock screen has added a really nice feature allowing us to directly access the quick pull-down menu with wifi, airplane mode, etc. I will talk about the development of the pull-down menu in the next part of this review. Another nice feature is the ability to directly access the camera app from the lock screen with a swipe from the bottom right corner.

Cons: As is the case with almost all the changes for OS 5, the cons far outweigh the pros. First, the biggest problem with the lock screen is the loss of the direct ability to pause, skip, or go back 30 seconds when listening to an audiobook or to music as we had before. Even with access to the pull-down menu on the unlock screen we are not able to control playback. We must unlock the screen first; and THEN access the pull-down menu to access the playback controls. Ridiculous.

The other major nuisance of the lock screen is the fact that the unlock swipe has been changed from a right-to-left swipe in the middle of the screen (which allows for one-handed operation of a large tablet) to a down-to-up swipe from the middle of the bottom of the screen, forcing two-hand operation to unlock the tablet. To add insult to injury, this time fro the gesture to actual unlock seems to take longer than before.

Finally, I find it obnoxious that Amazon added a quick-swipe into shopping on the lockscreen, as though accessing the Amazon store is as essential as accessing the camera quickly. Seems to me there are many other apps that deserve such a useful piece of lock screen real estate (say, e-mail).

2. PULL-DOWN MENU
Pros: This is one of the aspects of OS 5 that is done pretty well overall. It provides all of the most essential features: Wifi, Airplane Mode, Blue Shade*, Do Not Disturb, Settings, Auto-Rotate toggle, Mayday (help), and Firefly (to catch the name of that song on the radio quickly). Blue Shade is an excellent feature addition which allows us to use the Fire before bedtime without the sleep-preventing overuse of blue light. The blue shade removes the blue light, turning the screen a reddish color, and dimming it, though you can easily adjust the red-yellow balance and brightness to your liking.

Cons: The biggest Con has to do with the implementation of Audiobook playback controls. Music playback controls are largely unchanged. If you play a song, then playback controls are added into the native pull-down menu. However, for audiobooks, the playback controls are added as a white notification below the native pull-down menu. This has two disadvantages. First, the controls are ultra-small requiring super-accurate touches. Second, I have not figured out what triggers its disappearance, but the playback controls seem to randomly disappear from the notification section. The fact that I can even remove them from the notification while the audiobook is still playing is also weird. They should be there permanently unless I actually quit the audiobook app, as they were with OS 4.

Non-Pro-Con: This depends on preference. I like less options; but others like more. If you own a Kindle Fire, like owning an iPad, you understand that you are losing customization choices with the OS. Nevertheless, some might be annoyed that there is no customizability with the actual pull-down menu’s native items, though all of the notifications and priorities can be controlled through the App Settings menu.

3. MAIN USER INTERFACE (UI)
Perhaps, I’m using the wrong wording, but when I say the main UI, I simply refer to how the whole Home Screen, Tabs, animations, etc. have been tweaked (or more accurately, mangled) with OS 5.

Pros:
Probably the best new feature that was added to the interface is the addition of a small box icon next to the home circle and back arrow icons. When the box is tapped you will get a carousel view of all running apps. In fact this view has revealed either a new problem with the OS or perhaps a problem that remained hidden in previous versions since there was no “App Reveal” button. I am including a screenshot of the problem. As you will see, the system seems to run duplicates once apps are opened. I am only including an example that shows two of these (Music and Settings), but the problem persists across all built-in apps. An app exists for Settings as well as menus accessible from Settings—Wi-Fi Settings, E-mail Settings, Parental Controls, etc. Music artists each take up an app tab, the music library requires an App tab, etc. Thus, the system appears to be wasting a lot of resources running so many separate apps. The other possibility is that this is always the case in the OS with the aim of speeding up launches, but the end result is still an extremely cluttered app carousel. We only need one Settings tab, one music tab, etc.

Another possible Pro for some is the ability to change the Home Screen wallpaper. I prefer the simplicity of the original dark gray screen of OS 4 (less distracting when searching for a colorful app that could be lost in the colorful background), but I was easily able to change the wallpaper to a simple gray to suit my needs. Others may like the ability to put their own pictures or scenic backgrounds to more personalize the home page.

Cons:
Perhaps the most egregious of the UI problems is the removal of a main tab for Photos and Docs. Some might argue that the Docs tab gets less mainstream use, but Photos is undeniably one of the most frequently used apps for most users. Nevertheless, both Photos and Docs have been removed from the major tabs in the banner across the main screen WHILE KEEPING A TAB CALLED “SHOP”!!! That is to say, in order to push for impulse buying, Amazon has removed the instant accessibility to photos in favor of keeping an entire tab dedicated to shopping.

Another major change with the OS is that instead of accessing tabs within the main screen, each tab has been broken into separate apps. Photos and Docs have been removed from the tabs and exist only as separate apps that we can open from the Home Screen or from the Apps tab. The result is more Home Screen clutter. What is crazy is that all of the apps are stuck on the Home Screen…they can no longer be removed for a neater Home Screen. The only workaround I have found is that I can combine them into their own “Folder” so that instead of taking up 50 App spaces, I can cull them into 1 App Folder space.

While on the topic of the Home Screen, it is also worth noting that we can no longer save our favorite books as an app-like icon to the home screen. For example, I read my Bible every day. Previously this could just be seen immediately on my Home Screen next to my Silk browser app. Now I must go to the inconvenient Recent tab (discussed later).

Regarding the Tabs (Music, Apps, Shop, etc.), these have become less useful. Previously, you were brought directly to your library for the selected tab; now the screen wastes resources animating a movement to a tab which shows you your most recently accessed apps, but you must additionally tap “Library” in order to see all of it, which is exactly the same Library interface we had on OS 4. Thus, two taps are required to do what was previously one tap. This is a small insignificant amount of time; but the digression in usability is the bigger problem. What happens when OS 6 requires three taps, then four?

When Accessing the Apps tab, the results are far more problematic. Seeing only five apps in the Tab section, we almost always have to view the Library, but the apps library has become horrible. The apps are not viewable as icons. Instead they are in a list form with their icon, name, download/cloud status, and a context menu. First of all, this view makes it impossible to see more than 15 apps at a time. Second of all, you can’t tap the App name or icon to open it. Tapping these will bring you to the app information page in the Store! Ridiculous! This makes no sense from a UI perspective. Instead, the only way to open it is by tapping the tiny “Open” button on the right side.

I’m not sure how many felt about the Carousel that previously dominated the Home Screen. I loved it. Instead this has been replaced by a Recent tab. I have two problems with this. One, it now requires two taps instead of one to access the most recently used 5 apps. Two, the apps are organized in a vertical pane instead of a carousel (though I know this is more habit/visual preference than a Con with the system UI). I think that we should either have the option to activate a carousel into the Home Screen or the carousel should be added as a permanent strip between the Tab titles and the apps on the Home Screen. I think this is much more efficient than forcing me to either tap Recent tab, the box/app-reveal icon, or the other associated tab (i.e., Books for my Bible).

This is a small UI problem and easily fixable. Previously, we had sliders for turning things like On or Off (e.g., the Wi-Fi). However, they did not give a visual cue that they needed to be slid. They have changed these sliders to now look like sliders! Excellent, right? The “sliders” are shown as small floating dot inside of an oval that is orange when the dot is on the left to indicate On and gray when the dot is on the right for Off. HOWEVER, a sliding motion does not move this dot! Instead of sliding, we must TAP them. It makes no sense. If a tap is required, the icon should not be shown as a slider, it should be shown as a tap-switch; otherwise the sliding motion we used in OS 4 should be preserved to go with the much better visual slider cue.

4. BUILT-IN APPS
I will only speak about the system Apps I use most frequently, as I cannot comment on Apps that I didn’t really use in OS 4.

Calculator: This app has a huge new problem. They got rid of the “C” and “CE” buttons! Thus, as you tap out “5 + 5” you can see the answer “10” below it on the screen like any normal smartphone calculator. No need to tap “=“ to find the answer. But how do you delete the numbers? No “C” button. You must first tap “=.” The “DEL” (which had only functioned as a backspace) will then change to “CLR” and then a really slow animation erases the answer so that you can begin a new problem. There is in fact space on the calculator to keep both the DEL and CLR buttons visible at the same time without squeezing, shrinking, or removing any other keys.

Clock: The clock changes LOOK nice, but they don’t work nicer. When you want to set an alarm clock, for example, you no longer get a big number keypad where you can tap out the time you want. Instead, you get a tiny little clock-like circle of numbers 1 - 12 to choose the hour to wake. For selecting the minutes, you get the same clock circle for numbers 5 - 60. These numbers are so small and squeezed that it is not easy to tap out the right time on first touch. Worse, if you want a time like 5:22pm you have to do a really difficult tap on :25, then slowly slide your finger until the :22 appears. By the time you lift your finger, you may accidentally change it to :23 or :21 from the movement during the lift of your fingertip. This is an easily fixable problem. If they insist on keeping this interface because it is more attractive then a number pad, then blow up the clock…use more screen real estate. Then add little dots to represent the minutes between the 5-minute increments currently shown.

Camera: I like how the camera added the ability to tap either a photograph shutter button or a video record button from the same menu without having to switch between Camera and Video mode. This is an excellent end-user consideration to make when adding/changing a feature. Also, I’m not sure if we had HDR previously; if not, I’m glad this was added. At the very least, the camera adds a “HDR recommended” text to the screen during camera mode if you do not have it activated but it might help the shot be better.

E-mail: This has become slightly streamlined, making deletion of messages easier, and making the composing icon more meaningful by changing it to an always-visible pen in the bottom right corner. I like the e-mail client on here and I’m glad they didn’t tweak it too much.

Calendar: I haven’t used the calendar very much in the past or even now. The reason: it is useless when you set a reminder but the reminder does not remind you. I want my calendar reminders to go off with their alarm and turn on my screen just like the alarm clock does. Instead, you won’t see the reminder until you take the time to turn on your Fire and look at your notifications. It works nicely in terms of its Cloud connectedness and its interface (if your requirements are relatively basic), but its inability to wake the device up and actually remind me of events leaves its purposes moot at this point.

5. BUGS
I have encountered several bugs, but cannot remember all of them at the moment. The only one I can remember at the moment happens when you have a Folder of apps on the Home Screen and open that folder, then open an app inside the folder. Once in the app, if you tap the Home circle at the bottom of the screen, it will bring you back to the Home Screen, BUT it will automatically enter the Keyboard mode trying to make you edit the name of the Folder containing the app you just accessed.

CONCLUSION
I am aware of how long this review of OS 5 is, but I hope that bears witness to how much I love Amazon and how much I had loved my Fire HDX 8.9 before this attractive but non-user-friendly OS 5 was automatically downloaded and added to my device. I think that many user’s who read this will notice that they share in my dislike for many of the changes. I am not against change, I am simply against changes that do one or more of the following:
Favor visual attractiveness over user friendliness (animations just to animate)
Replace simplicity with unnecessary complexity (two taps instead of one)
Overlook simple design issues (small buttons on large screens)

I think that Amazon has made all three of these mistakes with the release of OS 5. Moreover, I am really unhappy with how hard Amazon has pushed shopping with the added swipe on the lock screen as well as with favoring a Shop tab over a much more widely used tab like Photos. I feel like I signed up for having the ads on the lock screen when I bought this; I knew, accepted, and sometimes even liked these. It keeps the lock screen from being boring. However, I feel like Amazon is favoring its bank account more than the end user with these choices, and it does not seem very Amazon-like to me.

As a result, I give 4.5 stars for the HDX 8.9 tablet itself, but 2 stars for OS 5, which makes the 4.5 star tablet work like a 3-star tablet.

Amazon has always been fantastic with customer service; it is why I have remained a customer since its humble beginnings. And I believe in Amazon’s ability to fix these issues. They have always done a great job responding to customer feedback. I really hope that by posting this review across all devices that at least one developer sees it and responds with actions that get me back to loving my Kindle Fire.

Thanks for reading and hope this helps you make an informed decision about the OS ecosystem you may or may not want to enter.
Images in this review
Customer image
Customer image
4 people found this helpful
Report abuse
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on October 2, 2015
Customer image
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed First Impressions
By Kindle Customer on October 2, 2015
As a background, I am a retired Information Systems professional and I am writing my first impressions of the Fire HD 8 from the perspective of being a long-time Kindle user. I have all the current e-readers and Fire devices from Amazon including the basic Kindle, the Paperwhite (2013,2014,2015 models), the Fire HD6, Fire HD7, Fire HDX7 and Fire HDX8.9 (3rd and 4th generation). Here is a summary of my initial impressions of the new Fire HD8.

Amazon removed the Fire HD7, the Fire HDX7 and the Fire HDX8.9 and replaced them with the Fire HD (7" screen), Fire HD 8 and Fire HD 10.

HARDWARE:

WHAT COMES IN THE BOX: The HD8 Fire, a short USB cord and a power adapter. Finally, Amazon ships a power adapter with their Fires so you can charge and use the device right out of the box. (Picture attached)

SIZE: The HD8 is longer than the older HD7 but the same width as the discontinued HD7. It is also thinner. (8.4"x5.0"x0.3" versus 7.5"x5.0"x0.4"). I have large hands and can hold it with one hand, but even with my hands, I really need to use both hands. Because it is longer, it seem "top heavy" to me. The back is also slick and slippery to hold. Mine has a habit of sliding off the table.

Display: The resolution of the screen is 1280 x 800 same as the HD 7 but the pixel density is lower due to the longer screen length. In practical use, though, you can't tell the difference. The display is nice and bright but barely readable in bright sunlight. One nice touch is that now, you can choose your own wallpaper! It comes with 9 stock images and if you don't like one of them, you can choose your own image in your Amazon Photos folder.

BATTERY: Like the HD6 and the HD7, the battery in the HD8 is rated at approximately 8 hours of mixed use. I wish Amazon had included the 11-hour battery life of the HDX7. The extra 3 rated hours of older HDX7 is a substantial improvement on the new HD8. With this device, I have to travel with a portable battery charger when flying across the country. I also have to constantly stay close to a plug at home when using it heavily while I browse the internet or watch videos. Realistically, I can use it for about 4-5 hours before trying to find power.

STORAGE: The HD8 can be ordered with 8 GB or 16GB. However, Amazon has now added a slot where you can insert a microSD card. All Fire tablets support all classes of Ultra High Speed (UHS) MicroSD Cards. Important! For non-UHS MicroSD cards, Amazon recommends Class 10 MicroSD cards for optimal performance. Class 2 MicroSD cards may not perform well enough to support video playback or capturing burst mode photos. Although most apps can be stored on the SD card, I recommend that you order the 16GB version of the HD8 as not all apps can be loaded on the SD card, including downloaded books. You will need more than the 8 GB if you plan on downloading any books, music, videos or take photos. You can probably get by with buying the 16 GB version and using it without an SD card. If you find a need to store more content, you can always add the SD card later.

The SD card slot is located on the upper right side of the device (see picture). You just open the flap and pop the SD card in. The slot is spring-loaded so that a push should spring it out again. The spring was rather stiff in my device and I had a heck of a time getting it to seat in the slot without popping out again. But once I got it to stay in, the card has performed flawlessly.

WIFI: Amazon has improved the WiFi from the HD7. It comes with a dual-band antenna that operates under the a/b/g/n/ac protocols using both the 2.4 Ghz and the 5 Ghz frequency range. I live where there are about 30 routers that the HD8 can detect and it picks up my router fine without a lot of interference. I would rate the WiFi performance of the HD 8 as above average.

SOUND: This is where the HD 8 shines. Amazon has upgraded the sound with Dolby Atmos and dual stereo speakers. While there are not very many movies or videos available yet, when they do become available, you're set.

Atmos is a new surround sound technology, developed in 2012, that expands upon the current 5.1 and 7.1 set-ups. With Atmos, each speaker has its own feed, enabling new front, surround and ceiling-mounted height channels. I was watching a movie with cheap headphones and thought I heard helicopters fly by my house. It took me a minute to realize that the sound was from the helicopters in the movie. It really sounded like they were coming from the left and moving to the right OVERHEAD. Wow, I was impressed!!

The volume buttons are placed along the top of the HD 8 along with the power button, the headphone jack and the power receptacle. So all the buttons you would touch are on top. No buttons are on the sides or bottom.

Amazon improved the placement of the speakers on the HD8 by moving them from the back to the side of the device. Still not as good as having them on the front, but better than the back. I found that just placing my palm behind a speaker reflects the sound to the front for improved listening. Speaker sound is pretty good for normal listening.

CAMERA: The back camera is not bad and it is considerably better than the camera on the new basic Fire HD. The front camera might be OK for Skyping but color saturation and focus aren't that great on the front. There is no flash on the back so all pictures have to be taken in adequate lighting.

All the pictures uploaded to this review were taken by the back camera of an HD8 so judge for yourself. I have uploaded pictures of
1. The new basic HD 7 on top of the HD 8.
2. The device, cord and power adapter included with the device.
3. The new HD8 (magenta) next to the old HD7 (pink but called magenta). As you can see the shades are different.
4. The front screen of the old HD7 and the new HD 8.
5. The new basic Fire HD, the HD8 and the HD10, side-by-side.
6. Screen showing carousel of apps loaded and running
7. New home, back and app buttons on bottom of screen
8. Top of HD8 showing power and volume buttons.

SOFTWARE:

When I turned on the HD8 and started through the initial setup, it immediately had to download updated software and reboot. After that setup was slightly quicker and easier than the older devices but very similar.

The HD8 software version is Fire OS 5 which is a redesigned Amazon skin that runs on top of Android Lollipop version 5.1. There are a lot of changes from Fire OS 4. First, the carousel is gone. In its place, Amazon has tabs across the top (under a search line) called RECENT, HOME, BOOKS, VIDEO, GAMES, SHOP, and APPS. You swipe right or left to move back and forth between tabs or touch the tab name. The HOME tab starts with a row called "New Items" with icons for the latest books, videos, etc. that you have downloaded or purchased. Under that is the traditional grid of apps. The RECENT tab contains a grid of icons of the most recent used items for the device. In order to read books, watch movies, etc., you must either swipe to or touch the appropriate tab.

You are not going to get away from Amazon's marketing on these tabs. For instance, the BOOKS tab has a row call "FROM YOUR BOOKS LIBRARY" which displays a couple of icons of your books. At the right is small text link that you can touch titled "See all your books." Under that you have "Recommended for you in Kindle Unlimited." (I don't subscribe to Kindle Unlimited so don't know why I need that.) Below that are more rows "Recommended for you." Best Sellers, Recommended for you in Mystery, Thriller and Suspense, Recommended for you in Science Fiction, Recommended for you in Nonfiction, etc. with a "See more products" link and a "SHOP KINDLE BOOKSTORE" link at the bottom. The tab contains lots of real estate acreage for selling books with a postage-stamp sized lot for my stuff.

The older Fires have three icons on the bottom of some screens that were a back arrow, a house and a search magnifier for back, home and search respectively. The new Fires have three new icons: a left-facing triangle, a circle and a square (see picture uploaded). These are available on every screen. The left-facing triangle is the back button, the circle is the home button and the square brings up the currently running or loaded apps. This is a new feature that you can access from anywhere, including the home screen. Hit the square and a carousel of loaded apps appears. You can browse up and down the list, close any running apps or hit the one you want to open. (see uploaded photo)

I haven't used the device but a day but I am already disappointed. The new FIRE OS 5 operating system has quite a few bugs. I was reading email and a couple of times when I opened up a daily email from bookbub.com which contains quite a pictures of book covers. Paging down to email caused the screen to wig out with color lines and blocks of randomly colored squares. If you ever had an HD television that pixelated on the screen because of a weak signal and it couldn't decode the signal, you know what I mean.

I should note that the processors in all three new Fires are slow and can't keep up. Switching screens, browsing, and even reading has some hesitation or delays.

The new Fire OS 5 also has problems with collections. Because I have thousands of books, I use collections extensively for my book inventory. I have categories such as "Books Already Read," "Sci Fi," "Mystery," "Currently Reading," etc. Every book I buy, I assign it to a category of its genre, whether it is in my reading queue, currently reading or have already read. This is the way I can find anything quickly, including what I am reading. Anyway, when assigning new books to categories on the new FIRE's, the assignments won't stick. In Fire OS 5, in order to assign a book, you have to go to the "BOOK" tab, select "See all your books" on the right of the first row, hold-press the book icon to select it, hit the plus button in the upper right bring up the collection list, click the collections to add to, and hit the OK button. You do all and bring up the book collection list only to find that the book you assigned to the collection isn't there. You go through the process again and guess what, it comes up blank. I can't seem to assign books to collections, especially if they are in the cloud. So I have to grab my trusty Paperwhite or older Fire to assign books to categories.

IN SUMMARY:

The HD8 has several nice features and some aggravating features. The new FIRE OS 5 is a different experience but is too buggy to be used seriously. The hardware is improved with the addition of a microSD card slot. However, the battery still sucks but at least Amazon includes a power adapter which you should keep close when using the HD 8. You'll need it.

The HD 8 is certainly a substantial upgrade over the basic $49 Fire HD but it costs quite a bit more. The HD 10 is essentially the same, just a bigger screen. (See uploaded side-by-side pictures for comparison) FYI. The icons, etc. are the same size on the HD 8 and the HD 10. The HD 10 puts more "space" between the icons and shows more content.

Should you buy the HD 8? If you have an older Fire, NO. I can't see a compelling reason to "upgrade" because it is not really an upgrade. There are too many problems with the OS. In fact, I would probably buy an equivalently-priced Android or Apple tablet over this one--especially if you are using the internet for browsing or like to play games. At least you will have access to Google or Apple store for the wealth of apps available that aren't in Amazon's Fire Store.

If you primarily read books, get either the Paperwhite or the Voyage. Either of these devices are outstanding for reading books, having high quality screens that you can read in the dark or the bright sunlight as well as a battery that will last weeks instead of hours.

If you are set on buying one of Amazon's new Fire's and can't decide which one, I would recommend the FIRE HD 6. I carry that little tablet everywhere. It fits in a purse; it fits in a pocket; it even fits in a nook in my car and I can connect it to the car's Bluetooth to read Audible books and play my music when driving. Although small, the screen resolution is outstanding on the HD 6 and it runs the stable Fire OS 4 operating system. If you just HAVE to get one of the new devices, get either this one or the basic Fire HD. I prefer the HD 8 over the basic Fire because
1) the battery is 8 hours versus 7 hours,
2) better sound,
3) much better WiFi,
4) faster processor (even this one is slow),
5) higher resolution screen
6) better cameras,
7) better audio
8) you can get this in the 16GB version and
9) you can pick your own color.

Later as I continue to use these new Fire HDs, I'll update my review.

====================
Images in this review
Customer image Customer image Customer image Customer image Customer image Customer image Customer image Customer image
Customer imageCustomer imageCustomer imageCustomer imageCustomer imageCustomer imageCustomer imageCustomer image
1,197 people found this helpful
Report abuse