Kindle Fire 7 vs Fire 8: Comparing tablets
Let’s compare the Kindle Fire 7 vs Fire 8 to see if the claims as to what they can do and if they will offer genuine and lasting worth to its user, are true.
The much anticipated Amazon Kindle Fire 7 was launched in November 2011 and represents Amazon’s first venture into the tablet computer market.
But in the year 2020, if you buy the device based on the low price tag alone will you be left frustrated by the performance of the Kindle Fire? Or will you be disappointed by the features available on the tablet?
Let’s take an in-depth look at the key areas of the Kindle Fire 7 vs Fire 8 to determine which tablet represents good value for the money.
Reasons to choose the Kindle Fire 8 over the Kindle Fire 7:
- 1.Bigger screen 8 – Around 15% bigger screen.
- 2.Significantly thinner 7.7 mm – Around 30% thinner.
- 3.Better processor.
- 4.Higher resolution front camera.
- 5.More RAM.
- 6.Newer and easier to update.
Kindle Fire 7 vs Fire 8: comparison chart
Kindle Fire 7
Kindle Fire 8
Screen and Display
7 inch - 1024 x 600 (171 ppi) resolution; IPS LCD
8 Inch - 1280 x 800 (189 ppi) resolution; IPS LCD
Quad-core 1.3 GHz
Quad-core 1.3 GHz
Up to 8 hours
Up to 10 hours
8 or 16 GB of internal storage (up to 256 GB with microSD)
16 or 32 GB of internal storage (up to 400 GB with microSD)
10.1 oz (286 g)
12.5 oz (355 g)
7.6" x 4.5" x 0.4" (192 mm x 115 mm x 9.6 mm)
8.0" x 5.4" x 0.4" (202 mm x 137 mm x 9.7 mm)
YES; 2 MP front- and rear-facing
YES; 2 MP front- and rear-facing
- 7" IPS display; 8 or 16 GB of internal storage (up to 256 GB with microSD)
- 1.3 GHz quad-core processor
- Up to 8 hours of battery life
- Alexa enabled
- 8" HD display; 16 or 32 GB of internal storage (up to 400 GB with microSD)
- 1.3 GHz quad-core processor
- Up to 10 hours of battery life
- Alexa hands-free enabled
Kindle Fire 7 vs Fire 8: In-Depth Comparison review
The Fire Tablet arrives as expected from Amazon.com in a no-frills box that contains just the device, a power cord, and a simple cardboard sheet of instructions.
Setup of the devices very straightforward and easy to follow. Once you power on the tablet you connect to your wireless network and then register your Kindle Fire to your Amazon account. If you purchased the machine on your existing Amazon Account then once you power it on, you will be automatically recognized.
Also, any previously purchased Amazon content will be readily available on your new tablet.
My first impressions of the tablet are favorable. It is obvious the device has been designed with an emphasis on functionality over style but at the same time, it does not look or feel cheap.
Its sizes are comfortable – it is 7.5 x 4.7 x 0.45 (inches) and weighs under 15 ounces which means it can be held comfortably, yet securely, in one hand.
It has smooth, rounded edges and corners and a rubber-like covering on the back that is surprisingly decorated with “KindIe” and not “Kindle Fire” as one might expect.
The Fire’s tablet default orientation is vertical so it reads like a book by default. Keeping with its simple design, the tablet has just one button (the power button), 2 USB ports, and a plugin slot for headphones.
Screen & Display
The Kindle Fire 8 runs on an HD touchscreen with a 1280 x 800 screen resolution at 189 PPI. Like the Fire 7, it also uses IPS technology.
The Fire’s 7 screen runs 1024 x 600 pixels and the content looks great and is easy to read / view. One particular feature of the Fire 8 tablet I have been really impressed with, its durability and its scratch-resistant screen.
Amazon claims the machine is “chemically strengthened to be 20 times stiffer and 30 times harder than plastic, making it extra durable and resistant to accidental bumps and scrapes”.
I have found the Fire to be extremely durable with the Gorilla Glass being pretty close to indestructible. The screen is one of the best scratch-resistant pieces of technology I have ever used.
In terms of memory comparison, the Fire HD 7 comes with 1GB of RAM which is just about adequate.
On the other hand, the Fire 8 has 1.5GB.
Initial criticisms of sluggish performance, following the Fire’s release in November 2012, were quickly resolved by the 6.2.1 Update Release.
This “enhances fluidity and performance, improves touch navigation responsiveness. It also gives you the option to choose which items display on the carousel, and adds the ability to add a password lock on WI-Fi access”.
Ensure you install all available updates immediately as soon as you power your machine for the first time. In memory tests, the Kindle Kindle Fire 8 HD gets a slight advantage.
While the Fire specs suggest there is an 8 GB internal hard drive, essentially only 6 GB of this is actually readily available to the user for storing media.
This will prove a problem for most users who will generally have more than 6GB of media files already through music, movies, eBooks, and videos.
This issue is further compounded by the lack of a memory card expansion slot. This denies users the opportunity to expand the memory at their own cost. As a work-a-round user should store most content on the Amazon Cloud and only store media used frequently in offline mode on the machine’s hard drive.
Amazon provides 5GB of Free Cloud Storage with each additional 1GB of Cloud Storage costing $x per year.
Amazon MP3s are automatically stored on the Cloud and do not contribute to the 5GB storage limit.
Digital content can be synced across many devices using Amazon’s WhisperSync device which enables you to pick up a movie or book where you previously finished reading or watching.
Fire 8 or Fire 7: Battery life
In my experience, I must charge the Kindle Fire 7 every second night. This covers me adequately for general browsing and entertainment day-to-day usage.
Overall, in our extensive testing to date, the Amazon Fire 7 performance is in line with what Amazon claims it to be and what one would expect based on the Fire Specs.
The battery lasts for up to 8 hours of continuous reading time or 7.5 hours of video playback with no wireless connection. With WI-Fi in use, the battery life will depend on the content being browsed and downloaded.
In my Fire 8 tests, I found the battery life to be very satisfactory and in general is what Amazon has claimed it to be.
The Fire tablet runs on a heavily customized version of the Android Operating System. Although you would not know this when using it as Amazon has obviously taken great care in fully customizing the Android OS look & feel. Kindle Fire User Interface is designed like a bookshelf.
The top shelf of the bookcase contains icons for the most recent activities (movies, books, apps, websites, etc.). You swipe through your content which can take a little getting used to but overall the user interface is smartly designed and easy to use. Even for novices or tablet newbies.
As the Fire runs on a customized version of Android, the number of applications that can be downloaded for the Fire is limited. While there are over 200,000 apps available in the Android App Marketplace there are only 10,000+ applications available on the Amazon App Marketplace.
Android apps not designed for the Kindle Fire, may work but must be side-loaded onto the device by activating the “Allow Installation of Applications From Unknown Sources” option in Settings. Strangely there is no standard Facebook app although Facebook mobile does suffice.
Despite the Android limitation, there is a wide range of high-quality apps available for the Kindle Fire. Furthermore, Amazon is increasing the number every day with well-known app providers coming on board all the time.
All in all, we have not found any performance issues that would act as a deterrent against buying the Fire 7. However, you should take into account buying the Fire 8 instead, for better performances.
Both Fire devices, excel reading books, as one would expect of such a product from Amazon. There are well over 1 million eBooks available in the Amazon Library including the latest releases and current bestsellers. A book can be downloaded in under 30 seconds and you can flip through the pages conveniently by tapping or swiping the screen.
The font size, style, and line spacing can be adjusted for more convenient viewing. The Fire is also equipped with a background light so it can be read easily in the dark or in limited light such as on an airplane.
You can easily read books using a tablet. You will get a wide variety of ebooks available in Amazon’s Store. Also, you can adjust by your desire the font style, size, and line spacing for a better reading experience. Also, you can easily read in the dark thanks to the background light.
Visit the following link for a list of free kindle books at Amazon.com
Also, the machines do come with a simple POP/IMAP email program. The KindIe Docs Reader and popular apps such as Netflix and YouTube are available through the Amazon App store. Popular Android apps that require a camera or a microphone must obviously be avoided also given the lack of such devices on the KindIe device.
Standard Word / PDF documents can be viewed on the Fire tablet and while there are apps in the app store that can facilitate the creation and editing of documents I would not recommend any as it is best to leave these activities to your laptop.
Music-wise the Amazon store has a large selection of both free and paid song titles available. Music files are stored in your Cloud Drive or can also be downloaded to the machine’s local drive for offline listening.
The downloaded files are Digital Rights Management (DRM)-free which means there are no restrictions on the files. So you are free to use the songs as you wish in the future. You can also upload your existing music collection on your Fire’s hard drive.
The Fire devices also come equipped with a built-in email application that supports all the standard email services. This includes Gmail, Hotmail, and Yahoo mail. However, the email app is of poor quality, is limited in functionality, sluggish to perform, and is pretty unremarkable overall.
You can also obtain apps like Netflix or Youtube with the help of the Amazon App store.
However, you should note that installing too many apps, will fill up the hard drive very quickly given the limited internal memory capacity.
Amazon has highlighted the new Kindle Fire 7 Silk Web Browser as “a revolutionary, cloud-accelerated browser that uses a split browser architecture to leverage the computing speed and power of the Amazon Web Services cloud”. Sound very impressive!
However, in extensive testing of the Silk Browser, and indeed in general day-to-day Internet surfing and downloading, I have found no evidence to support Amazon’s big claims regarding the Silk Browser.
The Kindle Fire 8 Silk Web Browser is perfectly fine to use but in my opinion, performs at the same speed as any other standard browser across a standard wireless network.
Fire 7 vs Fire 8: Verdict
When comparing these two tablets we may think there are not so many or big differences between them.
- The Kindle 8 has a bigger screen than the Kindle 7.
- It is Significantly thinner.
- It has a higher resolution front camera.
- Has more ram.
- Newer Sep 2015 vs Oct 2014.
So don’t wait and upgrade your device.
Last update on 2021-05-03 / This post contains Affiliate links.