Full Review Amazon Fire HD8 and HD8 Plus Full Tablet

hey everybody is lying Seidman we’ve got not one but two new 8-inch tablets from Amazon to check out today this is the new Fire HD 8 and we got in the HD 8 and the HD 8 plus and we’ll take a look at what makes these two tablets different from each other and how they perform now I do want to let you know in the interest of full disclosure that I paid for these with my own funds all the opinions you’re about to hear are my own nobody is paying for this review nor is anyone reviewing or approving what you’re about to see before it was uploaded so let’s get into it now and see what these tablets are all about now the price point on these is very reasonable the HD 8 here sells for $89 and then you’ve got the HD 8 plus here selling for about $20 more so let’s dive into the hardware now we’re going to start with what these two tablets have in common they both have an 8-inch

display it’s a 1280 by 800 display IPS nice and bright very nice to read on a good video performance on them as well all together a really nice display for a low-end device and again the display on the plus is the same as it is on the regular HD 8 they also both have the same exact processor an MT 8 1 6 8 that’s a 64-bit processor to get a little techie here on you but it’s running the operating system in 32-bit mode so you’re not going to be able to run 64-bit apps on these devices but the processor is capable of that should Amazon change their mind in the future they also both have 32 gigabytes of storage in their base configuration which is pretty generous for a low-cost tablet that was nice to see you’ll be able to use about twenty four point eight gigs of that 32 but they both have the option to add an SD card if you want and they can accept cards up to one terabyte they both support AC wireless to get on your Wi-Fi and all together really nice little tablets here even on the base model now where the plus differs is in its Ram this has three gigabytes of RAM and this one has two gigabytes of RAM in most cases for most consumers that is not going to make much of a difference they will run games at the same speed essentially but the device with more RAM here the plus will allow you to run more things at once and more easily switch back and forth between them and I’ll show you a little

demo of how that extra bit of RAM might help in a few instances but I think if you are somebody who generally plays a game every once in a while and then just browse the web or whatever you’re gonna be fine with the lower-priced 2 gig model now the other big differentiator of the HD 8 plus is that it supports wireless charging so if you have a Qi charger it’s spelled Qi like I do here if you place the tablet down on the center of it it will most of the time begin charging itself I’m finding it’s hard sometimes to get the center point exactly dialed in there but once you get it placed there you can see that it started charging itself there is an accessory item that I’m going to talk about in a few minutes that I think is a good fit for that wireless charging feature and again wireless charging is on the HD 8 plus but not on the regular HD 8 and the last difference between the two is that the HD 8 plus comes with a faster charger in the Box it’s got a 9 watt charger versus a 5 watt that comes with the HD 8 but they both support faster charging so if you were to plug a 9 watt USB charger into this one it will charge just as fast as the more expensive one will and actually both of these support up to 15 watt charging but neither come with a 15 watt charger and speaking of the battery amazon says you’ll get 12 hours of battery life on this device in my testing I found that if you’ve got the display brightness turned down and you’re not playing games on it basically sticking to the basics you can

probably get close to that point probably in the 10 to 12 hour mark but if you’re playing games or running apps that are more demanding on the processor that of course will impact the battery life and the battery is the same in the + as it is in the regular HD 8 weight on both of them is about 12 and a half ounces or 350 five grams not all that heavy I like the size if you got a decent sized hand here you can palm it like this the back is plastic so not the best build quality but I found over the years that these Amazon tablets can take some abuse without getting damaged too easily I’ve had a 7-inch tablet that my kids have been using for years now and that thing has survived a lot and I found these things to be a little more sturdy than their low cost industrial design leads you to believe surprisingly this has stereo speakers on it so if you are watching content that has stereo to it you’ll hear it out of both audio quality isn’t spectacular but it’s better than you might think on a low cost tablet it’s certainly a lot better than some of the generic tablets that I’ve looked at my one gripe with this is the placement of the webcam which they decided to put here in the middle which kind of encourages a landscape orientation I tend to do my web conferences with my devices in portrait orientation which is how my phone is configured and how prior versions of this tablet were configured but the camera is not going to be here it’s going to be here the device will of course work in either orientation but just note the location of the camera is a bit odd for a tablet now as for ports both of these tablets have a USB type-c port for charging but it also supports USB C devices like memory sticks and keyboards and mice and that sort of thing just note though that you cannot

get any display output from this and the port runs at USB 2 speeds your power button is here you’ve got a volume rocker here and you’ve got a headphone jack and again this is common to both of the tablets that Amazon is offering in this HD 8 line then you’ve got another camera here on the back both cameras are 2 megapixels not spectacular image quality but if you have to take a picture of something you’ve got the cameras at least on here but you’re not going to be winning any photo Awards with it and finally the SD card slot here is on the side they have it protected underneath this little door here so you can keep that card with you all the time again it takes microSD cards up to one terabyte in size and they can be always with you there you might see that there is a version of the tablet with special offers and one that is more expensive without special offers what special offers means is that you’ll see some average sizing subtly sprinkled about the interface here so the most obvious one is the one you’ll see on the lock screen so you can see here it’s got an ad for subscription boxes when I unlocked a tablet and lock it again we might see a different ad popping up here maybe not but you will see that kind of changing over time and that is what the special offers are and occasionally you’ll see something on the home screen here as well not too intrusive but if you don’t like the ads you can buy a version of the tablet without them for a little bit more money let’s take a look now at performance we’ll step through a few different things that I tested with these I’m gonna use the entry level one for the most part because these really do perform exactly the same and we’re gonna start off with a benchmark so you can see exactly where this comes into play with other Amazon devices now the benchmark we ran was the

3dmark sling shot test and as you can see we got a score of 937 on both the HD 8 and the HD 8 plus these are a lot quicker than the prior Edition HD 8 which was great to see but the Fire HD 10 from Amazon they’re 10 inch tablet is still the best performing Amazon tablet that they have in their lineup that one costs a little bit more has a larger screen but again we’ll perform a little better than these do but I was pretty happy with the performance overall and also take a look at the Galaxy Tab a that we looked at a few weeks ago from Samsung it has a slightly larger screen a little bit nicer build quality but that more expensive tablet performs exactly the same as these do and in fact I think you can get two of these for what one of those Samsung tablets costs so that’s a pretty good deal I think and for games and stuff this will do just fine this is the mobile version of Minecraft running on the low-end HD 8 device here as you can see it seems to be performing quite nicely let me show you where the added RAM might make a difference now we’ve got Minecraft running on both devices here as you can see the HD 8 plus runs it pretty much at the same performance level that we just saw on the HD 8 the HD 8 here at the bottom just went into nighttime mode but minecraft is running here now if I go out of here and maybe select a different game to play let’s go to the main menu and load up maybe Sonic CD and we’ll let that load and I’ll do the same here on the HD 8 plus will load up Sonic CD on both and of course it’ll take about the

same amount of time to load the game and will maybe jump into the first level perhaps let’s get into it here on the HD 8 at the bottom we’ll go into start game and we’ll select where we last left off and I’ll do the same here on the other one so here you go we’ve got the HD 8 in a game we’ll get the HD 8 plus into a game here same spot ok so now we had minecraft running and now we switched over to Sonic the Hedgehog now if I go on the HD 8 back to minecraft you’ll see that it basically dumped us out to the beginning of the game so whatever game we had in progress is lost because the tablet needed to make room in RAM for the other game that we loaded but if we repeat this step here on the other device and switch from Sonic CD over to Minecraft we might see that load screen pop up briefly but it’s going to bring us back pretty much right where we left off on minecraft when we switched out so as you can see here it didn’t bring us back to the main menu I’m back in the world that I was playing the Sun is setting now but on this one I’ve got to start over again with my game because there wasn’t enough RAM to keep both apps running in the background and that’s the big difference having three gigs versus two gigs might bring you here and if you’re often having to switch out of your game to go and do something you might want to opt for the three gigs in the Plus version to prevent your games from getting dropped when you switch to another app but for doing the basics here I think 2 gigabytes is going to be

fine we can jump into the web browser and maybe go to the home page here real quick performance is not spectacular but it is good enough I think for getting basic web browsing done it does support AC wireless so you will be able to take advantage of faster wireless networks and I found it’s pretty easy to again read text on here and as you can see it’s a decent enough web browsing device and it should do well with email and some other basic things you might do with it I don’t expect much of a difference between the two gig and the three gig model for web browsing but if you do have a lot of tabs open you might see a little faster performance as you’re switching between pages a little bit earlier I checked out one of Alex Lindsay’s office our webinars that he runs in zoom every morning he’s a big-time video production guy he had about 40 different participants in that zoom call and the tablet handled it just fine the audio was good the video seemed to work well you just have to deal of course with an 8-inch screen as you’re watching it but it was able to do a pretty demanding web conference call with that that was fine prime video and Netflix all work well on here as well it supports the l1 level for DRM the Widevine DRM so that was good and altogether I think for media and web browsing for what it is it’s pretty good actually and it might exceed your expectations given the price point now I do want to point out right here that these Amazon tablets are running Android as their operating system but they are not officially sanctioned by Google and that means you don’t get any of the official Google apps so instead of Google Chrome you get the silk browser instead of the Google Play Store you get the Amazon App Store and a lot of the

same apps and games are in the Amazon App Store as you’ll find on Google Play but if you bought a game on Google Play you might have to buy it again through Amazon in order to use it on this tablet you also don’t get the official version of YouTube on your Amazon tablet either because again it doesn’t have those official Google apps now there are ways to get the official google apps on your Amazon tablet we’re going to explore that in an upcoming video but if you’re not that technically savvy it may not be the easiest thing to do so if those Google Play apps are really super important to you and you’re not so sure about your technical prowess this may not be the tablet for you but for many other folks I think they’re willing to deal with a little bit of inconvenience to get a useable tablet at a decent price now both tablets support Amazon voice commands even when they are in standby mode this was a feature that was in the prior Edition and so right now I’ve got the regular HD 8 here in standby and I can just say tell me the weather in New York City today and you can see now she’s responding I’m getting a visual representation of that response and it’s working a lot like an echo show device might work which is pretty nice to see and you can see how quickly it turned itself on to hear that voice command you have the option here to put it into show mode and what that will do is kind of put the regular fire interface in the background and then have this stay on again

similar to the Amazon echo show product which is pretty nice but this is one area where the HD 8 plus might be more interesting because they sell a docking station that wasn’t available at the time I was shooting this video but what you do here is you just put the HD 8 plus in it and it will automatically charge it with that wireless charging feature and it switches it into that echo show mode as well and I can show you how this works though with our other charger here so if you have the tablet in landscape orientation like so and you place it down on that wireless charger once it gets detected it will automatically switch into show mode and you can see now it’s switching and now we’ve got that interface and I can say show me the backyard camera and it will pull up my backyard security camera here and all is good and what’s neat about it in this mode is that you can just go right back to the tablet interface after you pick it back up again so if I close out the security camera and take it off the charger it’s going to switch back into the tablet mode here and you’ve got your device back so you don’t have to go into that menu and keep switching back and forth the other cool thing about it is that it will also load up the regular apps while it’s in that

mode so here we go we’re going to put it back down on the charging pad here again it’s challenging to get it lined up properly on the unofficial wireless chargers we’re in that mode here and I can say to it load up HD homerun and it’s gonna pull up my TV tuner application here and get it all going for us and I could really see this working really well in a situation where you’ve got that charging dock in your kitchen or something and you can just put the tablet in there issue a command from across the room and get your TV going with a regular app which is something that the echo show doesn’t typically support so that’s something that wasn’t available at the time I was recording this video but you can see how it works at least here using the unofficial wireless charger that allows you to get that functionality I think for most folks who don’t need the extra RAM and the wireless charging the entry-level here should do fine they both will perform about the same as you saw but again I think there’s some interesting use cases for the plus addition of these Amazon tablets let me know what you thought down in the comments below and until next time this is LAN and Simon thanks for watching this channel was brought to you by the lon TV supporters including gold level supporters the four guys with quarters podcasts Tom Albrecht Rick vestido Chris Allegretto in Cali an Kumar if you want to help the channel you can by contributing as little as a dollar a month head over to LAN TV slash support to learn more and don’t forget to subscribe

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