Amazon catapulted us into the age of budget Android tablets years ago with the original Fire, and its slates (surprisingly) still make up a large segment of the Android tablet market. That's not because of any particularly innovative designs or features. Amazon releases cheap new Fire tablets all the time that look almost exactly like the previous version. That's the case today with the new Fire HD 8. It's like the old HD 8 but with hands-free Alexa support.
Amazon keeps the focus of the Fire tablets very, very mainstream. Thus, we get specs like "HD display with over 1 million pixels." You can get a little more detail if you dig in. That display is 1280x800, and there's a 1.3 GHz quad-core processor with just 1.5 GB of RAM. You don't need a ton of RAM with Amazon's simplified Fire OS, which is still based on Android Lollipop.
You'd be hard-pressed to spot any difference between the new tablet and the last refresh. As far as we can tell, the only improvement is hands-free Alexa. So, you can shout at the tablet from across the room and have it do things with Amazon Alexa. The Fire HD 8 comes in black, yellow, blue, and red colors for $79.99 with 16GB of storage—32GB will cost you $109.99. Both versions ship on October 4th. The same device will also come in a Kids variant with a rugged case and no-questions-asked warranty.
SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--(NASDAQ: AMZN)—Amazon today announced the next generation Fire HD 8—now with always-ready, hands-free access to Alexa. With up to 10 hours of mixed use battery life, the all-new Fire HD 8 offers a stunning 8” HD display with over 1 million pixels, a quad-core processor, 16 GB of internal storage with support for up to 400 GB more, plus hands-free access to Alexa—only $79.99. The all-new Fire HD 8 is available for pre-order today at www.amazon.com/firehd8.
“Fire HD 10 customers love having easy, hands-free access with Alexa and we’re excited to bring that same experience to the all-new Fire HD 8. Just ask Alexa to turn on the lights, play a movie, or make a video call—even when the tablet screen is on standby,” said Kevin Keith, Vice President, Amazon Devices. “The Fire HD 8 features a beautiful HD display, a fast quad-core processor, all-day battery life, and more expandable storage, plus everything you love about Alexa, hands-free and still only $79.99.”
The all-new Fire HD 8 includes:
- Beautiful display—Vibrant 8” widescreen 1280 x 800 high definition display with over a million pixels and bright, vivid picture.
- Fast performance—Quad-core 1.3 GHz processor and 1.5 GB of RAM to quickly and easily switch between apps, stream movies, and browse the web.
- All-day battery life—Up to 10 hours of reading, listening to music, watching TV shows or movies, browsing the web, and more.
- More expandable storage—16 GB or 32 GB of internal storage, plus support for up to 400 GB more via expandable storage. Now you can install apps to the microSD card so you can enjoy even more entertainment while on the go.
- Alexa hands-free—Just ask Alexa to play a song, pause a movie, video call a friend or family member, read an Audible book, answer a question, show your calendar, control your smart home, and more—using only your voice, even when your screen is on standby.
- Show Mode—A new, immersive hands-free experience for Fire tablets with full-screen visuals that complement voice responses from Alexa. Show Mode lets you ask Alexa to see trending news, weather, movies trailers, camera feeds, and more—all glanceable whether you’re up close or across the room.
- Front- and rear-facing cameras—Video chat with friends and family with the HD 720p front-facing camera; take and share photos with the 2MP rear-facing camera, and save them for later with free, unlimited cloud storage for all photos taken on Fire tablets.
- Durability—As measured in tumble tests, Fire HD 8 is 2x as durable as the iPad mini 4.
- Dolby Atmos Audio—Dual stereo speakers optimized for Dolby Digital Plus and Dolby Atmos for enhanced realism and dynamic range.
- Fast Wi-Fi connectivity—Dual-band Wi-Fi support for seamless video streaming.
- Amazon-exclusive features—Alexa, ASAP, For You, X-Ray, Second Screen, Amazon FreeTime, Family Library, Blue Shade, On Deck, Prime Video downloads, and more.
- World’s best content selection—Access to millions of movies, TV shows, songs, books, magazines, apps, and games—with free, unlimited cloud storage for all Amazon content.
- Screen Sharing—Let an Amazon expert guide you remotely through any feature on your screen, available 24x7, 365 days a year—for free.
Always-Ready, Hands-Free Access to Alexa
With always-ready, hands-free access to Alexa on Fire HD 8, it’s now even easier to enjoy your favorite entertainment. When connected to Wi-Fi, ask Alexa to play a song, read aloud an Audible book, launch an app, or control video playback—simply by using your voice, even when your screen is on standby. You can even ask Alexa to video call a friend or family member, adjust the room temperature on your compatible smart home thermostat, or show your compatible smart home camera.
Fire HD 8 also comes with Show Mode, an immersive hands-free Alexa experience that offers full screen visual responses that are optimized to be glanceable whether up close or across the room. Just ask Alexa to see trending news, weather, your calendar, movie trailers, and more in full screen visuals that complement Alexa voice responses—or ask Alexa to play a song, station, or genre and Show Mode displays the song lyrics on your tablet screen.
You can also pair your Fire HD 8 with the new Show Mode Charging Dock for an enhanced, always-ready Alexa experience. Simply place your Fire tablet into the Show Mode Charging Dock and it automatically switches into Show Mode. The stand holds your tablet at an adjustable angle for easy viewing while charging it. Pick up your tablet to transition it back to the portable tablet mode and enjoy your movies, TV shows, books, apps, and games while on the go. The new Show Mode Charging Dock is only $39.99, or you can purchase the all-new Fire HD 8 bundled with the Show Mode Charging Dock at a special introductory discount—starting at only $94.99 (a $24.99 savings).
Even Better with Prime
Fire tablet customers who are Prime members have access to the best of Amazon entertainment because Prime is better with Amazon Devices, and Amazon Devices are better with Prime. Over 100 million paid Prime members around the world enjoy an unparalleled combination of shopping and entertainment. In the U.S. this includes unlimited access to award-winning movies and TV episodes, such as Manchester by the Sea, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, and The Marvelous Mrs. Maiselwith Prime Video; unlimited access to Prime Music, Prime Reading, Prime Photos, Twitch Prime; early access to select Lightning Deals; one free pre-released book a month with Amazon First Reads; and more. Prime members also receive deep discounts on select popular products at Whole Foods Market, plus an additional 10 percent off hundreds of sale items. Prime was built on the foundation of unlimited fast, free shipping, and members receive Prime FREE One-Day Shipping and Prime FREE Same-Day Delivery in more than 8,000 cities and towns, two-hour delivery with Prime Now in more than 30 major cities, and unlimited FREE Two-Day Shipping on more than 100 million items. If customers are not yet Prime members, they may be eligible for a 30-day free trial of Amazon Prime at www.amazon.com/prime.
The all-new Fire HD 8 comes in four fun color options: Black, Marine Blue, Punch Red, and Canary Yellow, and is available for pre-order today starting at $79.99. Fire HD 8 will begin shipping on October 4; order the new Fire HD 8 today at www.amazon.com/firehd8.
Fire HD 8 tablet cases are also available in matching colors and can stand in both landscape and portrait orientations—only $29.99.
In addition to the Fire HD 8, Amazon also today introduced the all-new Fire HD 8 Kids Edition tablet for $129.99, available for pre-order at: www.amazon.com/firehd8kidsedition. The Fire HD 8 Kids Edition will start shipping on October 4. Amazon also today announced Amazon FreeTime and FreeTime Unlimited is now available in Spanish—for more information, read this press release.
New Fire OS
Amazon says the new Fire HD 8 will ship with an updated version of Fire OS that is based on Android Nougat. Neat.