Amazon 7-inch Fire Tablet Review: Here's What $50 Delivers

Amazone Fire Tablet Intro & Specifications

Periodically, Amazon updates and revamps its lineup of tablets with upgraded models and new names. While the company's tablets have kept the Fire branding over the years, the combination of letters and numbers that follow have changed. This year, for example, Amazon removed the HDX tag and now offers tablets with simply “Fire” or “Fire HD” branding.

As its simpler name may suggest, Amazon’s latest Fire tablet is a more basic model that doesn’t have all of the bells and whistles of the HD series, which is available in three sizes. Instead, the all-new 7-inch Fire tablet has an ultra-low $50 price tag that has the potential to shake up the market and get a tablet in the hands of people who might not otherwise consider purchasing such a device.

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While we certainly appreciate today’s high-end tablets and all of the features they have to offer, we also realize the higher cost associated with them put them out of reach for some peoples' budgets. There’s also a segment of the market that really doesn’t need all of the bells and whistles of today’s high-end tablets. For these users, Amazon’s $50 7-inch Fire tablet is an attractive option.

On paper, the new 7-inch Fire tablet has some of the specifications we’d expect from a device with this price tag. Because it’s an Amazon-branded tablet, you can also bet it’s a safer buy than those off-brand, low-priced tablets you’ll see at your local discount store. For starters, this low-cost tablet comes with a Quad-Core 1.3 GHz processor along with 8GB of internal storage and a microSD slot.

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As you’d expect, Amazon has made some sacrifices to hit the $50 price tag for the Fire 7-inch tablet. Some of these sacrifices include ditching stereo speakers for a mono speaker, scaling back the display resolution to 1024 x 600, and including only 1GB of RAM. Amazon also included front- and rear-facing cameras though they’re basic VGA and 2-megapixel shooters. The new 7-inch Fire tablet runs on Amazon’s latest Fire OS 5 (codename “Bellini”) which includes Mayday screen sharing support and Amazon Underground.

Before we dive in to the hands-on review, let’s have a look at the specifications of the 7-inch Fire tablet:

Amazon 7-inch Fire tablet
Specifications & Features
7-inch touchscreen, 1024 x 600 resolution at 171 ppi, SD video playback, with IPS (in-plane switching) technology and advanced polarizing filter
7.5 x 4.5 x 0.4 inches (191 x 115 x 10.6 mm)
11.0 ounces (313 grams)
MediaTek MT8127 D
Quad-core ARM Cortex A7, 1.3 GHz
1 GB
8 GB of internal storage (4.5 GB available to user)
microSD expansion slot for up to 128 GB of additional storage
Battery Life
Up to 7 hours of reading, surfing the web, watching video, and listening to music.
Charge Time
Fully charges in under 6 hours using the micro-USB power adapter included in the box
Wi-Fi Connectivity
USB 2.0 (micro-B connector); microSD slot
3.5 mm stereo jack and integrated speaker
Camera Specs
VGA front-facing camera
2 MP rear-facing HD camera
Location Services
Location-based services via Wi-Fi
Available Colors
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
System wide closed caption settings, adjustable font sizes up to 50% larger, and a variety of book reading text adjustments
Warranty and Service
90-day Limited Warranty and service included
Included in the Box
Fire tablet, USB 2.0 cable, 5W power adapter, and Quick Start Guide


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It’s interesting to compare last year’s 7-inch Fire tablet to this year’s model. Some of the key specifications are the same. For example, both tablets feature 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage (though only this year’s model has a microSD expansion slot). The 2015 model reduces the price from $139 to $50, scales back the display resolution from 1280x800 to 1024x600, and changes to a MediaTek MT8127 D Quad-core ARM Cortex A7 processor running at 1.3 GHz along with a Mali-450 GPU. Another way in which Amazon scaled the 2015 model back is by offering it only in black.

Tags:  Amazon, Fire, tablet, fire-os

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