Performance: Camera & Battery Life
The Fire HD 10 has two cameras: a 720p front-facing HD camera and a 5 MP rear-facing HD camera. Because of the size of the Fire HD 10, we felt it was very awkward to hold the tablet while taking pictures using the rear-facing camera.
The rear-facing camera features HDR capabilities, a Best Shot feature, and the ability to capture panoramic and lenticular images. You can also change the photo ratio from 16:9 to 4:3. Other than that, the settings and controls for the cameras are pretty lean. You can touch an area of the screen to focus on a particular object.
Our sample images weren’t as sharp as we would have liked, though most of the images captured using the rear-facing camera would be suitable for sharing on Facebook or Instagram. For keepsake shots, you’ll want to grab a dedicated point-and-shoot camera or a smartphone that has a better camera.
Amazon claims the Fire HD 10’s battery will last for up to 8 hours of reading, surfing the web, watching video, and listening to music. Amazon also claims you’ll be able to fully charge the tablet in under 5 hours using the included microUSB power adapter.
To get a feel for how the Fire HD 10’s battery life compares to other tablets, we ran it through our standard web-browsing test which offers a best-case scenario. In this test, we cycle a page ever few minutes with screen brightness set to 50% and Wi-Fi enabled. All other radios such as Bluetooth, NFC and the GPS are turned off and the phone is forced to keep the display on for the entire test. Tablets are then monitored for uptime duration.
In our web browsing test, the Fire HD 10 managed to last for 7 hours and 45 minutes before giving up. This is just 15 minutes shorter than Amazon’s claim, but it’s close enough that we’re willing to cut Amazon some slack on this one, especially since battery uptime can vary greatly depending on how you use the tablet. In this case web browsing can actually occasionally be more strenuous than a cached video stream.
In real-world use, the Fire HD 10 had no problem lasting for a full day of casual use while surfing the web, playing games, listening to music, taking pictures, etc. Of course, your battery life can and likely will vary.