Amazon Fireplace 7 (2019) evaluate: Good low cost pill will get minor

I at all times discover it a little bit cynical when Amazon calls a barely up to date model of one among its merchandise “all-new” when it actually is not. The newest model of Amazon’s entry-level pill, the Fireplace 7 ($50, £50), is similar to the 2017 model — it seems similar apart from some new coloration choices — nevertheless it’s received some small upgrades on the within, particularly a “sooner” processor, based on Amazon, and a bump within the base storage from 8GB to 16GB, with a microSD enlargement slot that permits you to add as much as 512GB of extra storage. A mannequin with 32GB of inside storage ($70, £60) can be accessible. 

We thought the earlier model was an excellent worth, significantly when it was discounted by $10 and even $15 throughout flash gross sales, and at these costs this up to date mannequin stays a gorgeous choice for Amazon Prime members searching for a dirt-cheap serviceable pill to expertise Amazon’s “free” content material included with that Prime membership. The Fireplace 7 ($60 at Amazon) and its step-up sibling, the Fireplace HD 8, are additionally pill favorites amongst dad and mom looking for a funds iPad ($385 at eBay) various for youthful youngsters. 

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The Fireplace 7 dwelling display screen.

Sarah Tew/CNET

It is definitely superb for fogeys to purchase this mannequin and add a case to it, however Amazon can be providing the brand new Fireplace 7 in a brand new Fireplace 7 Youngsters Version, which prices $100 or £100 and comes with 16GB of storage, one 12 months of Amazon FreeTime Limitless, a “kid-proof” case with a brand new adjustable stand (it is a good enchancment) and a two-year free alternative coverage. I personally do not assume it is nearly as good a price as the usual mannequin, however some individuals will discover it interesting.

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Before you purchase any Fireplace pill, or any Amazon machine in any respect, actually, take into account that they steadily go on sale, so it’s best to by no means pay the checklist value. The 2 greatest occasions to purchase are often throughout Prime Day (mid-July) and Black Friday (late November) gross sales, however periodic reductions occur at different occasions all year long, too.

The large characteristic addition Amazon is highlighting is help for hands-free Alexa. That signifies that as a substitute of hitting a digital button on the display screen to activate Alexa, you merely say the title “Alexa” as you’d with an Echo machine — as long as you are on Wi-Fi. The characteristic may be toggled off in the settings menu. It was already added to the Fireplace HD 8 and Fireplace HD 10.

Evaluating 2019 model with the 2017 model

I in contrast the Fireplace 7 2019 with the earlier Fireplace 7 mannequin, which was launched in June of 2017. From a efficiency standpoint, it is exhausting to inform how a lot zippier it’s, if in any respect. Just like the earlier mannequin, the brand new Fireplace 7 contains a 1.3GHz processor, however presumably it is a new processor that does provide some efficiency advantages (evidently the brand new processor is required for hands-free Alexa). 

As I stated earlier than, the Fireplace 7 runs fairly easily regardless of its entry-level standing. I would not name it zippy, nevertheless it would not really feel sluggish and I did not have an issue with the responsiveness of the contact display screen. For what most individuals will do with this pill — surf the net, stream video and music, learn e-books and hearken to audiobooks — it is sufficiently quick, and I discovered that Amazon’s apps, significantly Amazon Video, launched rapidly and performed content material with minimal delay (on an honest Wi-Fi community anyway). 

It is superb for typical cellular informal gaming apps however it could get slowed down with extra graphically intense video games or if a number of apps are operating within the background. You possibly can shut out apps by urgent the digital sq. button on the backside of the display screen and X-ing out the apps.

One of many new coloration choices: plum.

Sarah Tew/CNET

In the end, the show is what relegates this pill to funds standing. Whereas Amazon made some enhancements to the distinction within the final mannequin which might be retained right here, you are still taking a look at standard-definition video regardless of the way you slice it and pictures, video and textual content seem sharper on the step-up Fireplace HD 8, which lists for $80 for the bottom 16GB mannequin and appears to usually go on sale for $60 — and typically even $50. The HD 8 additionally options higher battery life (10 hours versus 7 hours) and the exterior sound from its twin audio system bests the sound from the Fireplace 7’s single speaker (each have commonplace headphone ports in addition to Bluetooth connectivity).

Like different Amazon tablets, the Fireplace 7 offers you entry to the corporate’s unique options, which embrace Alexa, ASAP, X-Ray, Second Display, Amazon FreeTime, Household Library, Blue Shade, On Deck and Prime Video downloads. Prime members even have entry to a panoply of films, TV reveals, songs, books, magazines, apps and video games with free, limitless cloud storage for all Amazon content material.

Among the apps accessible.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The opposite factor to remember is that Amazon tablets use a modified model of Android, nevertheless it’s not the actual deal. In different phrases, it will be acquainted to anybody with an Android cellphone, however you will not discover each Android app right here as a result of the pill lacks the Google Play Retailer (except you are an enterprising consumer keen to hack the machine). Spotify, Roblox, Fb Messenger, Netflix and HBO can be found; Gmail, Google Maps, Tinder and Whatsapp will not be. Try the checklist of Fireplace pill apps earlier than shopping for to see if it is lacking any of your must-have apps.

In relation to tablets that value this little, it is exhausting to count on main enhancements, even whether it is has been two years for the reason that final replace. Nevertheless, the Fireplace 7’s small refinements, like final 12 months’s Fireplace HD 8’s minor updates, aren’t terribly thrilling to put in writing about. So, like I stated earlier than, the Fireplace 7 is about nearly as good as you get for a $50 pill, significantly in case you’re a Prime member, however the Fireplace HD 8 is the higher deal. 

Key options

  • 1,024×600-pixel show
  • 10.4 oz (295 grams)
  • 7.6×4.5×0.4 inches (192x115x9.6 mm)
  • Quad-core 1.3GHz processor
  • Entrance- and rear-facing cameras
  • Free, limitless cloud storage for all images taken on Fireplace gadgets
  • As much as 512GB of expandable storage by way of microSD card (up from 256GB on earlier mannequin)
  • Twin-band Wi-Fi help
  • Battery life: As much as 7 hours of studying, listening to music, streaming video and internet shopping
  • Display sharing: Let an Amazon knowledgeable information you remotely by way of any characteristic on your display screen totally free
  • Entry to unique Amazon options, companies and media libraries
  • New coloration choices: Black, Sage, Plum and Twilight Blue

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