Reviewed by David Savage
I recently received the Amazon Fire 7” Tablet (2015, 5th Generation version) for review. I have only been using it for a couple of days and love it. Fast and responsive, plus I can use it to read my Kindle books and watch films and television shows with my Amazon Prime subscription.
The 7” Fire Tablet comes with a 1.3Ghz Quad-Core processor and 1GB RAM so it very fast and makes it great for apps, playing games, reading books, streaming music or watching videos. The touchscreen is very clear and bright with its 1024 x 600 IPS display (171 ppi for a bright display with vivid colours and whiter whites) plus is very fast and responsive to touch. It comes with 8GB (also available with 16GB for £10 more) of storage but is expandable to up to 200GB by adding a microSD card into the easy accessible slot. It also has FREE UNLIMITED cloud storage for Amazon content. It comes with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth and 2 cameras (VGA camera front-facing + 2 MP rear-facing with 720p HD video recording). Built in microphone and mono speaker with very clear and reasonably loud sound (there is a 3.5mm headphone socket should you wish to use earphones/headphones or plug in speakers). It has a micro USB port for charging or to connect to your pc. With a battery life of up to 7 hours mixed usage (wi-fi, music, video etc.) you don’t have to be near a power socket all the time and the battery takes around 6 hours to fully charge. It is quite lightweight at only 313g and measures 191 x 115 x 10.6 mm (7.5″ x 4.5″ x 0.4″) so will easily fit into a pocket or bag. I received mine in blue but is also available in black, orange or purple.
Supplied with the tablet is a 5w power adapter and USB cable.
So how easy is it to setup? There is no complicated setup process. On initial power up you are asked for your wi-fi settings, Amazon account details, backup settings and should you want to use it with social media, your Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads logins. So it is pretty much ready to use out of the box.
It comes with pre-installed apps such as;
Shop Amazon – for shopping on the Amazon website
Silk Browser – for surfing the web
Appstore – for purchasing more apps
Amazon Video – for purchasing videos (films or television shows) or use your Prime membership to watch
Books – for reading Kindle books
Music – for purchasing and listening to music
Audiobooks – for purchasing and listening to audiobooks
Newsstand – for reading magazines/newspapers
Photos – share photos and videos from all of your devices here
Games – your games library for your favourite games to play with friends
Goodreads – read and leave reviews of your favourite books
Email – add your email account to send and receive emails
Plus standard apps such as; Calendar, Camera, Docs, Contacts, Calculator, Clock, Weather, Help, Settings, My Videos, Photo Importer.
Plus it also comes with a Fire for Kids app where you can set up profiles for up to four children where each one can be customised for access to each child’s purchased content. You can also set time limits on each child’s usage/screen time (plans start at £1.99 per month).
Using the tablet is extremely easy by clicking the app you require or swiping the screen left or right to scroll through books, video, games, music etc.
This tablet comes in at under £50 and is excellent value for money. I have used budget tablets before at they don’t measure up to the Fire Tablet. If you are looking for a basic tablet to read books, surf the net or watch your favourite television shows then this is the tablet for you. The build quality is good as is reported to 1.8x more durable than an Apple iPad Air 2, although I haven’t dropped it to put this to the test.
I have been using mostly for reading Kindle books and watching streaming television shows with my Amazon Prime membership. It isn’t HD (but what do you expect for £50) but is more than adequate for watching video at a good quality and the text on the Kindle app looks smooth and easy to read. The mono sound is ok (if you want Dolby stereo sound you can always go for the Fire HD 8 (from £85.49) or the Fire HD 10 (from £169.99)).
Overall, as entry level tablets go the Amazon Fire 7” is excellent. It easy to use, fast and responsive, has plenty of storage space (which can be expanded) and is good quality. I doubt you will get better in this price bracket. The front camera is basic VGA but is fine for video chat/calls and the rear is only 2MP but will give a fairy good image.
The only small downside for me was to get it under £50 you purchase the “Special Offers” version which gives you ads when powering on/waking from sleep (you can pay an extra £12.50 to purchase without the Special Offers). It’s not that big of a problem as they don’t pop up while using the tablet (just as ads on bottom of Home screen and Screensaver), but the choice is get a sub £50 tablet with ads or £60 without – the choice is yours!
A good budget tablet for general use, especially if you buy Kindle ebooks and/or have a Prime subscription to watch video.
RRP: £47.49 (8GB with Special Offers) / £59.99 (8GB without Special Offers) add £10 more 16GB version.
Available to buy from Amazon here.