Kindle Fire 7 inch Review

Is the Kindle Fire 7 inch the best low-cost tablet on the market today? The durable tablet with impressive hardware might just be. Can the Kindle Fire perform as well as those more expensive devices for a fraction of the cost?

We put it to the test.

Product Overview

Amazon offers different versions of the Kindle Fire device.

  • Fire 7 inch – Low-end version
  • Fire HD 8 Inch: More powerful version with more processing power and a higher resolution display
  • Fire HD 10 inch: Most powerful version of the Kindle. This version has the largest screen, best processor and is the thinnest Kindle available.

NOTE: This article focuses on the 7 inch Kindle Fire

7 inch Kindle Fire Features

  • 7″ IPS display (171 ppi / 1024 x 600)
  • 1.3 GHz quad-core processor
  • Up to 7 hours of battery life
  • Front and rear-facing cameras
  • 8 or 16 GB of internal storage
  • MicroSD card slot for additional storage
  • Available in four colors, black, blue, purple and red

Price

The Kindle Fire has two pricing tiers, GB and  “with Special Offer.”

  • 8GB with Special Offers = $39.99
  • 8GB without Special Offers = $54.99
  • 16 GB with Special Offers = $59.99
  • 16 GB without Special Offers = $74.99

NOTE: “Special Offers” is a feature that allows Amazon to send advertisements to your lock screen. The ads will appear when your screen is locked.

 

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The Kindle in this review was the 16 GB with Special Offers. The device has a standard MicroSD slot. We expanded the memory on the device, by adding a 32 GB memory card. We also are an Amazon Prime member.

I subjectively feel that having a device with at least 16 GB of memory is a good choice, to avoid any issues with software updates in the future.

Device Setup

When you first turn on the device, you will be walked through the setup process to set-up your wireless network and the device settings. Then you will be guided through the setup process to link it to your Amazon account. Once the process has completed, the device will have access to your Amazon media and the Amazon App store.

The Interface

Amazon has done an outstanding job of building an intuitive interface. The interface allows you to find your content quickly and does not clutter your device. Amazon added a search field to the top of the screen, which allows easy search for apps or content. Below the search field, are predefined sections.The list below provides you with more details.

  • Home: Allows your to access all your apps and settings.
  • Books: Links to your Kindle book collections and provides you with recommendations, based on your previous purchases.
  • Video:  Provides access to all your local video content, previous purchases, and Prime Video. Amazon also offers recommendations for videos may interest you.
  • Games: Access to your downloaded games and recommendations.
  • Shop: A direct interface to Amazon. You can shop right from your device.
  • Apps: Third party apps that you have installed on your device and recommendations.
  • Music: Play your local music, Prime Music or Amazon Unlimited Music
  • Audible: If you have an Audible account, you can access your content from the device.
  • Newsstand: Access news apps, magazines, and newspapers.

 

What makes the Kindle Fire better?

The real power of the Kindle Fire is how Amazon has integrated their services directly into the device. We will explore some of these features below.

Prime Membership

If you don’t have an Amazon Prime membership, get one. Prime offers members free shipping on most purchased. Free shipping isn’t all you get. Your Prime Membership includes much more like:

  • Prime Video: A streaming video service like Netflix. Amazon has a large selection of TV shows and movies, which Prime members can stream for free. The Kindle Fire can even download some Prime Video content to watch later offline.
  • Prime Music: Amazon allows Prime members to access over 2 million songs and thousands of playlists and stations for no additional charge.
  • Prime Reading: Access thousands of books and magazines for free. NOTE: Prime Reading only allows you to have 1 item out at a time. Return the items, and you can get a new item.
  • Photo Storage: Unlimited photo cloud storage.
  • Original Audio Series: Unlimited listening to original audio series
  • Amazon Underground: The Amazon app store. Amazon has thousands of apps, games and even in-app items are 100% free – including extra lives, unlocked levels, unlimited add-on packs and more.

Additional Subscription Services

Amazon offers additional services that make the Kindle Fire even more powerful. These include:

  • Kindle Unlimited: Access to over 1 million books, magazines,  comics and audio books for  $9.99 a month.
  • Amazon Music Unlimited: Tens of Millions of songs available to stream and download anywhere for $9.99 a month. Prime members can get the service for $7.99 a month.

 

Conclusion

The Amazon Kindle Fire is a great entry level tablet. It integrates seamlessly with Amazon’s services to make the device a good option for entertainment, education and productivity. All the mainstream third party apps are available for the Kindle Fire just like any other Android device.

This device does not have a super high definition screen, like an iPad or a Samsung tablet. The screen is very clear, and we found it enjoyable to watch videos and read books.

The Kindle Fire is built well and can take more damage than other devices. With the  MicroSD expansion slot, you will have unlimited expansion opportunities. Amazon also makes a kid version with even more protection.

We recommend this device if you are in the market for a low cost, durable tablet.


Get it at Amazon


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