AMAZON FIRE 7" TABLET | BUDGET-FRIENDLY GADGET | PRODUCT REVIEW














This past Christmas, I was left with the task of purchasing our young daughter a tablet computer and was left with the dilemma of finding the most suitable but flexible one so the whole family could all use it when needed. After much research I opted for this tablet, the Amazon Fire 7.

Now, Amazon currently have 4 tablets in their range but I’ll taking a look at the most basic and budget option in their series and comparing alternatives a little later on in this post.


Design & Specs 
Lets take a look at the design of this particular tablet. The tablet comes in a variety of different colour options including black, blue, orange and pink. The casing is made of a strong plastic material and has a 7" IPS display at a resolution of (1024 x 600). It is not the greatest in terms of picture quality and far from the awesome retina displays we see on the Apple iPad, but we are looking at a budget tablet here.

The build quality is solid and feels nice in the palm of the hand with a smooth but grippy feel to the rear of the device, making it feel fairly secure in the hand. Unfortunately the oversized Amazon branded logo situated on the back of the tablet does spoil the aesthetic look for me, but this can easily be covered by acase or skin | which can be bought from either Amazon or EBay.

On the tablet you will find a standard 3.5mm headphone jack, micro USB cable input and volume/power button all found to the top edge of the tablet. The external micro SD slot is located to the side for expandable storage up to 200gb. There is only one external speaker located on the rear left of the device which can sometimes lead to being covered with hands or blocking the sound while laying it down flush against a table.

This is where I would recommend buying an adjustable case so you can angle the tablet to optimise your viewing and uncovering the sound output from the device. The sound quality isn’t fantastic by any means but is adequate for moderate day-to-day use and those not too fussed about sound quality. Alternatively just plug in your favourite headphones and enjoy. 



To the back of the tablet you will also see a rather weak 2mp camera and to the front amazon have built in a VGA front facing camera for use with the likes of apps such as Skype. As you can imagine the pictures and video are pretty grainy but for children’s use it may suffice. I’ll stick to my smartphone and DSLR for picture taking!

The tablet weighs in at 313 grams and measures 19cm by 11.5cm and is just over 1 cm thickness. The tablet looks clean and feels great as an adequate entry-level tablet.



Looking into the software and storage of the device it currently comes in a 8gb or 16gb storage option, however as mentioned before the micro SD slot provides scope for up to 200gb of expandable storage. For an extra £10 it’s definitely worth purchasing the 16gb version over the 8, providing plenty of space for all of those system updates.

The processor is just one of the reasons you’re getting a tablet for such an affordable price. It runs on a standard 1.3 GHz quad-core processor and only 1GB of Ram, not the fastest of the bunch but for everyday light use some may find this ample. However, from my own experience when opening multiple and power demanding apps I’ve noticed some lagging occur and also loading times have been somewhat painful on occasion.


The tablet is capable of Single band WIFI only and has no 4G connectivity, so, if you were looking for a device you wanted to take out and about with no WIFI connection, you won’t get very far! That said, there are many apps you can download and use without the need for any Internet connection.

This leads me on to talk about the operating system of the Amazon Fire. Amazon have built in their very own Operating System “Fire OS” which works in a similar way to android, however is tightly integrated to their own entertainment system. This means you’ll need to sign up to Amazon Prime or purchase individual media content separately. Amazon Prime membership is currently priced at £79 per year which includes access to millions of songs, movies, TV shows, books, apps and games.

The apps that you can download through the amazon app store are somewhat limited compared to Google’s Play store however, there is a way you can actually install the Play store onto your tablet.

Click here to watch how to do this.



Battery life on this budget tablet is claimed to last up to 7 hours of use but obviously depends on how hard it is being worked through it’s various downloaded apps. From experience I’ve had 4 hours continuous video play until the battery was killed. For a full charge, Amazon claims it can take up to 6 hours using the adaptor and cable provided, so not the fastest to recharge by any means but usually I’ve had it charge fully in less than 4 hours.

Included in the box:
USB 2.0 cable
5W Power Adaptor 
Quick Start Guide
One Years Warranty

Alternatives

If you want more power, bigger and better screen size and a more premium feel then the Amazon fire 8 & 10 may fit the bill.  The Amazon Fire 8 | having a HD screen resolution, longer battery life and larger screen size and the Amazon Fire 10 | including all of the above, plus a faster processor, bigger screen size and premium build.

Image source: Amazon                  
   

Lets take a look at some of the other tablet options if the Amazon Fire series doesn’t fit all of you needs.

The Asus ZenPad 7” tablet scores well on many reviews across the web. Despite it being priced slightly more at £79.99, you get a decent Intel® Atom™ Processor and works on a full Android operating system, coming with Android 5.0 as standard. It only comes as a 16gb version so plenty of storage for those updates and of course has the all-important expandable storage for all of those media files. Again it looks sleek with a very similar design to the Amazon Fire but is slightly slimmer and lighter in weight.

Click here | to see Asus ZenPad 7”.

Image source: Amazon






If you’ve got a bigger budget another alternative that has been popular with many and still is now, is the Nexus 7. The Newer model starts from £189 new, however can be bought for under £100 refurbished. You’ll get a much higher resolution screen, full Android OS, slightly more ram and a 1.5 GHZ processor built in. Design wise it looks very similar to the Amazon Fire and Asus ZenPad.

Clickhere | to see the Nexus 7.

Image source: Amazon


For those Apple fans, of course you are looking at spending a lot more money even for their most basic of tablets. Size wise, the Apple iPad Mini 2 is the only comparison against the Amazon Fire 7.
As many know, the iPad, runs on Apple’s own IOS and is very snappy and responsive indeed. Although I don’t own one myself it’s clear to see you are spending money for a premium build quality, high-resolution 7.9” retina display and a faster user experience. Priced at a cool £257 brand new it’s by far from the cheapest option out their, but for the premium feel and experience it is definitely up there!

Click here | to read more on the iPad Mini 2.

Image source: Amazon
Verdict

So this comes to the question, would I recommend buying one? Absolutely. For the price and potential of the tablet I wouldn’t hesitate purchasing another one down the line if needed. Yes, it is basic and doesn’t ooze the premium all round package, but, it is functional and for every day light use such as browsing the net & playing games etc. it fits the bill nicely. Not to mention it’s a great introduction tablet for kids to use. 

Although the new Amazon Fire operating system can be a bit of a pain at times and the annoying Amazon ads popping up upon unlocking the screen each time it’s still great for the price. They are currently retailing from £49.99 for the base model on the Amazon store. 

Score - 8/10

If you think the Amazon Fire 7 is for you, click here | to purchase!





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