With the 2022 edition of the Amazon Fire 7, they released the newest version of their cheap 7-inch Android tablet. Starting at just 60 Dollars, Amazon is promising longer battery life and a faster processor. Well, how good can such an affordable tablet be, and how does it compare to the similar Lenovo Tab M7? That’s what you’ll learn in this Amazon Fire 7 review.
Hardware & Performance
Let’s start with the hardware and performance. Inside the Amazon Fire 7 2022 sits a 2GHz MediaTek MT8168A quad-core processor with 2GB of RAM. You can choose between 16GB and 32GB of internal storage. There’s no version with LTE.
My benchmark comparison is very interesting. I think it’s cool that the Fire 7 is a bit more powerful now than the pricier Amazon Fire HD 8 both in Geekbench 5 and in the 3D Mark Sling Shot Test. To be fair, the HD 8 is two years older. But the graphics performance is also above the Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite but its processing power is a bit weaker.
The only direct competitor is the Lenovo Tab M7. Compared to that one, the CPU performance of the Fire 7 is a bit better and the graphics performance is much better.
Even though it can handle its competition quite well, the Fire 7 is a very inexpensive tablet and the performance is weak in comparison. We don’t get anywhere close to a great performance and it’s certainly playing in the lowest league.
The performance is good enough for simple, single tasks. You can surf the web well in the Chrome or Silk browser. And watching YouTube and Netflix works fine too. You can also use the Alexa voice assistant or use even simpler apps well like Kindle E-Books.
Multitasking is not possible, however. Amazon does not even offer a split screen view. And if you’re surfing the web while an app is installing in the background, it’s often way too slow for that. In general, it never feels snappy but is always a little bit slow. It’s usable, yes, but I never had the feeling of holding a powerful tablet. That’s to be expected at 60 Dollars, of course.
I can’t recommend it as a gaming tablet. It’s fine for simple games like Bad Piggies and you can even install PUBG Mobile and set the graphics to HD. That works but stutters too much. It works better when setting the graphics to their lowest.
Display & Speakers
The display of the Amazon Fire 7 is 7 inches in size and it’s a standard LCD with a resolution of 1024 x 600 pixels. So, the pixel density is pretty low, especially compared to cheap and smaller smartphones that almost always have a higher pixel density. Yes, Amazon has to save somewhere, of course, and the resolution is good enough.
Viewing angles and color reproduction are pretty good and the Fire 7 is a bit brighter than the Lenovo Tab M7. With that being said, I think it’s very disappointing that the screen is not laminated. There’s a visible air gap between the IPS panel and touchscreen. Just like with the Apple iPad 9, by the way. But doesn’t matter who makes it, I think these days all displays should be fully laminated. That’s the case with the Lenovo Tab M7.
I also noticed that there does not seem to be any coating to prevent fingerprints. They’re visible fast.
Amazon is also saving money with its speakers. There’s just one. While the sound quality is fine, you cannot fill a room with it. They are even too silent for the tablet to be useable in a small kitchen while cooking. So, it’s not a great Alexa tablet for your kitchen. The speakers are good enough if you’re watching something alone only.
Software: Fire OS & Alexa
Let’s get to the software. Even though the Amazon Fire 7 is an Android tablet, it has nothing to do with Google’s Android. It’s Amazon’s Android. They’re calling it Fire OS and pre-installed is version 8.3. I love that they’re promising to release security updates for at least four years – that’s rare with such cheap devices.
It’s Amazon’s Android and that’s why they’re using their own UI. But it’s not as customized as it used to be. Their own offers like Prime Video, Audible, and Kindle books are not deeply integrated into the home screen anymore but are their own app.
On the lock screen, you can sometimes see advertising. You can deactivate that for 15 Dollars. It never bothered me.
For the first couple of days, I used the Fire 7 as I bought it from Amazon. So I used apps that are available in the Amazon App Store only. You can install games like PUPG Mobile and Bad Piggies, as well as apps like OneNote and Netflix. But tons are missing compared to the Google Play Store. And that particularly includes Google Apps like Gmail and YouTube.
I didn’t think it was too much of a big deal at the beginning. Since the Fire 7 is so cheap, I kind of didn’t think of it as a normal tablet but more as a more powerful E-Book reader. And the Silk browser is fine for reading news, Kindle and Audible work anyways, and Netflix and Prime Video work great as well.
The Alexa voice assistant works as expected too. But as I said, the speakers are too weak to comfortably use them in the kitchen, so I rarely used it.
In the end, I started to miss YouTube. It kind of belongs even to very cheap tablets. There’s an unofficial YouTube app in the AppStore but it’s just the mobile web version. It works like in the browser but is not as functional as the official YouTube app.
You can install the Google Play Store yourself – on the internet you can find lots of tutorials on how to do that. It does not work as seamlessly with the Fire 7 as with the other Amazon tablets yet because it’s so new. I’ve had some problems with the Google Play Services. But very soon it should run great on the Fire 7.
Well, it’s Android, so you can also install APKs that you find on the internet yourself. Or you use something like APKPure which is kind of an unofficial App Store with which you can install almost all apps. And that works fantastic. Once you’ve got the Google Play Store or APKPure running, the Fire 7 behaves almost exactly as every other Android tablet does.
Design & Built Quality
The design of the Amazon Fire 7 2022 resembles the current Fire HD 8 and Fire HD 10 but it’s smaller. We get even black screen bezels and a plastic body. It feels like cheap plastic but according to Amazon, it should be twice as robust as the Apple iPad Mini in drop tests.
With 282g, it’s very light but quite thick with 9.67mm. The Lenovo Tab M7 feels much higher end because that one offers a metal body and thinner screen bezels.
On a positive note, the Fire 7 offers a USB C 2.0 port, we get a microSD card reader, and a standard 3.5mm headphone jack. Weird, that we get one with cheap tablets only. There’s no fingerprint scanner.
The cameras have a resolution of 2 megapixels, so don’t expect detailed photos. But besides that, the quality is surprisingly good. Especially in good light, videos look good, so it’s well suited for video chats. But yes, the resolution is very low.
According to Amazon, the battery life of the Fire 7 is longer than its predecessor. And indeed, in my test, it got a fantastic result of 10 hours. For this, I’m always looping an HD YouTube video at maximum brightness. I ran this test using YouTube Vanced which is similar to the standard YouTube app which I use with other tablets. When using YouTube in the browser, however, the result is much shorter at 5.5 hours.
Amazon Fire 7 Review: Final Verdict
So, can I recommend the Amazon Fire 7 2022? If you’re looking for a tablet that’s as cheap as possible and you can live with its restrictions, then yes. Starting at just 60 US Dollars, the price is unbeatable. And to get a much better tablet, you’ve got to spend at least 100 Dollars more. But if you’re able to spend 100 Dollars more, I highly suggest you do that because you’ll be able to get a much better device.
The battery life of the Fire 7 is fantastic, but besides that, it plays in the lowest league in all other aspects. Yes, it’s nice that the performance has been improved and it’s faster than the Fire HD 8 now. But it’s still only useable for surfing the web and playing simple games but certainly not great. It’s useable and very affordable.
Let’s check out its competition.
I mentioned the Lenovo Tab M7 along the way already. Its built quality is much better and it does feel much higher-end. I also like that the screen is fully laminated and with Android Go, we get Google’s Android including Google’s apps. The performance is weaker, however, and in this price class, every bit of power counts.
If you’re willing to spend about 100 Dollars more, I think you should get the 8-inch realme Pad mini. Here we get a higher-end built quality, Google Android, and most importantly a much faster processor. It’s better than the Fire 7 in almost all aspects and it makes much more fun to play with.
In case you would get a bigger tablet too, you can check out the 100 Dollar pricier Amazon Fire HD 10. This one is better than the Fire 7 regarding almost all aspects as well. It’s faster, has a better and bigger screen, but the same software, of course. It’s a better gaming tablet than the realme Pad mini.
- Robust built
- Very cheap
- Better performance
- Longer battery life
- Usable cameras
- Long updates
- Not laminated screen
- No Google Play Store
- Performance usable only
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