The shrinking tablet market has given rise to plenty of budget slates that stay light on your pocket, but still bring several benefits of a larger-screen machine. Amazon is several years into this race with its range of Fire tablets that have gradually become the default choice for many in the entry-level segment. These tablets serve Amazon’s purpose of promoting its diverse service portfolio, while the buyers love it for their cheap price.
Some of their restrictions have encouraged many to look elsewhere for a more open ecosystem. That’s when devices like the Lenovo Tab M7 come into play by offering a complete package that gives you access to millions of more apps. What makes the Tab M7 interesting is that Lenovo has priced it very close to the Fire 7, and that should be a matter of concern for Amazon.
Here, we’ll be comparing every single detail of the Lenovo Tab M7 and the Amazon Fire 7, so that you can make an educated decision, and pick a tablet that will serve your purpose. Without further delay, let’s get started.
Design & Display
Holding these tablets will make it apparent how one feels more premium than the other. The Fire 7 hasn’t undergone a major redesign in the past several years and it still carries those broad bezels around its display. On flipping it over, you’ll find that its back is made using plastic, which is just acceptable at its price. The Lenovo tablet, on the other hand, has relatively narrower side bezels, plus, its back is made using metal. Both the devices charge using a micro USB port, include a headphone jack, and support memory expansion using a microSD card slot.
On the display front, the two tablets don’t differ all that much. A 7-inch display covers most of their front, and as previously mentioned, the Tab M7 has thinner bezels, ergo a higher screen-to-body ratio of 82%. This also means that the Amazon model is wider, taller, thicker, and heavier than its opponent. Both their displays use IPS panels to ensure better viewing angles, and come with a resolution of 1024 x 600 pixels in an aspect ratio lying somewhere between the standard 16:9 and 16:10. There is no fingerprint scanner to be found on either tablet, which is expected from budget devices.
Hardware & Performance
Before we begin with this section, you must understand that both tablets aren’t meant to offer the level of performance that is comparable with high-end tablets. Having said that, the two slates can easily sail through your regular day with basic entertainment and browsing sessions using a quad-core processor. The only difference here is that Amazon doesn’t advertise the processor make, while Lenovo clearly states that it’s using a MediaTek MT8321 chip. Despite that, the overall performance on both devices should remain comparable, though the Lenovo model may seem a little faster if you pick 2GB RAM.
Talking of RAM, the two tabs come with 1GB of RAM with only the Lenovo one offering an upgraded model with double the RAM capacity. You could use that extra memory to multitask better and open larger apps. In terms of internal storage, you can pick up either with 16GB or 32GB of storage, while the Tab M7 is also available with 8GB flash memory. Amazon allows you to pop in a 512GB microSD card, while Lenovo caps it at 128GB. Basic Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity options are present in both tablets, though, if you want 4G LTE, a variant of the Lenovo tablet can be your only pick.
This will be an interesting part since the two companies have made some varied software choices that will dictate your final decision. We all know that Amazon Fire tablets run a forked version of Android that doesn’t support the Google Play Store by default, though some workarounds exist. You get a whole suite of Amazon apps, ranging from its entertainment service to Kindle. Plus, added features like Alexa hands-free are a cherry on the cake, as it’s hard to find a comparable functionality on any other device.
Lenovo is known to have pivoted towards vanilla Android interface and that stands true for this Tab M7 as well. The variant with 1GB of RAM comes preloaded with Android Pie (Go Edition) that is designed by Google to work well on low-end hardware. On the other hand, the 2GB RAM model runs the full version of Android 9 Pie. The company has included a dedicated kids’ mode to keep your children engaged with activities suited for their age.
Cameras & Speakers
Frankly, you shouldn’t be looking at tablets in this price range if you’re expecting good camera quality. Both the Lenovo Tab M7 and the Amazon Fire 7 come with a basic pair of 2MP cameras on their front and back, which are barely enough to take 720p videos. While we found the Fire 7’s cameras weak for taking pictures, they were alright for casual video calls. You can expect similar results from the Lenovo tablet.
The same goes for their speakers. Both devices have a mono speaker that is better than having nothing. If watching videos on YouTube or consuming media on Netflix is your aim, then you’re better off using the headphone jack that both devices thankfully have. One thing that stands out is the fact that the Tab M7 has its loudspeaker integrated within the earpiece, making it a front-firing mono speaker, which should compensate a bit for its speaker quality.
Amazon once again chooses not to reveal the battery size of its cheapest tablets, though it has already undergone our battery test to reveal its expected life. In our standard test, the budget tablet scored 9 hours of runtime, which isn’t great by any means and is mediocre at best. We accept this number considering the price of the tablet. For a short trip or random use at home, the Fire 7 will serve you sufficiently.
The Lenovo Tab M7 boasts a 3590mah battery, with a claimed running time of 10 hours, however, it’s hard for us to believe that number given our experience with other budget Lenovo tablets. From the Lenovo Tab M10 to the cheaper Tab E10 and the Tab E7, our reviews don’t portray a positive picture for Lenovo tablets. You can take this as a general expectation form the Tab M7, while our final verdict on its battery life will stay reserved until we review the tab.
Even the 2019 edition of the Amazon Fire 7 stands strong as one of the cheapest tablets from a reputed brand. At a starting price of $49.99 in the US, you can just pick one up without giving a second thought. Though you must know that the base model of each storage variant will serve you lock screen ads, and you can choose to remove them by paying another $15. The 32GB model starts at $69.99. Amazon sells this cheap tablet across its major markets in Europe and America, so finding it shouldn’t be hard.
Things get a little tricky here for Lenovo as its tablet isn’t as widely available. Lenovo Germany has this model listed for a starting price of €79, which includes all the local taxes, making it a pretty sweet deal. The tablet was recently brought to the US where it costs $59.99 for the base model with 1GB of RAM. You might have to look for the Tab M7 on your local retailers’ website to confirm its availability around you.
Specifications: A Comparison
|Tablet||Lenovo Tab M7||Amazon Fire 7 (2019)|
|Operating system||Android 9 Pie (Go Edition)/Android 9 Pie)||Fire OS|
|Display||7-inch IPS (1024 x 600), 350 nits||7-inch IPS (1024 x 600)|
|Processor||Quad-core MediaTek MT8321||1.3GHz quad-core|
|Expandable||microSD card slot, up to 128GB||microSD card slot, up to 512GB|
|Main camera||2 Megapixels||2 Megapixels|
|Front camera||2 Megapixels||2 Megapixels|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi 802.11 n, Bluetooth 4.2, optional LTE||Wi-Fi 802.11 n, Bluetooth|
|Ports||Micro USB, 3.5mm headphone jack||Micro USB, 3.5mm headphone jack|
|Battery||3590mAh, up to 10 hours||Up to 9 hours|
|Security||No fingerprint scanner||No fingerprint scanner|
|Dimensions||176.33 x 102.85 x 8.25 mm||192 x 115 x 9.6 mm|
Lenovo Tab M7 vs. Amazon Fire 7 Comparison: Final Thoughts
Now that we are done comparing the Lenovo Tab M7 and the Amazon Fire 7 2019, it’s time to share my final thoughts. If I were to pick between the two, my choice would definitely be Lenovo’s tablet. With it, I won’t need to perform extra steps to get some basic Google apps or have access to a more robust app store. And if I need to use any of the Amazon apps, they can simply be downloaded from the Play Store.
While that’s what I’d go for, but you cannot undermine the fact that the Fire 7 costs just $49 and still managed to offer a plethora of features. It becomes your default choice if the Lenovo device isn’t available in your region. Plus, Amazon has made some serious changes this year that help its cheapest tablet get a whole lot better at handling everyday tasks. If you’re a Prime member, the tablet will surely be worth your money.
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