In a surprise move, Amazon announced not one but two 8-inch Fire tablets, with the non-standard one being the Fire HD 8 Plus. That ‘Plus’ moniker brings along more RAM and wireless charging, which is a first for any tablet in this budget, let alone any Amazon tablet. While on the surface, the all-new Fire tablet looks very similar to the non-Plus model, there is much more going on than what meets the eye.
Here is everything that you need to know about the Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus, including its detailed specifications, pricing, availability details, and a few alternatives.
- 8-inch HD display
- 3GB RAM, 32/64GB storage
- Expandable up to 1TB
- Quad-core processor
- Gaming mode, hands-free Alexa
- Wireless charging
- Fast wired charging
- USB-C, headphone jack
- Optional wireless charging dock
Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus: The Basics
Amazon doesn’t seem in for big changes for its cheap tablets, and in line with that, the company has kept the 8-inch HD panel from the previous generation, which we found just okay to use. The 8 Plus gets a bit of a facelift with more uniform surrounding bezels and rounded corners, which make the device a bit easier to hold at a stretch. You’ll be able to pick the tablet in only black shade, while the non-Plus variant will get multiple interesting colors, including a pastel shade of blue and pink. The tablet has a pair of speakers, but they’re unlikely to have stereo separation.
On the inside, Amazon has included a slightly faster quad-core chip clocked at 2GHz along with an increased RAM capacity of 3GB, versus 2GB on the standard Fire HD 8. Compared to the 2018 model, the new Fire HD8 Plus packs double the storage options of 32GB and 64GB, which you can further expand by up to 1TB via a microSD card. Using this new memory and processor combination, Amazon could add a Gaming Mode for an optimized gaming experience. The 8 Plus comes running the latest version of Fire OS based on Android Pie.
Learning a couple of things from the bigger Fire HD 10, the 8 Plus also uses a USB Type-C port to charge the tablet using a faster 9W adapter that comes bundled in the box. Not only this, but the battery also lasts a little longer now; Amazon claims up to 12 hours. In addition to this, you’ve also got the headphone jack and the support for hands-free Alexa. Another added perk for this Plus model is that you’ll be eligible for a free 6-month trial of Kindle Unlimited. The slate comes with a 2MP camera both on its front and back with support for HD video recording.
The Wireless Charging Bit
Wireless charging has so far been a thing of smartphones, and that too the premium ones. But Amazon took the giant leap and brought the feature to one of the cheapest tablets on the market right now. A significant differentiating point for the 8 Plus from the standard 8 is its support for the contactless charging tech. You have the option to get the Wireless Charging Dock bundle to get started with right away with your new tablet, though you should be able to use your existing charger since the device supports the universal Qi standard. The dock that Amazon is bundling does support the hands-free Alexa feature.
|Tablet||Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus|
|OS||Fire OS based on Android Pie|
|Display||8-inch LCD (1280 x 800), 16:10|
|Processor||2GHz quad-core processor|
|Expandable||MicroSD card, up to 1TB|
|Main camera||2 Megapixel|
|Front camera||2 Megapixel|
|Ports||USB Type-C, headphone jack|
|Battery||Up to 12 hours, wireless charging|
|Dimensions||202 x 137 x 9.7mm|
Pricing & Availability
With all those additional features, it’s anything but natural for Amazon to raise the prices, and so it has. The Fire HD 8 Plus starts from $110 for its base 32GB storage, while the upgraded 64GB option comes in at $140. If you want to get rid of lock-screen ads, then you can pay $15 more upfront. And if you bundle the charging dock with any of these configurations, then you’ll be required to pay $30 on top of the tablet’s price. Pre-orders for all these combinations are already live on Amazon, and they’ll start shipping from June 3 in the US.
Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus Alternatives
The Fire OS on these Amazon tablets may start feeling limiting if you don’t know how to install the Google Play Store. For a full Android experience, you can go for the Lenovo Tab M8 (review), which has a near-stock interface and has a metal build. If you’re looking for a superior overall experience, then you might want to spend a little more and get the new Galaxy Tab A 8.4, which is a better device in nearly all aspects.
For those looking to get a basic machine and save even further can look at the Fire 7 (review), which was upgraded not too long ago. Lenovo also has the Tab M7 (review), with similar attributes as its bigger cousin, but it’s meant strictly for basic use. In case you’re peeking out to the iOS side, then it’s likely that you can get a pretty decent deal on the iPad 7 (review), which is often discounted from its launch price.
Amazon Fire HD 8 PlusWith the Fire HD 8 Plus, Amazon has been able to pull off something probably no other company has ever done: provide wireless charging on a device that costs merely $100. Since this is a Plus model of the standard Fire HD 8, you're also getting better internals and some freebies. By the looks of it, the new tablet continues being one of the best budget media consumption screen. It is still cheap enough to hand out to your kids, and its plastic shell will ensure that the device survives.
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