- Low resolution display
- Bad cameras
- No Google Apps support
- Tinny speaker
- Dim display in bright lighting
Amazon upturned the budget tablet market with the release of the 2015 Fire 7, but a lot has changed since then. Except for the specs on the latest Fire 7. But then the price hasn’t changed either. So while you're not getting much more, you're not paying any more either.
Does the latest budget-friendly tablet from Amazon still have what it takes to keep buyer’s happy? Reviewers are releasing their take and we’ve read through them all to bring you this summary!
Unlike past releases that required you to pick up a case to add flair to your tablet, the 2017 Fire 7 comes in a choice of 4 different colors. Reviewers found that the plastic chassis felt sturdy while the rounded edges make it comfortable to hold for extended periods.
The biggest complaint related to the speaker placement. Tucked into the corner on the back of the device, reviewers often mentioned that their hands muffled the sound while watching movies or gaming.
Heading around front, reviews are mixed. The tablet features a 7-inch LCD screen running at 1024-by-600. This is lower than many budget smartphones with smaller displays. While color and contrast received decent marks. Most reviews weren’t excited about the clarity or brightness on offer.
TechRadar noted, “If you had any aspirations of taking your new Fire 7 out into the sunshine this summer, you’ll be sorely disappointed.”
Yet, the low resolution display makes it easier for the 1.3Ghz quad-core MediaTek processor to keep up. Even paired with only 1GB of RAM, most reviewers found decent performance. Yes, there are delays opening apps and multitasking isn’t the tablet’s strongest feature. But once things load, reviews noted that they move along at a decent clip.
The Kindle Fire 7 (2017) comes with 8 to 16GB of internal storage. Most reviewers recommended upgrading to the 16GB model. Though you’ll also find a microSD slot for further expansion if needed.
If you’ve used another tablet, the FireOS 5 interface is likely very different. Reviewers all agree that it’s great for digging around in the Amazon ecosystem. If you've used a FireOS device in the past and didn't like the carousel, the new homepage provides a more traditional approach to accessing apps.
But you still won’t find access to Google’s Play Store or Google Apps without doing manual tweaking yourself. So unless you’re looking to dig into settings and search forums, you’ll need to be sure that everything you need is on the Amazon App store.
While battery life was respectable (5 to 8 hours on a single charge), many reviewers found their tablet took just as long to charge thanks to the 1A charger included.
The tablet’s camera saw no love from reviewers. In fact, some recommended just removing them. The rear camera is only 2MP and the front-facing lens is 0.3MP. This is low even by budget standards and the results are predictably noisy and lack detail.
TechRadar noted, “The pictures this 2MP camera takes are universally terrible. On a sunny day, normal landscape shots were both blown out and incredibly grainy.”
Overall, the price is the saving grace of this tablet for most reviews. Especially if you’re already a part of Amazon’s Prime service or frequently purchase from their site. The Guardian summed up reviews well, saying, “The Fire 7 isn’t amazing, but it gets the job of consuming media done at an absolutely rock-bottom price, and is much more capable with other tasks than you might expect.”