The "1-Minute" Review
- Horrible camera performance
- UI unpolished and laggy
- Average overall performance
- Bad audio quality
If you’re in the market for a budget-friendly tablet, you’ve probably checked out the Amazon Fire HD 10 before. Their 2019 revamp sees an upgrade in pretty much every area from hardware to software. The question isn’t if it’s a good deal -- it is -- it’s whether you can deal with some of the compromises. Let’s look at what that might mean for you.
If you put the 2017 Fire HD 10 and its 2019 counterpoint side-by-side you’d be hard-pressed to notice any design differences. Similar to its predecessors the 2019 Fire HD 10 sports a plastic body -- which you can get in white, black, plum or blue. It’s a bit on the chunky side measuring in at 0.4 inches thick and weighing around 504 grams.
The extra thickness gives the tablet a bit of durability though reviewers noticed some minor flexing when they applied pressure. Despite this, The Guardian says, “... It feels like it can take a bit of rough and tumble just fine.”
The Full HD 10.1-inch screen isn’t as sharp as other tablets on the market, but reviewers found it good enough for daily use. They enjoyed the overall experience as it provided good color accuracy and contrast. It’s also plenty bright with great viewing angles -- although the lack of anti-reflective coating can make it hard to view in bright light situations.
Besides its looks, the display also performs well. Experts had no issues with responsiveness whether they were gesturing or tapping.
Amazon has updated their hardware significantly from the 2017 version to remain competitive with other tablets on the market. While not as fast or as powerful as more expensive tablets, the 2.0GHz octa-core processor and 2GB of RAM is good enough for day-to-day usage.
Just be forewarned that you won’t get blistering speed. Experts noticed some lag and delay when opening and switching between apps. Luckily, when they were actually in the app, it was relatively speedy. And, as expected, when they tried to use an intensive app or game, the tablet would become a bit sluggish.
As with other Fire tablets, the HD 10 runs on the Amazon OS, which is a modified version of Android 9.0 Pie with all of the Google apps removed. So if you’re used to using Android, you’ll feel right at home.
Unfortunately, while it might use Android, you cannot access the Google Play store natively. You’ll have to use a workaround to access your favorite apps such as Instagram.
As well, critics continue to be unimpressed with the UI. Not only do they find it unpolished, but they also experienced a lot of lag and slowdowns.
The Fire HD 10 comes with up to 64GB of internal storage. Should you need more space, you can expand that by up to 512GB with a microSD card.
The Fire HD 10 comes with two cameras: a 2MP rear and 2MP front-facing camera.
As you would expect, neither are great. Reviewers could not capture good pictures at all with either camera even in good lighting situations. Video call quality was also quite bad despite the camera being capable of capturing 720p.
Overall, most would agree that if you want to take a good picture, use your smartphone.
If you want something that will last all day, you’ll be very pleased with the Fire HD 10. Reviewers were able to get around 11 hours of battery life during their tests. The 2019 version also features a USB-C port for charging.
Sure, it might sport dual speakers from Dolby, but the Fire HD 10’s audio leaves much to be desired. Critics found the audio quality to be very tinny and hollow -- not to mention very quiet.
It comes with a 3.5mm headphone jack and Bluetooth so you can hook up your favorite headphones if you want to enjoy a movie or album.
The tablet doesn’t come pre-packed with any accessories beyond the charging cord. You can purchase cases, holders, screen protectors and more for it. If you’re upgrading from the 2017 version, you can use all of the same accessories as the two are identical in size and shape.
Overall, the Amazon Fire HD 10 is a good budget tablet so long as you keep your expectations in check.
For the price, it offers solid performance, a good screen, and great battery life. However, if you want something that takes better pictures or can run intensive apps without a hitch, you’ll want to look elsewhere.
Digital Trends lauds the tablet calling it “... One of the best Android tablets you can buy.”
The Guardian adds, “If what you’re after is a media-consumption tablet… then in many ways the Fire HD 10 is all the tablet you’ll need.”
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