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Amazon Fire 7 (2022) review: This isn't the budget tablet to buy

Updated ·4-min read
Amazon Fire 7 (2022) review: This isn't the budget tablet to buy

Let's start with the amazing part: You can get a full-featured, extremely capable tablet for just $60. With it you can read books, watch movies, play games, hop on a Zoom call, listen to music, check email, browse the web and much, much more. That tablet is the new-for-2022 Amazon Fire 7.

Don't buy it.

Amazon

Fire 7 Tablet (2022 release)

Amazon
$60 at Amazon

On paper, Amazon's budget tablet is a winner. In reality, the low-resolution screen makes it hard to recommend.

This may come as surprise, given that Amazon's latest batch of improvements includes a faster processor, more RAM (2GB), more storage (16GB, expandable), USB-C charging and the promise of longer battery life. That piles on top of what was already a decent device, especially for the budget-minded.

Just one problem: The Fire 7 still has a fuzzy, low-resolution screen — and what's more important in a tablet than the screen?

Indeed, with a resolution of just 1,024 x 600 pixels, the Fire 7 can't deliver text that's sharp enough for a good reading experience. I absolutely love reading on my phone and Kindle; I'm not willing to accept a downgrade from my tablet.

Obviously sharp text is also important for things like web browsing and email, so if those tasks are on your tablet agenda, you're likely to be disappointed.

This isn't quite as crucial for things like games, music and movies, though there's another shortcoming for that sort of media: The Fire 7 has just one speaker. You'll almost certainly want headphones for anything that involves audio.

Much as I find it incredible that Amazon charges just $60 for this device — which, as noted, can do a lot — I think the screen is too hard to overlook. And that's especially true given the upgrade that costs just $30 more: the Fire HD 8. True to its name, this model has not only a larger screen but also a higher-resolution one: 1,280 x 800 pixels. That may not sound like a huge increase, but trust me, it makes a huge difference.

Amazon

Fire HD 8 tablet (2020 release)

Amazon
$90 at Amazon

Superior to the Fire 7 in several key ways, this is the budget tablet to buy. But wait for a sale, as it's often discounted by as much as $45.

The Fire HD 8 also comes with twice the storage (32GB, expandable), a bigger battery, dual speakers and support for Show Mode (which effectively turns the tablet into an Amazon Echo Show).

Budget can't stretch that far? Wait for a sale: In the past six months alone, Amazon has discounted the Fire HD 8 six times. Price: just $45 or $50, as much as $15 below the price of the Fire 7 (which, admittedly, often goes on sale as well).

I get the temptation to grab a tablet that's only $60. But the smart money's on its bigger, better brother.

Looking for more great Amazon tech deals? Check these out:

TVs and home theater

Headphones and earbuds

Tablets and tech

Smart home

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