May 10, 2022

Amazon Fire HD 8 vs. 8 Plus: Which should you buy?

By Jeramy Johnson last updated February 24, 2022

Included in this guide:1

Arrow

AmazonFire HD 8 (2020)CHECK PRICE2

Arrow

AmazonFire HD 8 PlusCHECK PRICE

Amazon Fire Hd 8 2020 Hero

Amazon Fire Hd 8 2020 Hero (Image credit: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central)

Amazon Fire HD 8 (2020)

The 2020 edition of Amazon’s Fire HD 8 tablet brings the iterative updates you’d expect in terms of increased RAM, storage, and processor capabilities. It adds to that a design refresh and additional color options. In some respects, it may be bested by the HD 8 Plus, but we still think it offers excellent value for the price.

Amazon Fire HD 8 (2020)

Mass AppealTODAY’S BEST DEALSUS$89.99VIEW AT AMAZONUS$89.99View at AmazonUS$119.99View at AmazonFaster processorMore RAM and higher storage capacityUSB-C charging portRefreshed design and colorsGame ModeNo wireless chargingCameras are still meh

Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus (2020)

The Fire HD 8 Plus marks the first time Amazon attempted to differentiate tablets or e-readers in the same line with premium features. No doubt, some of these features like fast charging and wireless charging will find their way to other products in the lineup, but if you want to taste the future, this is the gadget to get.

Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus (2020)

Next LevelTODAY’S BEST DEALSLOW STOCKUS$109.99VIEW AT AMAZONEven faster processor and more RAM than HD 8USB-C charging portFast-chargingWireless chargingGame ModeMore expensive than HD 8Only available in one color optionSame lackluster cameras as HD 8

Over the past year, Amazon has updated nearly all of the devices in its Fire tablet lineup, from the bare-bones, impulse-buy Fire 7 to the more expensive and immersive Fire HD 10. The company has even updated its Kids Edition versions of these tablets in lockstep with the regular ones. However, Fire fans like myself have been waiting nearly two years for an update to the HD 8, which I’ve often called the Goldilocks of tablets for its “just right” balance of price, performance, and value. So now that the Fire HD 8 has been updated along with a more premium Fire HD 8 Plus, what is someone in the market for a tremendous mid-size tablet to do?Sponsored LinksVillas For Sale in Dubai Might Totally Surprise YouVillas for Sale in Dubai | Search Ads

Amazon Fire HD 8 vs. 8 Plus: Nit-picking the differences

Since this is the first time we’ve seen separate devices in the exact same product line (aside from the Kids Edition versions), let’s take a look at just what the differences are between these two tablets.RECOMMENDED VIDEOS FOR YOU…CLOSEhttps://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.513.0_en.html#goog_6652446570 seconds of 57 secondsVolume 0% PLAY SOUND

Fire HD 8 (2020)Fire HD 8 Plus (2020)
Display8″ HD8″ HD
Resolution1280×800 (189 ppi)1280×800 (189 ppi)
Storage32/64GB
Expandable up to 1TB
32/64GB
Expandable up to 1TB
CPUQuad-core 2.0 GHzQuad-core 2.0 GHz
Ram2GB3GB
Charging Time5 hours4 hours
Wireless ChargingNoYes
Cameras2MP front and rear2MP front and rear
Weight12.5 oz12.5 oz
Dimensions8.0 x 5.4 x 0.4 inches (202mm x 137mm x 9.7mm)8.0 x 5.4 x 0.4 inches (202mm x 137mm x 9.7mm)
ColorsBlack
Plum
Twilight Blue
White
Slate

Advertisement

As you can see, there isn’t that much that separates these two versions of the Fire HD 8. They look the same, feel the same, weigh the same, and even share accessories like cases and covers. The most significant differences are inside (RAM and charging capabilities) and outside (color options). But that’s really about it.

Amazon Fire HD 8 vs. 8 Plus: What improvements do these devices share?

Amazon didn’t make a ton of substantial changes to this iteration of the HD 8, but the iterative changes it did make (to both models) are welcome improvements.

For starters, it increased the battery life from 10 to 12 hours, which doesn’t sound like much, but can make a significant difference on those long road trips or flights (and if you’re at home, it just means that you can wait that much longer before charging again!). It also brought USB-C to the lineup (first introduced with the 2019 HD 10), so hopefully, we’ll start to see that on all Amazon device updates moving forward.

Amazon updated the color palette of the HD 8 to match better the 7 and series and its popular Kindle e-readers. It also improved the processors for a 30% performance improvement, and it upped the RAM in both devices (2GB and 3GB, respectively). While it kept the 32 and 64GB internal storage configurations, Amazon bumped the microSD storage expandability up to 1TB, which is excellent to store movies, music, and games for extended trips or areas with low connectivity.

This marks the first time a Fire tablet has had the front-facing camera on the side in a horizontal or landscape orientation, and I, for one, think that was a wise decision. I know that I tend to hold my tablets that way when trying to get a better view of the content on the screen, so it makes sense that this would be a better experience for video chatting with others. Also, if you want to use a Bluetooth keyboard, this orientation makes way more sense.

Finally, Amazon is introducing a distraction-free gaming experience called Game Mode. This blocks notifications from intruding on your gameplay. The best part about it? It is on by default and comes on automatically when you open a game. Of course, you can always turn this off in the settings if you don’t mind the interruptions, but why would you?

Amazon Fire HD 8 vs. 8 Plus: What does the Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus offer?

Amazon Fire Hd 8 Plus Show Mode 1
Source: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central)

Advertisement

2020 marked the first time Amazon has tried to create a more premium tier in its Fire tablets with the Fire HD 8 Plus. On the surface, the device doesn’t really look any different than the “regular” Fire HD 8, aside from only being available in a Slate color. No, for the HD 8 Plus, it’s what’s on the inside that counts.

For starters, the HD 8 Plus comes with 50% more RAM than the HD 8 (3GB to 2GB), which should help games and movies appear more fluid, and future-proof you longer than the other Fire tablets. Additionally, the HD 8 Plus can charge faster via its included 9W adapter. This is great for those who want to top off more quickly, particularly before a road trip.

Speaking of charging, the real selling point with the HD 8 Plus is that it is capable of Qi wireless charging. Amazon is selling a unique Wireless Charging Dock, but it also works with some third-party wireless chargers. Using the Amazon dock means that you can quickly put your Fire HD 8 into Show Mode and leave it like that without having an ugly wire sticking out or worrying about the battery running out. This turns it into an Echo Show, but it’s an Echo Show that you can pick up and take with you anywhere.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.