Amazon Fireplace 7 assessment: A price range pill for the fundamentals

After three years, Amazon lastly up to date its most reasonably priced pill: the Fireplace 7. Beginning at $59.99 ($74.99 with out lockscreen adverts), the brand new mannequin prices a bit greater than its predecessor, however with elevated RAM. In addition to battery life that matches the bigger and considerably dearer Fireplace HD 10. It additionally will get USB-C, as much as 32GB of built-in storage, and a extra highly effective processor.

However do these additional options make it a superb purchase? After spending a month testing the ad-free model of the Fireplace 7, I would say sure. Until you are simply searching for an affordable leisure pill, it is a nice system, particularly when you’re already embedded within the Amazon ecosystem. Certain, you may must be comfy with some fairly large tradeoffs—like a critically low-resolution, pixelated display—however at this value, do not count on perfection from anybody.

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Like all Fireplace tablets, the Fireplace 7 has a plastic physique. Its sides are extra curved than these of the 2019 mannequin, making it simpler to carry with one hand. It is half an oz. lighter than the 2019 mannequin — 9.9 ounces as an alternative of 10.4 — and is 7.11 inches taller, whereas the 2019 mannequin was 7.55 inches. The marginally narrower bezels and barely wider display make the present simpler to learn and watch.

Sadly, the brand new Fireplace 7 nonetheless has a pixelated, grainy seven-inch show and solely provides a 1024 x 600-pixel decision (171 ppi). That is the factor that I disliked probably the most concerning the Fireplace 7. I do not count on a $59.99 pill to have a high-resolution show just like the iPad and even the $149.99 Amazon Fireplace 10. However most individuals will purchase this pill for leisure. As with watching motion pictures, studying, and (slowly) shopping social media, and the show is a core function, Amazon ought to have elevated greater than the storage capability — particularly as a result of the Fireplace 7 comes with a microSD card slot. The show can be not fingerprint-resistant, and it blurs simply. It is each vibrant and dim, making it difficult to make use of exterior within the solar.

One hand holding the Amazon Fire 7 screen when it's on.

Display screen is ok in some low gentle situations however not a lot when it’s sunny.

All that mentioned, I nonetheless managed to take pleasure in studying eBooks and watching reveals on the Fireplace 7. As soon as what I used to be studying or watching, I rapidly forgot concerning the grainy display, particularly at evening. That is as a result of the Fireplace 7 runs on the brand new Fireplace OS 8, which is a modified model of Android 11. With that new OS comes some helpful consumer interface modifications, like darkish mode and a setting that reduces blue gentle. You can too customise the menu a bit.

I particularly appreciated utilizing the pill for studying. The show is barely sharper than the e-ink display on the bottom Kindle, which provides a a lot decrease 167ppi decision. Should you use the pill as a secondary e-reader, that may be a perk, particularly because the Fireplace 7 is $30 cheaper than the Kindle.

Whereas the dangerous speaker delivered a crackling sound that is neither full nor clear, I rapidly forgot about them, due to the three.5mm audio jack. That is one thing that newer tablets typically lack and, together with Bluetooth assist, means you may pair it with a variety of headphones and audio system. This vastly improves sound high quality, whether or not you are listening to audiobooks, tuning in to music, or streaming a present by means of Audible.

A USB-C port and a headphone jack on the side of the Amazon Fire 7 tablet.

good riddance to microUSB port; Howdy, USB-C; And glad you are still right here, headphone jack.

I used to be pleasantly stunned by the improved battery life. Amazon claims it takes about 4 hours to totally cost the Slate with the included five-watt charging brick and USB-C charging cable, which I discovered to be correct. The corporate additionally claims as much as 10 hours of battery life, which matches my expertise. This places it on a par with the dearer Amazon Fireplace HD 10. It was a couple of week earlier than I wanted to recharge the pill, whereas its predecessor solely lasted two days. To sum up how significantly better the battery is, watching a 25-minute documentary noticed the battery drop by about 5 % (at 70 % brightness, I’d add). As compared, my colleague Cameron Faulkner noticed the earlier mannequin’s battery drop by 20 % when watching a 23-minute episode.

Storage choices are additionally higher this time. Whereas it nonetheless solely comes with 16GB or 32GB of built-in storage, the brand new mannequin can assist microSD playing cards of as much as 1TB. Its predecessor maxed out at 512GB.

There is a microSD slot on the side of Amazon Fire 7.

The Fireplace 7 comes with a microSD slot and may use playing cards as much as 1TB to develop its 32 or 64GB of inner storage

You possibly can’t count on a $59.99 pill to be as quick because the iPad, and it actually is not. Nonetheless, whereas the Fireplace 7 is sluggish, at the very least it is slightly sooner than its predecessor. It is because it’s outfitted with a virtually twice as highly effective quad-core 2.0 GHz processor in addition to 2GB of RAM, as an alternative of the 1GB discovered within the 2019 mannequin. It is the identical processor and reminiscence because the $89.99 Fireplace HD 8. That also does not make it nice for gaming, however you’ll open a number of internet pages on the identical time with out, say, the pill being fairly sluggish – which is typically the case utilizing the 2019 mannequin. I additionally seen some enhancements in video playback, making it doable to observe once more unusual issues Completely happy hundredth time. Typing, opening apps, and shopping the net are nonetheless comparatively sluggish for somebody like me who’s used to the velocity of the iPad, however it means you may must be affected person for a couple of additional seconds—no large deal. .

Nonetheless, it was not till I added my Gmail account to the built-in electronic mail app. After that, software program navigation and app startup slowed down significantly and by no means returned to their quick efficiency, particularly after I downloaded about seven apps, together with Netflix. No less than the video playback was good.

Video name high quality, nevertheless, is one other story. Earlier than I related my Gmail account to the e-mail app, video name high quality was poor – calls would lag and generally freeze, so I typically needed to flip off my video. Additionally, it did not assist that the Fireplace HD 7’s cameras have been nonetheless dangerous. Amazon did not replace the 2MP front- and rear-facing cameras, so images, selfies, and video chats look grainy by means of the Zoom, shade saturation is low, and I may barely see myself in indoor low-light settings .

The Amazon logo is on the back of the Amazon Fire 7.

Plastic Amazon Fireplace 7 Again in Lavender Colorway

Should you’re deeply embedded within the Amazon ecosystem and have, say, a Prime member or have an Alexa good speaker, the Fireplace 7 (like different Amazon tablets) provides a whole lot of worth to your cash. It could possibly run Alexa – I used to be ready to make use of it to show my good lights on and off utilizing my voice with none issues. I, like many individuals, additionally pay $139 per yr for an Amazon Prime membership, which supplies me free entry to TV reveals like boys, motion pictures, books for My Kindle by means of Prime Reads, and Amazon’s ad-free Prime Music service. The choice of free books and music choice is actually restricted, however I used to be nonetheless capable of finding some issues I appreciated.

The Fireplace 7 can be an awesome system to have if you wish to preserve your children busy on lengthy automotive rides or aircraft journeys. It is low-cost and, while you create a baby’s profile, comes with parental management choices. You possibly can filter what your youngster sees and set cut-off dates by means of Amazon’s Father or mother Dashboard, which you’ll entry through pill, your smartphone, or PC.

Amazon additionally sells a $109.99 Fireplace 7 Youngsters Version pill, which comes with a sturdy case with a built-in stand, a two-year harm safety plan, and a yr of Amazon Youngsters Plus — a pawn of Amazon Prime. Version. Curated choice of books, video games and movies. Youngsters Plus is $4.99 monthly for Prime members, so when you’re contemplating the Fireplace 7 for a younger youngster that may break it otherwise you’re within the Youngsters Plus service, Youngsters Version – though I did not take a look at it Sure – there could be a greater choice.

Whereas the Fireplace 7 is nice for consuming Amazon content material, I used to be disenchanted in Amazon’s App Retailer choices. The choice nonetheless leaves so much to be desired — you may obtain many fashionable apps and video games like Netflix, Hulu, Instagram, Spotify, and Amazon’s Luna subscription gaming service. Nonetheless, you continue to cannot obtain Google apps like YouTube, Google Drive or Play Retailer. You possibly can sideload Google apps, that is true, however it’s a comparatively difficult course of with safety implications. Plus, whilst you can obtain Microsoft Workplace purposes, many fashionable work and productiveness apps like Slack, Airtable, and Asana are nowhere to be discovered — and truly utilizing Microsoft Phrase to kind paperwork is frustratingly sluggish. Do not buy something apart from an amusement machine on this hope.

A mono speaker on the side of the Fire 7.

The Fireplace 7 comes with a mono speaker, whereas its dearer sibling provides twin audio system.

Should you’re searching for a small, cheap pill for studying, watching movies or listening to audiobooks, the Fireplace 7 is respectable — and at this value, respectable is appropriate. I would particularly suggest it as an alternative choice to the $89.99 Kindle. The Fireplace 7 provides a higher-density 171ppi show, extra storage choices, and entry to the identical Kindle ecosystem — and it performs video. Additionally, primarily based on my experiences with its predecessor, it ought to final you comparatively lengthy. Whereas my outdated Fireplace 7 is frustratingly sluggish, it actually hasn’t gotten any worse over time. I count on this model to be technically usable for at the very least three years as nicely.

Alternatively, when you’re, say, a film buff available in the market for an reasonably priced pill, think about shopping for Amazon’s $89.99 Fireplace 8 or $149.99 Fireplace 10. They boast bigger and better decision screens, twin, not mono, audio system that sound higher, and bigger built-in storage choices. And when you want a pill primarily for work or duties like cell gaming or inventive work like graphic design, it’s best to think about the dearer choices — this cheaper pill, like the remainder of the Fireplace lineup, is only a processor. Lack of energy and apps.

Images by Sheena Vasani

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