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Amazon Fire HD 10 vs. Fire HD 8: Which tablet is right for you? – Android Police

Amazon hardware for the Amazon ecosystem, but which Fire tablet makes more sense?
Bigger display
The 2021 version of the Fire HD 10 features a crisp display, surprisingly good battery life, and works well with other services apps, like Disney+ and Netflix. Unfortunately, it still is limited to the Fire OS, so it can't handle resource-intensive apps. Still, it's a dependable option for those looking for an affordable tablet.
You can take it anywhere
The most recent refresh of the Fire HD 8 has improved performance at an affordable price tag. At its core, it has great battery life and can easily run videos, books, and social media apps. However, it’s not a powerhouse, but it’s still a decent budget tablet.
They aren't exactly powerhouses, but Amazon Fire tablets are among the most affordable offerings on the market that are actually worth using. They're great for basic stuff like catching up with your favorite shows or answering emails and are especially useful for people who are heavily invested in the Amazon ecosystem. 2021 and 2022 saw refreshes of the popular Fire HD 10 and the Fire HD 8 tablets with moderate improvements to hardware and features like faster processors and USB Type-C charging ports, bringing them up to speed with many budget Android tablets. Besides their obvious difference in screen size, there are a few other specs that separate the two.
Amazon Fire HD 10
Amazon Fire HD 8
10.1-inch IPS LCD, 1920 x 1200, 224 PPI
8-inch IPS LCD, 1280 x 800, 189 PPI
2GHz octa-core MediaTek MT8183
2GHz six-core MediaTek MT8169A
3GB (4GB on Plus)
2GB (3GB on Plus)
32/64GB, microSD cards up to 1 TB
32/64GB, microSD cards up to 1 TB
Fire OS 7.3 based on Android 9 Pie
Fire OS 8.3 based on Android 11
2MP (front), 5MP (rear)
2MP (front), 5MP (rear)
6500mAh, 9W charger included
4850mAh, 5W charger included
USB Type-C, 3.5mm headphone jack
USB Type-C, 3.5mm headphone jack
Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 5
Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 5.2
247 x 166 x 9.2mm, 465g
202 x 137 x 9.7mm, 337g
Starting from $150
Starting from $100
Black, blue, pink, olive
Black, denim, rose
The 8-inch panel on the Fire HD 8 sports a 1280 x 800-pixel resolution. It does sound paltry on paper, but it doesn't look that bad in real life. If you plan on using the tablet as an Alexa screen or for your kids to spend some time playing games, the resolution wouldn't be an issue. The higher pixel density of the 10-inch Fire tablet's FHD resolution will come in handy if you read a lot of news or emails on it or for the extra crispness when watching something on Netflix.
It also helps that both tablets use IPS panels, which are known for better viewing angles and color reproduction than the TFT screens you usually find on devices of this class. For the affordable price of these tablets, the displays are as good as they get.
Both tablets also get a pair of speakers located on the top edge (when held in landscape mode) to offer mild stereo separation. The smaller 8-inch Fire HD naturally has a smaller footprint, allowing it to fit inside tight handbags and be carried around easily. Meanwhile, the bigger Fire HD 10 will be perfect for keeping in your bedroom or living room.
Amazon's Fire tablets are primarily entertainment devices, without much in the way of high-powered hardware inside either one. As we'll get into later, the Amazon landscape limits your access to the most resource-intensive apps, but you might find some slowdowns even with the relatively barebones software that can be found on the Appstore.
The six-core processor paired with 2GB of RAM on the Fire HD 8 is perfectly capable of handling that load. For entertainment and communication apps and even your kids' story apps, the hardware won't disappoint, granted you aren't looking to frequently switch between apps. The 2022 version delivers a welcome, but small, upgrade in terms of processing power. It still gets sluggish at times, particularly if you try to engage in any multitasking or gaming.
The larger Fire HD 10 gets 3GB of standard memory and an octa-core chipset. These additional gigs and processor cores make handling slightly more demanding apps easier. Another long-term benefit of this hardware combination is the performance headroom, which should help the tablet's longevity.
With this extra horsepower, Amazon got the confidence to tout the Fire HD 10 as a productivity tablet, offering a pricier bundle with a keyboard and a Microsoft 365 subscription. However, in our testing, the tablet failed to manage even basic tasks as it ran out of memory rather quickly.
Both Fire tablets are a tough sell as productivity machines, but they're suitable for what they're meant to do: entertain you. And if you think you might max out your tablet's memory, you can go for the Plus upgrade of these tablets, which gets you an extra gig of RAM and wireless charging.
Amazon Fire OS has quite a few nuances, but the gist is that it's a forked version of Android sans any of the Google services you're used to on Android tablets. That means most Google apps won't work on the Fire tablet out of the box, nor do you get access to the Play Store and its vast app catalog, though that can be remedied.
The 2021 Fire HD 10 comes loaded with Fire OS 7, which is a highly specialized version of Android 9. Released near the end of 2022, the latest Fire HD 8 jumps ahead to the Android 11-based Fire OS 8. Both rely on the Amazon Appstore for their app needs. The new version adds things like system-wide dark mode and better permission management, plus other minor changes that contribute to a generally streamlined experience.
Since the hardware is basically a venue for Amazon to promote its various digital services, you get everything the company offers — Alexa, Audible, Kindle, Prime Video, Prime Music; you name it. Because the OS is based on Android, you can technically install .apk files. But not all apps will work as expected without Google Play Services. There's a way to get Google Play Services and the Google Play Store up and running on Fire tablets, making them more well-rounded devices. Of course, you will still run up against hardware limitations with plenty of Google apps, so keep a realistic view of what kind of software you plan to side-load onto a Fire HD tablet.
Conversely, Amazon tailors its ecosystem to work well on even midrange and entry-level hardware. Amazon apps are relatively lightweight across the board, and all Fire tablets work great with all of them. To that end, you'll need an Amazon Prime subscription or you won't get the most out of the tablet. If you're not a fan of Amazon's apps or don't want to subscribe, then a Fire HD tablet might not be right for you.
Tablets aren't usually known for their stellar cameras, even the pricey ones, and these Fire tablets are no exception. The Fire HD 8 and HD 10 come with two cameras, each on the front and back. The smaller device has a 2MP sensor on each side, while the larger one has an upgraded 5MP rear-facing sensor.
While these cameras aren't completely potato-quality, they aren't meant to show off your camera skills either. The front-facing sensors are fine for some video calls on Zoom or with your family. And the only thing worth saying about the rear camera is that it exists in case you need it in a pinch.
Amazon doesn't advertise the battery capacities of its tablets, much like Apple, but they're easy to find. The Fire HD 10 naturally gets a larger 6,500mAh cell, while the Fire HD 8 uses a 4,850mAh one. With a strong hold on the software, Amazon is able to squeeze out an excellent standby time on both devices, which would be helpful if your tablet use is infrequent. And in real-world use, both tablets lasted for about 4-5 days between charges with one to two hours of mixed-use per day in our testing.
Even though the tablets can last for days before needing a top-up, the bundled slow chargers can get annoying when you need to use them. The 10-inch model comes with a 9W adapter, while the 8-inch tablet gets only a 5W adapter, offering a charge time of 4 and 5 hours, respectively. Both devices do support 15W charging, but that requires a separate purchase. Real-world testing indicates a 0-100% charging time of about 3 hours when using a 15W or faster charger.
You don't buy an Amazon Fire tablet for its standout features or exceptional capabilities. It's the affordability that draws most buyers. You can pick up the Fire HD 8 for just $100 for the base 32GB storage variant. The Fire HD 10, on the other hand, starts at $150. And if the lock screen ads get on your nerves, you can remove them by paying an additional $15 for both models. At these prices, the two Fire HD models are indeed among the best value-for-money tablets out there.
Considering the Fire HD 10 and the Fire HD 8 run similar software and have hardware that is good enough for everyday apps, the decision to pick one of the two boils down to the devices' sizes and displays. For kids and their tiny hands, the Fire HD 8 makes more sense. It's compact but still offers ample display estate for playing games or going through interactive stories. It won't take up a lot of space in your backpack and is perfect for repurposing as an Alexa screen whenever you aren't using the tablet. It's also as affordable as any decent tablet gets.
The larger Fire HD 10 with its full HD screen is a more high-powered entertainment device. Its screen size is ideal for watching shows or reading a book while in your bed or keeping it as a shareable tablet in the living room. Just don't look at it as a productivity tablet; there are better Android tablets out there for that kind of use.
If you keep realistic expectations, neither of these low-cost devices should disappoint. For more portability or something for kids, the Fire HD 8 is the way to go. On the other hand, if you want to avoid excessive slowdowns and enjoy media in full HD, you'll prefer the Fire HD 10.
The 2021 version of the Fire HD 10 features a crisp display, surprisingly good battery life, and works well with other services apps, like Disney+ and Netflix. Unfortunately, it still is limited to the Fire OS, so it can't handle resource-intensive apps. Still, it's a dependable option for those looking for an affordable tablet.
A great budget option, the Fire HD 8 is an 8-inch, Fire OS-powered tablet that’s great for streaming movies, browsing, or reading. However, it’s not powerful enough for resource-heavy apps. Still, it’s a great budget option for anyone looking for something that travels easily.
Karandeep has been with Android Police as a freelance writer since 2019, covering reviews for India, buyer’s guides for the US, and handy tutorials for everyone. He cares more about the impact of technology on people’s everyday lives than the superfluous features companies keep adding each year, which is central to his reviews and product recommendations.

In his previous life, he worked with Android Headlines to cover everything Android. He also wrote and edited for a handful of publications in India during his writing journey, which started in 2014. Ever since his first Symbian phone that had the iconic Ovi store to download apps, he has stuck to Android phones and is currently using a OnePlus 11. In his free time, he’s usually busy clearing his ever-growing backlog of movies and TV shows or tracking down an eatery he hasn’t been to yet. Chats about food go to Twitter DM and everything tech to karandeep (at) androidpolice (dot) com.