Amazon Hearth HD eight (eighth gen) overview
If you happen to already find out about Amazon tablets or have owned one, there’s not lots truly new concerning the “All-New” Hearth HD eight. However that doesn’t imply it’s not price shopping for. Right here’s our full overview.
Like the most recent model of the bigger Hearth HD 10, it provides hands-free Alexa to a pill that prices lower than £100. Amazon additionally hopes you’ll purchase a particular stand that turns the pill into a tool extra like its Echo Present.
Amazon Hearth HD eight: Value and availability
This eighth gen Amazon Hearth HD eight prices from £79.99/$79.99. This worth is for a 16GB mannequin with ‘particular provides’, which mainly means you get adverts on the lock display screen. The Youngsters Version is £129.99/$129.99.
We nonetheless balk at having to pay Amazon £10/$10 extra to get the identical product with out adverts, however that’s what you’ll need to do if you happen to additionally object. You too can pay extra for 32GB storage with or with out adverts.
Probably the most you possibly can spend is £109.99/$124.99 on a 32GB mannequin with out adverts.
Except for this gripe, £79.99 is a wonderful worth for an 8in pill with an HD decision show. Let’s not neglect that.
Amazon Hearth HD eight: Design and construct
This eighth gen Hearth HD eight, which was launched on the finish of 2018, is virtually equivalent to the 2017 mannequin. On our purple overview unit, the amount and energy buttons at the moment are purple too as an alternative of silver like earlier than, however that is the one aesthetic change.
The 8in show has a 16:10 side ratio, making it a noticeably totally different form to the equally sized iPad mini four that has a four:three display screen. It doesn’t seem like the display screen has an oleophobic coating although, that means the display screen will get fairly smudged up fairly shortly.
Massive black bezels and a wide range of colored plastic backs (Black, Marine Blue, Punch Crimson, Canary Yellow) give away the finances nature of the Hearth HD eight but it surely’s a strong factor to carry. You won’t love the thought of a cheap-feeling plastic pill however the money you save is a no brainer if you happen to’re on the fence.
The remainder of the purple physique homes a digicam, headphone jack, microUSB port, a mic and twin stereo audio system. These audio system are on the left edge when held portrait, indicating that is primarily thought-about a video consumption pill for use in panorama.
It’s telling that this pill is cheaper than most Amazon Kindles regardless of the Hearth HD eight having an HD color display screen, and the compromise is construct high quality.
The pill measures a sturdy 214 x 128 x 9.7 mm and weighs 363g – not mammoth, however we did discover the additional weight in a bag.
Amazon Hearth HD eight: Options and specs
However what you lose in construct high quality in comparison with costlier tablets melts away in case you are shopping for the Hearth HD eight to eat media – Amazon media, Amazon hopes.
The 8in IPS LCD show has a 1280 x 800 decision. This can be a little below the Full HD decision you’ll discover on the Hearth HD 10 but it surely’s nonetheless fairly good.
Streaming video over Wi-Fi on Prime Video seems good, although pixel peepers will need to improve to the HD 10 for the total HD impact. Video in HD on the HD eight seems fairly nice contemplating the worth, but it surely’s clearly not as razor sharp as different increased decision shows provide.
It has a sure murky high quality to it at occasions although, and except your display screen is completely clear (which it usually isn’t) you is perhaps straining to see all the pieces on it except you’re in pitch black. In some scenes on Mr Robotic and The Americas, greys and blacks bled into each other and we discovered it troublesome to see what was happening.
You too can learn books on the Hearth by way of the Kindle app. It’s not preferable to the e-ink screens of Kindle gadgets, but it surely’s a nice-to-have. An aggressive studying mode referred to as blue shade very a lot strips the show of blue gentle for studying books although, and the Hearth HD eight an affordable manner of accessing the big Kindle retailer on a tool that may additionally stream video and surf the net.
The brand new characteristic for the 2018 Hearth HD eight is Present Mode. That is mainly hands-free Alexa – saying Alexa adopted by a question will work now similar to it does on an Echo speaker (earlier than you needed to have the display screen of the Hearth HD eight turned on or it wouldn’t work).
It’s referred to as Present mode as a result of it reveals you data clearly on straightforward to learn screens, and in addition as a result of it’s lots just like the standalone, wall-plug Echo display screen machine the Echo Present.
You possibly can manually put the pill into present mode from the notification shade.
Amazon additionally sells a Present Mode charging dock particularly for the Hearth HD eight. If you wish to use it as a Present-style machine then that is important.
It will will let you use voice instructions to play music, video, take a look at photographs, watch the information and search the net.
The dock wants mains energy and mainly turns your pill into an Echo Present. There’s a totally adjustable stand and a separate clip-on again cowl for the pill with a microUSB connection that makes all of it work.
It connects with magnets so there’s no cable to unplug every time you set it on and off the stand. When on the dock it robotically enters Present Mode. It’s surprisingly cool.
We examined it out within the kitchen, asking it to indicate us a chilli con carne recipe, which it did efficiently by way of Amazon-approved and built-in app Recipedia. Utilizing voice instructions to undergo the steps, it was very intuitive.
This can be a genuinely helpful accent for an reasonably priced pill. You possibly can add the dock at level of buy, however it’s an additional £40.
If you understand anybody with the identical arrange or an Amazon Echo with a show then you may as well video name them.
Processor, reminiscence and storage
On a tool just like the Hearth HD eight you will not be overly involved with the processor, reminiscence and storage. Why? Effectively, it’s primarily a streaming machine, so that you’ll solely really want to storage to briefly obtain movies to observe offline (although when you have video recordsdata on a PC you possibly can transfer them onto the HD eight utilizing a microSD cable).
You possibly can select between 16GB or 32GB storage, although there’s a microSD card slot if you wish to increase as much as 400GB. You’re in all probability not going to fill that up.
1.5GB RAM is a bit stingy, however once more for the worth it’s greater than sufficient. The pill does lag a bit in operation between apps however when all you’re prone to be doing is loading up a video after which letting it play, it’s not a giant deal.
Connectivity and audio
The twin audio system are ample for watching video by yourself, however they’re under no circumstances room filling (neither is the display screen large enough for group watching). Additionally they help Dolby Atmos, however we didn’t actually discover this on audio system so low powered.
They don’t seem to be excellent, however they’re there. That is all it is advisable to find out about a finances pill’s cameras to be sincere, by way of images.
However the 2Mp entrance going through lens is sweet sufficient for video calling whereas in present mode.
We discovered the battery life on the Hearth HD eight to be as marketed by Amazon, getting round 10 hours of use earlier than reaching for the charger. This was barely much less when continually binging episodes of Man within the Excessive Citadel on Prime, however that is additionally to be anticipated.
If you happen to’re carrying it round it’ll undoubtedly final you two days.
Amazon Hearth HD eight: Software program and apps
The Hearth HD eight runs a model of Android with Amazon’s pores and skin over it, however you possibly can’t get Google apps on right here. Amazon doesn’t like Google and that is just about why. If you’re a Prime subscriber then this shouldn’t be an excessive amount of of a difficulty, as you possibly can watch Prime Video, hearken to Prime Music and purchase stuff on Amazon.
This isn’t a pill to purchase if you wish to get work completed on it. It doesn’t have the Google help, and it isn’t highly effective sufficient. Efficiency is ok for what it’s meant for although – studying Kindle books and watching movies.
If you happen to do not want Google apps in your pill then that is one of the best low cost pill going. It is price the additional spend over the Hearth 7 for the bigger, higher display screen.
And now you should utilize Alexa palms free, or pair the Hearth HD eight with the intelligent Present Mode dock to get an reasonably priced sensible show for residence use. If you wish to watch video on Prime and Netflix and never a lot else then this pill is a no brainer.