2017 Fire Tablet Review and Video Overview ($49 Fire)


Fire tablet 2017

Review Date: June 2017 – Review unit purchased from Amazon

Overview

Amazon released an updated $49 Fire tablet in June 2017 to replace the original $49 Fire tablet that was released back in 2015.

I already posted a comparison review between the new Fire and old Fire but not a lot has changed.

The new model has a nicer display and battery life is 1 hour longer, but most of the hardware remains the same and the software is virtually identical.

They changed the design slightly by making the new Fire a bit thinner and lighter, and the edges are more rounded so it’s more comfortable to hold.

The new 8GB Fire tablet still sells for $49 and the 16GB version is $69—both are $15 more without ads. They’re available in black, blue, red, and yellow.

I’m just going to post a short review for this tablet, but feel free to ask questions in the comments section. I plan on posting a review specifically about the reading and text-to-speech features too since that’s more this website’s style.

$49 Fire Tablet Review

Pros

  • Super cheap.
  • Storage space expandable up to 256 GB with microSD card.
  • Improved screen and good battery life.
  • Build quality feels solid, and the smaller size makes it light and easily portable.

Cons

  • Sluggish to load and respond at times.
  • The screen quality is better but the low resolution is still a con.
  • It’s basically one big advertisement for Amazon; almost every section is designed to sell you more stuff.
  • Speaker sounds awful and is way too quiet.

Verdict

The $49 Fire is one of the cheapest tablets on the market and it offers a wide range of features for the price so it’s hard to argue about the overall value, especially since the Google Play Store can be easily installed in about 5 minutes.

The $49 Fire makes for a good secondary tablet, or a tablet for kids, or something for on-the-go. It’s great for downloading Amazon content, particularly all the free content available for Prime members. You can load up a memory card full of Prime videos and Prime music and it doesn’t cost a dime.

But if you don’t want to use any of Amazon’s services then it doesn’t make sense to buy a Fire tablet. They are designed for people that use Amazon for videos, music, audiobooks and ebooks, and just shopping in general. It would be a pretty crummy tablet for someone that doesn’t use Amazon at all.

Sure, the Fire tablet has some shortcomings, like the pitiful speaker and low-quality cameras, and it’s kind of slow by today’s standards, but for $49 it hard to complain much because it does enough things well enough to be useful, and the tight integration with Amazon’s services has its advantages.

Personally I like the new Fire HD 8 a little better because it’s faster and the larger screen looks a bit nicer, but the added weight and bigger size make it less comfortable to hold and less portable, so that’s something to consider as well. See here for the $49 Fire vs Fire HD 8 comparison review.

$49 Fire Tablet Specs

  • 7-inch IPS Display
  • 1024 x 600 (171 ppi) resolution
  • Quad-core 1.3 GHz processor
  • 1 GB of RAM
  • 8GB/16GB storage space
  • MicroSD card slot for cards up to 256GB
  • VGA front-facing camera; 2 MP rear-facing HD camera
  • Dual-band Wi-Fi b/g/n
  • Bluetooth
  • Mono speaker
  • Microphone
  • Accelerometer
  • 3.5 mm stereo jack
  • Battery life: up to 8 hours
  • Weight: 10.4 oz. (295 g)
  • Dimensions: 7.6” x 4.5” x 0.4” (192 x 115 x 9.6 mm)
  • Price: $49 at Amazon

$49 Fire Tablet Video Review

9 Responses to “2017 Fire Tablet Review and Video Overview ($49 Fire)”

  1. I bought one and I’m happy with it. Your ‘cons’ list is right, but a google search will find several guides for turning off *most* of the Amazon-hard-sell stuff. Once that’s done it is a whole new experience. The other crucial must-do is to install Google Play so you can get “real” apps there as well. With that done you end up with a very serviceable tablet IMO. Only time will tell about build quality etc, but so far so good for me.

  2. So Nathan, which one are you planning to keep? The 7″ or the 8″?

    • Still undecided. I need to use the Fire HD 8 more to get a better feel for it. The 7-inch is in the lead just because I like the small and light form factor since I use a 10-inch Lenovo tablet at home, but like something more portable for outside of the house.

  3. I’ve had a version of the 12 gb 7″ kindle fire for a few years now. It’s a wonderful ereader, I have about 400 books on mine and still have lots of room, but because I also have lots of apps it does lag a bit. Still, it’s a great buy and works very, very well as a tablet and fits comfortably in my handbags. Why would I go for the 8″ heavier, bigger version? Just to watch movies?

    • Why? WiFi is vastly better on the HD8 so streaming, web browsing and downloading is now a pleasant experience. There’s more ram and a better cpu so overall use is more enjoyable. The HD8 supports voice-typing and sleep-covers. The sound is actually audible. And, of course, the display is better. All for … what … $30 – $40? It’s a bargain.

  4. Hi Nathan Thanks for the review. did you try and watch video with the headphones plugged in. My volume is extremely low . just wanted a second viewpoint on it before I report it to Amazon.

  5. I think it’s great you are including “certain” tablets in your site/reviews. I love reading your site, but id like more app suggestions, maybe what fonts to use with what device. Things like that. Although I love epaper, and am planning to get one again, but there is a certain fluidness to using a tablet (Xiaomi Mipad2 atm for me) with a wealth of ereading apps opposed to say a dedicated ereader like a Kobo or a Kindle. Hoping the best for epaper but it’s a few years old now and there is yet to be any real breakthroughs, price wise and feature wise. Love seeing those tablets with android on it but then its 4.2… The OS is not dedicated to epaper. The ultimate would be a 8inch color/bw epaper with a dedicated Android based OS. Anyway that’s me rambling. Keep up the good work!

  6. Unless it’s *greatly* improved over the last version, the HD8 is so vastly better in all ways — and for very little additional cost — that it’s not really much of a choice.

    What aggravated me *most* about the Fire 7 was what Amazon *neglected* to mention in their ads … like the lack of support for voice commands for voice-typing etc. — though Alexa might change that now — and the lack of support for a sleep-cover.

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