Review Date: June 2017 – Review unit purchased from Amazon
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
- 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.
- 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.
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
- Mono speaker
- 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