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All-new Amazon Hearth HD 8 (2020) overview: One of the best finances pill of 2021

Tablets that don’t come from Apple’s factories are likely to get a nasty repute, however Amazon’s low-priced units are unbeatable for the value and sometimes make nice presents for teenagers or first-time pill consumers.

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It helps that Amazon improves issues with new variations each few years, and the newest Amazon pill to obtain a contemporary lick of paint is the Hearth HD 8. With a extra highly effective chipset, additional RAM and USB-C charging, that is Amazon’s greatest pill replace but – however is it definitely worth the elevated value?

Amazon Hearth HD 8 (2020) overview: What it’s essential to know

Nonetheless, there are lots of issues that haven’t modified this 12 months. The Hearth HD 8 nonetheless has an 8in display screen with a decision of 1,280 x 800, nonetheless has a quoted battery lifetime of 12 hours and it nonetheless has the identical robust, matte plastic casing as its predecessor.

Take a peek on the inside specs and also you’ll discover a lot of the Hearth HD 8’s upgrades. It’s powered by a sooner MediaTek MT8168 processor this 12 months, and the entire RAM has seen a slight increase from 1.5GB to 2GB. Amazon has additionally doubled the bottom storage to 32GB and is providing a 64GB possibility for the very first time.

Amazon Hearth HD 8 (2020) overview: Worth and competitors

Whichever storage dimension you select, the Hearth HD 8 is obtainable in two variants: “with particular presents” and “with out particular presents”. Particular presents are mainly Amazon’s means of pushing its adverts by to your lockscreen – should you’d moderately not have this, then you’ll have to pay an additional £10.

The brand new Hearth HD 8 is out there at the moment for £90, which is £10 greater than the 2018 mannequin. There’s additionally the choice to double your storage to 64GB for £120, or you possibly can select to improve to the Hearth HD 8 Plus, which provides wi-fi charging in addition to an additional 1GB of RAM. Relying on how a lot storage you need, the Hearth HD 8 Plus prices both £110 or £140.

Amazon Hearth HD 8 (2020) overview: Design and key options

As I discussed earlier, the Hearth HD 8’s design adjustments are comparatively minor, however it’s attainable to identify a number of delicate variations should you look arduous sufficient. Amazon’s finances pill remains to be encased in a troublesome textured plastic with massive screen-bordering bezels, however Amazon has clearly designed this new pill for use in panorama orientation, moderately than the portrait-friendly design of the earlier mannequin.

The two-megapixel selfie digicam now sits above one of many display screen’s lengthy edges, and the ability button, quantity rocker and three.5mm headphone socket are situated to the proper. This space of the pill additionally contains the brand new USB-C port. This costs the pill from zero to full in lower than 5 hours, which remains to be moderately gradual. A pair of audio system level upwards on the highest edge, and the microSD slot, which might take playing cards as much as 1TB in capability, is on the underside.

It is a low cost pill, so that you shouldn’t anticipate luxurious finishes and supplies, however the Hearth HD 8 stays a well-made, robust-feeling gadget. It’s light-weight at solely 355g, doesn’t flex or bend underneath appreciable stress, and it’s properly constructed, with solely a slim hole separating the glass-topped display screen and plastic backing. The Hearth HD 8 could be picked up in a selection of 4 pastel colors: black, plum, twilight blue and white.

Amazon Hearth HD 8 (2020) overview: Show

Regardless of receiving a contemporary lick of paint in different areas, the Hearth HD 8’s show stays largely unchanged. It nonetheless measures 8in throughout the diagonal – it will be bizarre if it didn’t – and makes use of an IPS panel with a decision of 1,280 x 800.

Because of the dimension and low decision, a pixel density of simply 189ppi makes for a display screen that appears moderately pixellated and fuzzy by fashionable requirements. Likewise, a recorded sRGB color gamut protection of 70% means colors look tonally muted compared with the punchy, vibrant screens provided by Apple and the like.

Nonetheless, for lower than £100, the Hearth HD 8 was by no means going to set the usual for display screen high quality. On a extra optimistic observe, the Hearth HD 8’s display screen will get vibrant sufficient, at 396cd/m2, distinction is nice at 1,440:1 and viewing angles aren’t too dangerous both.

Amazon Hearth HD 8 (2020) overview: Efficiency and battery life

Regardless of the zero love given to the show, the Hearth HD 8 has seen a great bump in specs over its predecessor. Its quad-core 2GHz MediaTek MT8168 CPU is now 30% extra highly effective in comparison with the 2018 model, with extra RAM at your disposal (2GB) and a bigger, 4,850mAh battery.

Since that is the quickest chipset in a Hearth pill so far, efficiency is unbeatable at this worth. The duo of Geekbench 3 single- and multi-core check outcomes converse for themselves and, whereas shortly swiping between functions is usually a bit juddery at occasions, the expertise stays principally fluid. I actually wasn’t tearing my hair out in frustration as I’ve executed with earlier Hearth tablets.

Gaming efficiency is equally improved, attaining double the predecessor’s body fee within the GFXBench Manhattan 3 onscreen check. The checklist of gaming functions isn’t as far-reaching as different tablets, which I’ll talk about shortly, however you need to be capable to run most video games on Amazon’s Appstore with out too many hiccups

Battery life is one other space that has seen an enormous improve over the earlier model. Regardless of the small 2% bump in battery capability, the Hearth HD 8 lasted for 15hrs 23mins in our video-rundown check with aeroplane mode engaged. This an enormous stamina improve of virtually 38% in comparison with the 2018 mannequin.

Amazon Hearth HD 8 (2020) overview: Hearth OS and Alexa

Like the remainder of the Amazon Hearth household, the Hearth HD 8’s software program is Android-based, with Amazon’s personal software program launcher, Hearth OS, positioned on prime. Hearth OS 7 is the brand new model for this 12 months, which makes use of a newer model of Google’s extensively used cell working system, Android 9 Pie.

If you happen to’ve used a Hearth pill beforehand, then the expertise stays largely the identical. Your Kindle library, Prime Video content material, Amazon Music tracks and extra could be accessed with easy swipes left and proper of the homescreen, in addition to an inventory of your downloaded apps.

The quantity of functions on the Amazon Appstore continues to be moderately restricted, although. For example, we sometimes use the Geekbench 5 app for efficiency testing of assorted units, however Amazon’s retailer solely incorporates the a lot older Geekbench 3 benchmark. Though hottest apps could be discovered, similar to Fb, Netflix, BBC iPlayer and Disney Plus, many video games out there on the Apple App Retailer and Google Play are lacking in motion.

The Hearth HD 8 additionally contains hands-free Alexa. This lets you bark your orders at Amazon’s digital assistant with out urgent any buttons, and it features simply the identical as on Amazon’s Echo units. You possibly can ask Alexa to inform you the climate, present sports activities fixtures or play the newest TV present on Amazon Prime Video, for example.

Amazon Hearth HD 8 (2020) overview: Verdict

As soon as once more, Amazon has cooked up a fantastically priced pill with its latest Hearth HD 8. The 2018 mannequin was already a five-star product, so Amazon’s resolution to spice up efficiency, lengthen the battery life and add USB-C charging for 2020 was all the time going to result in one other advice.

Make no mistake, even with its drawbacks – the old-school display screen and slight software program restrictions – you received’t discover a higher pill for lower than £100. The iPad will proceed to reign supreme, however there’s no beating the Hearth HD 8 when it comes to sheer worth for cash.

Amazon Hearth HD 8 (2020) specs
ProcessorQuad-core MediaTek MT8168 (2GHz)
RAM2GB
Display screen dimension8in
Display screen decision1,280 x 800
Pixel density189ppi
Display screen sortIPS
Entrance digicam2MP
Rear digicam2MP
FlashNo
Mud and water resistanceNo
3.5mm headphone jackSure
Wi-fi chargingNo
USB connection sortUSB-C
Storage choices32GB; 64GB
Reminiscence card slot (provided)microSD
Wi-Fi802.11ac
Bluetooth5
NFCNo
Mobile informationNo
Twin SIMNo
Dimensions (WDH)202 x 137 x 9.7mm
Weight355g
Working systemAndroid 9 (Hearth OS 7)
Battery dimension4,850mAh
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