After three years, Amazon updated the Fire 7, its most affordable tablet. The new model, which starts at $59.9, is slightly more expensive than its predecessor but offers a battery life comparable to the larger and far more costly Fire HD 10’s. It also has more RAM. A more powerful processor, up to 32GB of built-in storage, and USB-C are also added.
But do those added features make it a worthwhile purchase? Yes, after testing the Fire 7’s ad-free edition for a month. This is a suitable device if you want a cheap entertainment tablet, especially if you’re already a part of the Amazon ecosystem. Sure, there may be some significant trade-offs you’ll have to accept, such as a screen with shallow resolution and pixelation, but at this price, no one is expecting perfection.
The Fire 7’s body is plastic, like the other Fire tablets. However, it is simpler to grip with one hand because its edges are more curved than those of the 2019 model. In addition, it weighs 9.9 ounces as opposed to 10.4 ounces and is 7.11 inches tall as opposed to 7.55 inches for the 2019 edition. Reading and watching shows is easier with reduced bezels and a bigger screen.
Unfortunately, the new Fire 7 still features a seven-inch screen that is distorted and grainy and only provides a meager 1024 x 600 resolution. It’s the feature of the Fire 7 that bothered me the most. Most customers will use this tablet for leisure activities like watching movies, reading, and perusing social media; Amazon should have prioritized the display above storage space, especially when the Fire 7 has a microSD card slot. Additionally, the show is easily smudged and is not fingerprint-resistant. Finally, it’s difficult to use outside in the sun because it’s shiny and dull.
Despite everything, you can enjoy using the Fire 7 to read ebooks and watch television. However, the Fire 7’s new Fire OS 8, a customized version of Android 11, is the reason behind this. A few helpful user interface adjustments come with that new OS, such as dark mode and a setting that reduces blue light.
Moreover, the screen has a somewhat higher resolution than the e-ink screen on the base Kindle, which has a shallow resolution of 167ppi. Given that the Fire 7 is $30 less expensive than the Kindle, it might be beneficial if you use tablets as secondary e-readers.
The 3.5mm audio jack helped me quickly forget about the terrible speaker, which produced a tinny sound that was neither full nor clear. You may connect it to different headphones and speakers thanks to Bluetooth compatibility, which newer tablets frequently lack. That dramatically enhances sound quality, whether you’re watching a TV online, listening to music, or streaming audiobooks from Audible.