In late May, Amazon announced 2017 Fire models. Two of them are Fire tablets (7 and 8-inch), and two other are the special editions addressed to kids.
Amazon Fire 7 (2017) is thinner and lighter than its predecessor, and has a slightly better display. Its price is kept at the same level as the first-generation Fire 7, and is $49.99.
When it comes to dimensions, it’s the weight and depth of the device that had to be improved – and they are. Compared to the 2015 Fire 7, which had 11 oz (313 g), the weight of the new model is reduced to 10.4 oz (295 g). It doesn’t look like a huge win, but when combined with the considerable reduction in depth, the users should have the impression that the new Fire 7 is much lighter than its predecessor.
How thin is the 2017 Fire 7? It’s 9.6 mm compared to 10.6 mm of Fire 7 (2015). The new device is now thinner than Fire HD 8, and thicker by only 0.9 mm than the 7-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab A.
Amazon claims the new Fire 7 features improved IPS display with higher contrast and sharper text. However, the resolution (1024 × 600) and pixel density (171 ppi) are the same as in the previous-generation model. If you own the first-generation Fire, don’t expect a huge improvement.
It’s worth mentioning that Fire tablets offer a feature called Blue Shade. It’s the blue light control function similar to Night Shift on the iPad and iPhone. When it gets dark, the screen gets warmer and darker. Thanks to that it’s optimized for a more comfortable nighttime reading experience.
Most importantly, the entry-level Fire tablet comes with Alexa – the personal assistant operated by voice. You can ask questions (for instance, about the weather), start playing a song or an audiobook, or check your calendar. Everything can be done without typing a single word. All you have to do is press the home button and say the command.
A characteristic feature of all Fire tablets is their bright colors. It looks like Amazon is going to refresh the color range every two years or so. It both will refer to tablets and original case covers.
I have to say I like the 2017 colors much more than the ones for the 2015 Fire tablets. Compared to cyan and magenta, the new colors are bold and bright, but they are much warmer. There are four colors to choose from – and their names say everything. Besides Black, you can get Canary Yellow (my favorite), Marine Blue, and Punch Red.
And the last thing: original Amazon Fire 7 (2017) case covers. Amazon spent a lot of time to make them a hard-to-resist accessory.
First of all, the colors of the covers match the colors of the tablets. There is one more option in the pool, and it’s Cobalt Purple.
When you look at the colors, you’ll immediately realize you can get creative and combine them freely. You don’t have to buy the Canary Yellow case for the Canary Yellow tablet. The cases in all other colors are a perfect fit as well, giving you the chance to get the tablet that is unique and better expresses your personality.
Amazon Fire 7 (2017) – comparisons
Amazon Fire 7 is an affordable tablet for anyone who wants all that’s needed to be entertained without the need to overpay for highly advanced features.
We could compare the Fire 7 to other $50 7-inch tablets available on the market, but a more useful comparison will be with the 8-inch Fire that comes with an HD display. The decision would be to choose the size and quality of the screen while keeping the benefits of belonging to an extensive Amazon content ecosystem.
As I already said above, the 2017 Fire HD 8 tablet is basically the 2016 model, but in different body colors, and the price lowered by $10, to $79.99.
As a reference, we add to the comparison set a 7-inch tablet from Samsung – the Galaxy Tab A 7.
Galaxy Tab A 7 was released in March 2016. Its launch price was $149.99 (three times higher than Fire 7). However, the official price is now reduced to $119.99. Therefore, if you want to have the tablet with a much better screen and cameras than these in Fire 7, you may consider it an option to get.
Fire 7 (2017) vs. Fire HD 8 vs. Samsung Galaxy Tab A 7
|Feature||Fire 7 (2017)||Fire HD 8 (2016)||Galaxy Tab A 7|
|Resolution||1024 × 600 px||1280 × 800 px||1280 × 800 px|
|Pixel density||171 ppi||189 ppi||216 ppi|
|RAM memory||1 GB||1.5 GB||1.5 GB|
up to 256 GB
up to 256 GB
up to 256 GB
|Processor||Quad-Core 1.3 GHz||Quad-Core 1.3 GHz||Quad-Core 1.3 GHz|
|Cameras||Front: 0.3 MP
Rear: 2 MP
|Front: 0.3 MP
Rear: 2 MP
|Front: 2 MP
Rear: 5 MP
|Dimensions||7.6 × 4.5 × 0.4 in
192 × 115 × 9.6 mm
|8.4 × 5.0 × 0.4 in
214 × 128 × 9.7 mm
|7.7 × 4.3 × 0.34 in
187 × 109 × 8.7 mm
Amazon Fire 7 (2017) – reviews
Want to know what are top reviewers saying about the 7-inch Amazon Fire tablet released in 2017? Here are the most helpful highlights.
These cheap tablets are ideal for families with children who treat gadgets like toys that can be slammed on a table or thrown against the ground.
After spending hours holding the Fire with one hand to read e-books and to watch Netflix videos, my wrist did not feel strained.
–Brian X. Chen, The New York Times
The 2017 version of the Amazon Fire 7 has the same lackluster 1,024 x 600 display as previous models, and although text was easy to read, images and graphics looked grainy across the board.
–Ben Moore, Laptop Magazine
The Fire 7 is a thing for reading books, streaming Netflix, playing a few games of “Candy Crush” or “Hearthstone,” and flipping through the web on the couch. Nothing more. In that light, it’s the definition of “fine.” But when you can get fine for $50, that’s value.
–Jeff Dunn, Business Insider
As for performance, the Fire 7 runs pretty smoothly despite its entry-level status. I wouldn’t call it zippy, but it doesn’t feel sluggish and I didn’t have a problem with the responsiveness of the touch screen.
–David Carnoy, CNET
If you had any aspirations of taking your new Fire 7 out into the sunshine this summer, you’ll be sorely disappointed. Doing so will render the screen a washed-out, overly reflective mess.
The Amazon Fire 7 (2017) would be the ideal second or even third tablet for a busy family. Its low price means you could throw it in a garden shed or a beach bag with a Bluetooth speaker and it would serve as a decent ad hoc media system.
–Jon Mundy, Tech Radar
This year’s tablet struggles with performance because the needs of the Android OS are starting to outstrip its 1GB of available RAM, slowing everything down.
The Fire 7 has dual-band Wi-Fi, which is absolutely needed nowadays. […] But the speeds we saw on 5GHz on the Fire 7 were often only half of what we saw on the Fire HD 8—once more, with the same processor and presumably the same Wi-Fi chips.
–Sascha Segan, PC Magazine
Amazon Fire 7 (2017) – pictures
Take a closer look at the 2017 7-inch entry-level Amazon Fire tablet.
Amazon Fire 7 (2017) – full tech specs
Below, you’ll find the full tech specs of the Amazon Fire 7 released in 2017.
|Screen||7-inch IPS (in-plane switching) display with advanced polarizing filter|
|Screen resolution||1024 × 600 px|
|Pixel density||171 ppi|
|Storage capacity||• 8 GB
• 16 GB
|microSD card||Yes, add up to 256 GB of additional storage|
|RAM memory||1.0 GB|
|Processor||Quad-Core 1.3 GHz|
|Body colors||• Black
• Canary Yellow
• Marine Blue
• Punch Red
|Battery life||Up to 8 hours of reading, surfing the web, watching video, and listening to music|
|Charge time||Fully charges in under 6 hours using the micro-USB power adapter included in the box|
|Weight||10.4 oz / 295 g|
|Dimensions||7.6 × 4.5 × 0.4 in / 192 × 115 × 9.6 mm|
|Cameras||• front: VGA camera
• rear: 2.0 MP HD camera
|Wi-Fi||Single-antenna dual-band Wi-Fi; 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, or 802.11n standard with support for WEP, WPA, and WPA2 security|
|Ports||• USB 2.0 (micro-B connector) to connect to a PC/Macintosh computer, or to charge your device with the included power adapter
• microSD slot for external storage
|Audio||3.5 mm stereo jack and integrated speaker|
|Bluetooth||Yes; with support for A2DP compatible stereo headphones, speakers, microphone|
|Blue Shade blue light control||Yes; the feature automatically adjusts and optimizes the backlight for a more comfortable nighttime reading experience|
|Alexa||Yes; the personal assistant provides quick access to the entertainment you want, including music, games, audiobooks, and more||Alexa hands-free||No|
|Accessibility features||VoiceView and Screen Magnifier enable access to the vast majority of Fire tablet features. VoiceView features IVONA’s award-winning natural language text-to-speech voice. Fire OS 5 also includes system wide closed caption settings, adjustable font sizes up to 50% larger, and a variety of book reading text adjustments such as adjustable colors and text spacing|
|Supported formats||Kindle (AZW), KF8, TXT, PDF, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively, Audible Enhanced format (AAX), DOC, DOCX, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, non-DRM AAC, MP3, MIDI, PCM/WAVE, OGG, WAV, M4V, MP4, AAC LC/LTP, HE-AACv1, HE-AACv2, MKV, AMR-NB, AMR-WB, HTML5, CSS3, 3GP, VP8 (WEBM)|
|Location services||Location-based services via Wi-Fi|
|Original case covers||Yes; sold separately. Five colors to choose from: Charcoal Black, Marine Blue, Canary Yellow, Cobalt Purple, Punch Red||Warranty||90-day Limited Warranty and service included. Optional 1-year, 2-year, and 3-year Extended Warranty available for U.S. customers sold separately|
|In the box||• Fire 7 tablet
• USB 2.0 cable
• 5W power adapter
• Quick Start Guide
|Launch dates||• announcement – May 17, 2017
• pre-orders – May 17, 2017
• release – June 7, 2017
|Prices||• 8 GB, with special offers – $49.99
• 8 GB, without special offers – $64.99
• 16 GB, with special offers – $69.99
• 16 GB, without special offers – $84.99
Amazon Fire 7 (2017) – product info
What does Amazon say about the new Fire tablet? Here are the highlights from the product detail page.
New Amazon Fire 7 tablet with Alexa
Fast and responsive
The fast quad-core processor consists of four high-performance 1.3 GHz cores for quick app launches, smooth games and videos, and great overall performance. Plus, Fire 7 now offers dual-band Wi-Fi with support for more Wi-Fi networks and better network performance.
Crisp and vivid 7” IPS display
Fire 7 features a 1024 x 600 IPS display with 171 ppi for a bright display with vivid colors and whiter whites for a great viewing experience from all angles. Compared to the previous generation, Fire 7 features an improved display that provides higher contrast and sharper text.
Alexa on Fire tablets
Alexa provides quick access to the entertainment you want, including music, games, audiobooks, and more. You can also ask Alexa questions, check your calendar, get news, find sports scores, and even control your smart home. All you have to do is press and ask.
No more worrying about storage space
Expand your tablet’s storage by up to 256 GB using a microSD card to keep your photos, movies, and compatible apps and games with you. Plus enjoy free unlimited cloud storage for all your Amazon content and photos taken with your Fire tablet.
Power when you need it
With up to 8 hours of mixed use battery life, Fire tablet gives you the flexibility to go wherever the day takes you.
Stands up to everyday life
Amazon engineers Fire tablets to hold up against everyday life. As measured in tumble tests, Fire 7 is more durable than the latest iPad and 2x more durable than iPad mini 4 (and costs a lot less too).
• • •
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