On September 6, 2018, Amazon introduced the 8th-generation Fire tablet. It’s the 8-inch Amazon Fire HD 8, sporting the 1280 × 800 HD display, microSD card slot, and Quad-Core 1.3 GHz processor. The price is the same as previous generation: $79.99.
Most features of the new Fire are the same, including display, RAM, dimensions, color variants, or connectivity. What’s new is native support for hands-free Alexa, ability to handle 400 GB microSD cards, and a better front camera.
The new tablet is available for pre-order since September 6 and will start shipping on October 4, 2018. The status of the previous-generation Fire HD 8 tablet has been changed in the Amazon store to “currently unavailable.”
At the same time, Fire HD 8 (2018) Kids Edition was launched, with the price set at $129.99. The kid-friendly version of the tablet is available for pre-order as well, and you can get it in one of three color versions: Blue, Pink, or Yellow.
Users, who decide to order the Fire HD 8 before the official release date, can save $15, if they choose to pick up the tablet bundled with Show Mode Charging Dock. For a limited time, the Fire HD 8 + Charging Dock bundle costs $94.99 instead of
Keep reading, and you will find a comparison table, pictures and animations, as well as full tech specs.
Amazon Fire HD 8 (2018) – main improvements
The 8th generation Fire tablet released in 2018 is basically the same model as the one released in June 2017. The dimensions, display, processor, RAM, storage options, connectivity, and body colors are the same.
However, the improvements are more prominent than those offered in the 2017 release, so the price is kept at the same level.
Let’s look at the three major improvements.
1. Hands-free Alexa and Show Mode
The new Fire HD 8 comes with the software update that can turn the tablet into Echo Show smart speaker.
Before, to start Alexa voice assistant you had to press the home button. These times are over. If you enable hands-free Alexa in the tablet’s settings, you will be able to wake up and activate the voice assistant by simply saying “Alexa.”
In other words, you don’t need to take the Fire into your hands to command Alexa to do something. The number of commands is ever increasing. You can play an audiobook or pause the song. You can ask for the current weather or check out what’s in your calendar today.
But Alexa is not about voice answers any longer. With the introduction of Echo Show, Alexa became voice-activated assistant that can also give visual answers.
For instance, you can ask for the music lyrics, and Alexa will display it using Show Mode. Or you can ask Alexa to make a video call to your family. Or check the feed from the security camera.
2. Extend memory by up to 400 GB via microSD card
One of the biggest advantages of Amazon Fire tablets is the ability to expand the memory by using a microSD card. Thanks to that, you can load your tablet with tons of movies, songs or audiobooks for offline use.
The previous generation Fire HD 8 offered support for 256 GB microSD cards. The latest release can handle capable of storing up to 400 GB of data.
It, obviously, means an extra cost. So far, prices of 400 GB microSD cards rarely go below $200. Fortunately, the price of Sandisk Ultra 400GB Micro SDXC UHS-I Card was reduced from
$249 to $152.
3. The 2 MP front camera
So far, front cameras were not the strongest part of Fire tablets. Previous generations of the 8-inch model were equipped with the front camera offering 0.3 Megapixel capture resolution. It translated into the 640 × 480-pixel image.
Things have been fixed now. The 2018 Fire HD 8 tablet offers 2 MP camera on the front. Taking a selfie will get you a photo of 1600 × 1200 pixels – enough to put in the digital collection of the best family pictures.
Amazon Fire HD 8 (2018) – comparisons
Previously, we were comparing the newest Amazon models to other budget tablets, naming only Samsung Galaxy Tabs. However, for anyone who subscribed to Amazon Prime, or bought digital content on Amazon, the choice becomes limited to Amazon’s own devices.
Simply speaking, Fire tablets, Kindle e-readers and Echo smart speakers guarantee the easiest possible access to everything you’ve purchased or subscribed to on Amazon.
Therefore, for many users, the real question is whether to choose Kindle e-reader or Fire tablet, or which Fire model to purchase next.
In the table below, you will see Fire HD 8 released in 2018 compared to the previous-generation model. Plus, as a reference, you will see tech specs of the most affordable Fire 7 tablet.
As you see, the newest Fire HD 8 supports hands-free Alexa. The software update for Fire 7 which rolled out earlier this year, featured hands-free Alexa as well.
It has its price, though. While the internal memory of the 2018 and 2017 Fire HD 8 is the same, the latest generation offers approximately 1.5 GB less space for the user.
Let’s take a look at the 16 GB variant. In the Fire HD 8 (2018), there is 9.8 GB available to the user, versus 11.1 GB in the 2017 release. For the 32 GB variant, it’s 23.8 GB versus 25.3 GB.
The updated operating system includes Show Mode – the function that enables the Fire to activate Alexa without using your hands. A result: the tablet drains the battery faster. The battery life calculated for the 2018 model is approximately 10 hours of mixed usage, compared to 12 hours in the earlier model.
For users who like to watch movies or TV series, and want to download lots of them for offline viewing, increased capacity of the microSD card is a big advantage. 400 GB versus 256 GB means you can download 50% more movies. Users who listen to audiobooks or have large collections of family photos should also appreciate the memory increase.
Fire HD 8 (2018) vs. HD 8 (2017) vs. Fire 7 (2017)
|Feature||Fire HD 8 (2018)||Fire HD 8 (2017)||Fire 7 (2017)|
|Resolution||1280 × 800 px||1280 × 800 px||1024 × 600 px|
|Pixel density||189 ppi||189 ppi||171 ppi|
|RAM memory||1.5 GB||1.5 GB||1 GB|
up to 400 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: 2 MP
Rear: 2 MP
|Front: 0.3 MP
Rear: 2 MP
|Front: 0.3 MP
Rear: 2 MP
|Dimensions||8.4 × 5.0 × 0.4 in
214 × 128 × 9.7 mm
|8.4 × 5.0 × 0.4 in
214 × 128 × 9.7 mm
|7.6 × 4.5 × 0.4 in
192 × 115 × 9.6 mm
The 2018 Fire HD 8 tablet in pictures
Take a look at the pictures and animations showing how well the newest 8-inch tablet is tailored to work with Alexa voice assistant.
Fire HD 8 2018 tablet – full tech specs
Find below the full tech specs of the Amazon Fire HD 8 tablet released in 2018.
|Screen||8-inch high-definition touchscreen with IPS (in-plane switching) technology and advanced polarizing filter|
|Screen resolution||1280 × 800 px|
|Pixel density||189 ppi|
|Storage capacity||• 16 GB (9.8 GB available to user)
• 32 GB (23.8 GB available to user)
|microSD card||Yes, add up to 400 GB of additional storage|
|RAM memory||1.5 GB|
|Processor||Quad-Core 1.3 GHz|
|Body colors||• Black
• Canary Yellow
• Marine Blue
• Punch Red
|Battery life||Up to 10 hours of mixed usage: 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||12.8 oz / 363 g|
|Dimensions||8.4 × 5.0 × 0.4 in / 214 × 128 × 9.7 mm|
|Cameras||• front: 2.0 MP 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
• integrated dual stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos audio
|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|
|Sensors||Accelerometer, ambient light sensor|
|Accessibility features||Screen Reader, Explore by Touch, and Screen Magnifier, enabling access to the vast majority of Fire tablet features. Screen Reader features IVONA’s award-winning natural language text-to-speech voice. Also includes adjustable font sizes/color, and built-in Oxford dictionary|
|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 HD 8 tablet
• USB 2.0 cable
• 5W power adapter
• Quick Start Guide
|Amazon Fire generation||8th generation|
|Launch dates||• announcement – September 6, 2018
• pre-orders – September 6, 2018
• release – October 4, 2018
|Prices||• 16 GB, with special offers – $79.99
• 16 GB, without special offers – $94.99
• 32 GB, with special offers – $109.99
• 32 GB, without special offers – $124.99
Amazon Fire HD 8 (2018) – product info
And last, but not least, the list of the most important features of the newest Fire tablet.
Amazon Fire HD 8, with Alexa Hands-Free, 2018 release
Introducing Show Mode
Show Mode is a new, immersive hands-free Alexa experience for your Fire HD 8. It provides full-screen landscape visuals that complement voice responses from Alexa. Show Mode lets you ask Alexa to see trending news, make calls, check the weather, view camera feeds, and more – all glanceable whether you’re up close or across the room.
Everyday made easier
Alexa on Fire tablets helps make every day easier. Ask to set alarms and timers, check traffic, your calendar, to-do or shopping lists, and more. You can order millions of items with your voice, such as household and personal care products.
Voice control your smart home
Alexa works with compatible devices such as smart cameras, lights, switches, thermostats and cooking tools from Arlo, Philips Hue, TP-Link, GE Appliances, and more. Switch on the lamp before getting out of bed, change the temperature on your thermostat while reading in your chair, or dim the lights from the couch to watch a movie
No more worrying about storage space
With 2× more internal storage than Fire 7, Fire HD 8 comes standard with 16 GB. Expand your tablet’s storage by up to 400 GB using a microSD card, and keep photos, movies, and compatible games and apps with you. Plus, enjoy free unlimited cloud storage for all your Amazon content and photos taken with your Fire tablet.
Vibrant HD display
Fire HD 8 features a 1280 × 800 high-definition display with over a million pixels (189 ppi) and a bright, vivid picture. Enjoy movies and games in a crisp, clear HD resolution, with less glare and more brightness thanks to a stunning IPS (in-plane-switching) LCD display.
Stands up to everyday life
Amazon engineers Fire tablets to hold up against everyday life. We put the Fire HD 8 through over 50 tests to replicate drops, tumbles, spills, and other everyday wear and tear. As measured in tumble tests, Fire HD 8 is twice as durable as the iPad mini 4 (and costs a lot less too).
• • •
Keep reading. We’ve got more posts and lists about Amazon Fire:
- The ultimate Christmas 2019 gift guide for tech-savvy bibliophiles
- Top 15 most interesting Amazon Fire 10 case covers and sleeves
- Amazon Fire HD 10 (2019 release) – full tech specs
- 10 most functional Amazon Fire keyboards and keyboard cases
- Amazon Prime Day 2019 price watch – Kindle and Fire devices
Is there a book lover in your life whom you would like to give an exceptional gift this Christmas? Explore these gift lists to find the most refreshing ideas!