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The new, horizontal-first, 8-inch Fire tablet comes with 30% faster performance, twice the storage expandable up to 1 TB, and USB-C connector for faster charging and data exchange.
Amazon’s new range of mid-size Fire HD 8 tablets is already available for preorder and the shipping starts on June 3, 2020.
The new lineup includes now not two but three variants. Besides the regular tablet and a version designed for kids, you can now have the Plus version that offers better performance and a new exclusive feature – wireless charging support.
The “all-new” means this time “all-new.” The shape of the tablet has changed to support horizontal-first use. The tablet has different proportions, so you will have to invest in a new case, as well.
Let’s have a quick look at available variants of Amazon Fire HD 8 tablet released in 2020, officially classified as the 10th generation:
- Fire HD 8 Regular – 30% faster performance thanks to 2 GB RAM and Quad-Core 2 GHz processor; twice the storage (32 or 64 GB); support for 1 TB microSD cards; 2 MP front camera with 720p HD video recording; USB-C port for faster charging.
- Fire HD 8 Plus – all the above plus bigger RAM (3 instead of 2 GB); more powerful 9W in-box charger; Kindle Unlimited 6-month plan for free; unique Slate body color; hassle-free wireless charging via dedicated Wireless Charging Dock (that you have to buy separately).
- Fire HD 8 Kids Edition – the regular tablet is bundled with one year of Amazon FreeTime Unlimited (over 20,000 books, audiobooks, and videos for children), a new kid-friendly case with a built-in stand, plus 2-year worry-free guarantee.
The new 8-inch Fire tablet is available in all Amazon stores across the world. However, is some markets, you can order only the regular version, and sometimes only in one color.
Amazon Fire HD 8 2020 – major improvements
New horizontal-first bezel
Amazon Fire HD 8 has a completely new look. If in portrait mode, it’s wider than its predecessor. You may assume it’s because of a new display with a different aspect ratio.
The fact is that the display is the same (and not so good) as in the 2018 generation – 1280 × 800 px, with 189 pixel density.
A different look is a result of redesigning the bezel. In a previous generation the sides were narrow, while the top and bottom were larger. In the new model the bezel’s width is roughly the same around the display.
The reason is simple: the front camera was moved from top side in portrait mode to top side in horizontal mode.
This single design decision significantly changes the way you’ll use the tablet. From now on, it is much easier to make video calls in a horizontal mode. In a vast majority of other tablets the camera position is tailored for portrait view, what affects how others see you when talking on Skype or Zoom with a tablet put in a horizontal mode – the camera is on the side of the screen instead of top.
The horizontal-first view is a natural choice for a tablet range that’s designed for watching or two-hand use. It’s also connected with the wireless charging stand (Fire HD Plus version only) which lets you charge the tablet only in the horizontal position.
30% faster performance
The 2020 8-inch Fire tablet is equipped with a faster processor (Quad-Core 2 GHz vs. 1.3 GHz in the 2018 model). Thanks to that, the performance is better by 30%.
Don’t expect the new model to be super-fast, though. Fire tablets usually offer medium-to-low performance compared to tablets from other major brands, naming only Samsung or Apple.
If you have used the Fire before, you know that the speed of a newly released model would be fine for the next couple of months, but after a few updates of the operating system, the tablet will become slow and buggy, even to the point it would be impossible to use it.
USB-C port for faster charging and data transfer
Fire HD 8 released in 2020 is Amazon’s first tablet to feature USB type C connector. The same connection port is used, for instance, in iPad Pro models.
USB-C port enables you to charge your Fire quicker than using the former standard – USB 2.0 micro-B. Using a 5W power adapter that’s included in the box, you will be able to fully recharge the battery in under 5 hours. If you have a 15W power adapter, you will recharge the Fire’s battery in less than 3 hours.
As a reference, in the previous-generation model, 6 hours were needed to achieve full battery level via micro-USB port.
Bigger internal memory
Every new generation of Fire tablets comes at least with an upgrade of internal memory. Fire HD 8 2020 offers two storage options: 32 or 64 GB, which is twice as much as in the previous model.
However, if you already own a microSD card, you don’t have to buy the 64 GB variant that costs $30 more. You can store all your movies, photos, audiobooks, and other personal files on a memory card which would also be used with any other Fire model, including the one you will buy in the future.
1 TB memory card support
Support for memory cards is one of the biggest benefits of Amazon Fire tablets. You can use one card with multiple Fire models.
The new Fire HD 8 comes with a support for 1 TB microSD cards, compared to 400 GB in the 2018 model. It doesn’t mean you have to buy the new card. All you have to do is check out how much memory is used on your current card, and how much more you need in the near future.
It may turn out 200 or 400 GB is more than enough for all the files you have.
2 MP front camera
Fire tablets are meant to be your video calls assistant. They never featured top-end rear cameras for making beautiful photos, but they sport solid front cameras, to help you see more on Skype or Zoom.
Currently, all Fire models features 2 MP camera on the front, and the same 2 MP camera on the back. Both cameras support 720p HD video recording.
This convenient feature is available only in the HD 8 Plus version which costs $20 more. What’s more, to use this form of charging, you have to buy a dedicated Wireless Charging Dock, so in the end you will pay $169.99 instead of $89.99.
The wireless charging dock lets you avoid the cable mess. You can place the Fire on a dock and it instantly transforms into a countertop smart display with hands-free Alexa access in Show Mode.
Wireless Charging Dock will be compatible with future Plus-level generations of the 7- and 10-inch Fire models, but for now, it works only with Fire HD 8 Plus.
Amazon Fire HD 8 – comparisons
The newest 8-inch Fire tablet comes in a redesigned bezel that’s wider and shorter to accommodate the camera in a new place (on top of the display in a horizontal mode instead of on top of the screen in a portrait mode).
Therefore, you may get an impression the new Fire has a new screen with a different aspect ratio. It’s not the case – it’s the same as in the previous model.
There are, however, other improvements, and we have included them in a handy comparison table below.
Is it worth upgrading to Fire HD 8 model released in 2020 from the one you currently own?
Fire HD 8: 2020 model vs. 2018 model
|Feature||Fire HD 8 (2020)||Fire HD 8 (2018)|
|Resolution||1280 × 800 px||1280 × 800 px|
|Pixel density||189 ppi||189 ppi|
|Port type||USB-C (2.0)||USB 2.0 (micro-B connector)|
|RAM memory||2 GB||1.5 GB|
up to 1 TB
up to 400 GB
|Processor||Quad-Core 2 GHz||Quad-Core 1.3 GHz|
|Cameras||Front: 2 MP
Rear: 2 MP
|Front: 2 MP
Rear: 2 MP
|Dimensions||8.0 × 5.4 × 0.4 in
202 × 137 × 9.7 mm
|8.4 × 5.0 × 0.4 in
214 × 128 × 9.7 mm
|Battery life||Up to
|Release date||June 3, 2020||October 4, 2018|
Do you hesitate between Amazon Fire and Apple iPad tablet? Which one would be most suitable for you and your family? Below, we compared the features of the newest Fire HD 8 with the most affordable iPad model – the 10.2-inch one.
The iPad is three times more expensive than the Fire – do you really need all its features? On the other hand, the performance of Fire tablets deteriorates at a much quicker pace, so if you are looking for a device you could use for more than a year, you should invest in an iPad.
If you are planning to switch from Fire to iPad, make sure you learn about the differences between operating systems, as well as access to Amazon services and features you would like to use in the future.
Amazon Fire HD 8 vs. Apple iPad 10.2
|Feature||Fire HD 8 (2020)||iPad 10.2 (2019)|
|Resolution||1280 × 800 px||2160 × 1620 px|
|Pixel density||189 ppi||264 ppi|
|Port type||USB-C (2.0)||Lightning|
|RAM memory||2 GB||3 GB|
up to 1 TB
|Processor||Quad-Core 2 GHz||A10 + M10|
|Cameras||Front: 2 MP
Rear: 2 MP
|Front: 1.2 MP
Rear: 8 MP
|Dimensions||8.0 × 5.4 × 0.4 in
202 × 137 × 9.7 mm
|9.8 × 6.8 × 0.29 in
250.6 × 174.1 × 7.5 mm
|Battery life||Up to
via Alexa app
via Kindle app
via Kindle app
via Kindle and Prime Video apps
via browser or web-based apps
via Google apps
|Release date||June 3, 2020||September 30, 2019|
Amazon Fire HD 8 (2020) – full specs
Find below the full tech specs of the Amazon Fire HD 8 tablet, 2020 model.
|Screen||8-inch high-definition touchscreen with IPS (in-plane switching) technology and HD video playback|
|Screen resolution||1280 × 800 px|
|Pixel density||189 ppi|
|Storage capacity||• 32 GB (24.8 GB available to user)
• 64 GB (55.6 GB available to user)
|microSD card||Yes, add up to 1 TB of additional storage|
|RAM memory||2 GB|
|Processor||Quad-core 2.0 GHz|
|Body colors||• Black
• Twilight Blue
|Battery life||Up to 12 hours of mixed usage: reading, browsing the web, watching video, and listening to music|
|Charge time||Full charge in under 5 hours using the USB-C cable and 5W power adapter included in the box
Full charge in under 4 hours with 9W adapter (sold separately)
Full charge under 3 hours with 15W adapter and USB type C to C cable (adapter and cable sold separately)
|Weight||12.5 oz / 355 g|
|Dimensions||8.0 × 5.4 × 0.4 in / 202 × 137 × 9.7 mm|
|Cameras||• Front: 2 MP camera with 720p HD video recording
• Rear: 2 MP camera with 720p HD video recording
|Wi-Fi||Dual-band Wi-Fi, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac standards with support for WEP, WPA, and WPA2 security|
|Ports||• USB-C (2.0) 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 speakers with Dolby Atmos technology
|Bluetooth||Yes, built-in Bluetooth 5.0 LE with support for A2DP compatible stereo headphones, speakers, microphone, and LE accessories|
|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 sensors|
|Accessibility features||VoiceView screen reader enables access to the vast majority of Fire tablet features for users who are blind or visually impaired using text-to-speech or a connected refreshable braille display. Screen magnifier enables viewers to zoom in and out, and pan around the screen. Fire tablets also include accessibility settings for Closed Captioning, Font Size, High Contrast Text, Color Inversion, Color Correction, and Convert Stereo to Mono audio|
|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. Four colors to choose from: Charcoal Black, Twilight Blue, Plum, and Sandstorm White|
|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-C (2.0) cable
• 5W power adapter
• Quick Start Guide
|Amazon Fire generation||10th generation – 2020 release|
|Launch dates||• Announcement – May 13, 2020
• Pre-orders – May 13, 2020
• Release – June 3, 2020
|Prices||• 32 GB, with special offers – $89.99
• 32 GB, without special offers – $104.99
• 64 GB, with special offers – $119.99
• 64 GB, without special offers – $134.99
Amazon Fire HD 8 – ports and buttons
Amazon provides a handy visual that shows the position of all ports and buttons.
Amazon Fire HD 8 2020 – highlights
Interested in how Amazon describes the new tablet? Here are the highlights from the product page.
Amazon Fire HD 8, 10th generation, 2020 release
32 GB / With ads
Fast and responsive
Fire HD 8 is fast and responsive, with a vibrant 8” HD display, 2X the storage, 2 GB of RAM, and 30% faster performance thanks to the new 2.0 GHz quad-core processor. Stream movies, watch videos, or play games with the enhanced Wi-Fi. Enjoy downloaded content all day with the 12-hour battery life. USB-C for easier charging when you need to power back up.
Great for entertainment and downtime
Enjoy endless entertainment: Millions of movies, TV episodes, apps, eBooks, and songs – plus games you can play distraction-free in Game Mode. Stream and download videos from Netflix, Prime Video, and Disney+, or make video calls on apps like Zoom.
See and do more with Alexa
Alexa connects you to the information, entertainment, and people who matter most – with just your voice. Ask to play videos and music, open apps, check the weather, call or message almost anyone, and much more. Just say “Alexa” – even when the tablet screen is asleep on standby. Alexa and Fire HD 8 are designed to protect your privacy. For example, you can view and delete your voice recordings or use the Alexa Hands-Free Mode on/off toggle at any time.
Screen time is now family time
With award-winning Amazon FreeTime, parents can create child profiles to limit screen time, set educational goals, and manage content with easy-to-use parental controls. FreeTime is free on every Fire tablet – or subscribe to FreeTime Unlimited to access over 20,000 kid-friendly titles.
A secure cover with easy access
Designed by Amazon, the slim, form-fitting case with built-in stand allows for hands-free viewing in landscape and portrait orientations. The cover remains securely closed at home or on the go with a magnetic closure. Easy access to buttons, ports, and cameras.
• • •
Keep exploring. Here are other posts and lists for Amazon Fire users:
Which Amazon Fire is best suited for reading ebooks?
– April 30, 2021
Amazon Fire HD 10 (2021 release) – full specs and major improvements
– April 28, 2021
Free ebooks for your Amazon Fire tablet – sources and tips
– November 10, 2020
Gifts for modern bookworms in 2023
Based on recommendations from top tech sites and customer reviews.
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