Amazon introduced the Fire HD 8 this week, offering an 8” widescreen HD display and quad-core processor. The device also offers up to 12 hours of battery life, 50% more RAM for faster performance over previous models, and double the on-device storage. The new Fire HD 8 also offers support for up to 200 GB of additional storage via a microSD card, and comes in at just $89.99.
Fire HD 8 also introduces Alexa to the Fire family. Alexa is the cloud-based voice service that lets you play songs, order items, get information and more, this marks the first time that the service is available on a Fire tablet. Alexa lets you press a button and use your voice to play music, launch games, read audiobooks, and other frequently used services and apps.
“We believe in a different approach to tablets—providing premium products at non-premium prices—and customers love it. In fact, we’ve seen Fire tablet sales more than double year-over-year as a result,” said Kevin Keith, General Manager, Fire Tablets. “The all-new Fire HD 8 packs more battery life, more storage, faster performance, plus Alexa—all for less than $90.”
Fire HD 8 also comes with the standard Amazon exclusives, like X-Ray, ASAP, Second Screen, Underground, and On Deck. The 8” widescreen offers (1280 x 800) HD resolution, offering over a million pixels at (189 ppi). The quad-core 1.3 GHz processor works with the 1.5 GB of RAM, and you can pick one up in either a 16 GB or 32 GB model.
The battery inside the device is a 4,750 mAh battery, Amazon states that the battery can last up 12 hours. Amazon also claims that the Fire HD 8 is twice as durable as the iPad Mini 4, and the company points out that it costs $300 less.
If pictures are your thing, you will find both front and rear-facing cameras, so you can video chat with friends and family. The photos you take can be uploaded to your unlimited cloud storage account as well. Sound has always been a key selling point for the Kindle Fire series, and this unit offers Dolby Audio as well.
The Kindle Fire HD 8 runs on Fire OS 5 and supports the Alexa service. To use it, you just long-press the home button and ask Alexa to play your favorite song, open a game, or read you the latest audiobook. The service also provides quick access to the entertainment you want, and you can get info on news, weather, jokes and general questions.
Alexa will be available on the all-new Fire HD 8, Fire HD 10, Fire and last year’s Fire HD 8 tablets via a free over-the-air software update in the coming months. Because Alexa is cloud-based, it gets smarter over time, meaning more Alexa capabilities for Fire tablets will be delivered in subsequent updates.
The all-new Fire HD 8 is available for pre-order beginning today with 16 GB or 32 GB of memory starting at $89.99 at amazon.com/firehd8. Fire HD 8 comes in four fun color options: black, magenta, blue, and tangerine and starts shipping September 21. Protective covers are also available for Fire HD 8 in black, magenta, blue, and tangerine and can stand in both portrait and landscape orientations, starting at $29.99.