Top critical review
Frustrating and not fit for purpose
26 November 2017
I purchased an Amazon Fire kids edition last December for my 3 years olds Christmas present. Upon unboxing and setting up I was initially very pleased with the item especially as it came with a year subscription to kids unlimited. My son loved it at first but as time went on I found that there were various issues which made my son become very frustrated with the item. The main issues are detailed below:
1. When you go on to the apps section you can see all the apps that are available to you and it does not distinguish between what is downloaded and what isn’t. Therefore my son would press an app thinking it would start straight away but then would have to wait a while that app downloaded. I way around this was to download loads of apps so that he would never have this wait. This meant that we needed to get a bigger memory card as it would slow down the Amazon Fire. This did not solve the problem as when new apps were added to the catalogue we would hear him moan because he would have to wait for them to download. It is all about managing an child’s expectation I agree but this set up does not help.
2. When you are on Wi-Fi at home or out and about the Amazon Fire works ok but the moment you step out of range then the apps start to misbehave. I don’t know why and I wonder if it is because they are looking for a data connection but for a child of 3 this became very frustrating. In comparison with an Apple IPad, you very quickly know which ones work without Wi-Fi but on the Amazon Fire it is harder to distinguish. While on holiday out of the UK I also found that not only did the lack of Wi-Fi affect the apps it also affected the whole Amazon Fire seemed to slow down and made it cumbersome to use.
3. I lost count of the amount of times we went on to the different sections (apps, videos, books) only to find the app pictures were missing and instead a dotted line box replacing where the apps should be. I reboot would have to be done and then a long wait while they all came back.
4. Due to these problems and a faulty charger connection point, I returned the item while it was under its warranty. I thought that maybe the Amazon Fire was faulty and that’s why we were having these problems (despite reinstalling twice). When I got the new one I found that was not the case, as the new one had exactly the same problems and they were actually even worse.
To me the whole point of such an item is to be able to give it to your child and be happy in the knowledge that it will work and will entertain him for a while. With the Amazon Fire this was not the case, every time I gave it to him I waited for him to moan or get frustrated with it.
Having spent nearly a year with the Amazon Fire I thought that I would do a comparison with a 6 year old generation 1 Apple IPad mini as I was wondering if it maybe it was our son rather than the Amazon Fire. I installed the same apps that he had on the Amazon Fire and also put Netflix on for videos. I have to say three weeks later I have not been handed it back once because it is not working, have not heard a moan when he has experienced any problems and it has worked perfectly outside of Wi-Fi range. This is a 6 year old piece of equipment that it out performing a less than 1 year Amazon Fire.
Don’t get me wrong I am not comparing an Apple IPad with the Amazon Fire because I know there is a huge price difference but I do question why a 6 year old iPad out performs a brand new Amazon Fire kids.