Top critical review
Could have been a contender!
28 November 2018
Firstly I have to say that what the Fire 8 does, it does very well.
I'm familiar with Android tablets and phones and originally thought that that is what this is. Well it kind of is but not really.
There are some apps which I use on my phone like KASA and SMART LIFE which enable me to set up and control the 'smart plugs' in my home. Amazon (who sold me the plugs) don't have the apps and Google play won't let me download the apps onto an Amazon Fire so I'm a bit stuffed in the smart direction. I can control with my phone but if I didn't have the phone in the first place I could not have set them up to work with Alexa. I spent a good hour on the phone to Amazon but their 'representative' just could not grasp what I was going on about and what I needed to do.
What also I didn't understand was that when you buy the Fire it has "with special offers" in its description. I thought that meant there would be freebies or stuff pertaining to the machine. Be warned thats not what it means, it means that there is a constant barrage of adverts coming through whenever it feels like it. You are supposed to pay £10 to switch off 'the special offers' which I think is a bit naff. I subsequently noticed an option on the purchase page of the site which enables you to choose with or without offers. You'd have to click on without to find its £10 more but why would you not want to have it with special offers? Its a bit naughty and misleading.
That said its great having Alexa built in and working on the battery. I have a few echos because I want to use them in different places in the house. You can't really unplug in one room and then plug in in another (well you can but its a faff to wait until it logs back in etc) but now with Alexa on the fire you can take it anywhere, loft, garden, garage etc so thats a very big plus.
Final conclusion is, as I wrote initially, it does what it does well but there are things I'm sure it could do but Amazon, for its own reasons won't let it.
Its a big shame really but I suppose you could say "you get what you pay for." and its still not bad value.
I looked to buy a protective case but found the pricing prohibitive. It costs almost as much for a plastic case as it does for a Fire7 with all its technology and uses. Seems Amazon is sucessfully doing a 'Ryan Air' in selling the basics cheap and then charging lots for ancilliarys.
Camera is only OK, its not great. Screen is alright although it doesn't have the punchy colours and sharpness I would expect from a piece of kit with HD in its title. My ancient Nexus 7 was much better but it died on me and that's why I bought this.
I still like it and find it useful but it could have been so much better. You'll have to decide whether its worth paying six times as much for an iPad.