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Amazon Fire 7 (2017) Tablet Review

Marcus Herbrich, 👁 Daniel Schmidt, Manuel Masiero (translated by Martin Jungowski), 07/17/2017

Made for penny-pinchers. Amazon's latest Fire 7 Tablet generation is thinner, lighter, equipped with a better display, and supposed to offer an improved battery life. The price, however, remained largely unchanged, and the 2017 generation remains very affordable. Find out in our extensive review whether the entry-level tablet is worth it.

For the original German review, see here.

Amazon has updated its entry-level Fire 7 (2017) tablet but has left the price untouched. Starting at a low $49 with 8 GB of storage, add $15 for the ad-free version and double the amount of storage for only $20 extra. Thus, the ad-free 16 GB top-model can be had for $85.

At first glance, the tablet seems to have remained unmodified from last year’s model. It is still equipped with a 7-inch 1024x600 resolution display, has a 2,980 mAh battery, the same MediaTek quad-core SoC and it looks exactly the same as well. Even the cameras are identical – 2 MP rear-facing and 0.3 MP front-facing camera.

Finding worthy competitors for the $49 Fire 7 (2017) was a challenge, since most entry-level tablets are significantly more expensive. We have decided to go with the Acer Iconia One 8, the Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 2016, the Xiaomi MiPad 2, and its own predecessor, the Fire 7 (Late 2015).

Amazon Fire 7 2017 (Fire Series)
Processor
Graphics adapter
Memory
1024 MB 
Display
7 inch 16:10, 1024 x 600 pixel 170 PPI, capacitive, multitouch, LCD, IPS, glossy: yes
Storage
8 GB eMMC Flash, 8 GB 
, 4.5 GB free
Connections
1 USB 2.0, Card Reader: MicroSD card up to 256 GB, Sensors: acceleration sensor, OTG
Networking
802.11a/b/g/n (a/b/g/n), Bluetooth 4.1
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 9.6 x 192 x 115 ( = 0.38 x 7.56 x 4.53 in)
Battery
2980 mAh Lithium-Polymer, Battery runtime (according to manufacturer): 6 h
Operating System
Android 5.1 Lollipop
Camera
Primary Camera: 2 MPix
Secondary Camera: 0.3 MPix
Additional features
Speakers: mono, Keyboard: onscreen, Keyboard Light: yes, USB cable, modular 5 W charger, quick start guide, Fire OS 5, 12 Months Warranty, fanless
Weight
295 g ( = 10.41 oz / 0.65 pounds), Power Supply: 67 g ( = 2.36 oz / 0.15 pounds)
Price
70 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

The plastic case is available in one color only: black. Compared to its predecessor, the new version is slightly smaller (187 x 109 x 8.7 mm compared to 191 x 115 x 10.6 mm/~7.4 x 4.3 x 0.34 inches vs. ~7.5 x 4.5 x 0.42 inches) and lighter (295 g vs. 313 g/~10.4 vs. 11.0 oz). The bezels around the display are still fairly wide, resulting in a screen to body ratio of only 68%.

The Fire 7 (2017)’s thinner design leads to a minor ripple effect on the display if pressure is applied to its rear side. This should not matter in everyday use though, and overall rigidity is okay. The controls (volume rocker, power button) are firm and well made, and offer well-defined and pleasant feedback.

Size Comparison

215.3 mm / 8.48 inch 127.7 mm / 5.03 inch 9.5 mm / 0.374 inch 340 g0.75 lbs200.4 mm / 7.89 inch 132.6 mm / 5.22 inch 6.95 mm / 0.2736 inch 332 g0.732 lbs192 mm / 7.56 inch 115 mm / 4.53 inch 9.6 mm / 0.378 inch 295 g0.65 lbs191 mm / 7.52 inch 115 mm / 4.53 inch 10.6 mm / 0.4173 inch 313 g0.69 lbs186.9 mm / 7.36 inch 108.8 mm / 4.28 inch 8.7 mm / 0.3425 inch 283 g0.624 lbs

Connectivity

The 8 GB internal storage our review model was equipped with were on the scanty side and completely used up after installing two games and a few applications. This did not surprise us, given that only 4.5 GB were available after first startup. The 16 GB model offers around 11.6 GB available storage out of the box.

Storage can be upgraded via MicroSD card of up to 256 GB, and the tablet fully supports storing apps and application data on SD storage via APP2SD. In addition, all Fire 7 (2017) users receive free and unlimited Cloud storage for all Amazon content and photos.

The tablet is charged via the USB 2.0 MicroUSB port at the bottom of the device, and it supports external peripherals, such as thumb drives or keyboards, via USB-OTG.

Music can be listened to either through the integrated mono speaker or external speakers connected via the tablet’s 3.5 mm audio jack.

Top
Top
Bottom
Bottom
Left
Left
Right
Right

Software

The device’s operating system, Fire OS 5 Bellini (version 5.4.0 in our case), is based on Android 5.1 Lollipop and heavily modified. Some Google services, for example the Google Play Store, are not supported on this tablet out of the box, but it is possible to install these services yourself.

In addition to the changes made to the user interface, the entire OS is also geared towards Amazon media consumption, and Amazon services like the Kindle shop or Instant Video can be found by swiping right on the home screen. Amazon promises accurate and dynamic recommendations via ASAP (Advanced Streaming and Prediction) by analyzing one’s media consumption patterns. Content can be downloaded for offline consumption via OnDeck automatically, and “WhisperSync” remembers how much of a movie or TV series has already been watched and where to resume.

Font size and color can be customized individually. Additionally, a preconfigured mode called “Blue Shade” reduces blue light and makes reading in the dark easier and less strenuous for your eyes.

 

Communication

Compared to the previous generation's single-band Wi-Fi chip, the new Fire 7 (2017) now supports dual-band Wi-Fi in both, the 2.4 GHz and the lesser used 5 GHz band supporting 802.11a/b/g/n. We were unable to connect to a 5 GHz network during our tests though since it simply did not pop up in the list of available networks to connect to. Connected to our Linksys EA8500 reference router, the tablet managed a transfer speed of around 50 MBit/s (iperf3 Client) and thus not really any faster than its own predecessor. Standing right next to the Telekom Speedport W921V router damping was at -32 dBm and thus fairly low.

Bluetooth 4.1 is supported; WWAN (LTE) or GPS location services are not.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 SM-T825
Adreno 530, 820 MSM8996, 32 GB eMMC Flash
615 MBit/s ∼100% +1200%
Amazon Fire 7 2017
Mali-450 MP4, MT8127, 8 GB eMMC Flash
47.3 MBit/s ∼8%
Amazon Fire Tablet
Mali-450 MP4, MT8127, 8 GB eMMC Flash
45.1 MBit/s ∼7% -5%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 SM-T825
Adreno 530, 820 MSM8996, 32 GB eMMC Flash
569 MBit/s ∼100% +679%
Amazon Fire 7 2017
Mali-450 MP4, MT8127, 8 GB eMMC Flash
73 MBit/s ∼13%
Amazon Fire Tablet
Mali-450 MP4, MT8127, 8 GB eMMC Flash
45.6 MBit/s ∼8% -38%

Cameras

main rear-facing camera
main rear-facing camera
secondary front-facing camera
secondary front-facing camera

The rear-facing camera performs as expected of a cheap entry-level tablet. Its 2 MP CMOS sensor (1600x1200) is the same as on the previous model, and thus still disappointing. Photos lack dynamic range and are overly dark in bright conditions, thereby obliterating all traces of details. In addition, photos are often out of focus and almost always either over- or underexposed. Low-light performance is outright unacceptable: photos suffer from massive noise and are very blurry. Videos are recorded in 720p but video quality was terrible.

Not much can be said about the front-facing 0.3 MP camera; it is barely enough for video chats, and records videos at 640x480 with up to 30 fps.

Image Comparison

Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One click changes the position on touchscreens. One click on the zoomed-in image opens the original in a new window. The first image shows the scaled photograph of the test device.

Scene 1Scene 2Scene 3
ColorChecker colors; bottom represents the original color.
ColorChecker colors; bottom represents the original color.

Under normalized conditions, colors turned out pretty accurate when compared to their respective reference color. The X-Rite ColorChecker Passport analysis of the tablet’s rear-facing 2 MP camera indicates a very warm white balance and grayish blacks. Crispness and focus of our test chart was acceptable in the center but noticeably blurrier around the edges.

Accessories and Warranty

optional cover
optional cover

Included in the box are a USB 2.0 cable, a modular 5 W charger (5 V, 1 A), and a quick start guide. Headphones are not included.

The tablet is sold with a 12-month limited warranty. Please see our Guarantees, Return policies and Warranties FAQ for country-specific information.

Input Devices and Handling

The Fire 7 (2017) comes with the standard Android onscreen controls for Back, Home and Multitasking. The capacitive screen is precise but certainly not the fastest. Accordingly, overall usage is pretty slow.

The virtual onscreen keyboard differs in some aspects from Google’s standard keyboard. The tablet’s glass surface offers decent slippage, and typing is comparatively comfortable.

onscreen keyboard, landscape mode
onscreen keyboard, landscape mode
onscreen keyboard, portrait mode
onscreen keyboard, portrait mode
onscreen keyboard, portrait mode
onscreen keyboard, portrait mode

Display

Subpixel matrix
Subpixel matrix

With a resolution of 1024x600, the 7-inch IPS display with built-in polarizer sports a pixel density of only 170 ppi. For everyday use, we found this to be acceptable. The resolution is fairly low though and looking at smaller text for longer periods of time can become quite tiring indeed.

At a maximum brightness of 369 nits, the display is not only considerably brighter than on the Fire 7 (2017)’s predecessor but also much more evenly distributed (88%). Certainly nothing to write home about when compared with high-end tablets. In the APL50 test with evenly distributed dark and bright areas, the display only managed 336 nits (identical to last year’s model). The display’s black level is at 0.36 nits with a resulting contrast ratio of 933:1. The Fire 7 (2017) lacks an ambient light sensor for automatic brightness control.

369
cd/m²
324
cd/m²
337
cd/m²
347
cd/m²
328
cd/m²
325
cd/m²
354
cd/m²
329
cd/m²
324
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 369 cd/m² Average: 337.4 cd/m² Minimum: 1.67 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 88 %
Center on Battery: 328 cd/m²
Contrast: 937:1 (Black: 0.35 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 4.6 | 0.6-29.43 Ø6.1
ΔE Greyscale 3.8 | 0.64-98 Ø6.3
Gamma: 2.25
Amazon Fire 7 2017
IPS, 1024x600, 7
Amazon Fire Tablet
IPS, 1024x600, 7
Acer Iconia One 8
IPS, 1280x800, 8
Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 2016
IPS, 1280x800, 7
Xiaomi MiPad 2
IPS, 2048x1536, 7.9
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 SM-T825
Super AMOLED, 2048x1526, 9.7
Screen
-30%
6%
-4%
9%
46%
Brightness middle
328
323
-2%
367
12%
358
9%
425
30%
452
38%
Brightness
337
299
-11%
338
0%
344
2%
402
19%
468
39%
Brightness Distribution
88
83
-6%
83
-6%
92
5%
91
3%
82
-7%
Black Level *
0.35
0.38
-9%
0.31
11%
0.37
-6%
0.4
-14%
Contrast
937
850
-9%
1184
26%
968
3%
1063
13%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
4.6
9.3
-102%
4.1
11%
5.3
-15%
4.98
-8%
1.8
61%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
18.6
17.6
5%
20.2
-9%
6.61
64%
4
78%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
3.8
7.8
-105%
4.38
-15%
4.7
-24%
5.2
-37%
1.2
68%
Gamma
2.25 98%
1.99 111%
2.33 94%
2.44 90%
2.65 83%
2.11 104%
CCT
7338 89%
7736 84%
6394 102%
7222 90%
7249 90%
6500 100%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
82.32
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
99.06

* ... smaller is better

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM detected 12500 Hz ≤ 17 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 12500 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) Flickering detected at a brightness setting of 17 % and below. There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

The frequency of 12500 Hz is quite high, so most users sensitive to PWM should not notice any flickering.

In comparison: 51 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 9554 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Compared with the Fire 7 (Late 2015), contrast ratio and black level have been improved slightly. For an IPS panel, however, they are still only average. Color and grayscale accuracy, on the other hand, has been improved dramatically. Its DeltaE deviations of 4.6 (colors) and 3.8 (grayscale) – while still far from ideal – are noteworthy improvements. Our own measurements with a colorimeter and the CalMAN software yielded a rather warm color temperature of 7,338 K, and sRGB coverage was not the best. In addition, we found evidence of PWM flickering.

CalMan color accuracy (sRGB)
CalMAN color accuracy (sRGB)
CalMan color space (sRGB)
CalMAN color space (sRGB)
CalMan saturation (sRGB)
CalMAN saturation (sRGB)
CalMan gray scales (sRGB)
CalMAN grayscale (sRGB)

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
28.4 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 16 ms rise
↘ 12.4 ms fall
The screen shows relatively slow response rates in our tests and may be too slow for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 65 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (25.3 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
39.2 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 20.4 ms rise
↘ 18.8 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 42 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (40.4 ms).

Due to its comparatively low maximum brightness, the tablet is not very usable outdoors. Its highly reflective display and its susceptibility to finger prints render it completely useless in direct sunlight. At least viewing angles are decent.

outdoors
outdoors
reflections
reflections
outdoors
outdoors
viewing angles
viewing angles

Performance

The Fire 7 (2017) is powered by a quad-core MediaTek MT8127 SoC consisting of four 28 nm Cortex A7 cores running at 1.3 GHz, 1 GB of RAM, and an OpenGL ES 2.0 compatible Mali-450 (MP4) GPU with 4 clusters.

The MT8127’s performance was as low as expected, and the overall experience in line with other entry-level tablets: lag and stuttering were fairly normal. Launching and closing applications takes a while as well due to the tablet’s slow eMMC storage.

In synthetic benchmarks, the Fire 7 (2017) usually performed poorly when compared to its competitors. Given that the SoC has remained unchanged from the previous model, it was no surprise that both models performed largely identical.

AnTuTu v6 - Total Score
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 SM-T825
144426 Points ∼53% +452%
Xiaomi MiPad 2
73083 Points ∼27% +180%
Amazon Fire 7 2017
26141 Points ∼10%
Amazon Fire Tablet
26094 Points ∼10% 0%
Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 2016
22854 Points ∼8% -13%
PCMark for Android
Work 2.0 performance score
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 SM-T825
5432 Points ∼45% +132%
Amazon Fire 7 2017
2345 Points ∼20%
Work performance score
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 SM-T825
5608 Points ∼29% +60%
Xiaomi MiPad 2
5279 Points ∼27% +51%
Acer Iconia One 8
4739 Points ∼24% +35%
Amazon Fire 7 2017
3499 Points ∼18%
Amazon Fire Tablet
3480 Points ∼18% -1%
Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 2016
3095 Points ∼16% -12%
BaseMark OS II
Web
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 SM-T825
1007 Points ∼50% +103%
Xiaomi MiPad 2
952 Points ∼47% +92%
Acer Iconia One 8
837 Points ∼41% +68%
Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 2016
521 Points ∼26% +5%
Amazon Fire 7 2017
497 Points ∼24%
Amazon Fire Tablet
10 Points ∼0% -98%
Graphics
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 SM-T825
4941 Points ∼17% +2209%
Xiaomi MiPad 2
1609 Points ∼6% +652%
Acer Iconia One 8
692 Points ∼2% +223%
Amazon Fire Tablet
248 Points ∼1% +16%
Amazon Fire 7 2017
214 Points ∼1%
Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 2016
150 Points ∼1% -30%
Memory
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 SM-T825
1931 Points ∼31% +444%
Xiaomi MiPad 2
1379 Points ∼22% +288%
Acer Iconia One 8
765 Points ∼12% +115%
Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 2016
431 Points ∼7% +21%
Amazon Fire 7 2017
355 Points ∼6%
Amazon Fire Tablet
337 Points ∼5% -5%
System
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 SM-T825
3505 Points ∼21% +267%
Xiaomi MiPad 2
1921 Points ∼12% +101%
Acer Iconia One 8
1359 Points ∼8% +42%
Amazon Fire Tablet
978 Points ∼6% +2%
Amazon Fire 7 2017
955 Points ∼6%
Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 2016
923 Points ∼6% -3%
Overall
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 SM-T825
2409 Points ∼29% +433%
Xiaomi MiPad 2
1419 Points ∼17% +214%
Acer Iconia One 8
881 Points ∼10% +95%
Amazon Fire 7 2017
452 Points ∼5%
Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 2016
345 Points ∼4% -24%
Amazon Fire Tablet
167 Points ∼2% -63%
Geekbench 4.3
Compute RenderScript Score
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 SM-T825
7063 Points ∼16%
64 Bit Multi-Core Score
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 SM-T825
4187 Points ∼12% +244%
Amazon Fire 7 2017
1216 Points ∼3%
64 Bit Single-Core Score
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 SM-T825
1745 Points ∼28% +290%
Amazon Fire 7 2017
448 Points ∼7%
3DMark
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Physics
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 SM-T825
1798 Points ∼42%
Xiaomi MiPad 2
1572 Points ∼37%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Graphics
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 SM-T825
2943 Points ∼46%
Xiaomi MiPad 2
1261 Points ∼20%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1)
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 SM-T825
2578 Points ∼45%
Xiaomi MiPad 2
1319 Points ∼23%
Acer Iconia One 8
0 Points ∼0%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Physics
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 SM-T825
1811 Points ∼43%
Xiaomi MiPad 2
1580 Points ∼37%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Graphics
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 SM-T825
4626 Points ∼43%
Xiaomi MiPad 2
1300 Points ∼12%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 SM-T825
3438 Points ∼45%
Xiaomi MiPad 2
1353 Points ∼18%
Acer Iconia One 8
0 Points ∼0%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 SM-T825
21886 Points ∼25% +196%
Xiaomi MiPad 2
20142 Points ∼23% +172%
Acer Iconia One 8
15430 Points ∼18% +109%
Amazon Fire Tablet
8881 Points ∼10% +20%
Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 2016
7790 Points ∼9% +5%
Amazon Fire 7 2017
7395 Points ∼9%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 SM-T825
34002 Points ∼6% +1094%
Xiaomi MiPad 2
27537 Points ∼5% +867%
Acer Iconia One 8
12471 Points ∼2% +338%
Amazon Fire Tablet
4136 Points ∼1% +45%
Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 2016
3146 Points ∼1% +10%
Amazon Fire 7 2017
2848 Points ∼1%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Score
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 SM-T825
30277 Points ∼13% +818%
Xiaomi MiPad 2
25460 Points ∼11% +672%
Acer Iconia One 8
13026 Points ∼6% +295%
Amazon Fire Tablet
4693 Points ∼2% +42%
Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 2016
3626 Points ∼2% +10%
Amazon Fire 7 2017
3299 Points ∼1%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 SM-T825
92 fps ∼1% +934%
Xiaomi MiPad 2
32 fps ∼0% +260%
Amazon Fire Tablet
9 fps ∼0% +1%
Amazon Fire 7 2017
8.9 fps ∼0%
Acer Iconia One 8
6 fps ∼0% -33%
Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 2016
4.2 fps ∼0% -53%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 SM-T825
59 fps ∼2% +354%
Acer Iconia One 8
24.4 fps ∼1% +88%
Amazon Fire Tablet
13 fps ∼0% 0%
Xiaomi MiPad 2
13 fps ∼0% 0%
Amazon Fire 7 2017
13 fps ∼0%
Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 2016
6.5 fps ∼0% -50%

Legend

 
Amazon Fire 7 2017 Mediatek MT8127, ARM Mali-450 MP4, 8 GB eMMC Flash
 
Amazon Fire Tablet Mediatek MT8127, ARM Mali-450 MP4, 8 GB eMMC Flash
 
Acer Iconia One 8 Intel Atom Z3735G, Intel HD Graphics (Bay Trail), 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 2016 Spreadtrum SC7731, ARM Mali-400 MP2, 8 GB eMMC Flash
 
Xiaomi MiPad 2 Intel Atom x5-Z8500, Intel HD Graphics (Cherry Trail), 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 SM-T825 Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 MSM8996, Qualcomm Adreno 530, 32 GB eMMC Flash

The browser test yielded similar results. Together with its predecessor, the Fire 7 (2017) can be found in last place. Subjectively, browsing the web was very slow and loading times excessively long.

Octane V2 - Total Score
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 SM-T825
9531 Points ∼100% +368%
Xiaomi MiPad 2
7994 Points ∼84% +292%
Acer Iconia One 8
6110 Points ∼64% +200%
Amazon Fire Tablet
2326 Points ∼24% +14%
Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 2016
2300 Points ∼24% +13%
Amazon Fire 7 2017
2037 Points ∼21%
WebXPRT 2015 - Overall Score
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 SM-T825
132 Points ∼100% +230%
Acer Iconia One 8
95 Points ∼72% +138%
Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 2016
40 Points ∼30% 0%
Amazon Fire 7 2017
40 Points ∼30%
JetStream 1.1 - Total Score
Xiaomi MiPad 2
43.039 Points ∼100% +259%
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 SM-T825
42.73 Points ∼99% +256%
Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 2016
14.5 Points ∼34% +21%
Amazon Fire Tablet
14.116 Points ∼33% +18%
Amazon Fire 7 2017
12.004 Points ∼28%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score
Amazon Fire 7 2017
17719.6 ms * ∼100%
Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 2016
15533.8 ms * ∼88% +12%
Amazon Fire Tablet
14186.5 ms * ∼80% +20%
Acer Iconia One 8
5579.6 ms * ∼31% +69%
Xiaomi MiPad 2
4420.4 ms * ∼25% +75%
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 SM-T825
2244.4 ms * ∼13% +87%

* ... smaller is better

Even worse were the results of our storage benchmarks. According to AndroBench, the Fire 7 (2017)’s internal storage is up to 22% slower than its predecessor’s, and when reading from or writing to our MicroSD reference card (Toshiba Exceria Pro M401, max. 95 MB/s and 80 MB/s reading and writing, respectively) we found the tablet’s performance to be underwhelming at best. However, compared to its competitors the results do not look that bleak anymore.

Amazon Fire 7 2017Amazon Fire TabletAcer Iconia One 8Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 2016Xiaomi MiPad 2Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 SM-T825
AndroBench 3-5
22%
-12%
-14%
60%
120%
Sequential Write 256KB SDCard
27.74
29.19
5%
18.4
-34%
58.56
111%
Sequential Read 256KB SDCard
45.54
49.4
8%
21.41
-53%
76.39
68%
Random Write 4KB
6.03
11
82%
2.9
-52%
9.55
58%
13.96
132%
13.13
118%
Random Read 4KB
21.97
22
0%
17
-23%
21.95
0%
24.42
11%
45.82
109%
Sequential Write 256KB
34.1
37
9%
40
17%
28.95
-15%
56.37
65%
87.6
157%
Sequential Read 256KB
113.7
147
29%
126
11%
65.94
-42%
147.85
30%
288.58
154%

Gaming

Current Games from Google’s Play Store are a challenge for the Fire 7 (2017). The integrated Mali 450 (MP4) is incapable of running games smoothly at the tablet’s native resolution. Unfortunately, we were unable to run our usual GameBench app on the Fire 7 (2017).

Overall, the Mali 450 (MP4) performed similar to the Qualcomm Adreno 320. According to our benchmarks, the latter runs demanding games, such as Asphalt 8: Airborne or Dead Trigger 2 at no more than 25 fps.

The capacitive screen and the tablet's sensors worked very well while playing games.

Asphalt 8: Airborne
Asphalt 8: Airborne
Dead Trigger 2
Dead Trigger 2

Emissions

Temperature

The tablet’s surface temperatures turned out to be a mixed bag. When idle, the device remained comparatively cool. Under extreme load we found a 43 °C (109.4 °F) hotspot at the rear. In everyday use, the higher-than-average temperatures around the rear-facing camera’s lens under medium load (for example when browsing the web) were very noticeable and somewhat bothersome.

In GFXBench’s battery test, the MT8127's performance remained relatively consistent and only fluctuated by around 20 FPS, or 3%.

GFXBench battery
GFXBench battery
GFXBench performance
GFXBench performance
GFXBench framerate
GFXBench framerate
Max. Load
 39.3 °C
103 F
37.3 °C
99 F
37.5 °C
100 F
 
 39.1 °C
102 F
36.3 °C
97 F
37.1 °C
99 F
 
 39.1 °C
102 F
37.5 °C
100 F
34.7 °C
94 F
 
Maximum: 39.3 °C = 103 F
Average: 37.5 °C = 100 F
30.5 °C
87 F
31.1 °C
88 F
39.9 °C
104 F
31.9 °C
89 F
32.3 °C
90 F
43.3 °C
110 F
31.4 °C
89 F
32.3 °C
90 F
42.5 °C
109 F
Maximum: 43.3 °C = 110 F
Average: 35 °C = 95 F
Power Supply (max.)  36.3 °C = 97 F | Room Temperature 21.5 °C = 71 F | Voltcraft IR-260
(±) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 37.5 °C / 100 F, compared to the average of 30.7 °C / 87 F for the devices in the class Tablet.
(+) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 39.3 °C / 103 F, compared to the average of 34.8 °C / 95 F, ranging from 22.2 to 51.8 °C for the class Tablet.
(±) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 43.3 °C / 110 F, compared to the average of 34.3 °C / 94 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 30.6 °C / 87 F, compared to the device average of 30.7 °C / 87 F.

Speaker

Speaker test pink noise
Speaker test pink noise

At a maximum of 80 dB(A), the single rear-facing speaker can get sufficiently loud, but its overall performance is very poor. Distortions are very noticeable at maximum volume, and the speaker’s soundscape is unbalanced. Low frequencies less than 250 Hz are inaudible altogether, and the speaker’s emphasis is clearly on mids and highs between 1 and 9 kHz.

The integrated 3.5 mm audio jack offered decent performance considering the tablet’s price.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2031.635.52525.436.13125.333.54032.934.25033.629.86331.639.28028.448.71002749.812520.8371602235.520021.330.125020.831.131521.241.440019.445.750019.552.563017.756.780017.962.2100017.865.9125017.370.6160017.473.1200016.772.1250017.269.7315018.266.9400017.967.9500017.666.9630017.766.8800017.870.11000017.966.91250018.160.81600018.249.2SPL3080N1.344.8median 17.9median 62.2Delta1.310.931.73832.431.73430.331.33427.824.131.727.828.627.22628.63838.639.43827.430.336.227.427.525.828.627.524.723.625.424.72622.521.32626.822.523.326.834.52422.534.54628.122.44656.136.121.356.160.241.518.460.26548.117.56568.452.117.568.469.853.317.269.873.556.516.873.574.658.317.374.676.959.417.476.975.558.916.675.572.154.417.372.172.754.917.672.774.255.917.674.27455.917.77480.662.617.480.682.464.617.782.472.254.317.972.262.544.218.162.55435.718.15487.870.229.887.871.624.61.371.6median 69.8median 53.3median 17.7median 69.81210.31.61240.735.335.240.739.430.137.839.443.33028.443.346.727.733.846.747.535.639.547.545.426.934.345.445.524.627.345.544.626.330.844.64731.226.24752.943.623.852.956.552.122.956.560.452.122.460.463.854.519.963.866.557.120.466.572.163.818.772.174.667.517.774.677.86917.977.878.9701878.980.47117.880.483.873.51783.885.175.816.985.183.473.317.483.483.473.117.883.483.974.417.583.983.473.517.383.48575.617.38586.6771886.684.674.518.384.681.571.817.981.572.261.217.972.295.185.430.195.1110.763.21.4110.7median 78.9median 70median 17.9median 78.910.49.52.410.4hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseAmazon Fire 7 2017Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 2016Xiaomi MiPad 2
Amazon Fire 7 2017 audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (80.04 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 24.7% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (12.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 8.1% higher than median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (9.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 5.7% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (4.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (26.2% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 74% of all tested devices in this class were better, 3% similar, 23% worse
» The best had a delta of 7%, average was 22%, worst was 50%
Compared to all devices tested
» 77% of all tested devices were better, 5% similar, 18% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 2016 audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (87.76 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 34.1% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (11% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 4.6% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (5.4% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 5.7% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (6.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (25.4% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 71% of all tested devices in this class were better, 5% similar, 24% worse
» The best had a delta of 7%, average was 22%, worst was 50%
Compared to all devices tested
» 73% of all tested devices were better, 6% similar, 21% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Xiaomi MiPad 2 audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (95.07 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 24.7% lower than median
(+) | bass is linear (5.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 4.7% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (4.4% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 5.4% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (1.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (16.6% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 23% of all tested devices in this class were better, 8% similar, 70% worse
» The best had a delta of 7%, average was 22%, worst was 50%
Compared to all devices tested
» 22% of all tested devices were better, 5% similar, 72% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Frequency diagram (checkboxes selectable/deselectable!)

Energy Management

Power Consumption

Overall, power consumption was satisfactory for a device performing as poorly as this. Amazon has managed to improve upon it compared to its predecessor, in particular in regards to idle power consumption.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.05 / 0.19 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 0.97 / 2.68 / 2.69 Watt
Load midlight 4.26 / 4.64 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Amazon Fire 7 2017
2980 mAh
Amazon Fire Tablet
2980 mAh
Acer Iconia One 8
 mAh
Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 2016
4000 mAh
Xiaomi MiPad 2
6190 mAh
Power Consumption
-13%
-16%
-35%
-124%
Idle Minimum *
0.97
1.12
-15%
0.8
18%
1.91
-97%
3.33
-243%
Idle Average *
2.68
3.06
-14%
3.1
-16%
3.59
-34%
5.01
-87%
Idle Maximum *
2.69
3.31
-23%
3.3
-23%
4.06
-51%
5.19
-93%
Load Average *
4.26
4.44
-4%
5.1
-20%
4.29
-1%
8.32
-95%
Load Maximum *
4.64
5.09
-10%
6.5
-40%
4.31
7%
9.33
-101%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

The battery has remained unchanged compared to last year’s model, and its capacity is still 2,980 mAh. However, thanks to the new version’s optimized power consumption, battery life is slightly better than before. In our Wi-Fi test at normalized display brightness (150 nits), the tablet lasted for a very good 8:36 hours. On average, its competitors lasted longer though. The comparatively small difference between runtimes when idle and under load show how much the SoC has to do even in low-load scenarios.

Charging the tablet from zero to 100% with the included charger takes around 4 hours.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
15h 41min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
8h 36min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
8h 31min
Load (maximum brightness)
3h 29min
Amazon Fire 7 2017
2980 mAh
Amazon Fire Tablet
2980 mAh
Acer Iconia One 8
 mAh
Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 2016
4000 mAh
Xiaomi MiPad 2
6190 mAh
Battery Runtime
-17%
31%
36%
-18%
Reader / Idle
941
1257
34%
1353
44%
H.264
511
795
56%
513
0%
WiFi v1.3
516
428
-17%
742
44%
619
20%
421
-18%
Load
209
185
-11%
379
81%

Pros

+ price
+ IPS panel
+ decent battery life
+ solid build quality

Cons

- poor CPU & GPU
- slow storage
- poor cameras
- speaker

Verdict

In review: Amazon Fire 7 (2017). Review unit courtesy of Amazon Germany.
In review: Amazon Fire 7 (2017). Review unit courtesy of Amazon Germany.

Considering its low price of only $49, the Fire 7 (2017) is a nice and well-rounded offer. We would have preferred to see a more significant upgrade but unfortunately, the slow SoC and internal storage, the low-resolution display, and only 1 GB of RAM are still with us. Thus, despite the fact that battery life and color accuracy have been improved, the tablet’s overall system performance is still quite poor.

The question on everyone’s mind is: what is the Fire 7 (2017) tablet good for? The 170 ppi low-resolution display is certainly not made for extensive reading sessions. It lacks power for running games smoothly or even simply browsing the web. Watching movies would have been much more enjoyable if not for the poor quality single rear-facing speaker. Obviously, everything on that list can be done with the Fire 7 (2017), but it does require some serious compromises.

The latest Amazon Fire 7 tablet will once again only suffice for the most modest users. Unfortunately, Amazon has failed to bring the tablet’s hardware up to date. Thus, the most convincing selling point of the Fire 7 (2017) remains its low price.

Amazon Fire 7 2017 - 07/10/2017 v6
Marcus Herbrich

Chassis
73%
Keyboard
63 / 80 → 79%
Pointing Device
83%
Connectivity
23 / 65 → 36%
Weight
87 / 40-88 → 97%
Battery
90%
Display
81%
Games Performance
8 / 68 → 12%
Application Performance
25 / 76 → 33%
Temperature
88%
Noise
100%
Audio
52 / 91 → 57%
Camera
25 / 85 → 29%
Average
61%
77%
Tablet - Weighted Average

Pricecompare

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Amazon Fire 7 (2017) Tablet Review
Marcus Herbrich, 2017-07-17 (Update: 2019-04- 5)