Notebookcheck

Amazon Fire HD 8 (2017) Tablet Review

Manuel Masiero (translated by Martin Jungowski), 07/12/2017

A real steal. Amazon has updated its 8-inch tablet Fire HD 8. Depending on the configuration, it will cost you between $80 and $125 - it does not really get much cheaper than that. Our review is going to clarify whether or not the tablet is really worth the money. During this year's prime day, it was even available for as little as $49!

Working For Notebookcheck

Are you a techie who knows how to write? Then join our Team!

Currently wanted: 
News Editor - Details here

For the original German review, see here.

It has taken Amazon less than a year to update its 8-inch 1280x800 Fire HD 8 tablet. However, the differences between the Fire HD 8 (2017) and its predecessor are minor. MicroSD cards of up to 256 GB are now fully supported (before: 200 GB), and the predecessor’s ARM Mali T720-MP2 GPU has been replaced with the faster T730-MP3. According to Amazon, battery life has also been improved.

Despite this minor specification bump, the Fire HD 8 is a fascinating device, and remains one of the most affordable 8-inch tablets to date. The 16 GB model with “special offers” can be had for as little as $80 (or a stunning $50 during this year’s Prime Day), and the 32 GB model with “special offers” will set you back $110.

The so-called “special offers” – Amazon slang for ads – are shown on the device’s home and lock screen, and cannot be removed once the device has been purchased. The only way to get rid of them is to purchase the tablet without “special offers” outright, which bumps up the prices by another $15 each.

The Fire HD 8 (2017)’s competitors are comparably equipped tablets, such as the Asus ZenPad 8.0 Z380M-6B026A, the Huawei MediaPad M3 8.4, or the Xiaomi MiPad 2.

Amazon Fire HD 8 2017 (Fire Series)
Graphics adapter
Memory
1536 MB 
Display
8 inch 16:10, 1280 x 800 pixel 189 PPI, 10-point Multitouch, IPS, glossy: yes
Storage
16 GB eMMC Flash, 16 GB 
, 10.99 GB free
Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: 3,5 mm audio, Card Reader: microSD cards up to 256 GB, Brightness Sensor, Sensors: acceleration sensor, angular rate sensor, ambient light sensor
Networking
802.11a/b/g/n (a/b/g/n), Bluetooth 4.1 LE
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 9.7 x 214 x 128 ( = 0.38 x 8.43 x 5.04 in)
Battery
Lithium-Ion, Battery runtime (according to manufacturer): 12 h
Operating System
Android 5.1 Lollipop
Camera
Primary Camera: 0.3 MPix VGA, 640 x 480
Secondary Camera: 2 MPix 1600 x 1200, 720p video
Additional features
Speakers: stereo speakers, Keyboard Light: yes, modular 5 V charger, microUSB 2.0 cable, quick start guide, Amazon Appstore, Amazon Apps, Silk-Browser, 12 Months Warranty, fanless
Weight
369 g ( = 13.02 oz / 0.81 pounds), Power Supply: 35 g ( = 1.23 oz / 0.08 pounds)
Price
110 Euro

 

Case

At a price point of only $80, we would not expect too much in terms of design or touch and feel. Surprisingly enough, the Fire HD 8 (2017) made a very good first impression. The case is made of plastic instead of metal, but its roughened rear side feels solid and not at all slippery to the touch, and the gaps between the display and the case are practically imperceptible. Rigidity is excellent – even the most vigorous attempts of warping the device or applying pressure to its surfaces resulted in no noticeable creaking, and only minor display brightening at the most.

At 9.7 mm (~0.38 in), the new model is around 0.5 mm (~0.02 in) thicker than its immediate predecessor, and slightly heavier to boot (369 g/~13 oz vs. 341 g/~12 oz). Nevertheless, it remains easily portable and handy, and never felt like a burden.

Size Comparison

Connectivity

Like the previous model, the latest iteration is equipped with the MediaTek MT8163 quad-core SoC and 1.5 GB of RAM. The predecessor’s ARM Mali T720 MP2 GPU has been replaced with the slightly faster T730-MP3. These specifications make it fast enough for current games as well as multimedia applications or simply browsing the web. GPS and 802.11ac Wi-Fi are not available, and all aspects of external communication are handled via 802.11a/b/g/n or Bluetooth. The tablet’s stereo speakers support Dolby Atmos, and it features a 2 MP camera.

Our review unit was equipped with 16 GB of storage; out of the box, around 11 GB of which was free. Storage can be upgraded via microSD cards of up to 256 GB, and Fire OS supports storing apps and application data on SD storage.

left: stereo speakers
left: stereo speakers
right: MicroSD card slot
right: MicroSD card slot
top: volume rocker, 3.5 mm headset, microphone, MicroUSB 2.0 port, power button
top: volume rocker, 3.5 mm headset, microphone, MicroUSB 2.0 port, power button
bottom: no connectivity
bottom: no connectivity

Software

Unsurprisingly, Amazon’s tablet is geared towards the Amazon ecosystem. While Fire OS is based on Android 5.1.1, Amazon has modified it extensively by supplying a new user interface (GUI) with tabs for Amazon books, video, games, apps, and newspapers/magazines. Thus, compared with the predecessor, the “shopping frontend” has remained unchanged.

Android users will quickly find their way around the clearly laid out Fire OS, but will also miss Google’s Play store dearly rather quickly. Amazon’s own app store is pre-installed on the device, but it has much less to offer than Google’s Play Store. And while it is possible to install the Play Store yourself, this act will void your warranty: according to Amazon, installing Google’s Play Store constitutes improper use.

Communication

The tablet lacks a GPS module.
The tablet lacks a GPS module.

Since it lacks a 2G/3G/4G modem, communication is limited to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. The integrated Wi-Fi modem supports 802.11a/b/g/n in both, the 2.4 GHz and the lesser used 5 GHz band.

Connected to our Linksys EA8500 reference router, the Fire HD 8 (2017) managed decent 802.11n transfer rates. Still, at 209 Mbps the Huawei MediaPad M3 8.4 managed to be more than twice as fast.

The tablet is not equipped with a GPS module, and accordingly it does not offer any location services.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Huawei MediaPad M3 8.4 inch
Mali-T880 MP4, Kirin 950, 32 GB eMMC Flash
209 MBit/s ∼100% +110%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2017
Mali-T720, MT8163 V/B 1.3 GHz, 16 GB eMMC Flash
99.3 MBit/s ∼48%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Huawei MediaPad M3 8.4 inch
Mali-T880 MP4, Kirin 950, 32 GB eMMC Flash
209 MBit/s ∼100% +143%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2017
Mali-T720, MT8163 V/B 1.3 GHz, 16 GB eMMC Flash
86 MBit/s ∼41%

Cameras

main camera
main camera

In terms of cameras, Amazon has opted for the “as little as necessary” approach. The tablet’s hopelessly outdated 0.3 MP VGA (640x480) front-facing camera is barely good enough for video chats. Its 1600x1200 (4:3) rear-facing camera can operate in 16:9 mode as well (1600x912), and records videos at 720p. However, during our tests we never managed to coax more than 20 fps out of the camera.

In decent lighting conditions, the main camera takes somewhat usable photos. However, they lack crispness and suffer from a slight blue tint. Accordingly, even photos taken in bright sunlight will always seem fairly frosty. Less than ideal lighting conditions will swamp the sensors, and photos will show significant amounts of noise obliterating the slightest hint of details that may have survived.

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

As usual, we have also tested the Fire HD 8 (2017) under controlled lighting conditions, first by taking a photo of the X-Rite ColorChecker Passport, and afterwards by taking a photo of our test chart. No post-processing was performed on these photos, and no filters have been applied.

Color representation was almost ideal. Blue colors were a bit oversaturated, reds a tad undersaturated, and gray scales were slightly too dark. Focus was the camera’s main weakness. It did not manage to focus on the center of the image – a feat that almost every other smartphone or tablet camera accomplishes with ease – nor did it produce clean and well-defined transitions between colors or even separate elements on the chart. The photo quality was just as bad around the edges as it was in the center.

ColorChecker: reference color at bottom.
ColorChecker: reference color at bottom.
test chart
test chart
test chart (click for original)
test chart (click for original)

Accessories and Warranty

In addition to the tablet itself, the box contains a modular 5-W charger, a MicroUSB 2.0 cable, and a quick start guide. Amazon offers a plethora of additional accessories, and prospective buyers will find pretty much everything they may need on Amazon, including fast chargers, protective cases, pencils, microSD cards, and even a warranty extension with accident protection of up to three years.

By default, the devices are sold with a 12-month limited warranty.

Input Devices and Handling

Handling is smooth thanks to the Fire HD’s 10-point capacitive touchscreen. There was no noticeable lag and inputs were executed almost immediately, thanks to its fast quad-core SoC. Launching apps or switching between them can occasionally take a split second longer than expected. Since this only occurred occasionally it was no big deal. Both physical buttons – power button and volume rocker – are firm and very accurate.

The virtual Fire keyboard supports the most common features, such as Autocorrect or swipe gestures. An additional row for the number keys would have been very welcome to avoid switching input for the top row between letters and numbers.

keyboard in landscape mode
keyboard in landscape mode
keyboard in portrait mode
keyboard in portrait mode

Display

Subpixel matrix
Subpixel matrix

The 8-inch display runs at a native resolution of 1280x800, which results in a less than stellar pixel density of 189 PPI. It was still far from pixelated though, and its separate pixels were only visible from up close (if at all). A higher resolution display would have been welcome, and its competitors can offer more: 2048x1536 on the Xiaomi MiPad 2 and 2560x1600 on the Huawei MediaPad M3 8.4. However, even the larger 10.1-inch Fire HD 10 does not have a higher resolution display, and also runs at 1280x800 and pixel density of only 149 PPI.

Maximum and average brightness levels of 427 and 411 nits, respectively, are very impressive indeed, and the display’s brightness distribution of 91% was very good as well. In the APL50 test with evenly distributes dark and bright areas, the display managed a very good 422 nits. Its black level of 0.39 nits results in a mediocre contrast ratio of 1074:1. Subjectively, colors were crisp and overall display quality was very good.

419
cd/m²
420
cd/m²
389
cd/m²
421
cd/m²
419
cd/m²
392
cd/m²
427
cd/m²
418
cd/m²
401
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 427 cd/m² Average: 411.8 cd/m² Minimum: 3.14 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 91 %
Center on Battery: 419 cd/m²
Contrast: 1074:1 (Black: 0.39 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 8.5 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.3
ΔE Greyscale 10.3 | 0.64-98 Ø6.5
Gamma: 2.6
Amazon Fire HD 8 2017
IPS, 1280x800, 8
Asus ZenPad 8.0 Z380M-6B026A
IPS, 1280x800, 8
Xiaomi MiPad 2
IPS, 2048x1536, 7.9
Huawei MediaPad M3 8.4 inch
IPS, 2560x1600, 8.4
Screen
10%
17%
11%
Brightness middle
419
363
-13%
425
1%
460
10%
Brightness
412
348
-16%
402
-2%
445
8%
Brightness Distribution
91
90
-1%
91
0%
90
-1%
Black Level *
0.39
0.26
33%
0.4
-3%
0.45
-15%
Contrast
1074
1396
30%
1063
-1%
1022
-5%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
8.5
5.8
32%
4.98
41%
6.2
27%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
13.8
17.8
-29%
6.61
52%
10.5
24%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
10.3
5.5
47%
5.2
50%
6.5
37%
Gamma
2.6 92%
2.24 107%
2.65 91%
2.33 103%
CCT
6216 105%
7388 88%
7249 90%
8056 81%

* ... 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 not detected

In comparison: 54 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 8882 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

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
22.8 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 11.6 ms rise
↘ 11.2 ms fall
The screen shows good response rates in our tests, but may be too slow for competitive gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 26 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (25.9 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
35.2 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 16.4 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. » 26 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (41.4 ms).

Taken into our lab and tested with the X-Rite Colorimeter Rite i1pro 2 and the CalMAN software, the results were less than ideal. DeltaE deviations of 8.5 and 10.3 for colors and gray scales, respectively, are way too high. Accordingly, color representation is very inaccurate and the entire display suffers from a slight green tint. Color temperature on the other hand was almost perfect, at 6633 K (optimum: 6500 K).

ColorChecker (target
ColorChecker (target
color space (sRGB)
color space (sRGB)
gray scales (sRGB)
gray scales (sRGB)
saturation (sRGB)
saturation (sRGB)

Outdoor usage was no problem at all, thanks to the Fire HD 8 (2017)’s very bright 427 nits display. Only direct sunlight or unfavorable viewing angles limit visibility due to substantial reflections. A problem that almost every other smartphone and tablet suffers from as well. As expected, the IPS panel’s viewing angles were superb.

outdoors
outdoors
viewing angles
viewing angles

Performance

With its quad-core MediaTek MT8163 SoC, its ARM Mali T730-MP3 GPU, and its 1.5 GB of RAM, the Amazon Fire HD 8 (2017) qualifies as an entry-level device. However, this does not mean that it is going to be slow: most applications and games ran very smoothly on the Fire HD 8.

Looking at the benchmarks the tablet seems to be lagging behind, but keep in mind that some of its competitors are significantly better equipped. The Fire HD scores last in most synthetic benchmarks and performs very similarly to the Asus ZenPad 8.0 Z380M-6B026A. The Xiaomi MiPad 2 and Huawei MediaPad M3 8.4 are considerably faster.

AnTuTu v6 - Total Score
Huawei MediaPad M3 8.4 inch
86735 Points ∼38% +150%
Xiaomi MiPad 2
73083 Points ∼32% +111%
Asus ZenPad 8.0 Z380M-6B026A
36440 Points ∼16% +5%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2017
34714 Points ∼15%
PCMark for Android
Work 2.0 performance score
Amazon Fire HD 8 2017
2907 Points ∼28%
Work performance score
Xiaomi MiPad 2
5279 Points ∼51% +28%
Huawei MediaPad M3 8.4 inch
5204 Points ∼51% +26%
Asus ZenPad 8.0 Z380M-6B026A
4507 Points ∼44% +9%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2017
4125 Points ∼40%
BaseMark OS II
Web
Huawei MediaPad M3 8.4 inch
1022 Points ∼60% +72%
Xiaomi MiPad 2
952 Points ∼56% +61%
Asus ZenPad 8.0 Z380M-6B026A
655 Points ∼39% +10%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2017
593 Points ∼35%
Graphics
Xiaomi MiPad 2
1609 Points ∼17% +382%
Huawei MediaPad M3 8.4 inch
1302 Points ∼14% +290%
Asus ZenPad 8.0 Z380M-6B026A
339 Points ∼4% +1%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2017
334 Points ∼4%
Memory
Huawei MediaPad M3 8.4 inch
2212 Points ∼46% +201%
Xiaomi MiPad 2
1379 Points ∼29% +87%
Asus ZenPad 8.0 Z380M-6B026A
908 Points ∼19% +23%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2017
736 Points ∼15%
System
Huawei MediaPad M3 8.4 inch
3581 Points ∼35% +211%
Xiaomi MiPad 2
1921 Points ∼19% +67%
Asus ZenPad 8.0 Z380M-6B026A
1271 Points ∼12% +10%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2017
1152 Points ∼11%
Overall
Huawei MediaPad M3 8.4 inch
1800 Points ∼42% +181%
Xiaomi MiPad 2
1419 Points ∼33% +122%
Asus ZenPad 8.0 Z380M-6B026A
712 Points ∼17% +11%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2017
640 Points ∼15%
Geekbench 4.0
64 Bit Multi-Core Score
Huawei MediaPad M3 8.4 inch
5277 Points ∼19% +233%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2017
1583 Points ∼6%
64 Bit Single-Core Score
Huawei MediaPad M3 8.4 inch
1726 Points ∼30% +187%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2017
601 Points ∼10%
Geekbench 4.1/4.2
64 Bit Multi-Core Score
Amazon Fire HD 8 2017
1683 Points ∼6%
64 Bit Single-Core Score
Amazon Fire HD 8 2017
628 Points ∼11%
3DMark
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Physics
Huawei MediaPad M3 8.4 inch
2322 Points ∼63% +164%
Xiaomi MiPad 2
1572 Points ∼43% +79%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2017
878 Points ∼24%
Asus ZenPad 8.0 Z380M-6B026A
793 Points ∼22% -10%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Graphics
Xiaomi MiPad 2
1261 Points ∼23% +942%
Huawei MediaPad M3 8.4 inch
832 Points ∼15% +588%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2017
121 Points ∼2%
Asus ZenPad 8.0 Z380M-6B026A
116 Points ∼2% -4%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1)
Xiaomi MiPad 2
1319 Points ∼28% +779%
Huawei MediaPad M3 8.4 inch
970 Points ∼20% +547%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2017
150 Points ∼3%
Asus ZenPad 8.0 Z380M-6B026A
143 Points ∼3% -5%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Physics
Huawei MediaPad M3 8.4 inch
2261 Points ∼62% +157%
Xiaomi MiPad 2
1580 Points ∼43% +79%
Asus ZenPad 8.0 Z380M-6B026A
920 Points ∼25% +4%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2017
881 Points ∼24%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Graphics
Xiaomi MiPad 2
1300 Points ∼16% +574%
Huawei MediaPad M3 8.4 inch
997 Points ∼12% +417%
Asus ZenPad 8.0 Z380M-6B026A
203 Points ∼2% +5%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2017
193 Points ∼2%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0
Xiaomi MiPad 2
1353 Points ∼21% +478%
Huawei MediaPad M3 8.4 inch
1139 Points ∼18% +387%
Asus ZenPad 8.0 Z380M-6B026A
246 Points ∼4% +5%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2017
234 Points ∼4%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics
Xiaomi MiPad 2
20142 Points ∼25% +117%
Huawei MediaPad M3 8.4 inch
15538 Points ∼20% +68%
Asus ZenPad 8.0 Z380M-6B026A
10857 Points ∼14% +17%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2017
9274 Points ∼12%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score
Xiaomi MiPad 2
27537 Points ∼6% +407%
Huawei MediaPad M3 8.4 inch
22141 Points ∼5% +307%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2017
5435 Points ∼1%
Asus ZenPad 8.0 Z380M-6B026A
5326 Points ∼1% -2%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Score
Xiaomi MiPad 2
25460 Points ∼12% +325%
Huawei MediaPad M3 8.4 inch
20230 Points ∼10% +238%
Asus ZenPad 8.0 Z380M-6B026A
6006 Points ∼3% 0%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2017
5986 Points ∼3%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16
Xiaomi MiPad 2
32 fps ∼2% +223%
Huawei MediaPad M3 8.4 inch
29 fps ∼2% +193%
Asus ZenPad 8.0 Z380M-6B026A
10 fps ∼1% +1%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2017
9.9 fps ∼1%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16
Huawei MediaPad M3 8.4 inch
23 fps ∼5% +35%
Asus ZenPad 8.0 Z380M-6B026A
17 fps ∼4% 0%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2017
17 fps ∼4%
Xiaomi MiPad 2
13 fps ∼3% -24%
GFXBench 3.0
off screen Manhattan Offscreen OGL
Huawei MediaPad M3 8.4 inch
13 fps ∼2% +261%
Xiaomi MiPad 2
8.4 fps ∼2% +133%
Asus ZenPad 8.0 Z380M-6B026A
3.6 fps ∼1% 0%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2017
3.6 fps ∼1%
on screen Manhattan Onscreen OGL
Huawei MediaPad M3 8.4 inch
9 fps ∼2% +27%
Asus ZenPad 8.0 Z380M-6B026A
7.2 fps ∼2% +1%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2017
7.1 fps ∼2%
Xiaomi MiPad 2
6.3 fps ∼2% -11%
GFXBench 3.1
off screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Offscreen
Xiaomi MiPad 2
13 fps ∼2% +465%
Huawei MediaPad M3 8.4 inch
7.7 fps ∼1% +235%
Asus ZenPad 8.0 Z380M-6B026A
2.3 fps ∼0% 0%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2017
2.3 fps ∼0%
on screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Onscreen
Xiaomi MiPad 2
6.3 fps ∼4% +26%
Asus ZenPad 8.0 Z380M-6B026A
5.1 fps ∼3% +2%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2017
5 fps ∼3%
Huawei MediaPad M3 8.4 inch
4.2 fps ∼2% -16%
GFXBench 4.0
off screen Car Chase Offscreen
Xiaomi MiPad 2
8.4 fps ∼2%
Huawei MediaPad M3 8.4 inch
4.8 fps ∼1%
on screen Car Chase Onscreen
Xiaomi MiPad 2
5.7 fps ∼5%
Huawei MediaPad M3 8.4 inch
3.1 fps ∼3%

Legend

 
Amazon Fire HD 8 2017 MediaTek MT8163 V/B 1.3 GHz, ARM Mali-T720, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Asus ZenPad 8.0 Z380M-6B026A MediaTek MT8163 V/B 1.3 GHz, ARM Mali-T720 MP2, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Xiaomi MiPad 2 Intel Atom x5-Z8500, Intel HD Graphics (Cherry Trail), 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Huawei MediaPad M3 8.4 inch HiSilicon Kirin 950, ARM Mali-T880 MP4, 32 GB eMMC Flash

Thanks to its Silk browser, the Fire HD 8 managed to perform slightly better in the browser benchmarks than the Asus ZenPad 8.0 Z380M-6B026A. Still, the Xiaomi MiPad 2 and Huawei MediaPad M3 8.4 were way out of its league.

Octane V2 - Total Score
Huawei MediaPad M3 8.4 inch
11404 Points ∼100% +304%
Xiaomi MiPad 2
7994 Points ∼70% +183%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2017
2826 Points ∼25%
Asus ZenPad 8.0 Z380M-6B026A
2821 Points ∼25% 0%
WebXPRT 2015 - Overall Score
Huawei MediaPad M3 8.4 inch
136 Points ∼100% +139%
Asus ZenPad 8.0 Z380M-6B026A
57 Points ∼42% 0%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2017
57 Points ∼42%
JetStream 1.1 - 1.1 Total Score
Huawei MediaPad M3 8.4 inch
53.7 Points ∼100% +175%
Xiaomi MiPad 2
43.039 Points ∼80% +120%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2017
19.519 Points ∼36%
Asus ZenPad 8.0 Z380M-6B026A
19.3 Points ∼36% -1%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score
Asus ZenPad 8.0 Z380M-6B026A
12160.7 ms * ∼100% -3%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2017
11817.6 ms * ∼97%
Xiaomi MiPad 2
4420.4 ms * ∼36% +63%
Huawei MediaPad M3 8.4 inch
2822.9 ms * ∼23% +76%

* ... smaller is better

Storage transfer speeds are decent, but nothing to write home about, and very similar to the Asus ZenPad 8.0 Z380M-6B026A and the Xiaomi MiPad 2. Reading and writing from and to the microSD card was comparatively fast on the Fire HD, and while its transfer speeds were far from our Toshiba Exceria Pro M401 reference card’s theoretical maximums (95 MB/s and 80 MB/s read and write) it even managed to outperform the otherwise much faster Huawei MediaPad M3 8.4.

Amazon Fire HD 8 2017Asus ZenPad 8.0 Z380M-6B026AXiaomi MiPad 2Huawei MediaPad M3 8.4 inch
AndroBench 3-5
-14%
12%
69%
Sequential Write 256KB SDCard
34.15
24.9
-27%
23.52
-31%
Sequential Read 256KB SDCard
51.06
35.2
-31%
61.65
21%
Random Write 4KB
11.51
8.35
-27%
13.96
21%
31.35
172%
Random Read 4KB
21.55
21.96
2%
24.42
13%
32.04
49%
Sequential Write 256KB
47.23
45.71
-3%
56.37
19%
117.15
148%
Sequential Read 256KB
159.08
158.44
0%
147.85
-7%
249.68
57%

Gaming

While the combination of MediaTek MT8163 and Mali-T720 MP3 certainly will not turn the Fire HD into a purebred gaming machine, they do provide enough power and performance to play most current games smoothly. Only very demanding games, such as “Asphalt 8: Airborne”, will require reduced details. The tablet’s sensors worked perfectly well.

Unfortunately, we cannot provide you with any actual gaming performance data due to the fact that we were unable to run our GameBench app on the Fire HD’s outdated Android-5.1.1-based operating system.

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

Quality journalism is made possible by advertising. We show the least amount of ads whenever possible. We intentionally show more ads when an adblocker is used. Please, switch off ad blockers.

Emissions

Temperature

When idle, the tablet remained moderately cool at an average 29.3 °C (~85 °F), and even though it did heat up under load, it only managed to reach a maximum of 37.7 °C (~100 °F).

We found no evidence of throttling under load. Even after 30 iterations of the demanding GFXBench T-Rex benchmark frame rates remained at their initial high level.

GFXBench Battery
GFXBench Battery
GFXBench Performance
GFXBench Performance
GFXBench Frametimes
GFXBench Frametimes
Max. Load
 35.4 °C
96 F
34.4 °C
94 F
33.7 °C
93 F
 
 37.5 °C
100 F
34.1 °C
93 F
34.1 °C
93 F
 
 36.7 °C
98 F
34.8 °C
95 F
32.8 °C
91 F
 
Maximum: 37.5 °C = 100 F
Average: 34.8 °C = 95 F
30.5 °C
87 F
33 °C
91 F
36.8 °C
98 F
31.7 °C
89 F
32.4 °C
90 F
37.7 °C
100 F
31.7 °C
89 F
33.4 °C
92 F
35.5 °C
96 F
Maximum: 37.7 °C = 100 F
Average: 33.6 °C = 92 F
Power Supply (max.)  36 °C = 97 F | Room Temperature 21.5 °C = 71 F | Voltcraft IR-260

Speakers

speaker characteristics
speaker characteristics

The Fire HD’s speakers are located on one of the two long sides and support Dolby Atmos. Accordingly, the device’s soundscape is quite balanced and even somewhat spatial with moderate mids and highs but a lack of lows (bass). Overall, sound quality was decent.

Maximum volume clocked in at 77.7 dB(A) and thus not very high, but at least the speakers show no signs of distortion. The only problem we have had with the tablet was the fact that in portrait mode, both speakers are located either on the left or right-hand side.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2031.635.52525.437.83125.336.64032.933.15033.633.16331.637.68028.442.81002746.212520.849.41602247.720021.350.625020.857.231521.254.340019.460.750019.565.363017.765.880017.966.2100017.865.2125017.362.8160017.464200016.763.9250017.266.7315018.267.3400017.966.6500017.669630017.769800017.863.81000017.962.91250018.159.41600018.246.6SPL3077.7N1.343.8median 17.9Amazon Fire HD 8 2017median 63.8Delta1.35.831.638.825.437.225.328.932.930.833.641.731.632.828.429.22722.620.828.62242.921.349.920.851.121.260.119.46719.570.417.771.417.972.617.875.517.375.317.475.516.775.317.277.818.281.717.979.317.670.917.765.917.867.717.962.718.151.918.247.730881.369.4median 17.9Huawei MediaPad M3 8.4 inchmedian 67.71.312.324.330.828.624.325.930.22725.926.329.83026.329.130.334.929.127.627.531.627.623.624.935.323.622.824.528.122.827.627.728.827.638.638.236.338.620.12321.720.122.926.720.422.92933.620.12939.943.921.139.947.752.123.347.755.159.72455.151.25618.751.258.462.918.458.46164.518616265.916.5626064.414.36058.162.515.658.156.760.714.156.75963.314596165.214.36158.96314.858.959.263.513.759.257.361.313.457.351.955.913.251.960.263.913.260.256.960.613.156.97175.129.47126.734.41.326.7median 56.9Asus ZenPad 8.0 Z380M-6B026Amedian 60.7median 16.5median 56.99.29.53.79.2hearing rangehide median Pink Noise
Amazon Fire HD 8 2017 audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (77.7 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 12.9% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (7.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 1.5% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (4.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2.9% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (3.9% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (12.4% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 5% of all tested devices in this class were better, 3% similar, 93% worse
» The best had a delta of 7%, average was 21%, worst was 36%
Compared to all devices tested
» 8% of all tested devices were better, 2% similar, 90% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Huawei MediaPad M3 8.4 inch audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (88 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 25.2% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (14.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 5.3% higher than median
(+) | mids are linear (4% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 6.5% higher than median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (8.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (24% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 63% of all tested devices in this class were better, 15% similar, 23% worse
» The best had a delta of 7%, average was 21%, worst was 36%
Compared to all devices tested
» 65% of all tested devices were better, 8% similar, 27% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Asus ZenPad 8.0 Z380M-6B026A audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (75.1 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 28.5% lower than median
(-) | bass is not linear (18.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 3.9% away from median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (9.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2.5% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (5.4% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (22% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 45% of all tested devices in this class were better, 8% similar, 48% worse
» The best had a delta of 7%, average was 21%, worst was 36%
Compared to all devices tested
» 54% of all tested devices were better, 7% similar, 38% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Frequency diagram (checkboxes selectable/deselectable!)

Energy Management

Power Consumption

All things considered, the Amazon Fire HD 8 (2017) is a fairly efficient tablet. With a power consumption of only 2.83 W when idle and 5.69 W under load, it once again performed very similarly to the Asus ZenPad 8.0 Z380M-6B026A. In comparison, the Huawei MediaPad M3 8.4 and even more so the Xiaomi MiPad 2 are real power hogs.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.04 / 0.18 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 0.99 / 2.74 / 2.83 Watt
Load midlight 4.51 / 5.69 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Amazon Fire HD 8 2017
 mAh
Asus ZenPad 8.0 Z380M-6B026A
4000 mAh
Xiaomi MiPad 2
6190 mAh
Huawei MediaPad M3 8.4 inch
5100 mAh
Power Consumption
-3%
-110%
-46%
Idle Minimum *
0.99
1.32
-33%
3.33
-236%
1.51
-53%
Idle Average *
2.74
2.71
1%
5.01
-83%
3.64
-33%
Idle Maximum *
2.83
2.83
-0%
5.19
-83%
3.68
-30%
Load Average *
4.51
4.24
6%
8.32
-84%
6.95
-54%
Load Maximum *
5.69
5.01
12%
9.33
-64%
9.11
-60%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

Battery Life is one of the Fire HD’s highlights, and its competitors did not stand a chance. Even under maximum load the tablet’s battery lasted for an impressive 6:33 hours, and in the real-world Wi-Fi test (web browsing at a normalized display brightness of 150 nits, around 70% in the Fire HD’s case) the battery died after a very long 13 hours. Thus, getting through the day with this tablet is easily manageable. Unfortunately, recharging the battery takes almost as long as draining it, and the supplied charger (5 V, 1 A) “trickle charges” the battery back to 100 % in around 5 hours.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
33h 52min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
12h 50min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
12h 24min
Load (maximum brightness)
6h 33min
Amazon Fire HD 8 2017
 mAh
Asus ZenPad 8.0 Z380M-6B026A
4000 mAh
Xiaomi MiPad 2
6190 mAh
Huawei MediaPad M3 8.4 inch
5100 mAh
Battery Runtime
-30%
-45%
-32%
Reader / Idle
2032
1305
-36%
1110
-45%
H.264
744
624
-16%
583
-22%
WiFi v1.3
770
472
-39%
421
-45%
546
-29%
Load
393
287
-27%
268
-32%

Pros

+ decent quality and feel
+ microSD cards up to 256 GB
+ bright display
+ dual-band Wi-Fi
+ remains cool
+ no throttling
+ stereo sound with Dolby Atmos
+ long battery life
+ cheap

Cons

- tied to Amazon
- outdated OS based on Android 5.1.1
- no Google Play
- poor camera
- no NFC, no GSM/UMTS/LTE
- no GPS

Verdict

In review: Amazon Fire HD 8 (2017). Review model courtesy of Amazon Germany.
In review: Amazon Fire HD 8 (2017). Review model courtesy of Amazon Germany.

Like its predecessors and 7 and 10-inch siblings, the Amazon Fire HD 8 (2017) offers an incredible price-performance ratio.

Equipped with an 8-inch 1280x800 IPS display, a MediaTek MT8163 quad-core SoC, and either 16 or 32 GB of storage, the Fire HD offers sufficient performance for everyday use. And while this is also true for its competitors, they tend to be more expensive. Anywhere between $80 and $125 will get you a well-made tablet with long battery life and decent stereo sound.

Those of you, who already own the predecessor, can skip this latest version. Apart from some minor enhancements (larger microSD card, slightly faster GPU) it has not really changed that much.

On the other hand, the tablet does come with its own peculiar set of limitations, chiefly the obvious focus on the Amazon ecosystem at large. Google’s Play Store is not officially supported and installing it anyway will void your warranty. The Fire HD 8 (2017) is the perfect device if you plan to stay within Amazon’s universe.

Other limitations are simply dreadful, such as the outdated Android 5.1.1 OS underpinnings, the lack of GPS and WWAN, and the poor cameras that you have to turn a blind eye to in order to find them even remotely acceptable.

Amazon Fire HD 8 2017 - 07/07/2017 v6
Manuel Masiero

Chassis
80%
Keyboard
70 / 80 → 88%
Pointing Device
89%
Connectivity
29 / 65 → 44%
Weight
85 / 40-88 → 94%
Battery
95%
Display
79%
Games Performance
10 / 68 → 14%
Application Performance
35 / 76 → 46%
Temperature
91%
Noise
100%
Audio
79 / 91 → 87%
Camera
24 / 85 → 28%
Average
67%
81%
Tablet - Weighted Average

Pricecompare

static version load dynamic
Loading Comments
Comment this article
Please share our article, every link counts!
> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Amazon Fire HD 8 (2017) Tablet Review
Manuel Masiero, 2017-07-12 (Update: 2017-07-14)