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Amazon Fire HD 8 (2018) Tablet Review

Manuel Masiero, 👁 Daniel Schmidt (translated by Finn D. Boerne), 11/21/2018

New edition. Amazon has updated its 8-inch Fire HD 8 tablet but kept the price at its low level; the tablet still starts at just $80. Most notable updates: Alexa and wireless charging.

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Amazon has updated its entry-level tablet Fire HD 8, but the changes between the new version and the Fire HD 8 (2017) are minor at best. This year’s model features the exact same case but lost 6 g of weight (363 vs. 369 g), supports microSD cards up to 400 GB instead of 256 GB, and the pitiful 0.3 MP webcam has been replaced with a 2 MP sensor. In addition, the new model now also supports wireless charging via the optional Show Mode dock.

On the software side the engineers replaced the underpinnings, and Amazon’s Fire OS is no longer based on Android 5.1.1 but Android 7 (aka Nougat) instead. A noteworthy enhancement is the addition of Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant.

Its main draw remains its low price, which starts at just $80 for the 16 GB model. Accordingly, the Fire HD 8 remains significantly cheaper than most of its 8-inch competitors. In our test, we not only attempted to determine whether it remained usable in day-to-day situations but also took a closer look at the Kids Edition developed specifically for children as well as the optional charging dock. Its main competitors are its own predecessor, the Huawei MediaPad M5 8.4, Lenovo Tab 4 8, Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 2, and the Xiaomi Mi Pad 4.

Amazon Fire HD 8 2018 (Fire Series)
Graphics adapter
Memory
1536 MB 
Display
8 inch 16:10, 1280 x 800 pixel 189 PPI, IPS, glossy: yes
Storage
16 GB eMMC Flash, 16 GB 
, 9.2 GB free
Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: 3.5-mm audio, Card Reader: microSD up to 400 GB, Brightness Sensor, Sensors: accelerometer
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 215 x 128 ( = 0.38 x 8.46 x 5.04 in)
Battery
4750 mAh Lithium-Ion
Operating System
Android 7.0 Nougat
Camera
Primary Camera: 2 MPix 1600 x 1200, [email protected] video
Secondary Camera: 2 MPix 1600 x 1200 Pixel, [email protected] video
Additional features
Speakers: stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos support, Keyboard: virtual, modular power supply, USB cable (Type-A to Micro Type-B), quick start guide, Fire OS 6.3.0.1, Amazon Appstore, Amazon Apps, Silk-Browser, 12 Months Warranty, fanless
Weight
363 g ( = 12.8 oz / 0.8 pounds), Power Supply: 35 g ( = 1.23 oz / 0.08 pounds)
Price
90 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

It is no surprise that an $80 tablet is not going to feature the most premium case ever made. However, Amazon has still managed to make a well-built tablet at a low price.

Its slightly roughened back cover feels somewhat grippy, but it is far from being slip-proof. The all-plastic case is available in various colors and features rounded corners and edges around its 1280x800 IPS display. Sturdiness was decent, and we were only able to twist and warp it slightly. The device never creaked and showed just minor bright spots when we applied torsional force.

At 363 g it weighs slightly less than its Fire HD 8 (2017) predecessor (369 g) but remained practically identical in size: 215 x 128 x 9.7 mm versus 214 x 128 x 9.7 mm.

The Kids Edition developed specifically for children is equipped with 32 GB of storage and is protected by a thick either blue or pink plastic shell. Otherwise, it is identical to the Fire HD 8 (2018). The thick protective shell makes it easier to hold and much sturdier when dropped. It also comes with a two-year worry-free guarantee: If your kids manage to break it Amazon is going to replace it for free - no questions asked.

Size Comparison

Connectivity

The Fire HD 8 (2018) is equipped with a MediaTek MT8163 quad-core SoC, an ARM Mali-T720 GPU, and 1.5 GB of RAM. Accordingly, it should be fast enough for everyday tasks and challenges. Unfortunately, it still lacks modern features like a GPS module, fast 802.11 ac Wi-Fi, or a USB-C port. Instead, its Wi-Fi modem supports just dual-band 802.11 b/g/n, and it is charged via a MicroUSB 2.0 port. The stereo speakers have remained identical as well and continue to support Dolby Atmos.

Hardware upgrades to last year’s model include a new front-facing 2 MP (1600x1200) camera, which is a significant step up from the previous 0.3 MP VGA camera (640x480), support for microSD cards of up to 400 GB (up from 256 GB), and a dedicated DSP in order to enable hands-free Alexa support when the tablet is neither plugged in nor in active use.

In addition to media files, the microSD storage can also be used for storing applications. Considering the meager 16 GB of storage on the base model (9.2 GB available out of the box) this is not just nice to have but is an absolute necessity. Alternatively, the Fire HD 8 is also available with 32 GB of internal storage space. The tablet supports the exFAT file system for external microSD media - a feature not commonly found on affordable tablets due to the licensing costs associated with it.

Both the 16 and 32 GB editions can be purchased either with or without “special offers” - a euphemism for ads. The cheaper, ad-supported edition has its ads embedded into the lock screen. Bundles including the optional Show Mode charging dock are also available. For further details see below.

Left: microSD slot
Left: microSD slot
Right: speaker
Right: speaker
Top: power button, microUSB port, microphone, 3.5-mm headphone jack, volume rocker
Top: power button, microUSB port, microphone, 3.5-mm headphone jack, volume rocker
Bottom: no connectivity
Bottom: no connectivity

Software

While the underlying operating system is Android 7 Nougat, Amazon’s Fire OS is a heavily skinned and modified version thereof. The bottom line is that the entire user interface has been optimized for a pleasant and enjoyable Amazon shopping experience. Accordingly, the home screen is just one tab among many. The other tabs represent Amazon’s various shopping categories - books, video, games, apps, and music. An Amazon account is not just optional but mandatory - when first booting up the Fire HD 8 (2018) you need to either login with an existing account or create a new one.

The shopping experience is now enhanced by Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant. It supports a hands-free activation phrase, such as “Alexa” or “Amazon”, in order to start up and listen.

By default, the tablet does not come with Google’s Play Store and is limited to Amazon’s own app store. However, the former can be retroactively installed. That being said, we have to add that installing Google’s Play Store voids your warranty because according to Amazon installing the Play Store constitutes improper use.

The Kids Edition differs from the regular model in that it is not an Amazon shopping front-end but is a gaming and learning platform instead. Included with every Fire HD 8 Kids Edition is a free one-year Amazon FreeTime Unlimited subscription with access to more than 5,000 child-friendly books, videos, apps, and games.

Parents have the ability to child-proof the software and limit usage to certain hours of the day as well as certain types of content. The presets can be individually adjusted to your liking and support user profiles for up to four different children, each with its individual contents and usage patterns. Without a Wi-Fi connection the tablet is limited to whatever content has been downloaded for each specific profile.

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Communication and GPS

Wireless communication support includes 802.11 a/b/g/n in 2.4 and 5 GHz networks.

Connected to our Linksys EA8500 reference router the Fire HD 8 (2018) achieved RX and TX data rates of around 100 Mb/s. A respectable result for an 802.11 n device; however, it pales in comparison with its competitors. For example, the Xiaomi Mi Pad 4 was up to 4x faster and the Huawei MediaPad M5 8.4 was around twice as fast.

Due to the lack of a GPS module the Fire HD 8 (2018) does not support any location services at all.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
446 MBit/s ∼100% +346%
Huawei MediaPad M5 8.4
Mali-G71 MP8, Kirin 960, 32 GB eMMC Flash
203 MBit/s ∼46% +103%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2018
Mali-T720, MT8163 V/B 1.3 GHz, 16 GB eMMC Flash
99.9 (min: 90, max: 106) MBit/s ∼22%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2017
Mali-T720, MT8163 V/B 1.3 GHz, 16 GB eMMC Flash
99.3 MBit/s ∼22% -1%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4
Adreno 512, 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
450 MBit/s ∼100% +357%
Huawei MediaPad M5 8.4
Mali-G71 MP8, Kirin 960, 32 GB eMMC Flash
205 MBit/s ∼46% +108%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2018
Mali-T720, MT8163 V/B 1.3 GHz, 16 GB eMMC Flash
98.4 (min: 82, max: 110) MBit/s ∼22%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2017
Mali-T720, MT8163 V/B 1.3 GHz, 16 GB eMMC Flash
86 MBit/s ∼19% -13%
0102030405060708090100110Tooltip
Amazon Fire HD 8 2018 Mali-T720, MT8163 V/B 1.3 GHz, 16 GB eMMC Flash; iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10; iperf 3.1.3: Ø99.9 (90-106)
Amazon Fire HD 8 2018 Mali-T720, MT8163 V/B 1.3 GHz, 16 GB eMMC Flash; iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10; iperf 3.1.3: Ø98.5 (82-110)

Cameras

Main camera
Main camera

Both cameras on Amazon’s Fire HD 8 (2018) feature a 2 MP sensor with a resolution of 1600x1200. Videos are captured in 720p at 30 FPS. Overall configurability is pretty limited. For videos, you can configure resolution, geo-tagging, and manual exposure. For photos, you can also set an autotimer and configure HDR.

The cameras turned out to be somewhat usable with popping colors in bright daylight (see scenes 1 and 2). However, the photos lacked detail even on the brightest of bright days, and far away objects quickly faded into pixel mush due to the sensor’s low resolution. Poor lighting conditions are too much to ask for, as can clearly be seen in scene 3.

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
click to load images

Like all cameras, we also tested the Fire HD 8 (2018)’s cameras under normalized lighting conditions in our lab. The photos have not been edited retroactively.

As can be seen on the ColorChecker reference card colors and grays are slightly overexposed rendering photos somewhat unnatural but also livelier. Considering the camera’s small sensor, focus was also more than decent albeit with plenty of added noise.

ColorChecker colors. The reference color is in the bottom half of each square.
ColorChecker colors. The reference color is in the bottom half of each square.
Test chart details
Test chart details
Test chart total
Test chart total

Accessories and Warranty

Optional accessory: Amazon Show Mode charging dock
Optional accessory: Amazon Show Mode charging dock

The Fire HD 8 (2018) comes with a modular power supply (5.25 V, 1 A), a USB cable (Type-A to Micro-B), and a quick-start guide. By default, warranty is limited to 12 months.

Accessories for the Fire HD 8 are plentiful. Particularly noteworthy is Amazon’s own Show Mode charging dock for $40 (or $30 when purchased as part of a tablet + charging dock bundle). It not only charges the tablet wirelessly but also makes Alexa truly shine.

The charging dock consists of two separate parts: A wireless charging docking station with an adjustable stand and a cover for the tablet itself. The latter is plugged into the tablet’s MicroUSB port and equipped with pins on the back that are used for wireless charging when placed in the dock.

As soon as the tablet detects the dock it automatically switches to the so-called show mode, which looks exactly like the user interface on Amazon’s Echo Show that depicts current time and outside temperature. In this mode Alexa can present additional information and answer questions. This particular mode of operation does not require the docking station - it can also be activated via an Alexa command.

Input Devices & Handling

The tablet’s display supports 10-point multitouch and turned out to be just as smooth and precise as much pricier tablets. Speed, on the other hand, was somewhat lacking. For example, launching apps can be slower than expected due to the sluggish internal storage, and content sometimes loaded one frame at a time. The SoC is also not the fastest, and accordingly the tablet stuttered and slowed down occasionally during everyday use.

A fingerprint reader is not available on the tablet, and the only physical buttons available are the volume rocker and the power button. Both worked as reliable and seamless as expected. The default keyboard application is Amazon’s own Fire keyboard, and it supports the most common features such as word suggestions, auto correct, swipe input, and automatic capitalization.

Keyboard in portrait mode
Keyboard in portrait mode
Keyboard in landscape mode
Keyboard in landscape mode

Display

Subpixel array
Subpixel array

The IPS display remained unchanged, and its resolution is still 1280x800, resulting in a pixel density of 189 dpi.

Unfortunately, at just 358.1 nits the display is not as bright as its Fire HD 8 (2017) predecessor’s, and it turned out to be the darkest of the entire test group. Brightness and brightness distribution were similar to the Huawei MediaPad M5 8.4; however, the latter offered a much higher resolution.

Contrast ratio and black level were even worse, and at just 422:1 and 0.85 nits display content was very pale. Once again, the Fire HD 8 (2018) can be found in last place.

380
cd/m²
347
cd/m²
340
cd/m²
367
cd/m²
359
cd/m²
357
cd/m²
362
cd/m²
354
cd/m²
357
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 380 cd/m² Average: 358.1 cd/m² Minimum: 1.68 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 89 %
Center on Battery: 359 cd/m²
Contrast: 422:1 (Black: 0.85 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 6.8 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.2
ΔE Greyscale 7.6 | 0.64-98 Ø6.5
78.3% sRGB (Calman 2D)
Gamma: 2.19
Amazon Fire HD 8 2018
IPS, 1280x800, 8
Amazon Fire HD 8 2017
IPS, 1280x800, 8
Huawei MediaPad M5 8.4
IPS, 2560x1600, 8.4
Lenovo Tab 4 8
IPS, 1280x800, 8
Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 2
TFT LCD, 1280x800, 8
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4
IPS LCD, 1920x1200, 8
Screen
25%
19%
33%
54%
26%
Brightness middle
359
419
17%
405
13%
455
27%
509
42%
454
26%
Brightness
358
412
15%
392
9%
446
25%
477
33%
411
15%
Brightness Distribution
89
91
2%
92
3%
91
2%
91
2%
83
-7%
Black Level *
0.85
0.39
54%
0.67
21%
0.51
40%
0.48
44%
0.73
14%
Contrast
422
1074
155%
604
43%
892
111%
1060
151%
622
47%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
6.8
8.5
-25%
5.78
15%
5.5
19%
3.45
49%
5.2
24%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
17.3
13.8
20%
9.82
43%
14.8
14%
5.17
70%
8.36
52%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
7.6
10.3
-36%
7.2
5%
5.5
28%
4.5
41%
4.7
38%
Gamma
2.19 100%
2.6 85%
2.278 97%
2.23 99%
2.11 104%
2.271 97%
CCT
7160 91%
6216 105%
8405 77%
7852 83%
7171 91%
7361 88%

* ... 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: 53 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 8933 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Using the X-Rite i1pro 2 spectrophotometer in combination with the CalMAN software we took a look at the display in our lab. As it turns out, the tablet was fairly inaccurate out of the box and presented us with DeltaE deviations of 6.8 for colors and 7.8 for grayscale. Ideally, you want these to be less than 3. In addition, color temperature was shifted towards the cooler spectrum and measured at a fairly high 7,160 K. That said, we should note that all of its competitors did similarly poor in our lab, and none of them proved to be significantly more accurate.

Color accuracy
Color accuracy
Color space
Color space
Grayscale
Grayscale
Saturation
Saturation

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
38 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 20.8 ms rise
↘ 17.2 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 95 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (25.6 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
48 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 26.8 ms rise
↘ 21.2 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. » 78 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (41 ms).

As expected of an IPS display, viewing angles were decent. Unfortunately, the display was simply too dim to be used outdoors. It was usable on overcast days but as soon as the sun came out it became increasingly difficult to decipher anything on the screen, even when sitting in the shade.

Outdoors
Outdoors
Viewing angles
Viewing angles

Performance

An entry-level MediaTek MT8163 SoC, an ARM Mali-T720 GPU, and 1.5 GB of RAM make for a solid but certainly not speedy contender. However, we have to admit that Fire OS and the included apps ran mostly smoothly. The tablet was certainly powerful enough for shopping, surfing, and occasional gaming.

In our synthetic benchmarks, the Fire HD 8 (2018) performed identically to its Fire HD 8 (2017) predecessor due to identical internal hardware. By and large, the Lenovo Tab 4 8 and Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 2 were in the same boat albeit the latter was slightly faster here and there. The Huawei MediaPad M5 8.4 and Xiaomi Mi Pad 4 played in a different league.

Geekbench 4.1/4.2
Compute RenderScript Score
Huawei MediaPad M5 8.4
11539 Points ∼26%
Average of class Tablet (862 - 43802, n=24)
7773 Points ∼18%
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4
5811 Points ∼13%
Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 2
2369 Points ∼5%
Lenovo Tab 4 8
1324 Points ∼3%
64 Bit Multi-Core Score
Huawei MediaPad M5 8.4
6509 Points ∼18% +272%
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4
5860 Points ∼16% +235%
Average of class Tablet (1106 - 18041, n=38)
4647 Points ∼13% +165%
Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 2
3710 Points ∼10% +112%
Lenovo Tab 4 8
1908 Points ∼5% +9%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2018
1751 Points ∼5%
Average MediaTek MT8163 V/B 1.3 GHz (1683 - 1751, n=2)
1717 Points ∼5% -2%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2017
1683 Points ∼5% -4%
64 Bit Single-Core Score
Huawei MediaPad M5 8.4
1896 Points ∼30% +198%
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4
1642 Points ∼26% +158%
Average of class Tablet (429 - 5002, n=38)
1606 Points ∼25% +153%
Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 2
726 Points ∼11% +14%
Lenovo Tab 4 8
688 Points ∼11% +8%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2018
636 Points ∼10%
Average MediaTek MT8163 V/B 1.3 GHz (628 - 636, n=2)
632 Points ∼10% -1%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2017
628 Points ∼10% -1%
PCMark for Android
Work 2.0 performance score
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4
6047 Points ∼59% +93%
Huawei MediaPad M5 8.4
6006 Points ∼58% +92%
Average of class Tablet (2345 - 6315, n=27)
4253 Points ∼41% +36%
Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 2
3789 Points ∼37% +21%
Lenovo Tab 4 8
3312 Points ∼32% +6%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2018
3130 Points ∼30%
Average MediaTek MT8163 V/B 1.3 GHz (2907 - 3130, n=2)
3019 Points ∼29% -4%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2017
2907 Points ∼28% -7%
Work performance score
Huawei MediaPad M5 8.4
7053 Points ∼52% +69%
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4
6926 Points ∼51% +66%
Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 2
4945 Points ∼37% +19%
Average of class Tablet (2529 - 7053, n=69)
4489 Points ∼33% +8%
Lenovo Tab 4 8
4457 Points ∼33% +7%
Average MediaTek MT8163 V/B 1.3 GHz (4125 - 4507, n=4)
4261 Points ∼31% +2%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2018
4165 Points ∼31%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2017
4125 Points ∼30% -1%
3DMark
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Unlimited Physics
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4
2797 Points ∼63% +291%
Huawei MediaPad M5 8.4
2552 Points ∼57% +256%
Average of class Tablet (650 - 2919, n=32)
1601 Points ∼36% +124%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2017
867 Points ∼20% +21%
Average MediaTek MT8163 V/B 1.3 GHz (716 - 875, n=4)
831 Points ∼19% +16%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2018
716 Points ∼16%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Unlimited Graphics
Huawei MediaPad M5 8.4
1910 Points ∼23% +1492%
Average of class Tablet (99 - 6993, n=32)
1658 Points ∼20% +1282%
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4
1267 Points ∼15% +956%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2018
120 Points ∼1%
Average MediaTek MT8163 V/B 1.3 GHz (115 - 120, n=4)
116 Points ∼1% -3%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2017
115 Points ∼1% -4%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Unlimited
Huawei MediaPad M5 8.4
2023 Points ∼39% +1276%
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4
1442 Points ∼28% +881%
Average of class Tablet (129 - 5093, n=33)
1387 Points ∼27% +844%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2018
147 Points ∼3%
Average MediaTek MT8163 V/B 1.3 GHz (142 - 147, n=4)
144 Points ∼3% -2%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2017
143 Points ∼3% -3%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Unlimited Physics
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4
2758 Points ∼59% +273%
Huawei MediaPad M5 8.4
2268 Points ∼48% +207%
Average of class Tablet (739 - 4700, n=38)
1602 Points ∼34% +117%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2017
880 Points ∼19% +19%
Lenovo Tab 4 8
876 Points ∼19% +19%
Average MediaTek MT8163 V/B 1.3 GHz (739 - 893, n=4)
848 Points ∼18% +15%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2018
739 Points ∼16%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Unlimited Graphics
Average of class Tablet (165 - 28751, n=38)
2993 Points ∼10% +1382%
Huawei MediaPad M5 8.4
2461 Points ∼9% +1118%
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4
2033 Points ∼7% +906%
Lenovo Tab 4 8
248 Points ∼1% +23%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2018
202 Points ∼1%
Average MediaTek MT8163 V/B 1.3 GHz (192 - 202, n=4)
195 Points ∼1% -3%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2017
192 Points ∼1% -5%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Unlimited
Huawei MediaPad M5 8.4
2415 Points ∼18% +902%
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4
2148 Points ∼16% +791%
Average of class Tablet (207 - 13454, n=38)
1983 Points ∼15% +723%
Lenovo Tab 4 8
295 Points ∼2% +22%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2018
241 Points ∼2%
Average MediaTek MT8163 V/B 1.3 GHz (232 - 241, n=4)
235 Points ∼2% -2%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2017
232 Points ∼2% -4%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Physics
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4
2700 Points ∼64% +216%
Huawei MediaPad M5 8.4
2653 Points ∼63% +210%
Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 2
1721 Points ∼41% +101%
Average of class Tablet (793 - 2952, n=50)
1439 Points ∼34% +68%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2017
878 Points ∼21% +3%
Average MediaTek MT8163 V/B 1.3 GHz (793 - 918, n=4)
861 Points ∼20% +1%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2018
855 Points ∼20%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Graphics
Huawei MediaPad M5 8.4
1778 Points ∼33% +1311%
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4
1195 Points ∼22% +848%
Average of class Tablet (102 - 5384, n=50)
1163 Points ∼22% +823%
Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 2
239 Points ∼4% +90%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2018
126 Points ∼2%
Average MediaTek MT8163 V/B 1.3 GHz (116 - 126, n=4)
122 Points ∼2% -3%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2017
121 Points ∼2% -4%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1)
Huawei MediaPad M5 8.4
1919 Points ∼41% +1138%
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4
1364 Points ∼29% +780%
Average of class Tablet (134 - 3806, n=55)
1025 Points ∼22% +561%
Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 2
296 Points ∼6% +91%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2018
155 Points ∼3%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2017
150 Points ∼3% -3%
Average MediaTek MT8163 V/B 1.3 GHz (143 - 155, n=4)
150 Points ∼3% -3%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Physics
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4
2780 Points ∼66% +241%
Huawei MediaPad M5 8.4
2555 Points ∼61% +213%
Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 2
1522 Points ∼36% +87%
Average of class Tablet (810 - 2952, n=53)
1374 Points ∼33% +69%
Average MediaTek MT8163 V/B 1.3 GHz (815 - 920, n=4)
883 Points ∼21% +8%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2017
881 Points ∼21% +8%
Lenovo Tab 4 8
874 Points ∼21% +7%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2018
815 Points ∼19%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Graphics
Huawei MediaPad M5 8.4
2501 Points ∼30% +1080%
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4
1936 Points ∼23% +813%
Average of class Tablet (42 - 7525, n=53)
1589 Points ∼19% +650%
Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 2
399 Points ∼5% +88%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2018
212 Points ∼3%
Average MediaTek MT8163 V/B 1.3 GHz (193 - 212, n=4)
203 Points ∼2% -4%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2017
193 Points ∼2% -9%
Lenovo Tab 4 8
42 Points ∼1% -80%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0
Huawei MediaPad M5 8.4
2513 Points ∼39% +889%
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4
2071 Points ∼32% +715%
Average of class Tablet (53 - 4588, n=57)
1264 Points ∼20% +398%
Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 2
477 Points ∼7% +88%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2018
254 Points ∼4%
Average MediaTek MT8163 V/B 1.3 GHz (234 - 254, n=4)
245 Points ∼4% -4%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2017
234 Points ∼4% -8%
Lenovo Tab 4 8
53 Points ∼1% -79%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4
20173 Points ∼26% +131%
Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 2
12947 Points ∼16% +48%
Average of class Tablet (3675 - 39393, n=138)
12922 Points ∼16% +48%
Lenovo Tab 4 8
10458 Points ∼13% +20%
Average MediaTek MT8163 V/B 1.3 GHz (8724 - 10857, n=4)
9918 Points ∼13% +14%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2017
9274 Points ∼12% +6%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2018
8724 Points ∼11%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4
29422 Points ∼6% +440%
Average of class Tablet (2109 - 194856, n=138)
17864 Points ∼3% +228%
Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 2
7720 Points ∼1% +42%
Lenovo Tab 4 8
5496 Points ∼1% +1%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2018
5446 Points ∼1%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2017
5435 Points ∼1% 0%
Average MediaTek MT8163 V/B 1.3 GHz (5326 - 5490, n=4)
5424 Points ∼1% 0%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Score
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4
26702 Points ∼13% +349%
Average of class Tablet (2411 - 103813, n=139)
14750 Points ∼7% +148%
Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 2
8481 Points ∼4% +43%
Lenovo Tab 4 8
6144 Points ∼3% +3%
Average MediaTek MT8163 V/B 1.3 GHz (5942 - 6165, n=4)
6025 Points ∼3% +1%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2017
5986 Points ∼3% +1%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2018
5942 Points ∼3%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16
Huawei MediaPad M5 8.4
78 fps ∼1% +680%
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4
51 fps ∼0% +410%
Average of class Tablet (4.2 - 451, n=165)
29.7 fps ∼0% +197%
Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 2
12 fps ∼0% +20%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2018
10 fps ∼0%
Average MediaTek MT8163 V/B 1.3 GHz (9.9 - 10, n=4)
9.98 fps ∼0% 0%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2017
9.9 fps ∼0% -1%
Lenovo Tab 4 8
7.8 fps ∼0% -22%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16
Huawei MediaPad M5 8.4
51 fps ∼2% +219%
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4
47 fps ∼1% +194%
Average of class Tablet (3.7 - 120, n=169)
20.4 fps ∼1% +28%
Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 2
19 fps ∼1% +19%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2017
17 fps ∼1% +6%
Average MediaTek MT8163 V/B 1.3 GHz (16 - 17, n=4)
16.5 fps ∼0% +3%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2018
16 fps ∼0%
Lenovo Tab 4 8
14 fps ∼0% -12%
GFXBench 3.0
off screen Manhattan Offscreen OGL
Huawei MediaPad M5 8.4
39 fps ∼1% +983%
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4
23 fps ∼0% +539%
Average of class Tablet (1.8 - 220, n=103)
19.9 fps ∼0% +453%
Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 2
5.1 fps ∼0% +42%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2017
3.6 fps ∼0% 0%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2018
3.6 fps ∼0%
Average MediaTek MT8163 V/B 1.3 GHz (3.5 - 3.6, n=4)
3.58 fps ∼0% -1%
Lenovo Tab 4 8
2.8 fps ∼0% -22%
on screen Manhattan Onscreen OGL
Huawei MediaPad M5 8.4
24 fps ∼1% +229%
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4
21 fps ∼1% +188%
Average of class Tablet (2.9 - 110, n=106)
14.2 fps ∼0% +95%
Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 2
9.2 fps ∼0% +26%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2018
7.3 fps ∼0%
Average MediaTek MT8163 V/B 1.3 GHz (7 - 7.3, n=4)
7.15 fps ∼0% -2%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2017
7.1 fps ∼0% -3%
Lenovo Tab 4 8
5.9 fps ∼0% -19%
GFXBench 3.1
off screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Offscreen
Huawei MediaPad M5 8.4
27 fps ∼1% +1074%
Average of class Tablet (2 - 173, n=53)
21 fps ∼0% +813%
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4
15 fps ∼0% +552%
Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 2
3.2 fps ∼0% +39%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2017
2.3 fps ∼0% 0%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2018
2.3 fps ∼0%
Average MediaTek MT8163 V/B 1.3 GHz (2.3 - 2.3, n=4)
2.3 fps ∼0% 0%
on screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Onscreen
Huawei MediaPad M5 8.4
14 fps ∼0% +175%
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4
13 fps ∼0% +155%
Average of class Tablet (4.3 - 95, n=53)
12.9 fps ∼0% +153%
Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 2
6.7 fps ∼0% +31%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2018
5.1 fps ∼0%
Average MediaTek MT8163 V/B 1.3 GHz (5 - 5.1, n=4)
5.05 fps ∼0% -1%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2017
5 fps ∼0% -2%
GFXBench
off screen Car Chase Offscreen
Huawei MediaPad M5 8.4
16 fps ∼0%
Average of class Tablet (7.2 - 107, n=33)
14.7 fps ∼0%
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4
9.1 fps ∼0%
Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 2
2 fps ∼0%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2018
fps ∼0%
Average MediaTek MT8163 V/B 1.3 GHz
0 fps ∼0%
on screen Car Chase Onscreen
Huawei MediaPad M5 8.4
9.3 fps ∼0%
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4
8.3 fps ∼0%
Average of class Tablet (4 - 47, n=33)
8.12 fps ∼0%
Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 2
3.7 fps ∼0%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2018
fps ∼0%
Average MediaTek MT8163 V/B 1.3 GHz
0 fps ∼0%
AnTuTu v6 - Total Score
Huawei MediaPad M5 8.4
147597 Points ∼58% +321%
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4
120479 Points ∼47% +244%
Average of class Tablet (14200 - 227987, n=59)
71242 Points ∼28% +103%
Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 2
45573 Points ∼18% +30%
Lenovo Tab 4 8
36893 Points ∼15% +5%
Average MediaTek MT8163 V/B 1.3 GHz (34714 - 36602, n=4)
35706 Points ∼14% +2%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2018
35067 Points ∼14%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2017
34714 Points ∼14% -1%
AnTuTu v7 - Total Score
Huawei MediaPad M5 8.4
181614 Points ∼32% +343%
Average of class Tablet (20856 - 566378, n=18)
167271 Points ∼30% +308%
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4
142189 Points ∼25% +247%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2018
41017 Points ∼7%
Average MediaTek MT8163 V/B 1.3 GHz
41017 Points ∼7% 0%
BaseMark OS II
Web
Huawei MediaPad M5 8.4
1215 Points ∼60% +104%
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4
1078 Points ∼53% +81%
Lenovo Tab 4 8
773 Points ∼38% +29%
Average of class Tablet (9 - 2034, n=99)
743 Points ∼37% +24%
Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 2
699 Points ∼34% +17%
Average MediaTek MT8163 V/B 1.3 GHz (593 - 762, n=4)
652 Points ∼32% +9%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2018
597 Points ∼29%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2017
593 Points ∼29% -1%
Graphics
Huawei MediaPad M5 8.4
4143 Points ∼14% +1144%
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4
2257 Points ∼8% +578%
Average of class Tablet (98 - 28853, n=99)
2089 Points ∼7% +527%
Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 2
530 Points ∼2% +59%
Lenovo Tab 4 8
447 Points ∼2% +34%
Average MediaTek MT8163 V/B 1.3 GHz (333 - 339, n=4)
336 Points ∼1% +1%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2017
334 Points ∼1% 0%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2018
333 Points ∼1%
Memory
Huawei MediaPad M5 8.4
3985 Points ∼63% +501%
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4
2347 Points ∼37% +254%
Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 2
1176 Points ∼19% +77%
Average of class Tablet (56 - 5423, n=99)
1044 Points ∼17% +57%
Average MediaTek MT8163 V/B 1.3 GHz (663 - 910, n=4)
804 Points ∼13% +21%
Lenovo Tab 4 8
784 Points ∼12% +18%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2017
736 Points ∼12% +11%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2018
663 Points ∼11%
System
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4
5282 Points ∼32% +340%
Huawei MediaPad M5 8.4
3940 Points ∼24% +228%
Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 2
2337 Points ∼14% +95%
Average of class Tablet (482 - 16467, n=99)
2270 Points ∼14% +89%
Lenovo Tab 4 8
1477 Points ∼9% +23%
Average MediaTek MT8163 V/B 1.3 GHz (1152 - 1277, n=4)
1225 Points ∼7% +2%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2018
1200 Points ∼7%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2017
1152 Points ∼7% -4%
Overall
Huawei MediaPad M5 8.4
2982 Points ∼35% +373%
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4
2322 Points ∼27% +268%
Average of class Tablet (150 - 8450, n=99)
1219 Points ∼14% +93%
Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 2
1005 Points ∼12% +59%
Lenovo Tab 4 8
796 Points ∼9% +26%
Average MediaTek MT8163 V/B 1.3 GHz (631 - 749, n=4)
683 Points ∼8% +8%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2017
640 Points ∼8% +1%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2018
631 Points ∼7%

Legend

 
Amazon Fire HD 8 2018 MediaTek MT8163 V/B 1.3 GHz, ARM Mali-T720, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Amazon Fire HD 8 2017 MediaTek MT8163 V/B 1.3 GHz, ARM Mali-T720, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Huawei MediaPad M5 8.4 HiSilicon Kirin 960, ARM Mali-G71 MP8, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
Lenovo Tab 4 8 Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 (MSM8917), Qualcomm Adreno 308, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 2 Samsung Exynos 7870 Octa, ARM Mali-T830 MP2, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4 Qualcomm Snapdragon 660, Qualcomm Adreno 512, 64 GB eMMC Flash

We saw identical results when running our browser benchmarks. The Huawei MediaPad M5 8.4 and Xiaomi Mi Pad 4 were in first and second place with the Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 2, Lenovo Tab 4 8, and both Amazon tablets trailing far behind. Subjectively, web pages loaded fast in general but hit a brick wall once complex HTML5 content was involved. For example, the Fire HD 8 (2018) failed to load the online pinball game Ouigo Let's Play - the sound was playing, but the screen froze almost immediately.

JetStream 1.1 - 1.1 Total Score
Huawei MediaPad M5 8.4 (Chrome 66)
56.76 Points ∼100% +240%
Average of class Tablet (10.9 - 279, n=71)
55.4 Points ∼98% +231%
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4 (Chrome 68)
54.672 Points ∼96% +227%
Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 2
26.099 Points ∼46% +56%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2017 (Amazon Silk 58.2.3029.83.10)
19.519 Points ∼34% +17%
Average MediaTek MT8163 V/B 1.3 GHz (16.7 - 21.2, n=4)
19.2 Points ∼34% +15%
Lenovo Tab 4 8 (Chrome 61)
18.36 Points ∼32% +10%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2018 (Silk Browser 66.2.10.3359.126.10)
16.717 Points ∼29%
Octane V2 - Total Score
Huawei MediaPad M5 8.4 (Chrome 66)
11338 Points ∼100% +291%
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4 (Chrome 68)
10300 Points ∼91% +255%
Average of class Tablet (1238 - 45734, n=156)
6343 Points ∼56% +119%
Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 2
4768 Points ∼42% +64%
Average MediaTek MT8163 V/B 1.3 GHz (2821 - 3320, n=4)
2967 Points ∼26% +2%
Lenovo Tab 4 8 (Chrome 61)
2903 Points ∼26% 0%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2018 (Silk Browser 66.2.10.3359.126.10)
2902 Points ∼26%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2017 (Amazon Silk 58.2.3029.83.10)
2826 Points ∼25% -3%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score
Amazon Fire HD 8 2018 (Silk Browser 66.2.10.3359.126.10)
14320.9 ms * ∼100%
Average MediaTek MT8163 V/B 1.3 GHz (11818 - 14321, n=4)
12785 ms * ∼89% +11%
Lenovo Tab 4 8 (Chrome 61)
12033 ms * ∼84% +16%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2017 (Amazon Silk 58.2.3029.83.10)
11817.6 ms * ∼83% +17%
Average of class Tablet (603 - 43092, n=167)
9338 ms * ∼65% +35%
Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 2
6785.6 ms * ∼47% +53%
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4 (Chrome 68)
3796.2 ms * ∼27% +73%
Huawei MediaPad M5 8.4 (Chrome 66)
3734 ms * ∼26% +74%
WebXPRT 3 - ---
Average of class Tablet (24 - 182, n=12)
76.3 Points ∼100% +205%
Huawei MediaPad M5 8.4 (Chrome 66)
72 Points ∼94% +188%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2018 (Silk Browser 66.2.10.3359.126.10)
25 Points ∼33%
Average MediaTek MT8163 V/B 1.3 GHz
25 Points ∼33% 0%
WebXPRT 2015 - Overall Score
Huawei MediaPad M5 8.4 (Chrome 66)
184 Points ∼100% +159%
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4 (Chrome 68)
173 Points ∼94% +144%
Average of class Tablet (36 - 386, n=71)
109 Points ∼59% +54%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2018 (Silk Browser 66.2.10.3359.126.10)
71 Points ∼39%
Lenovo Tab 4 8 (Chrome 61)
69 Points ∼38% -3%
Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 2
67 Points ∼36% -6%
Average MediaTek MT8163 V/B 1.3 GHz (57 - 71, n=4)
61.5 Points ∼33% -13%
Amazon Fire HD 8 2017 (Amazon Silk 58.2.3029.83.10)
57 Points ∼31% -20%

* ... smaller is better

The Fire HD 8 (2018)’s eMMC storage was pretty lethargic by and large, resulting in slow application launch times and a noticeable lag when switching between tabs.

At just 158.5 MB/s in sequential and 26.7 MB/s in 4K data transfers the Fire HD 8 once again occupied the very bottom within our test group. When benchmarked with our Toshiba Exceria M501 reference card (max. performance: 270 MB/s read, 150 MB/s write) the Fire HD 8 (2018) was just as slow as its predecessor, and it scored a meager 51.4 MB/s, which was worthy of nothing better than last place once more.

Amazon Fire HD 8 2018Amazon Fire HD 8 2017Huawei MediaPad M5 8.4Lenovo Tab 4 8Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 2Xiaomi Mi Pad 4Average 16 GB eMMC FlashAverage of class Tablet
AndroBench 3-5
-2%
171%
51%
33%
233%
-8%
-17%
Sequential Write 256KB SDCard
34.03 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
34.15
0%
70.7 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
108%
61.1
80%
64.3
89%
61.16 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
80%
37.2 (6.38 - 65.4, n=111)
9%
42 (14.6 - 73.8, n=42)
23%
Sequential Read 256KB SDCard
51.36 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
51.06
-1%
84.95 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
65%
84.8
65%
78.6
53%
84.17 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
64%
55.9 (10.8 - 87.7, n=111)
9%
59.9 (21.2 - 87.7, n=42)
17%
Random Write 4KB
12.25
11.51
-6%
65.1
431%
7.1
-42%
10.98
-10%
77.87
536%
7.33 (0.49 - 37.9, n=225)
-40%
5.52 (0.13 - 77.9, n=192)
-55%
Random Read 4KB
26.98
21.55
-20%
62.8
133%
44
63%
25.96
-4%
94.18
249%
19.9 (2.49 - 61.7, n=225)
-26%
17.5 (1.32 - 142, n=192)
-35%
Sequential Write 256KB
41.89
47.23
13%
132.24
216%
72.3
73%
53.99
29%
207.87
396%
41.5 (8.74 - 97.6, n=225)
-1%
35 (2.04 - 208, n=192)
-16%
Sequential Read 256KB
158.46
159.08
0%
268.62
70%
265.1
67%
218.05
38%
277.65
75%
157 (9.66 - 294, n=225)
-1%
104 (6.75 - 741, n=192)
-34%

Gaming

All things graphics are handled by the aging ARM Mali-T720 GPU. Its performance was good enough to run current games. The sensors worked flawlessly, and sound was decent.

Smooth gameplay, however, did require reduced details. Sometimes even that wasn't enough, as can be seen in GameBench. On minimum details, the brand-new racing game Asphalt 9 ran with no more than 18 FPS. Other games, such as Dead Trigger 2, ran with up to 30 FPS on medium settings and were much smoother. High details could have been possible but were not available on the Fire HD 8.

Dead Trigger 2
Dead Trigger 2
Asphalt 9
Asphalt 9
Dead Trigger 2
010203040Tooltip
; 1.5.1: Ø29.3 (2-31)
Asphalt 9
0102030Tooltip
; 1.1.4a: Ø17.9 (2-29)

Emissions

Temperature

GFXBench battery test (Manhattan)
GFXBench battery test (Manhattan)

With a maximum of 34.2 °C we can safely say that the Amazon Fire HD 8 (2018) remained pleasantly cool during our tests. We also noticed no apparent throttling while running our GTXBench battery test. Frame rates dropped occasionally when running the demanding GFXBench Manhattan test in a loop 30x in a row but managed to remain at a very high level nevertheless.

Max. Load
 29.8 °C
86 F
28.2 °C
83 F
31.4 °C
89 F
 
 29.4 °C
85 F
28.1 °C
83 F
31.3 °C
88 F
 
 27.9 °C
82 F
28.6 °C
83 F
30.8 °C
87 F
 
Maximum: 31.4 °C = 89 F
Average: 29.5 °C = 85 F
31.2 °C
88 F
28.7 °C
84 F
27.5 °C
82 F
34.2 °C
94 F
31 °C
88 F
27.5 °C
82 F
32.6 °C
91 F
29.7 °C
85 F
27.1 °C
81 F
Maximum: 34.2 °C = 94 F
Average: 29.9 °C = 86 F
Power Supply (max.)  32.2 °C = 90 F | Room Temperature 20 °C = 68 F | Voltcraft IR-260
(+) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 29.5 °C / 85 F, compared to the average of 30.8 °C / 87 F for the devices in the class Tablet.
(+) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 31.4 °C / 89 F, compared to the average of 34.8 °C / 95 F, ranging from 22.3 to 51.8 °C for the class Tablet.
(+) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 34.2 °C / 94 F, compared to the average of 34.4 °C / 94 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 21.9 °C / 71 F, compared to the device average of 30.8 °C / 87 F.

Speakers

Speakers
Speakers

The stereo speakers are located at the long side of the tablet and peaked at a maximum volume of 76.3 dB(A). They tend to get covered by your hands when the tablet is held in portrait mode, resulting in unbalanced sound output. In order to ensure that both speakers are free the tablet should be held in landscape mode.

Thanks to Dolby Atmos the sound system turned out to be surprisingly decent with well-balanced mids and highs. Bass, on the other hand, was missing completely. As always, external speakers or headphones will be vastly superior to the tablet’s internal speakers.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2034.929.82529.431.13129.221.84023.523.75030.931.16325.424.980242810020.828.812519.936.116017.64420017.745.525015.650315175440016.153.250015.256.363014.656.480015.354.9100014.861.4125014.263.7160013.263.3200014.861.925001463.4315013.767.2400014.667.3500014.366.8630014.465.7800014.765.91000014.863.3125001560.51600014.952.5SPL26.776.3N0.836.8median 14.8median 60.5Delta1.46.432.630.931.539.736.135.830.240.633.842.728.432.326.628.324.427.221.934.420.44619.456.420.463.417.565.518.16817.369.41669.616.170.315.57115.273.615.175.81574.91576.114.976.115.172.315.170.715.367.215.266.215.264.615.263.315.259.227.785161.7median 15.3median 681.86.7hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseAmazon Fire HD 8 2018Huawei MediaPad M5 8.4
Frequency diagram (checkboxes can be checked and unchecked to compare devices)
Amazon Fire HD 8 2018 audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (76.3 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 17.4% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (9.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 3.7% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (4.4% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 5.2% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (3.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (17% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 21% of all tested devices in this class were better, 11% similar, 68% worse
» The best had a delta of 7%, average was 21%, worst was 36%
Compared to all devices tested
» 24% of all tested devices were better, 7% similar, 69% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Huawei MediaPad M5 8.4 audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (85 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 19.2% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (12.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 3.6% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (2.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 4.2% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (3.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (15.4% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 13% of all tested devices in this class were better, 6% similar, 81% worse
» The best had a delta of 7%, average was 21%, worst was 36%
Compared to all devices tested
» 18% of all tested devices were better, 4% similar, 78% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Energy Management

Power Consumption

Besides the short list of upgrades and updates, power consumption is one of the few categories where the Fire HD 8 (2018) differs quite significantly from its Fire HD 8 (2017) predecessor, and not in a good way. Despite absolutely identical internal hardware its idle power consumption of 3.3 W was significantly higher than the 2017’s 2.7 W. Our only guess is that the newer version of Android was more demanding. Power consumption under load was higher as well albeit inconspicuous by and large. The Lenovo Tab 4 8, Xiaomi Mi Pad 4, and Huawei MediaPad M5 8.4 had much higher power requirements.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.01 / 0.35 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 0.97 / 3.26 / 3.37 Watt
Load midlight 5.68 / 6.21 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Amazon Fire HD 8 2018
4750 mAh
Amazon Fire HD 8 2017
 mAh
Huawei MediaPad M5 8.4
5100 mAh
Lenovo Tab 4 8
4850 mAh
Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 2
4450 mAh
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4
6000 mAh
Power Consumption
12%
-43%
-6%
11%
-31%
Idle Minimum *
0.97
0.99
-2%
2.1
-116%
1.1
-13%
0.89
8%
1.2
-24%
Idle Average *
3.26
2.74
16%
3.74
-15%
3.51
-8%
3.13
4%
2.2
33%
Idle Maximum *
3.37
2.83
16%
4.33
-28%
4.14
-23%
3.36
-0%
4.1
-22%
Load Average *
5.68
4.51
21%
6.32
-11%
4.86
14%
3.93
31%
8.2
-44%
Load Maximum *
6.21
5.69
8%
9.13
-47%
6.13
1%
5.45
12%
12.2
-96%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

Given its higher power consumption we expected battery life to decrease compared to the Fire HD 8 (2017). While it remained acceptable at around 8 hours in our Wi-Fi test and our H.264 test, its competitors outlasted the Fire HD 8 (2018) by significant margins. Its own predecessor ran much longer in particular. Charging the tablet from near empty to full with the included power supply (5.25 V, 1 A) took around 6 hours.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
19h 28min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
8h 10min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
8h 18min
Load (maximum brightness)
5h 16min
Amazon Fire HD 8 2018
4750 mAh
Amazon Fire HD 8 2017
 mAh
Huawei MediaPad M5 8.4
5100 mAh
Lenovo Tab 4 8
4850 mAh
Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 2
4450 mAh
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4
6000 mAh
Battery Runtime
51%
16%
1%
31%
35%
Reader / Idle
1168
2032
74%
1154
-1%
1207
3%
1357
16%
1364
17%
H.264
498
744
49%
701
41%
603
21%
493
-1%
914
84%
WiFi v1.3
490
770
57%
627
28%
452
-8%
895
83%
827
69%
Load
316
393
24%
298
-6%
276
-13%
396
25%
221
-30%

Pros

+ decent build quality, great touch and feel
+ optionally available as Kids Edition
+ microSD cards up to 400 GB
+ dual-band Wi-Fi
+ Alexa integrated
+ remained cool
+ no throttling
+ stereo sound with support for Dolby Atmos
+ decent battery life
+ great price

Cons

- irrevocably linked to Amazon
- heavily modified and skinned Android 7.1
- no Google Play store
- poor cameras
- rather dark display
- no 4G/LTE option
- no GPS

Verdict

In review: Amazon Fire HD 8 (2018). Review unit courtesy of Amazon Germany.
In review: Amazon Fire HD 8 (2018). Review unit courtesy of Amazon Germany.

Amazon’s Fire HD 8 (2018) is an 8-inch tablet that is practically unrivaled in its price-performance ratio bracket. If you are looking for an affordable tablet to browse the web, the Fire HD 8 (2018) is definitely worth considering. Its stereo sound was very decent, and so were its battery life, its overall build quality, and its dual-band Wi-Fi. The Kids Edition features a very sturdy and robust protective shell in either blue or pink as well as content appropriate for children.

The differences between the Fire HD 8 (2018) and its predecessor, such as the inclusion of Alexa, are almost negligible. Nevertheless, they are very welcome and make the newer model even more enticing than the Fire HD 8 (2017) considering its identical price of just $80.

When paired with the optional Show Mode docking station the tablet offered the same features as Amazon’s Echo Show at a significantly lower price. At the time of writing, the second-generation Echo Show sells for more than $200 while the 32 GB model of the Fire HD 8 (2018) plus Show Mode Dock bundle can be had for as little as $140.

That said, there are some limitations you are going to encounter sooner or later, for example the somewhat lethargic MediaTek MT8163 quad-core SoC or the fairly dark low-resolution (1280x800) display. The tablet also lacks a GPS chip, the camera is usable for quick snaps at best, and the Android 7-based Fire OS operating system is clearly geared towards Amazon’s services. Google’s Play Store can be retroactively installed but is going to void your warranty, so beware.

Amazon Fire HD 8 2018 - 11/19/2018 v6
Manuel Masiero

Chassis
80%
Keyboard
70 / 80 → 88%
Pointing Device
89%
Connectivity
27 / 65 → 42%
Weight
85 / 40-88 → 95%
Battery
90%
Display
78%
Games Performance
10 / 68 → 14%
Application Performance
35 / 76 → 46%
Temperature
95%
Noise
100%
Audio
71 / 91 → 78%
Camera
26 / 85 → 31%
Average
66%
80%
Tablet - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Amazon Fire HD 8 (2018) Tablet Review
Manuel Masiero, 2018-11-21 (Update: 2018-11-22)