back to article Amazon Fire HD 8: Mid-spec Nokia Lumi... er, MediaTek slab

There’s a wind of change blowing through the Amazon devices lineup, and I suspect its source is the pricey fart that was the Fire Phone. Previous Fire tablets have tended to offer high-end parts for mid-price money. The HDX 8.9, which is still being offered, is a good example. But I reckon the HDX’s days are numbered. HD8_flat …

  1. Alan Denman

    re -Siri, Cortana or Google Now

    Less unwanted bloat then, though I really cant see this competing with that more versatile fuller featured full HD Huld 2.

    1. AMBxx Silver badge

      Re: re -Siri, Cortana or Google Now

      Looks like Amazon have been listening to everyone except the reg reviewers! I have iPad, WP8, Android & BB here - all have unused voice recognition stuff. Also have a Fire - hadn't noticed the absence of voice recognition.

      Other than on these hallowed forums, nobody really cares much about the OS. My Dad still refers to his Fire as an iPad. He browses, he reads, he emails. That's about it.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: re -Siri, Cortana or Google Now

      I really cant see this competing with that more versatile fuller featured full HD Huld 2.

      Particularly for those able and willing to pay in Clubcard vouchers. OK, you forgo other choices, but through that route I only paid ten quid in cash for mine. And Amazon want HOW MUCH?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    the coin has dropped at Amazon

    too late, way too late. And as hudl is mentioned, it does beat the shit out of the Amazon. Pricewise (100 quid now), specs (GPS missing on amazon tablet with its price is super-mean), performance too. True, tesco hudl battery is shit, and it charges for ages, plus often won't charge unless the tablet's been shut down completely, and it's rather heavy. But overall, it's way better than the amazon product.

    To be fair, I'd never touch an amazon tablet regardless of the price, given their famous, apple-aping push to point users to the "bestest" selection of consumer shit on earth and beyond. And I bet someone's figured out a reliable way to root hudl. With the amazon fire... I doub it.

    All that said, I was happy to see tesco being generous and recently offering free upgrade to 5.1, given that they're likely to withdraw from consumer electronics, but it was insane that the update involved, first, approx. 500 MB update for some "compatibility" and then, around a cool 1 GB for the OS upgrade itself.

    1. Lamont Cranston

      Re: the coin has dropped at Amazon

      Any idea what the Hudl's pre-update update was for? Surprised to hear that it was so large, but I left the kids' Hudls to update overnight, each time, and so didn't notice the massive download size.

  3. Buzzword

    Ambient light sensor: good riddance

    "The one problem is the absence of an ambient light sensor so you will be regularly adjusting the brightness."

    And thank goodness too. Ambient light sensors are a right PITA: the screen is constantly brightening and dimming itself because you've shuffled down the sofa and it now thinks you're in the desert sun, or your finger accidentally covered the sensor and it now thinks you're down a mineshaft. Since the Amazon Fire will primarily be used indoors, omitting the sensor was a wise decision.

    1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

      Re: Ambient light sensor: good riddance

      Done right, ambient light sensors work.

      You do know you can turn the sensor function off? You can adjust brightness manually on all devices that have the sensor.

  4. Tom Chiverton 1 Silver badge

    Got root ?

    Did you try any of the custom ROMs on it ?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Got root ?

      Unlikely.

      They run Amazon's bastardised version of Android and the difficulty of rooting any of the Amazon slabs seems to vary between 'very' and 'not bloody likely'.

      As far as I'm concerned, no root = no sale.

      1. AMBxx Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Got root ?

        Cyanogen Mod is available - what more could you need?

        http://wiki.cyanogenmod.org/w/Install_CM_for_otter2

    2. Edison

      Re: Got root ?

      I just rooted my Fire 7" and installed Android operation system via Cyangin mod. The tablet runs much better now. Having access to the Play store makes the fifty dollar price tag well worth what I paid.

  5. Tim Jenkins

    "I wonder if that means Mayday was over- or under-used?"

    I'm pretty sure the most common Mayday was "Why won't my f*cking tablet connect to the f*cking wifi?!?!". Which, funnily enough, never got an answer...

    (Back nearly 20 years ago, when I was doing phone support for a brand of UK-manufactured modems, we left some essential DLLs off the installation CD for several thousand units shipping in the runup to Christmas. The solution was to add a small slip of paper to each box, advising those affected to go online to download them. That was a fun New Year.)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Devil

      Re: "I wonder if that means Mayday was over- or under-used?"

      we left some essential DLLs off the installation CD for several thousand units shipping in the runup to Christmas.

      Haven't all true techies got a memory like this? I have. Luckily for users everywhere I haven't been a true techie for more than two decades. But working in technology is like the pox - once you've been touched by it, it never leaves you.

  6. Alan Sharkey

    Hudl update

    It was the full 5.1 update. Plus another smaller update after that (if I remember rightly)

    Alan

  7. YARR
    WTF?

    That's weird...

    ... why would they reduce the horizontal resolution from 1280 in the last model to 1200 in this one?

    1. Loud Speaker

      Re: That's weird...

      why would they reduce the horizontal resolution

      It saved a magnificent 3 Rupees.

      If you want quality, buy a Hudl - didn't you read the review?

      If you want real quality, you would have bought a Samsung anyway,

      if you are a real cheapskate like me, you would have bought a nameless

      Chinese Mediatek thingy with twice the features from ebay for £50.

    2. Al Taylor

      Re: That's weird...

      That's a typo and my mistake, the resolution is 800 x 1280 rather than x 1200.

  8. Gordon 10 Silver badge

    At £160 the 32gb is dangerously close to iPad mini territory specially if you look on eBay. Admittedly that's only 16gb and lower res but a couple of tennners more would be enough persuade some people who want the Apple caché..

  9. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    The iPad Mini presumably has more screen estate, thanks to a more square aspect ratio.

    Which also makes it much more useful for surfing in portrait.

    Subjective performance with iOS is quite a bit ahead of android tablets, still.

    The iPad screen is bound to be a lot nicer quality (colour fidelity, and backlight adjustment range), and higher res too.

    The second hand iPad value is guaranteed to be in another ballpark altogether compared to Fire or android devices.

    Then the iPad is a really nice bit of kit with a metal back.

    The Fire looks expensive for some cheapo plastic.

    Anyhow, I'd just get the Huddle if I wanted to save money.

  10. Stephen Wilkinson

    I really like my Fire 7 HDX and it seems a bit sad that the newer ones are worse spec than the previous.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Does it store prime downloads on SD card?

    When using a non-Amazon android tablet you can only download prime video onto internal storage which is a nuisance.

  12. 0laf

    Unless you're a Prime customer why would you buy an Android tab. I swore I'd never buy an Amazon tab and get locked in but I am a Prime customer (moving over from Lovefilm) and I bought a Fire 7HD. But It was a refurb and only £60.

    It's actually lots better than my old Nexus7 (2012) and if you're on Prime the streaming video and free apps (Really Free as Amazon touts it's Underground apps) are actually not bad.

    But not good enough to pay hundreds for it

  13. insane_hound

    lock screen adverts

    Price: £129.99 (8GB) £149.99 (16GB). Add £10 to remove the lock-screen adverts. RRP

    £10 extra to not get adverts on the lock screen....

    seriously???? that's just rude!

  14. Naselus

    Reasonable tablet at reasonable price (though not as reasonable as the Hudl 2 in either regard)... but why encase it in horrible orange plastic? I'd feel a complete prat reading that on the bus.

  15. FatGerman

    Sorry... what.. how may screens?

    "Across the user interfaces 10 screens.."

    Forgive me for running away like a scared native, but 10 screens? I struggle to cope with an iPhone that has 3 screens full of Apps. You've just described what for me is the 4th circle of hell. Fucking devices with their fucking apps and notifi-fucking-cations. Fuck off and let me sleep.

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