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Complete Review of Amazon Fire HD 10
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Complete Review of Amazon Fire HD 10

While tablet devices aren’t as popular as they were, there’s still a little bit of room for tablets in the market. Big companies are still making tablets within limited supplies. The Samsung HDR-certified Galaxy Tab S2, the new iPad Pro, and Microsoft’s Surface Pro seem to be major players in the tablet market. However, these devices tend to be somewhat more expensive, even the basic models, and this inexpensive Amazon Fire HD 10 may be just the ticket for users looking for a bargain.

The Amazon Fire HD 10 is the newest offering in the tablet market. This is intended to support the Alexa (the same voice assistant in the Amazon Echo). However, there is an updated screen, a more efficient processor, and a longer battery life than previous devices. It costs only $150.

Familiar Design

The Amazon Fire HD 10 appears almost the same as the previous year’s model. There is a wraparound screen. It is a thicker device than many others but still able to be used with one hand. The locations of the ports and command buttons remain the same. To turn the device on or off, it is necessary to press the power button which sits immediately next to the MicroUSB port, 3.5 mm headphone port, microphone, and volume control. Because of this arrangement, the user has to use controls on the top in portrait mode making it a bit difficult to handle with one hand. However, this shouldn’t be an issue for the ordinary user.

When you rest the device on a table, the Amazon HD 10’s Dolby Atmos speakers face downward. So, to get optimal sound quality, the device has to be propped up in a vertical orientation. The slightly more expensive iPad Pro and Galaxy S3 tablets have four speakers that accommodate changes in device position. The Amazon HD 10’s 16:10 screen ratio is more effective in the landscape mode.

Display and Audio

The most recent Amazon HD 10 has a much improved screen. The size of the screen is larger than the previous model. The user will immediately notice that many picture and movie images look uneven and warped. While the device uses text size that compensates some for these deficiencies, they are still present with images displayed with brighter pixels and darker color schemes.

The Amazon HD 10’s color mix is also troublesome. The screen image tries to be too ambitious in an attempt to duplicate superior imaging in the more expensive models like Samsung Galaxy S8. The clearer color quality is present when viewing magazines.

While the sound quality may not be comparable to higher priced devices, the Amazon HD 10 takes full advantage of its two speakers and produces high-end volume and fidelity.

The buyer of the Amazon Fire HD 10 does end up getting the most audio performance for the cost of $150.

Battery Life and Performance

When compared with other devices, the Amazon HD 10 has a quick processing speed. It has a quad-core 1.8GHz Media Tek MT8173B processor and 2GB of RAM. Amazon purports that this is 30 percent quicker than the previous model year.

The use of the Amazon HD 10’s function launcher is also impressive. There is a seemingly endless array of audio and video capabilities that come already programmed into the device. Apps still launch practically immediately as they did in the model of the previous year. Multitasking is impressive for such an inexpensive device and it can switch between program scroll windows with ease.

It takes a bit of doing, but the Amazon Fire HD 10’s ability to play complex games is limited. It has trouble with 2D side-scrolling games, but the simpler games worked well.

Even under heavy use, the Amazon HD 10 has impressive battery life. According to Amazon, users can expect a multi-use battery life of 10 hours. The battery is capable of lasting 1-1/2 days with most other light activities changing to Smart Suspend Wi-Fi and Lower Power Mode to provide longer battery life.

When it comes to memory, the 32GB that comes with the Amazon HD 10 could be limiting for heavy users, but the use of the MicroSD card allows easy increase in memory if you’d like it.

Cameras

The Amazon Fire HD 10 has two cameras. One is a VGA camera for taking simple pictures like selfies and the other is a 2-megapixel rear camera. Neither of these cameras produce quality pictures.

It is difficult to focus each camera. Even when able to conquer focusing, the end product is blurred and the finished picture still looks unfocused. The front camera may work with very simple tasks like chatting, but using a smartphone is a better option.

Alexa

The new Amazon Fire HD 10 comes with Alexa. This operating system was included in the device the previous year. The most recent improvement is the Amazon Fire HD 10’s hands-free enabling of Alexa. You must be connected to Wi-Fi and the Hands-Free mode must be enabled, but you can start Alexa with your voice even when the device is locked.

The Amazon Fire HD 10 has Voicecast which is one of Alexa’s features to handle a limited number of voice commands for video displays very similar to Amazon’s Echo Show. It is not surprising that using Alexa to order Amazon items is easy as pie. Many Alexa commands with Amazon’s Echo speakers work fine on the Amazon Fire HD 10.

A surprising feature of the Amazon Fire HD 10 is the Tablet ESP setting. This is enabled using Amazon’s echo spatial perception (ESP) to communicate with any nearby Alexa device. One of the few down sides to Amazon Fire HD 10’s version of Alexa is a blue status strip obscuring some of the display. If you are thinking of buying an Echo Show, the Amazon Fire HD 10 may provide the capabilities you want and be less expensive.

Fire OS

The Amazon Fire HD 10 purportedly operates with Android, but you wouldn’t know it unless you trudged your way through many protective layers. As the device is made by Amazon, its products are found in almost every conceivable program on the device. When you turn on the Amazon Fire HD 10, you’re presented with a Homepage comprised of your recently installed apps and games. If you go left or right, you’ll find a variety of categories of interest including all manner of Amazon products. On the Music page, a scroll of recently accessed selections appears at the top above an embedded list of music from the Amazon screening service. This is the basic configuration of each page.

The Shop program of the Amazon Fire HD 10 works differently. The Shop program lists popular selections from recently used categories based on your previous purchases. Selecting one takes you to your Amazon shopping cart where you can very easily order your product. A new app on the Amazon Fire HD 10 is the For You selection. This lists a wide variety of products, movies, games, etc. that may be of interest to you. For example, you can bring up a movie and it will display a list of sequels or remakes based on the selection.

While the Amazon Fire HD 10 is fast, responsive, and systematic, it specifically targets Amazon users. You have to individually order Google products and such as it does not come with Google apps. It is also very difficult to install the Amazon app store.

Pricing, Warranty and Availability

The Amazon Fire HD 10 has a one-year limited warranty covering manufacturing problems from the purchase date. You can easily order through Amazon and costs $150. Some special offers are unsurprisingly include and show up on the lock-screen. It will cost you an extra $10 dollars to go add-free.

Buy it at Amazon

Alternatives

Apple’s least expensive tablet is the 9.7-inch iPad which retails for $330. Inexpensive Android tablets include a device with a much better screen, but the Acer $135 Iconia One 10 produces poor performance and battery life. If you’re looking for a device for children, Amazon’s $130 Kid’s Addition comes with a bumper cushion.

 

image credit: digitaltrends

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Nikky P