Two minute review
With Amazon’s range of Fire tablets, the name says it all. The Amazon Fire 7 Tab for 2022 is an Amazon connected device with a 7-inch screen. These cheap and handy Android slates are designed for those who don’t ask for much.
The 2022 iteration of the device and the 12th-generation model will replace the Fire 7 (2019) which, frankly, grew long in the tooth. This new slate is slightly faster, with a slightly larger battery and faster charging.
While that older tablet is admittedly years old, the lower price point, especially in the midst of the Prime Day sales that happened just after the launch of the newer version, makes the newer iteration a lot more expensive.
Two major changes are the use of a USB-C port instead of micro USB and a slight price increase. We just used the word “light” more than we should, but that reflects the tablet’s changes.
That is, this 2022 version is not a massive reinvention. It keeps the Fire 7 in line with the company’s other tablets like the Fire HD 8 and Fire HD 10; a lack of USB-C will no longer be a deciding factor for those comparing slates.
And that’s a good thing; thanks to its smaller, lower-res screen (as the only non-HD member of the line), the Fire 7 has always been an odd one out, harder to recommend than its HD siblings – a little less so now.
After testing the tablet, we can see where the appeal may lie. It’s not as good as its siblings for gaming, thanks to its weak performance; or for streaming videos, thanks to the inferior screen; but if you just want to listen to music or read e-books, this is a great (and affordable) option. These little plastic slates provide easy access to Amazon’s ecosystem of entertainment apps, but don’t involve a lot of work or productivity features.
The compact design makes these tabs easy to carry; it literally fits in the pockets of some of our jackets. You can also drop it in a bag without worrying about it taking up all the space. Oh, and it won’t really hurt your wrists to keep this thing in bed.
And the price tag will have a strong appeal for those on a budget, even if some will question the reason for the 2019 model’s price hike. The best answer we could come up with is “not much”. But if you see the 2019 model on sale, be sure to consider it.
Amazon doesn’t really have much competition when it comes to super budget tablets. It’s the only major brand that makes major releases at this low price – there aren’t many that can keep prices that low and still remain hugely profitable. That makes it difficult to quantify whether this slate is worth buying or not.
If your needs generally match what the slate offers, it’s worth it. Still, we highly recommend checking out the other Amazon Fire tablets before making a purchase decision.
Amazon Fire 7 price and availability
The Amazon Fire 7 was unveiled in May 2022 and went on sale the following month, in late June. It’s primarily available through Amazon, as you’d expect given the name, but many other retailers ship it as well. Please note, it is not for sale in Australia.
The tablet starts at $59.99 / £59.99 (around AU$105) and with that you get a 16GB storage model with built-in ads. Upgrading to 32GB of storage, or an ad-free model, will cost you an additional $10 / £10.
It’s worth noting that the 2019 model cost $49.99 / £49.99 (around AU$70), meaning you’ll pay more for the 2022 model. It’s still cheaper than the next model, the Amazon Fire HD 8, which costs $104/£89 (about AU$160).
Amazon’s Fire tablets are generally the cheapest reliable brand Android tablets you can buy, and the Fire 7 reflects that: don’t expect anything decent for less than this.
Amazon Fire 7 design
Like its siblings and predecessors, the Amazon Fire 7 is best described as “a plastic block.” It’s not exactly going to win design awards, and Amazon probably won’t either.
Hey, plastic might not feel premium, but it sure is hardy and it’s pretty grabby too. Plus, the material is an essential part of the whole ‘cheap tablet’ deal – you can’t really expect anything else.
There are three different colors: blue, black and pink. We tested the latter for our plastic block – sorry, Android tablet.
One of the reasons you might consider the Fire 7 is its compactness. This is one of the smallest tablets on the market, smaller than the iPad Mini. It measures 180.68 x 117.59 x 9.67 mm and weighs 282 g. If you have a decently sized jacket, it can slip into your pockets (at least, for ours), and it fits easily in all but the tiniest of bags. This makes it easily portable – ideal for use on the go.
An upgrade in the 2022 Fire 7 is the use of a USB-C port for charging and data transfer, leading to faster speeds than the last model’s micro USB. Plus, there’s a 3.5mm headphone jack, ideal for those who like wired audio.
Those two updates are on the same side of the tablet as the volume rocker and the power button, which is the right side when you’re holding the thing horizontally with the camera on top.
Amazon Fire 7 display
Amazon names its tablets after the screens: the Fire 7 has a 7-inch panel, as the name suggests, but it’s not HD like the HD 8 or HD 10.
That means the resolution is 1024 x 600: your average smartphone beats that. Also, the Fire 7 has an LCD screen, unlike most cell phones. Again, this is a cheap device, so you can’t expect a fantastic display.
LCD doesn’t get as bright as LED, and the contrast isn’t as great either, so don’t expect colors to pop.
Honestly, the screen isn’t fantastic. Our main complaint is that it’s a bit dim, but the low resolution and LCD technology don’t help either. Do not buy this tablet if you want to watch videos in high resolution. It is better for music and reading.
Around the screen is a fairly thick bezel, in which the front camera is housed.
Amazon Fire 7 achievements
Look at the Amazon Fire 7’s price tag: you can’t really expect much processing power from a tablet that costs so little. The slate is pretty weak, and that’s okay.
Amazon says the tablet is 30% faster than the previous one and the RAM has been increased to 2 GB. This may be true, but the Fire 7 still feels quite sluggish to use.
This isn’t a problem if you’re just flipping or scrolling between menu pages to download something, but the slate struggles with some of the games you might download for it. But if you don’t need a tablet for gaming, the bad processor probably won’t bother you.
As mentioned, there are 32GB or 64GB versions of the tablet, but if you’re okay with buying a micro SD card, you can increase that to 1TB, giving you more space than you ever really need. would need.
The speakers here aren’t great – again, a reflection of the price – but the audio jack makes it easy to get around this problem.
Amazon Fire 7 software
Technically, Amazon’s Fire tablets have Google’s Android operating system, but modified; it’s called Fire OS and it’s quite different from stock Android.
Fire OS is designed for people who are already firmly rooted in the Amazon ecosystem. You will not like this software if you are not a paying Prime member. Fire up the tablet and you will see Prime Video, Amazon Music, Audible, Amazon Kids, Kindle, Alexa and so on: all Amazon platforms.
In its defense, Amazon isn’t really engaging in anti-competitive behavior as there are many other apps out there as well. You can get Netflix, Spotify, Disney Plus and some regionally specific ones (in the UK we get All 4 and My5). There’s also Amazon’s Appstore, which has a limited selection of third-party titles, including quite a few games like Minecraft and PUBG Mobile.
So this is really a tablet for entertainment purposes. While there is an online browser and email app, the slate is marketed to people who want to download or stream movies, TV shows, music, and books. If you want a productivity- or creativity-oriented tablet, there are other brands with better options.
Because of the aforementioned viewing experience, you may want an HD 8 or HD 10 if movies and TV shows are more your thing. Still, we found the Fire 7 to be very useful for certain Amazon apps. As a cheap Kindle it was great. We also used it a lot for music streaming, especially thanks to the 3.5mm headphone jack.
Software navigation is a bit slow – for that you can refer to the weak internals of the tablet; but if you’re actually watching a show or flipping through the pages of a book, you don’t notice these issues as much.
Amazon Fire 7 battery life and cameras
Amazon doesn’t list the size of its tablet batteries; itt gives screen-to-time predictions instead. For the Fire 7, it says the slate will last about 10 hours between charges.
In our experience, this is actually a conservative prediction, probably based on the expectation that you will spend that time watching media or gaming. When we varied our usage, made sure we spent a lot of time reading or scrolling through music playlists – as well as just catching up on Stranger Things – we found the thing lasted just over 10 hours.
Charging here is via USB-C, rather than micro-USB like in previous generations, and that provides a speed boost for powering; yet that boost is modest at best. Expect it to take more than four hours to go from empty to full.
The cameras here are nothing to write home about – except for the worst smartphones, better photos will be taken. Both are 2 MP and they are fine for video calls, but not much else.
Amazon Fire 7 Scorecard
|Where the||You won’t find a tablet cheaper than the Amazon Fire 7. Well, different from its predecessor.||4.5/5|
|Design||This isn’t exactly a stunning tablet, but it gets the job done with a sturdy case and headphone jack||2/5|
|Display||With a small screen at a relatively low resolution, the Fire 7 doesn’t have a great display.||2/5|
|Performance||You won’t find the Amazon Fire 7 suitable for gaming or high-end processes, but it can handle softer ones just fine.||2/5|
|Software||Amazon’s software is restrictive, but people in the Amazon ecosystem won’t mind.||2.5/5|
|Battery||The Amazon Fire 7 lasts a long time between charges and eventually boots up with USB-C.||4/5|
Should I buy the Amazon Fire 7?
Buy it if…
Don’t buy it if…
After reading this Amazon Fire 7 review, here are some other devices worth considering.