Amazon Fire 7 Review (2015) – the Good, the Bad, the…

Fire 7 Overview

The new Fire 7 can be used for movies, apps, music, video recording, and reading ebooks. This latest 5th generation tablet by Amazon was released in September 2015. It comes equipped with a 7-inch IPS display (1024×600), and offers a great viewing experience.

Thanks to a fast 1.3 GHz Quad-Core cpu and 1GB RAM, the Fire 7 is nice and fast – it delivers smooth games and videos, and quick app launch times. The four cores of the processor run simultaneously to ensure great overall performance.

Whether you’re looking for a child’s first tablet or something to keep you entertained, you can rely on the Fire 7 sold by Amazon.

Amazon Fire 7 operates on Fire OS 5 Bellini, which is a modified Android Lollipop. The device weighs only ~313g, and is 10.6mm in thickness. It carries about 7-8 hours of battery life for average use. Battery life will vary based on device settings. The non-removable Li-Ion battery fully charges in about 6 hours..

Amazon Fire 7 supports Single SIM, and has a built-in storage of 8GB storage (5 GB available to user), plus a microSD card slot. Single-antenna Wi-Fi. No 3G or 4G connections. Amazon Fire 7 doesn’t have a GSM transmitter, so it cannot be used as a phone.

The tablet has 7.0 inches (~63% screen-to-body ratio) WSVGA IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen with 16M colors. The screen has a resolution of 1024 x 600 px at 171 ppi; SD video playback. Despite the lack of toughened Gorilla glass, the Fire 7 seems to be durable enough.

The tablet comes with front and a 2MP rear camera and a 0.3-megapixel VGA front-facing camera.

Buttons and ports: volume up/down, headphone input, mic, USB port, power button, speakers, front camera, rear camera.

The new Amazon Fire 7 comes in four different colors, plus there are many colorful protective covers for it. The new Kindle Fire 7 rounded back edges compared to the squared edges of the older one. The body of the device is made from a great material similar to Kindle Paperwhite which makes gripping good, better than most of the Android tablets.

The Good in Fire 7

Everything works great on the new Fire 7. Carrying the Fire 7 around allows you to view photos and videos, and connect to the outside world. Books, movies, music, apps and games are available from the Amazon Appstore. Despite the budget hardware, the Kindle Fire 7-inch tablet is great. It’s a nice size for everything. The device is easy and straightforward straight out of the box, it takes an hour or two to get used to.

Among the brands that count, the $49.99 Fire 7 can’t be rivaled in terms of amazing affordability and a stunning range of facilities. The 16GB version is only $69.99. If you remember in the past the device was available only in 8GB ROM version. Now it also has a microSD card slot, so you can increase its memory by up to 128 GB.

The updated user interface on the Fire 7 includes dedicated pages for ebooks, apps, videos, music, etc. In addition to being based on Android Lollipop with the new Fire OS 5 software, the device includes a handy new feature – Blue Shade designed for better late night reading.

This pocket-sized 7 inch tablet is lightweight and easy to carry, and lets you enjoy movies, e-Books and games in a breathtaking LCD display. It is a great gift for Christmas or birthday. This tablet computer offers a lot of function for an affordable price and is perfect for everyday use.

The Bad in Fire 7

Of course, there are some hiccups even with this nice gadget. The Fire 7 may be a little hefty for carrying around in a purse. Since the back camera is only 2MP, it’s best for video chats and quick pics shots when you don’t have your smartphone around. The Fire 7 does not have Device Encryption.

The new Amazon Kindle Fire 7 doesn’t look too good in direct sunlight or indoors with extremely bright light. The Intensity Scale for the device is a bit steep, which increases the Image Contrast higher than it should be. The tablet may not offer pleasing performance in 3D-intensive games. Reading on it for too long is a compromise due to the back-lit LCD screen that can result in fatigue and eyestrain.

Some people have found it complicated to use. Tip: If you are finding it hard to use at first, consider purchasing Tom & Jenna Edwards’s User Guide on Amazon. It is extremely helpful.

It’s a gripe being limited to the apps on Amazon’s Appstore and not being able to use Google play store. If there were more apps in the store amazon Fire 7 would be an 11 out of 10 star product.

It is almost impossible to use the screen without leaving fingerprints … The device’s wireless signal strength can be low from a short distance – possibly because of having only one single Wi-Fi antenna.

If you want to play a DVD on Kindle Fire 7, there is no way but rip the DVD on PC or Mac, convert into Fire 7 accepted video format and then transfer the file from computer to the device.

The screen on 7 inch tablets like Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire 7 can get cramped when running apps like Flipboard or browsing certain websites.

Some people get tired of seeing ads in the basic version. If you can put up with the ads, or even pay Amazon to disable them, the Amazon Fire 7 makes sense and is honest for what you get. A lot of people don’t have issues with Amazon ads; there’s just at the lock screen. If you are willing to pay a little extra, consider purchasing the Fire without special offers.

Fire 7 vs Competition

Compared to the direct competition – the Nexus, Fire 7 works very well. It has slightly lower specs and resolution, but costs twice less.

Compared to the Apple iPod 5g, Amazon Fire 7 has a much bigger screen. The smaller screened of iPod Touch 5G does everything for music, but this small screen makes reading books too restrictive.

Compared to cheap phablets and tablets like Chromo, NeuTab N7, iRulu etc. the Fire 7 has a higher quality, bigger memory, is faster to respond and has a longer lasting battery life.

Compared to the Lenovo Tab 2 A7-20F, the Fire 7 is virtually identical in most aspects, except that the Lenovo Tab has Android 4.4 KitKat OS and is twice the cost of the Fire 7.

The Fire 7 works much better with less crashes compared to the Samsung Galaxy S4 android tab, yet even a refurbished 4s would still probably cost more than the Fire 7.

It’s twice as fast as the Dell Venue 8 3830 android tablet.

Compared to the 7 inch Alba tablet, the Fire 7 feels solid, whereas the Alba feels hollow and somewhat flimsy.

Words on the Fire 7 look better than on iPad 2. But the Fire cannot be a replacement for the iPad 2, they are vastly different.

The new Fire 7 is better than the Fire HD (2012). The Fire OS is better than the HD’s OS, it has a slimmer design, plus the support for expandable microSD memory. One very significant difference between the Fire 7 and Fire HD 6 is that the latter does NOT have a microSD slot, while the former does.

The Fire 7 is slightly bigger than the HD 6 and slightly smaller than the HD 8. The only drawback compared to the Fire 2012 is the tinny (yet fairly loud) speaker that gets muffled when the Fire 7 is laying on that side on the tabletop and ofter surfaces.

Compared to the old Kindle fire 7, microphone absence was the source of a problem for many people, but not with the new 2015 Fire 7.

Fire 7 Tablet Price

For Mother’s Day 2016, Amazon Fire 7 cost only $39.99. You can also get discounts during other special occasions like Black Friday etc. Without special offers, i.e. the “non-intrusive sponsored screensavers”, the 8GB Amazon Fire 7 is only $49.99 and the 16GB version is only $69.99.

The Fire 7 looks and feels like a much more expensive device than it actually is. It is really affordable, whereas Amazon sell it below cost (or at cost through ads). The Fire 7 offers a lot for its cost – it’s a well made tablet with good specs and much better quality than most other tablets in this price.

Covers and Accessories

There is a huge range of Amazon Fire 7 cases, covers, car chargers, Bluetooth headsets, wireless bluetooth keyboards, batteries, micro SD cards for additional storage and more.

The cases are available in dozens of colors and designs. Many of them come with a stylus and a screen protector. Many use magnetic closure or Velcro flaps that ensure that the cover stays closed when not in use.

A case that folds around the back of the device will act as a versatile stand for your Amazon Fire 7. Proper-sized neoprene sleeves fit the Fire 7 like a glove. They will also protect your investment from scratches and liquid spills.

When searching for the case pay attention that it fits your exact model, otherwise the cover may be too tight or with no access to any of the buttons. It’s no good if the holes for the camera lens, volume, power button, etc. do not match.

If the cover is made for your exact model, then all of the openings will lineup perfectly with the inputs and switches on the tablet. The cameras, MicroSD slot and speaker will be accessible. It should also allow you to charge the device without taking it out of the case. No worries that only an official Fire 7 cover will fit, just check the model it’s designed for.

Investing into a screen protector is also a good idea. Follow the instructions in the kit, use the tools to help install it like wet and dry wiping cloths, and everything will work perfectly. Tempered glass screen protectors are nice.

The key thing to remember is that the screen needs to be immaculately clean and completely free of dust before applying the screen protector.

Rooting the Fire 7

The Amazon Fire 7 is a great fifth-generation device on the market but we can enhance it with root access. Are you wondering about rooting/jailbreaking your fire 7? Just flash the device with say a Nexus ROM and the Fire 7 turns into a really nice tablet that is twice cheaper than the Nexus 7 tablet itself and nearly as nice.

You can use RootJunky’s SuperTool to root your Fire 7 to prepare flashing. The Fire 7 may then have alternate launchers installed, etc.

Note that before flashing say Android 5.1.1 Lollipop via CyanogenMod CM 12.1 firmware or Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow via CM13.0, charging your Fire is a must to prevent any issues should your device get turned off in the middle of the process.

Also note that while trying to flash your amazon fire 7 you may brick it accidentally, so it’s a good idea to backup your data first. You will be able to restore the stock firmware should you brick the device in the process.

If you don’t want to root the device but want to reap the benefits of Google Play, good news is that Google Play works on the Fire 7 via OTG Ethernet, in Aeroplane Mode, with no WiFi and Amazon account sign-in.

And if you just read books and watch movies purchased from Amazon, the Fire 7 is totally adequate without any changes. Even on the original stock ROM is fantastic in functionality.

Fire 7 and Smart TV

The Fire 7 doesn’t have the mirco HDMI plug-in to connect it to the HDTV. But will it run your TV through the USB/charging port to transfer the data? You can connect the new Fire to compatible TVs, but not all smart TV’s. If your TV is compatible, it’s easy. Fire tablets now include a SlimPort enabled micro USB port that allows you to view images and HD video from your tablet on any compatible TV or monitor.

If it’s not compatible, then you need to obtain additional hardware to make it work. You need a Slimport adapter / HDMI dongle. It’s an HDMI adapter you connect to your TV that allows you to display content from your Fire to your TV wirelessly. You can then mirror the Fire 7 to TV.

What could break?

A lot of things can go wrong with a tablet. A camera can stop working, you may find dead pixels on the display, the tablet may stop charging, it may start turning itself off, become stuck in recovery loop etc. Just search online, chances are there is an answer to your problem on dedicated forums online.

If the device is dropped the screen may go blank or have lines across it… Tip: Unless you are experienced in separating and repairing fused glass screens – you may not be able to put it back together. It’s best to get an expert to do this job for you.

If the device is within its original 90-day warranty, you can replace it or get it fixed by Amazon. If not, there are businesses online and locally that repair damaged touchscreen devices.

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