Are you looking for differences between the 2014 Fire HDs and the 2015 Fire HD 8? Or are you just browsing the web looking for reviews of the Fire HD 6, Fire HD 7 or Fire HD 8? Either way, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we will discuss the difference among these three tablets so that you can figure out which one is the right one for you.
The Fire HD 6 and HD 7 belong to the 4th generation of the Fire tablet, which was released in 2014. The Fire HD 8 is a 5th generation Fire HD tablet that was made available in the last quarter of 2015. But how do they compare against each other? Let’s explore the differences between these three tablets.
Differences between Fire HD 6, Fire HD 7 and Fire HD 8
|Specifications||Fire HD 8||Fire HD 6||Fire HD 7|
|Resolution||1,280 x 800 (189 ppi)||1,280 x 800 (252 ppi)||1,280 x 800 (216 ppi)|
|Dimension||8.4" x 5.0" x 0.3"||6.7" x 4.1" x 0.4"||7.5" x 5.0" x 0.4"|
|Weight||11 oz (311 g)||10.1 oz (290 g)||11.9 oz (337 g)|
|Audio||Dual stereo speakers with|
|Mono speaker with|
Dolby Digital Plus
|Dual stereo speakers with
Dolby Digital Plus
|Processor||Quad core up to 1.5 GHz
|Battery Life*||Up to 8 hours|
|Internal Storage**||8 GB (4.5 GB usable)
16 GB (11.6 GB usable)
|External Storage||MicroSD card||N/A|
|Connectivity||Dual Band Wi-Fi|
802.11 a, b, g, n, ac
|Single Band Wi-Fi
802.11 b, g, n
|Colors**||Black, Magenta, Tangerine, and Blue||Black, Magenta, White, Citron and Cobalt|
|Camera||720p HD front camera|
5 MP HD rear camera
|VGA front camera
2 MP HD rear camera
|OS Version||Fire OS 5||Fire OS 4 (Upgradeable to Fire OS 5 soon)|
|Release Date||September 30, 2015||October 2, 2014|
**Some colors and storage option may be out of stock from time to time.
At a closer glance, the Fire HD 8 has the biggest screen among the three, but it also has the lowest resolution. The Fire HD 8 is also the only Fire HD tablet of the three to support a microSD card. Furthermore, the Fire HD 8 comes equipped with a more advanced audio (Dolby Atmos) and better cameras.
The Fire HD 6, on the other hand, features the smallest screen of the three; but, it has the highest pixel density. The HD 6 is also the lightest, the cheapest and the most portable of the three tablets.
The Fire HD 7 is almost identical to the Fire HD 6, but it has a bigger screen (7”), better audio (dual stereo speakers) and it’s more expensive than the Fire HD 6.
Similarities between the Fire HD 6, Fire HD 7 and Fire HD 8
Fire tablets use a customized Android operating system from Amazon called Fire OS, which is designed to cater people’s need for entertainment, e-book readers, portable multi-media devices and many more. Below are the main similarities of these three tablets.
Similarities on Hardware
Under the hood – All three tablets feature a MediaTek MT 8135 CPU, a quad-core processor that consists of two high-performance 1.5 GHz A15 cores and two 1.2 GHz A7 cores, as well as a PowerVR G6200 GPU, a mobile graphics chip designed for the mainstream consumer market for light gaming, and for a smooth, high-resolution user interfaces.
These tablets feature 1 GB of RAM, which is sufficient for casual everyday use.
- Storage – All three tablets come in two models: one with 8 GB of internal storage and one with 16 GB.
- Device Display – All three tablets feature an IPS (In-Plane Switching) display panel. The IPS display panel is now the standard among tablets and it provides a rich 16 million color display.
Similarities on Software
- Cloud Storage – All Fire HD tablets come bundled with free unlimited cloud storage for all Amazon content and all of the photos you take with your Fire HD tablet.
- App Store – These Fire HD tablets provides you with access to Amazon Underground, Amazon’s app store in which you can download 1,000+ of paid games and apps for free.
At the end of the day, these tablets are great for entertainment and general use. However, you may find them lacking when it comes to intensive gaming or multi-tasking work that’s heavy and demanding. We did, however, try some mid-graphics intensive games like Riptide GP2 (on Amazon) and Deer Hunter 2016 (on Amazon). While these games did need some time to load, they eventually played quite smoothly.
Advantage of Fire HD 6 and HD 7 over Fire HD 8
- Pixel Per Inch – The Fire HD 6, HD 7 and HD 8 all have the same number of total pixels, however, the HD 8 has the largest panel display. As a result, the screen resolution is lowest on the HD 8. This means that the HD 6 shows the sharpest graphics and the crispiest images as far as resolution goes; the HD 7 comes in at a close second!
- Overall Size – The Fire HD 6’s small size makes the tablet very easy to hold—this tablet is quite pocketable, so you can easily take it with you wherever you go. Despite its size, it feels very solid and sturdy.
- Price – The Amazon Fire HD 6 and HD 7 both feature the same processing power of Fire HD 8, but you can purchase them at a cheaper price.
The main disadvantage of the Fire HD 6 and Fire HD 7 is their limited internal storage. Downloading some apps and a few movies (or even a big HD movie such as the 170 minute Interstellar which takes up a whopping 3.3 GB of memory) will fill up almost the entire memory of the 8 GB model (which only offers about 5 GB of usable space). The 16 GB model offers slightly more room, but it’s still not as good as the Fire HD 8 with its expandable microSD card storage.
Advantage of Fire HD 8 over Fire HD 6 and HD 7
- Expandable Storage – With the Fire HD 8 you can use a microSD card to add up to 128 GB of additional storage to your device. That way, you probably won’t have to worry about running out of room on your device. With a 16 GB microSD card, you could store, for example, a few HD movies and over one hundred games.
- Screen Size – The visual display of the Fire HD 8 is 73% bigger than that of the Fire HD 6 and 29% bigger than that of the Fire HD 7. Given its larger screen, the Fire HD 8 will be more appealing for those who watch a lot of TV shows or movies on their tablets.
- Audio – The Fire HD 8 comes with dual stereo speakers and Dolby Atmos surround sound audio, which is a more advanced sound technology. The Fire HD 8 therefore provides louder, more dynamic audio that’s ideal for any movie lover.
- Weight and thickness – The Fire HD 8 is the biggest tablet of the three. In spite of its size, it’s only a little heavier than the much smaller HD 6 and it’s actually lighter than the similarly sized HD 7. The Fire HD 8 is also the slimmest tablet of the three.
- Camera – All three tablets feature two cameras, but the cameras offer different image qualities—a VGA front-facing camera and a 2 MP rear-facing HD camera for the Fire HD 6 and HD 7; and a 1 MP (720p) front-facing HD camera and 5 MP rear-facing HD camera for the Fire HD 8. Obviously, the HD 8 provides higher quality videos and images.
- Wi-Fi – The Fire HD 8 offers more powerful dual-band Wi-Fi. It can give the user a more reliable Wi-Fi connection and work at longer distance than the single-band Wi-Fi used in the other two Fire HDs.
- Fire OS 5 – The Fire HD 8 comes with Fire OS 5 “Belini” which is a custom OS based on Android 5 (Lollipop). Unlike Fire OS 4 “Sangria” on the Fire HD 6 and HD 7, Fire OS 5 comes with a dedicated home page for each form of content (games, videos, magazines, books, etc.).
The Fire OS 5 comes with some improvements including some much-appreciated changes (Carousel is no more) and some that are minor (user can choose their own wallpaper). This updated OS should not be considered a big deal, however. Soon, the HD 6 and HD 7 will be able to upgrade to Fire OS 5 according to Amazon.
In addition to its much bigger screen, the Fire HD 8 offers quite a few added features. Its major drawback is that it has fewer pixels per inch (PPI) than the other two Fire HDs. If you are looking at very fine graphics or e-books with some small fonts, the PPI difference can be quite noticeable.
Who Should Buy the Fire HD 6 or Fire HD 7?
For the Fire HD 6
- For those who want a small, powerful Amazon tablet. With its smaller profile and lighter weight, the Fire HD 6 is more portable than the Fire HD 8 tablet, so it’s easier to carry around.
- For those who would rather see more details than have a larger screen. The Fire HD 6 offers the sharpest display and most clarity of all the Fire HD tablets. The Fire HD 6 has 252 pixel per inch over the HD 8’s 189 pixel per inch—enough for you to notice the difference, especially when you’re doing something like reading content with a small font size.
- For those who have a budget to consider, the Fire HD 6 is definitely the smartest choice, as it is the cheapest among the three.
Here is a short review on Amazon written by a customer who is very satisfied in using the Fire HD 6.
What about the Fire HD 7?
The Fire HD 7 and the Fire HD 6 differ only with respect to weight, screen size, audio quality, and price. If you prefer a bigger screen and better and louder dual stereo speakers (vs mono speaker on Fire HD 6), and if you don’t mind the lower screen resolution, heavier weight and higher price, then you should consider choosing the Fire HD 7.
Here‘s a customer review on Amazon in which she explains why she chooses the Fire HD 7.
Who Should Buy the Fire HD 8?
- For those who enjoy watching movies, listening to music, playing games or reading e-books with larger fonts on a tablet with large screen and high-quality audio. Among the 3 tablets, the Fire HD 8 offers the biggest screen and best audio (Dolby Atmos and dual stereo speakers).
- For those who want a better Wi-Fi connection. The Fire HD 8 uses dual-band Wi-Fi, which is more advanced than the single-band Wi-Fi offered by the Fire HD 6 and HD 7. It will provide a more stable Wi-Fi connection, which is especially great if you enjoy streaming videos or playing online games.
- For those who like to store a lot of content on their device. The Fire HD 8 gives you the convenient option of expanding the device’s storage by up to 128 GB with a microSD card.
- For those who like to use their tablet to take photos and videos. The Fire HD 8 comes with a 5 megapixel camera, which can take decent (though slightly grainy) photos. Still, the 5 megapixel camera of the Fire HD 8 provides higher quality images than does the 2 megapixel camera of the Fire HD 6 and 7.
Here is a short review on Amazon by an enthusiastic long-time user of Fire HD 7 explaining why she like HD 8 so much.
Overall, all three Fire tablets are okay if you aren’t expecting very much from them. They are all good family-friendly multimedia tablets priced to be very affordable. All three tablets perform similarly since they each harbor the same processor.
In short, if you want an HD tablet that you can easily carry anywhere and can fit in your pocket, we recommend the Fire HD 6. If you want a slightly bigger tablet with better audio, we recommend the Amazon Fire HD 7. Lastly, if you want a tablet with a bigger screen, a microSD card slot, better Wi-Fi connectivity, better cameras and higher quality audio, we recommend the Fire HD 8.
Learn more about the Fire HD tablets by reading the following posts:
- Amazon Fire HD 6 Review – Anna Attkisson, LAPTOP, October 7, 2014
- Amazon Fire HD 8 review: An affordable and family-friendly media consumption tablet for Amazon Prime members – Xiomara Blanco, CNET, September 28, 2015