October 1, 2022
  • October 1, 2022

Amazon Fire 7 (2022) tablet review: Weak but cheap

By on August 9, 2022 0
Evaluation:

7/10

?
  • 1 – Absolute hot waste
  • 2 – A kind of lukewarm waste
  • 3 – Severely flawed design
  • 4 – Some advantages, many disadvantages
  • 5 – Acceptably imperfect
  • 6 – Good enough to buy on sale
  • 7 – Great, but not best in class
  • 8 – Fantastic, with some footnotes
  • 9 – Shut up and take my money
  • 10 – Absolute Design Nirvana

Price:
From $60

Chazz Mair / How To Geek

The 7th main entry in Amazon’s Fire tablet series predictably brings improved specs, longer battery life, and a $10 price increase. However, while the Fire 7 (2022) tablet is still an inexpensive way to enjoy media, it’s seriously lacking in power.

Here’s what we like

  • Affordable
  • Hands-free Amazon Alexa
  • microSD storage

And what we don’t do

  • The G
  • Poor camera
  • Low resolution screen

First impressions

  • Cut: 7.11 x 4.63 x 0.38 inches (180.68 x 117.59 x 9.67mm)
  • Lester: 10.4oz (295g)
  • Ports: USB-C, MicroSD slot for up to 1TB external storage
  • Display: 7-inch touchscreen, 1024×600 resolution at 171 PPI

I was sent an Amazon Fire 7 (2022) tablet and a matching case. With the Fire 7 you’ll get a USB-C charging pad and matching cable, everything you need to charge the device.

The case gives the tablet a more professional look and manages to make it comfortable to hold. Without it, the Fire 7 looks like a small sheet of plastic.

The tablet itself is tiny as always, weighing just over 10 ounces and measuring 7 inches long and 4.6 inches wide. This is a small tablet about the size of an average book, but thinner. It’s nice to hold.

The Fire tablet lineup has been scaled back so far, and the seventh iteration doesn’t break tradition. It is easily suitable for travel in handbags or even in the back pocket of your pants. I found its size great when playing, but generally detrimental to anything else.

Visually, it certainly looks aged. Not much has changed from the previous model, remaining similar down to the screen. The display is a relatively low resolution at 600×1024 pixels, significantly less than the 1920×1080 that an HD display would offer. This has been carried over from the previous model and is likely a key area where Amazon is saving production costs to ship this tablet at a budget price.

Considering the Fire 7 is a $60 tablet, I can forgive it for not being high definition. Still, it’s a mark that makes it hard to consider using the tablet for reading comics or watching movies if quality is something that matters to you.

Performance: noticeable lag

  • CPU: Quad-Core 2.0GHz
  • RAM: 2 GB
  • Storage: 16 or 32 GB, up to 1 TB MicroSD expansion

Under the hood is where Amazon Fire 7 (2022) steps up from its previous version. The RAM, processor and battery are all improved over the last generation. However, they are not exciting. While the previous version has a 1.5 GHz processor, the new one has a 2.0 GHz ARM Cortex-A53, which is not very powerful. There’s also 2GB of RAM powering it, and while that’s a 100 per cent improvement over the previous model, it’s still not great.

Fire 7 in tablet cover
Chazz Mair / How To Geek

2GB is on the low side for modern tablets, so it’s good that the Fire 7 has finally hit that barrier – it could also be more than enough. 2GB means Amazon’s budget tablet still lags considerably behind, and while you can play games on it, your selection is minimal.

5GB of RAM is about average for tablets these days, and while the Fire 7 is undoubtedly a wallet-friendly purchase, it shouldn’t drag around as much as it does. I’d gladly pay a few extra bucks for a cleaner experience, as it would still be a lot more affordable than most popular tablets like the Lenovo Tab P11 Plus.

The storage situation is quite common. The Fire 7 is available in 16 or 32 GB, a current standard. If that’s not enough for you, insert a microSD card up to 1TB on the side. It’s a solid storage size with decent scalability. If you want to take your Fire 7 on a long trip, you can easily load movies and watch them on your trip.

Battery: long lasting but slow to charge

  • Battery life: Up to 10 hours
  • Loading time: 4 hours

The Fire 7 has a non-removable 2980mAh Li-Ion battery that provides up to 10 hours of use. She, like the other internals, is better than the previous iteration. I got it on average around 9 or 10 hours under light use, and noticed a significant drop when running more hardware-intensive apps.

Charging from empty to full took around four hours, which is quite slow. There really isn’t a way to improve this on any loader; it just doesn’t have fast charging.

Amazon Fire OS: a walking advertisement

I found the Amazon Fire OS (operating system) a bit inelegant. A feeling caused by large elements filling the screen and a lot of vertical scrolling to go through. While Fire OS 8 is based on Google’s Android, Amazon has turned it into something more like a giant advertisement for the company’s other services. Booting it up, the Fire 7 (2022) bombards you with an ambush of ads and signup forms for their digital bookstores and streaming services.

To note: You can buy a Fire 7 without lock screen ads for $74.99, an extra $15.

Once you’re done, you’re faced with the welcome screen which might as well be the Amazon.com homepage. It’s loaded with more ads for things you should watch and things you haven’t finished – it’s relentless. It’s as if Amazon sold you a tablet at a lower price just so it could advertise you; it’s ugly and boring. Not to mention I got it a few times when I tried to view more of the app collection.

For this reason, the Fire 7 is ideal for people who are already subscribed to many of these services, less so if you don’t. However, although Fire OS is Android-based, it doesn’t use the Google Play Store (in favor of the Amazon App Store) and isn’t compatible with some apps you’ll find there.

You can, however, download the Google Play Store, which opens up a few more options. Don’t be surprised if your favorite app isn’t compatible.

Amazon Alexa: useful as always

As you might expect, Amazon’s Fire 7 supports Alexa. If you’ve used any of these virtual assistants, you’ve pretty much seen them all. Alexa works normally. Its presence here matters because it makes the Fire 7 a viable controller for other Bluetooth and smart home devices.

I still wouldn’t recommend using the Amazon Fire 7 for your office due to its weakness elsewhere, but having one around the house can go a long way for convenience. Just being able to ask Alexa to search your kitchen for a recipe is a great option to have.

Sound: use headphones instead

  • Audio: 3.5mm headphone jack, built-in speaker

The best thing I can say about the audio of the Amazon Fire 7 (2022) tablet is that the device has a built-in 3.5mm headphone jack. It has speakers, so they are functional. They lack punch, but considering this is a budget tablet, I don’t mind too much.

You can absolutely watch stuff on your Fire 7 without anything else, I just wouldn’t recommend it. On the contrary, the low audio quality makes all the lag and ads even more frustrating. If Amazon is going to advertise to people so ubiquitously on a device they’ve purchased, it should work fine.

Camera: it exists

Photo taken by Fire 7 of desktop factory and picture frame
Chazz Mair / How To Geek
  • Camera specifications: 2 MP rear and front cameras with 720p HD video recording

Like the sound, the cameras of the Fire 7 (2022) are just adequate. It has 2 MP front and rear cameras with 720p HD video recording. They’re functional and good enough for a video call, but otherwise you just have to use your phone.

Everything has to fall in line to get a half-decent shot with this camera. Too much light makes it look washed out; not enough light makes it dim. It’s perfectly usable and about what you’d expect for the price. Still, if you wanted your tablet to have a solid camera, you won’t find it here.

Should you buy the Amazon Fire 7 (2022) tablet?

The Amazon Fire 7 (2022) tablet may seem disappointing, but you have to remember its exceptionally low price. The tablet is light and versatile, but the frequent lag detracts from the experience.

Over the years, Amazon has added features to the Fire 7 to make it a relevant and cost-effective option in an evolving field. Through this lens, it’s pretty easy to see why the Fire 7 lacks some of the processing power of its more expensive competitors. It’s cheap, it looks cheap, but it works.

My experiences with the Fire 7 (2022) tablet have been overall positive. It’s a good place to read books or watch videos. As such, it’s still a great device for that, and it’s an affordable option for some travel entertainment. I don’t believe you should use it for your desktop.

There still aren’t many tablets on the market at the price of the Fire 7, and that alone is a powerful trait to have. This value is also enhanced by having existing Amazon service subscriptions. The operating system is boring, but it’s not unusable.

Ultimately, the Amazon Fire 7 (2022) is undoubtedly a step up from the last version, but whether or not it’s worth the extra cash is debatable. If you have an older generation Fire 7 tablet, it’s probably not worth upgrading to this model. However, if you are someone who is just looking for a cheap tablet to take on a trip and not at all concerned about the quality, consider buying one.

Alternatively, if you’re looking for a budget-friendly (and durable) tablet for your child, check out our Amazon Fire 7 Kids Tablet (2022) review.

Evaluation:
7/10

Price:
From $60

Here’s what we like

  • Affordable
  • Hands-free Amazon Alexa
  • microSD storage

And what we don’t do

  • The G
  • Poor camera
  • Low resolution screen