Kindle Fire HD Kids Edition: Fire 7 Kids Edition vs Fire HD 8 Kids Edition

Fire HD 7 - Kids Edition
4.2 / 5 Reviewer
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Great toy\real tablet. It is basically a real Fire 7 tablet, with kid’s built-in entertainment center. There are 2 modes here: Parent (admin) and Kids (one or multiple accounts). When in Parent mode (password protected), the Fire 7 looks and feels just like an Android tablet with all of the Fire 7 functionality

If you’re on the trail of a kid-friendly tablet that packs a punch, you’re in for a real treat today. And your kids could be in for an even bigger treat!

Since Fire HD tablets blazed onto the scene half a decade back, Amazon have constantly tweaked and uprated various models in the stable.

Fire HD is now synonymous with budget-friendly tablets that don’t compromise on build quality or performance. They don’t look bad either and represent a meaningful alternative to the Apple/Android stranglehold on the market.

Going through 4 generations until it was discontinued back in 2014, Fire HD 6 Kids Edition set the standard for today’s new iterations which we’ll outline today for you.

Much like Fire 7 which lost the HD from its name in the newer version, the 7-inch for children is now known simply as Fire 7 Kids Edition while its bigger brother is Fire HD 8 Kids Edition.

We’ll start off with Fire 7 Kids Edition then look more briefly at Fire HD 8 Kids Edition. Since much of the functionality is the same, we don’t want to replicate a review so we’ll focus on the differences rather than rehashing areas in which they are the same.

So, without further ado, we’ll first break down Fire 7 for kids…

Fire 7 Kids Edition: The Ideal Tablet For Children

If you’re stumbling around wondering whether you can risk entrusting your iPad to your boisterous kids or perhaps exploring the huge array of budget tablets on the market, how about considering a dedicated tab for kids?

Amazon offer a Kids Edition for its consistently best-selling Fire range of tablets and Fire 7 Kids Edition is far more than a toy but also expressly designed for the rigors of being handled by your children.

From reading and spelling, learning new words to language arts and, of course, pure entertainment, tablets and kids go together like milk and honey. Fire 7 Kids Edition covers all main bases and then some.

First thing’s first then, where does it do well and where does it fail?

What We Like

  • Amazon’s 2-year “Worry Free” Warranty  is just what you need when buying a tablet for kids
  • Kid-proof case included along with superbly solid build so you shouldn’t need that warranty anyway
  • Parental Controls offer you complete flexibility
  • Customizable kid-safe browser keeps your children safe from stumbling upon inappropriate content
  • Design will appeal to younger kids
  • Great storage options perfect for keeping a treasure trove of entertainment at your fingertips
  • Simplicity of Fire OS might be frustrating for adults but it’s perfect for kids starting their tech journey
  • Touch keyboard designed with children in mind
  • Alexa available if all Parental Controls are disabled
  • Access to Amazon’s incredible ecosystem so never run out of media
  • 1 year of FreeTime Unlimited thrown in free of charge

What We Don’t Like

  • Speakers give out a rather tinny sound
  • As with all Fire tablets, cameras really are pretty pitiful
  • Parental Controls can be somewhat confusing if you’re not particularly IT-savvy
  • Relatively sluggish performance with unsavory lagging at times

Fire 7 Kids Edition: Options

A swift breakdown of the options at your disposal…

Colors

The black tablet comes with cases available in 3 striking colors:

  • Blue
  • Pink
  • Yellow

Storage

  • 16GB
  • Add SD card for expansion up to 256GB

Connectivity

Wi-Fi only, 3G and 4G are not available

Extras

Available at a small additional cost:

  • 32GB Memory Card
  • Screen Protector Kit
  • Kids Headphones

Tailor Made For Kids

In every respect, this tablet is focused on providing the safest and most effective environment for your kids.

It makes sense to kick off our Fire 7 Kids Edition review with the physical and operational ways in which this tablet excels as a device for children.

Sturdy and Safe

You all know that feeling of trepidation as you hand over your cell phone or spanking new iPad to your kids…

At best, it comes back covered in sticky fingerprints, in the worst scenario you hear that dreaded sound of shattering glass as it takes a tumble and you struggle to contain your anger.

With Fire 7 Kids Edition, take away all those worries and cut your kids loose with their very own tablet.

The foam case not only helps your little ones to better grip the slate but also offers significant protection in the event they drop it. When the case is attached, you’ll be able to access everything bar the SD slot and mic. The power button, headset jack, micro USB port and volume rocker all protrude through openings in the case.

While it’s designed to withstand plenty of rough and tumble, accidents happen. This is where Amazon’s remarkable “Worry Free” warranty really comes to the fore. If at any stage during the first two years the unthinkable happens, just return the broken tablet for a quibble-free replacement or refund. You just can’t ask for more than that.

Parental Controls

With the physical tablet pretty well child-proofed, Amazon’s first-class Parental Controls give you further confidence and peace of mind.

As well as your personal admin account, you can set up to 4 profiles for children so Fire & Kids Edition is wonderful for larger families with kids of varying ages.

Smart Filters make sure your kids only view content you deem suitable. Every family has different needs and opinions on what constitutes acceptable viewing so Amazon puts the ball in court and allows you to tweak things accordingly.

The kid-friendly browser makes use of Common Sense Media which, in tandem with Amazon, prunes through websites and filters any with age-inappropriate content.

You can use the bedtime setting to power down the tablet when it’s time for sleep putting an end to those guerilla sessions under the duvet!

A neat touch is the use of objectives where you can set goals for your kid where all other content is blocked until, for example, they have completed a set amount of time reading or using an educational app.

You can also include a PIN which will prevent any accidental (or deliberate!) purchases on the part of your kids. This might be unnecessary but it’s a valuable feature for some.

There’s also the option of monitoring profiles so you can check in and see just how your children spend their time on Fire 7.

Amazon has taken a great deal of time and trouble to deliver a tablet that puts you in charge while still delivering a glut of educational and entertaining multimedia to delight any kid.

Design and Dimensions

Fire 7 Kids Edition is the same to the eye as the regular Fire 7 except it comes in brightly colored cases overlaying the black tablet.

It measures up at 8.7 x 5.5 x 1 inches and tips the scales at just under 14oz with the case attached.

Snapping the case off brings the dimensions down to 7.6 x 4.5 x 0.4 inches. The weight drops to 10.4oz.

As well as the power button, headphone jack, micro USB port and volume control, there’s a single speaker top right with the backward-facing camera top left.

Amazon has combined form and function beautifully with Fire 7 Kids Edition. It looks vivid and playful without seeming like a piece of cheap tat or toy tablet. This has been achieved without sacrificing safety or durability.

Display

When it comes down to the display, Fire 7 Kids Edition suffers the same issues that blight all Fire tablets. The screen is fit for purpose but we can’t in any conscience rave about the quality.

At 7 inches, the screen size is ideal. Your kids will have a screen large enough for a pleasurable experience in a device that’s small enough for them to hold without feeling burdened.

At 1024 x 600, you’ll get 171ppi. This offers acceptable resolution but Fire is not going to set the world alight on this score.

For watching movies or TV shows, the display is surprisingly detailed and vivid. In the interests of accuracy, this assumes your kids will be viewing indoors. Outside in bright sunlight, the screen has a distressingly washed-out appearance.

Tests have shown that Fire 7 Kids Edition actually only displays three-quarters of the spectrum of colors which is disappointing.

The Gorilla Glass is unexpected at this price point and offsets to some degree the deficiencies with the display.

Overall, as we make clear in our standard Fire 7 reviews, from the standpoint of an adult, the display quality on Amazon tablets tends to be rather underwhelming.

Ask yourself, though…

Are your children likely to double down on crispness and clarity or will they simply appreciate a decent-sized screen that offers them plenty of fun and games? We think that in most instance, the latter is liable to be the case.

Performance: Hardware and Software

On paper, the quad core 1.3GHz processor with 1GB of RAM seems OK. It affords just enough performance for your kids to read, play games and stream without too much interference.

Be warned that there is a significant delay when clicking on apps that might annoy your kid if they are used to the speed of more capable devices. If they’re just starting out, it probably won’t be such a big deal.

WiFi is rather volatile. Be prepared for it to cut in and out. Browsing in general is an acceptable experience but don’t expect the speed of lightning. It pays to take a step back and consider just how cheap this tablet is and how much overall value you get instead of being too harsh or negative. We are simply pointing out honestly potential flashpoints so you go in forewarned.

Like all Fire tablets, Fire 7 Kids Edition runs on a stripped-down and restricted version of Android. This is both a good and bad thing.

The UI is very well suited for children and they will soon find their way around with ease. The simple nature of the interface is a plus point, especially with younger children.

Smaller kids are also less likely to bemoan the unavailability of Google apps or Google Play. Instead of this reliance on G-suite, Fire 7 Kids Edition offers full access to Amazon’s impressive and sprawling ecosystem.

The touch keyboard is more than adequate for typing. Sure, you wouldn’t necessarily want to sit down and crank out a 2000 word email but then your children are hardly likely to do that anyway. For basic commands, it’s more than fit for purpose.

The Adult home screen packs Silk. This browser is not so bad but you won’t get any syncing with your Google account.

For kids, there are Child and Teen profiles. Standard categories available are Videos, Books and Apps. If you choose to enable a browser for your children, then you can do so with FreeTime…

FreeTime Unlimited

Amazon’s awesome FreeTime Unlimited is a subscription service centered firmly on the full gamut of multimedia content kids will adore. It’s targeted at 3-12 year-olds and has a superb selection of everything from TV shows and movies through to educational apps, books and games.

With Fire HD 7 Kids Edition, you’ll enjoy an entire year of FreeTime Unlimited at absolutely no extra cost. This alone makes an already keen price tag seem practically unbelievable value.

Choose from over 15,000 movies, TV shows, books, games and apps to keep a smile on the face of your kids all day long.

It goes unsaid that all content is curated to be age-appropriate as well as great fun.

Speakers

There’s no sense in mincing our words, audio quality on Fire 7 Kids Edition is weak.

The lone speaker is rattly and at anything more than three-quarters volume, distortion sets in. If you keep the volume low and the tablet close to you, you’ll be fine to watch a movie but don’t expect much by the way of bass and the sound certainly won’t be filling the room.

One obvious solution is to use earphones. We understand, though, that this is not always practical, doubly so for kids.

So you will get a speaker but keep your expectations very low to avoid bitter disappointment.

Battery Life

Thinking of disappointment, another area where Fire 7 Kids Edition fails fully to deliver is its battery life.

Out simply, your kids won’t get through a full day of use before needing to give Fire a boost of juice.

That being said, you should still see somewhere around 7 hours with WiFi on surfing the web. Playing games will see this figure drop back somewhat. The brightness level also evidently has an effect here.

Charging takes 6 or 7 hours via micro USB so try to encourage your kids to charge up overnight so they’re good to go in the morning. Failing to do will need them to tether up to the charger mid-session which is restrictive.

Again, when taking into account that this is a budget tablet, battery life could certainly be worse just don’t compare it to an iPad or other high-end tablet then end up annoyed.

Cameras

If your child wants to start experimenting with photos, the 2 megapixel mounted to the rear is acceptable as a starter unit.

You’re not going to win any prizes for definition and detail but your kids can certainly take usable selfies or fire off a few snapshots for their own enjoyment.

This is not particularly surprising since good cameras don’t come cheap. A better-engineered unit would simply drive up the price of Fire 7 Kids Edition in pursuit of functionality which is not really necessary.

Verdict

Before we move on to a rapid glance at the differences apparent in Kindle Fire HD 8 Kids Edition, let’s wrap up with Fire 7…

Amazon has achieved its goal with this tablet: you’ll get a cheap slate that you can happily hand over to your kids without any headaches about damage or inappropriate web use. The interface is straightforward to navigate, performance is more than functional while the “Worry Free” warranty ices the cake.

Sure, you won’t get blistering pace or audiophile-worthy sound quality but then you simply can’t expect that in a device costing less than a couple of PS4 games.

If budget is uppermost, Fire 7 Kids Edition gets our thumbs up as an acceptable compromise of price and performance.

If, on the other hand, you still want something cheap and cheerful but can see your way clear to spending an extra $30, Fire HD 8 might make a better choice…

Fire HD 8 - Kids Edition
4.7 / 5 Reviewer
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We got this the day it came out. I have a four year old daughter, and she loves it! We have an iPad for her, but it was getting very expensive because so many of the games have buttons that you can click which then tell you about things you need to buy and she would have to have them. This tablet restricts all in app purchasing. Yay! 

Fire HD 8 Kids Edition: What Sets This Apart from Fire 7?

Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition is almost the same in pretty much every respect as Fire 7 Kids Edition.

Everything we’ve outlined above holds good for Fire HD 8 Kids Edition so what makes the bigger brother worth shelling out a little more for?

  • Screen: The obvious difference is in screen size. Fire HD 8, as the name indicates, comes equipped with a larger 8-inch display. Resolution is enhanced so you’ll get 1280 x 800 translating to 189ppi. The crisper and more refined display on its own could be worth the extra money depending on what you want to do with this tablet
  • Size: The larger screen obviously adds some size and weight. This Fire Hd 8 Kids Edition measures 9.6 x 6.1 x 1 inch while weighing a little more than Fire 7 at a still fairly lightweight 17.6oz
  • Storage: 32GB comes as standard which is double the internal storage offered on the 7-incher. Just like Fire 7 Kids Edition, you can expand this up to 256GB with a micro SD card
  • Speakers: Dual speakers on Fire HD 8 Kids Edition give you stereo effect and a little more clarity than the single speaker on Fire 7
  • Battery Life: Where Fire 7 packs only 7 hours or so of battery life, Amazon have ramped things up considerably with Fire HD 8 Kids Edition. Your kids can expect to extract up to 12 hours of life from a single charge assuming reasonable mixed use

Overall Verdict: Fire 7 Kids Edition or Fire HD 8 Kids Edition?

We hope that this full exploration of both Fire 7 Kids Edition and Fire HD 8 Kids Edition has given you a worthwhile overview of what makes these child-friendly tablets tick.

There is simply no right or wrong answer as to which is the best. The more accurate way to look at this is which is the best for you?

In our opinion, if your kids are able to deal with the larger dimensions and slight weight increase of Fire HD 8 Kids Edition, the benefits presented above more than justify the extra few dollars.

Fire HD 8 Kids Edition is a worthy winner but Fire 7 Kids Edition is not far behind.

The choice is yours!

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