Review: Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition (2017)

General Tech

It happens to every parent. Maybe you’re on the treadmill after work and realize that you’re singing the Chuggington theme song while running. Or you’re at a dinner party, engaging in fluid discourse on the world-building in Zootopia versus Kung Fu Panda. Your family has become a hive mind. Whatever media your children consume, you also consume—and not only is this not a bad thing, it is also probably a hallmark of responsible parenting.

The Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition is the affordable tablet that will provide the maximum amount of enjoyment to the most members in your family, which is something to consider if you have children of different ages using the same tablet, or if you, the parent, let yourself get snookered into watching one more episode of Little Baby Bum before bed.

The first difference that you will see between Amazon’s 7- and 8-inch tablets is the larger, clearer HD display. While your toddler might not notice, you and older children will appreciate that extra inch of color and clarity when watching movies or playing games. Minecraft (for older kids) and the Sago Mini games (for younger ones) were bright and immersive, and played without any noticeable lag time.

The second difference is the sound. Unlike the Fire 7 for Kids, the Fire 8 for Kids has two Dolby Atmos speakers, instead of one, and they are not largely obscured by the included puffy child-proof case. The difference in volume and clarity is immediate and shocking. Going from one to the other is like taking cotton balls out of your ears.

The third is the battery life. My run test of watching videos and surfing took a little over the advertised twelve hours to use the entire battery. But twelve hours of battery life is a looooong time, with curfews installed and each child profile—you can set two parents and up to four children per device—limited to one hour of tablet time per day. Three days of toddler usage and parent fiddling barely dented the battery life, which went down to a mere 76%.