“Hi Alexa, what is the best Pokemon of them all?”
Sometimes I worry about how much tech companies know about me. I was recently asked to review an Amazon Fire 7 tablet, and I wonder if I was chosen because someone knows how addicted I am to my Kindle!
Nevertheless I was happy to accept the challenge, and it’s also super-convenient given that our old tablet has recently gone off on its travels independently so we need a replacement.
Considering the Amazon Fire 7 retails for an incredibly low £49.99 (that’s less than my Kindle cost!) I honestly didn’t expect it to be all that amazing, but I’m pleased to say that it has well and truly blown me away. Not that I’ve been able to play around with it for more than a few hours as my son has well and truly staked his claim.
So if you’re looking for an affordable but high-quality family tablet then keep reading – we think this may be the one for you.
Profiles and Interface
Setting up a child profile
The Amazon Fire 7 is a ‘family tablet’, so it allows you to create separate profiles for both adults and children. When you set up a profile for your child, you can choose between two age groups: under-10s and teens. You can then fine-tune the content your child gets to see when you delve into their profile settings. Peace of mind assured.
One of the things that made me cautious about letting my son play with a tablet was that he would become hooked on it. I was so happy to see that the Fire table has thought about this and come up with a genius solution. When you set up a child profile, you can create ‘tablet on and off times’ (different settings for weekends, clearly thinking of my lie-in!), so that you can dictate how much time your child is allowed to watch videos, use apps, or read books on it.
There is also an award for educational achievement, so if they read for 30 minutes a day they get a badge. But what if they spend their time playing Pokémon Camp instead of reading? You can set daily educational goals and not allow any ‘fun’ activities until those are met – I absolutely love this!
Kids’ Profile and Interface
The Amazon Fire 7 interface is super easy to navigate as it’s all divided into ‘content’ pages – that is one for books, and another for games and videos. It took our son all of one minute to grasp it! There is also a child-friendly web browser, giving them the freedom to be curious, with results that are tailored to their age group. Of course this also means your share of ‘why is …?’ questions diminishes significantly – another bonus!
But the Fire 7 isn’t just a kid-tablet. Parents can sync up their Amazon accounts to have all their Kindle books transferred, or any previous purchases. I’m also on Amazon Prime which gives me unlimited films and lots of free downloads too, which are handy when you’re going on a big trip.
The Amazon Fire 7 is available in four colours, ranging from a simple black to a bright yellow, vibrant red, and deep blue. We chose the black, but they all look gorgeous!
The Amazon Fire 7 tablet is a fantastic piece of gear, perfect for the whole family and the fact that it retails at an amazing £49.99 could make it an essential part of your travel (and home) kit. Obviously for that price it’s not super high-end but for what it does do, I would say it provides superb value for money.
The images on the Amazon Fire 7 are super crisp thanks to its 7″ IPS screen, and the tablet has an amazing 8 hours of life – ideal for long roadtrips when your kids may get bored. The camera takes pretty good photos too and is fun for letting kids experiment.
One of my favourite things about the Fire 7 is being able to add a micro-sd card to increase your memory up to a brilliant 256gb, so you don’t have to worry about all the movies and games you’re downloading.
Kindle and Audible
If you’re a Kindleholic like me, you’ll be pleased to know your Kindle books will sync up to the Amazon Fire 7 seamlessly, allowing you (and your kids) to take your library along with you wherever you go. The same goes for Audible – all of your audio books are automatically synced and just need to be downloaded. That’s our Julia Donaldson collection saved for our next trip!
The new Amazon Fire 7 also comes accompanied by Alexa, meaning the answers of the world are now at
your fingertips ready at the sound of your voice. Actually I think perhaps the very best thing about the tablet is overhearing the random conversations my son and Alexa share.
Amazon video and Prime
The thousands (millions?) of videos in the ever-growing Amazon Prime library can now be streamed directly to your tablet, so watching a movie on the road is that much easier. And if you’ve got Prime, you can also download your favourite films and TV shows on to your tablet.
Fire for Kids Unlimited
When you set up your Fire tablet, you’ll be asked whether you’d like to try Fire for Kids Unlimited, which costs £1.99 for Prime members, or £3.99 if you don’t have Prime. I’m currently on a free trial, but there is so much to choose from that the £1.99 a month really is great value.
Amazon App Store
The Amazon App Store is filled with your and your kids’ favourite apps. My son quickly spotted his favourite games Pokemon Camp and Lego Star Wars, and we had them up and running within a matter of minutes. But he can only play them according to my preset timings – hahaha!
Although I found the Amazon Fire 7 to be very sturdy, I will be getting a cover for it as I’m known to be accident prone! I love this cover for kids, and this one if you’re getting it for the whole family. Little hands can often be slippery so a cover is probably recommended for most users.
The Lowdown on the Amazon Fire 7
I have been thoroughly impressed by this tablet right from the beginning. Just from a price point it’s difficult to argue against it, but I do think it stacks up well against the big boys too, especially as a family tablet. I love how easy it is to set up detailed parental controls, how you can increase its memory, and the educational emphasis on a child’s profile. I also love that it caters to adults just as much, with a clean and easy to navigate interface, and all my entertainment needs at my fingertips.
The only thing I think could be improved would be the camera resolution (not a big deal as I can’t see why we’d take photos with a tablet) and perhaps to increase the speed of it ever so slightly for a smoother experience.
If you have any specific questions don’t hesitate to ask them in the comments or get in touch with me directly, as I can have a play and find out the answer for you.
But overall, I think if you’re considering a first tablet for your family or looking for a new one, then the Amazon Fire 7 would be a pretty good bet.
nb: This review has been written in exchange of an Amazon Fire Tablet, but as always words and all opinions (good and bad) are my own.