All-new Amazon Fire 7 (2022) review: Better value than ever
A few years have passed since the previous iteration of Amazon’s ultra-cheap tablet was released, but a brand new Fire 7 has finally made its appearance. In keeping with the 2021 refresh of its bigger sibling, the Fire HD 8, the 2022 Fire 7’s price has gone up since we last saw it, but justifies that extra cost with improved speeds and battery life.
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For how little the all-new Fire 7 costs, you’re never going to get the best of the best, but Amazon has once again redefined how much tablet you can get for well under £100. Cutting prices so low no one can compete, the retail giant continues its reign as the unrivaled champion of budget tablets.
Brand new Amazon Fire 7 (2022) review: What you need to know
The transition from the 2017 Fire 7 to the 2019 model has seen very little progress in the design department and Amazon is clearly still quite happy with how it looks and functions. The 2022 refresh carries nearly identical measurements to its predecessors and again the display is a simple 7-inch IPS panel with a 1024 x 600 resolution.
While the exterior is unchanged, things look quite different inside. RAM has doubled — admittedly from 1GB to 2GB, but still — and the new MediaTek processor has boosted clock speeds up to 2GHz, up from the pitiful 1.32GHz of the 2019 model. The Fire 7 also runs on a newer version of Amazon’s FireOS, with all the usual pros and cons, and offers hands-free Alexa compatibility.
Brand new Amazon Fire 7 (2022) review: Price and competition
Breaking away from the insane affordability of its predecessors, the all-new Fire 7 is slightly more expensive at £60. This will get you the 16GB model with ads on the lock screen. Spend another £10 and you can buy either the 32 GB version with ads or one 16GB ad-free modelwhile the ad-free 32GB tablet (reviewed here) costs £80.
Depending on which model you opt for, the all-new Fire 7 starts to edge dangerously close to Amazon’s own Fire HD 8 tablet – its only real competition in this sub-£100 category. £90 will get you the 32 GB version with adswhich offers better performance and battery life than the all-new Fire 7, as well as a slightly larger 8-inch display.
Brand new Amazon Fire 7 (2022) review: Design and key features
Aesthetically, not much has changed with the all-new Fire 7 (2022). It uses the same matte plastic build with screen bezels the same thickness as the 2019 model. It’s not the sleekest of tablets, but it has a nice solid feel and is sturdy enough to support occasional falls. The color variety is reduced here, with only black, denim and pink offered – only the black model is available in the 32GB variant at the time of writing.
Around the edges things are more familiar than ever, with power and volume buttons joined by a 3.5mm headphone jack, a single speaker and a microSD card slot – that’s different, at least, as it now supports cards up to 1TB in capacity. The only other change here is that instead of micro-USB, the charging port has been upgraded to USB-C.
A major design update is that the all-new Fire 7 has been reconfigured to be more suitable for landscape use, with the selfie camera now placed on one of the long edges of the screen, as opposed to placement short edges used by his portrait. – friendly predecessor. The selfie camera and its rear-facing counterpart are puny 2MP numbers, so don’t expect to take award-winning photos. That being said, for simple use of video calls, these will be more than enough.
Brand new Amazon Fire 7 (2022) review: Display
While some other areas have received updates and improvements, the 7-inch IPS screen is a carbon copy of what came before, given that we found this screen disappointing three years ago it’s disappointing to see no progress here. The relatively meager 1024 x 600 resolution still looks subpar and pixelated by modern standards, with a pixel density of just 171ppi well and truly below.
Likewise, the color reproduction leaves a lot to be desired; the all-new Fire 7 only covers 61% of the sRGB gamut, so colors look quite muted. On a more positive note, viewing angles aren’t bad for such a rudimentary panel and the peak brightness of 410cd/m2 is decent enough for indoor use, although you’ll struggle in direct sunlight.
Brand new Amazon Fire 7 (2022) review: Performance and battery life
The good news is that the display is the one area where the all-new Fire 7 actively disappoints. Beneath that lackluster panel, the specs look much more impressive. The 2GHz quad-core MediaTek MT8168 processor is listed as up to 30% faster than its 2019 counterpart and comes with double the RAM at 2GB.
The combined power of these components speaks for itself in our CPU speed test, with single-core results showing an increase of around 52% and multi-core more than doubling the speeds of the 2019 model. In practical terms, this n It’s still not that great – general swiping and app usage often feels sluggish – but it’s at least a big improvement over what’s come before.
We had some trouble getting the all-new Fire 7 to play with our standard GFXBench GPU tests, so all I can offer is anecdotal evidence. That being said, do not expect wonders with 3D games. I was able to run the driving game Asphalt 9: Legends, but the frame rates regularly dropped so low that if it was a person it wouldn’t be legal for them to drive .
Still, as with most reviews here, we come back to how cheap this thing is. Although 3D games aren’t optimized, anyone whose gaming ambitions are more in the Candy Crush and Angry Birds region should be fine.
One of our biggest issues with the 2019 model was its low single-digit battery life, so it’s encouraging to see a decent improvement here. Amazon lists a maximum of ten hours, but in our standard battery drain test we were able to squeeze out a bit more, resulting in a nice 31% increase over the 2019 version with a total score of 10 hours 35 minutes.
The bundled 5W USB-C charger will fully recharge the battery in just over four hours, which isn’t impressive but is quite acceptable at this price.
Brand new Amazon Fire 7 (2022) review: FireOS and Alexa
Like the rest of its Amazon stablemates, the all-new Fire 7’s software is Android-based – in this case, Android 11 – with Amazon’s own FireOS launcher overlaid. Here you’ll find the latest version of the latter, FireOS 8, with all the usual advantages and disadvantages of Amazon’s custom operating system.
A swipe right on the home screen accesses your library, giving easy access to Kindle and Prime Video content, as well as all your recently downloaded apps, while a swipe left gives personalized recommendations for things to watch, read and listen to next. Now running on Android 11, the OS supports dark mode, so you can read Kindle books or browse emails with a white-on-black layout to rest your eyes at night.
The lingering downside of FireOS is that the Amazon app store is noticeably limited, especially when it comes to Google apps. If you are using the Chrome browser and were hoping to sync your bookmarks across your devices, you will be disappointed here. Similarly, those who use Google Drive for work will find an app in the store, but when you try to open a document, you’ll be taken to a web page that doesn’t allow you to edit it. In short, if you rely on Google’s suite of apps, you’ll likely find the Fire 7 to be more of a hindrance than a help.
Hands-free Alexa compatibility isn’t a new feature for the Fire 7 (that honor belongs to the 2019 model), but its presence is still appreciated and will be instantly familiar to anyone who’s ever dealt with Fire’s smart assistant. Amazon. Just say its name once and Alexa will pop up to tell you the weather or suggest shows to watch, just like an Echo device.
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Brand new Amazon Fire 7 (2022) review: Verdict
The line that Amazon has always tried to follow with its Fire 7 tablets is to cut prices enough to attack the competition, while offering enough features to be worth buying. This delicate act on the tightrope didn’t always pay off – the 2019 model definitely faltered along the way – but the balance is much better here.
It’s not an iPad, but for a tablet that costs £80 at most and can be had for as little as £60, it’s better than it has any right to be. If you need something cheap and simple, and can overlook a poor display and obnoxious operating system, the all-new Amazon Fire 7 (2022) is the best budget tablet around.