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Amazon Fire HD 8 Adds Hands-Free Alexa (8th Gen, 2018) & Kids Edition Too

Amazon announced a new 8th generation Fire HD 8 8-inch tablet for 2018, which is only slightly different than the previous model.

Amazon Fire HD 8 Tablet (2018)

8-inch budget tablet with always-ready, hands-free Alexa voice assistant

Amazon announced a new 8th generation Fire HD 8 8-inch tablet. Still priced starting at $79.99, it is barely different than the previous model. All the specs are about the same, except the all-new HD 8 now comes with always-ready, hands-free access to Alexa — the personal voice assistant. The other bonus is the option to pop in a 400 GB external SD storage card instead of a 256 GB card. Oddly, battery life takes a 2 hour hit in the new model, which peaks at 10 hours of mixed use versus 12 hours before. Otherwise it offers the same 1280×800 display with IPS (in-plane switching) technology and advanced polarizing filter, 16GB or 32GB of internal storage powered by the same quad-core processor 1.3 GHz with 1.5 GB of RAM.

“Fire HD 10 customers love having easy, hands-free access with Alexa and we’re excited to bring that same experience to the all-new Fire HD 8. Just ask Alexa to turn on the lights, play a movie, or make a video call—even when the tablet screen is on standby,” said Kevin Keith, Vice President, Amazon Devices. “The Fire HD 8 features a beautiful HD display, a fast quad-core processor, all-day battery life, and more expandable storage, plus everything you love about Alexa, hands-free and still only $79.99.”

Features:

  • 8” widescreen 1280×800 display with over a million pixels and bright, vivid picture.
  • Quad-core 1.3 GHz processor and 1.5 GB of RAM to quickly and easily switch between apps, stream movies, and browse the web.
  • Up to 10 hours of battery life.
  • 16 GB or 32 GB of internal storage, plus support for up to 400 GB more via expandable storage. Now you can install apps to the microSD card so you can enjoy even more entertainment while on the go.
  • Alexa hands-free—Just ask Alexa to play a song, pause a movie, video call a friend or family member, read an Audible book, answer a question, show your calendar, control your smart home, and more—using only your voice, even when your screen is on standby.
  • Show Mode—A new, immersive hands-free experience for Fire tablets with full-screen visuals that complement voice responses from Alexa. Show Mode lets you ask Alexa to see trending news, weather, movies trailers, camera feeds, and more—all glanceable whether you’re up close or across the room.
  • Front- and rear-facing cameras—Video chat with friends and family with the HD 720p front-facing camera; take and share photos with the 2MP rear-facing camera, and save them for later with free, unlimited cloud storage for all photos taken on Fire tablets.
  • Durability—As measured in tumble tests, Fire HD 8 is 2x as durable as the iPad mini 4.
  • Dual stereo speakers optimized for Dolby Digital Plus and Dolby Atmos for enhanced realism and dynamic range.
  • Dual-band Wi-Fi support for seamless video streaming.
  • Amazon-exclusive features—Alexa, ASAP, For You, X-Ray, Second Screen, Amazon FreeTime, Family Library, Blue Shade, On Deck, Prime Video downloads, and more.
  • Access to millions of movies, TV shows, songs, books, magazines, apps, and games—with free, unlimited cloud storage for all Amazon content.
  • Screen Sharing—Let an Amazon expert guide you remotely through any feature on your screen, available 24×7, 365 days a year—for free.

Always-Ready, Hands-Free Access to Alexa
With always-ready, hands-free access to Alexa on Fire HD 8, it’s now even easier to enjoy your favorite entertainment. When connected to Wi-Fi, ask Alexa to play a song, read aloud an Audible book, launch an app, or control video playback—simply by using your voice, even when your screen is on standby. You can even ask Alexa to video call a friend or family member, adjust the room temperature on your compatible smart home thermostat, or show your compatible smart home camera.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t7L6VUws67U

Fire HD 8 also comes with Show Mode, an immersive hands-free Alexa experience that offers full screen visual responses that are optimized to be glanceable whether up close or across the room. Just ask Alexa to see trending news, weather, your calendar, movie trailers, and more in full screen visuals that complement Alexa voice responses—or ask Alexa to play a song, station, or genre and Show Mode displays the song lyrics on your tablet screen.

You can also pair your Fire HD 8 with the new Show Mode Charging Dock ($39.99) for an enhanced, always-ready Alexa experience. Simply place your Fire tablet into the Show Mode Charging Dock and it automatically switches into Show Mode. The stand holds your tablet at an adjustable angle for easy viewing while charging it. Pick up your tablet to transition it back to the portable tablet mode and enjoy your movies, TV shows, books, apps, and games while on the go.

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Fire HD 8 Kids Edition
There’s also a new child-proof version called Fire HD 8 Kids Edition for 2018. It comes in a kid-proof case available in blue, pink, or yellow, and a two-year worry-free guarantee — if they break it, return it and Amazon will replace it. No questions asked. The Kids Edition tablet includes a year of Amazon FreeTime Unlimited, which offers more than 20,000 premium books, videos, Audible books, educational apps, and games that have been curated for age-appropriateness, plus access to tens of thousands of hand-selected websites and web videos and award-winning parental controls — at no additional cost.

FreeTime and FreeTime Unlimited—Now en Español
Amazon also announced a new Spanish language experience within FreeTime and FreeTime Unlimited. Kids now have access to over 1,000 age-appropriate books, videos, educational apps, and games, plus thousands of hand-curated websites and web videos—all in Spanish and included with a FreeTime Unlimited subscription. Parents can choose to enable Spanish-only content, English-only content, or a combination of both. Settings can be customized for each individual child profile.

FreeTime and FreeTime Unlimited in Spanish will be available on Fire Kids Edition tablets, in the FreeTime app on compatible Fire tablets, and on compatible iOS devices, via a free software update that will begin rolling out to customers starting October 4, and is coming soon to compatible Android devices.

Availability
The all-new Fire HD 8 comes in four fun color options: Black, Marine Blue, Punch Red, and Canary Yellow, and is available for pre-order at $79.99 (16 GB) and will begin shipping on October 4, 2018.

The all-new Fire HD 8 Kids Edition (32 GB) comes in three fun color options: blue, pink, and yellow and is available for pre-order at $129.99 and will be begin shipping October 4, 2018.

Amazon Fire HD 8 Reviews

From Critics Around the Web

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