Hey there, Amazon has upgraded its 8-inch Fire HD 8 tablet for 2020.
This time there's a second model, the step up HD 8 Plus that has wireless charging, slightly better performance.
And a bigger price tag that may leave you wondering which model to get, so let's get right to it.
As you can see, the two models look identical on the outside.
But they do come in a few different color options, at least the backs do.
They both have a faster processor, USB-C charging, yes, the HD 8 finally has USB-C charging.
And they have improved the Wi-Fi performance, and they bumped from 16 gigabytes to 32 gigabytes Storage in the base model.
Standard HD has two gigabytes of RAM that's up from 1.5.
And the HD plus has three gigabytes of RAM, which is where you get the performance boost.
What's the big deal is that Amazon has moved the front facing camera.
It used to be at the top of the tablet when you had in portrait mode.
Now it's on the side so it's at the top when you have it in landscape mode.
That helps me doing video calls with Zoom and other video calling apps including Amazon's.
Compared to the 2018 HD 8 model is a bit wider but shorter in the bezel is now a similar width around the whole display.
To the same size.
Thanks to the combination of a new two gigahertz quad core MediaTek 8168 processor and some software updates.
The battery life is now ready to add 12 hours of mixed use instead of 10.
Other small upgrade is that the microSD expansion slot now accepts cars up to one terabyte.
Previously, the max capacity was 512 gigabytes.
So all in all some pretty substantial upgrades.
And for that you'll have to pay a bit more the standard HD eight now costs $90 instead of 80.
In the case of a plus with wireless charging, an extra gigabyte of RAM is $20 more or $110.
And the price for the Plus goes up another $20 if you buy a companion wireless charging dock, which you probably want to do.
Both new Fire HD 8s have the same 1280 by 800 pixel resolution display like the previous HD 8. The screen is technically HD, but it's basically 720p and not 1080p.
It's perfectly fine for watching videos but it's not nearly as sharp as the screen to get with, say an iPad, which is why you're paying a lot less for this.
It 355 grams.
The new Fire HD eight weighs a touch less than its predecessor.
I don't see a huge difference in performance between the HD eight plus and the standard HD eight.
But the extra gig does help slightly apps open a touch faster and can help with multitasking and more graphically intense applications.
It never hurts to have more RAM I can tell you that VHA plus seems to wirelessly charge on any ci enabled charging pad at least the ones I tried with 7.5 watts or greater charging power.
That you really want the charging dock that Amazon bundles in for the extra 20 bucks.
That's because one of the big appeals of the HDA Plus is that you can drop it in the dock that automatically goes into show mode, essentially turning your tablet into an echo show.
Is still using the tablet's internal speakers instead of a real speaker.
The tablet doesn't have the more expensive microphone array for picking up your voice like an echo speaker does, but it works well and the sound is okay.
I put it in my kitchen and use it as a mini TV because I have spectrum TV is my cable provider.
There has to be a spectrum app that gives me all the channels on the Fire HD eight, so long as I'm on my home network.
You could of course just get a cover with a standard built into it.
Amazon sells plenty of those including its own.
They're a little bit expensive but they are nice and do the same thing, but you wouldn't be able to wirelessly charge the tablet at the same time.
A fire HCA has always been a nice little tablet for consuming Amazon content.
Particularly if you're a Prime member, whether it's video ebooks and music can also watch other streaming video services like Netflix, HBO, Go ,Disney plus and Hulu.
The Amazon app store has always been a little bit limited compared to Android and IOS, especially for games.
The Fire HD eight runs on Amazon's latest fire OS a customized version of Android p which Was released in the fall of 2018.
And while Amazon doesn't encourage it, you can install the Google Play Store fairly easily by following some instructions on the internet that will allow you to run a whole lot more apps but some people may feel slightly intimidated by the process.
The Fire HD is popular parents who want an affordable tablet for their kids and if that's who you're buying this for, I think the standard HD 8 is going to be just fine and it's a good value and even a total bargain when it does go on sale.
Personally, I do like being able to wirelessly charge the HD 8 plus In the doc is nicely designed.
I do think you'll use the tablet more because it does do double duty as an echo show and is basically always charged and ready to go because you have it there charging in the dock.
So for me anyway, the hJ plus with the wireless charging dock is the way to go especially if it ever goes on sale.
I do wish the screen was taking p that would really be the biggest upgrade for the HDA would be to get the better screen, but apparently can't have everything at this modest price point.
I'm David Cartwright for cnet.com.
Thanks for watching and let me know what you think in the comment section.