Amazon’s tablet lineup has received its regular update for 2022, and the Amazon Fire 7 definitely deserves to be on any list of best tablets by virtue of being a solid, dependable piece of hardware with a very attractive price point.
Display size: 7 in
Display: IPS 1024x600
Capacity: 16GB or 32GB
Chip: ARM Cortex-A53 (4 cores)
Camera: 1.92MP front and rear cameras
Video recording: 30FPS
Speakers: Single speaker
SIM card: No
Weight: 0.62 lbs
In fact, the Amazon Fire 7 will cost about a tenth of Apple’s iPad Air, and while it’d be fair to say it comes off second best in every other comparison between the two, it’s an important consideration for those looking for a new introduction to using a tablet, or with its kid-centric variant.
In fact, we’d wager that having a tablet like this for $59.99 makes it a great option for anyone that’s already invested in Amazon’s own ecosystem, but also an ideal e-reader or second tablet at a smaller form-factor than most.
It’s not perfect, though; performance is slow (not helped by the quirks of Fire OS), and the display resolution of 1600x1200 pixels isn’t ideal for movies, although at this size it’ll work fine. Still, there’s plenty to like about this tablet.
Amazon Fire 7: Design
The Amazon Fire 7 has had a 2022 revision, but it’d be fair to say you’re unlikely to see much of a difference at first glance.
While many tablets tend to look alike between iterations, this really does feel like Amazon used the prior chassis but rammed new components inside – and hey, if it keeps the price this low, who are we to complain?
That means there are fairly thick bezels around the display, with a central almost-2MP camera found inside one of them. One side is clean, aside from an easily accessible MicroSD card slot which will now allow for an extra 1TB of space, while the opposite side features a single speaker grille.
There’s a single, small camera on the back (another just-under-2MP sensor) and you’ll find many of the physical buttons on one end – with a volume rocker, hold/power button, and a USB-C charging port. There’s also a 3.5mm headphone jack, although Bluetooth is supported for wireless playback too.
Our review unit is the black variant, but there’s also a “denim” (blue) version, and a “rose” (pink) one available.
Amazon Fire 7: Performance
As we’ve mentioned, the Amazon Fire 7 isn’t going to power high-quality gaming experiences on the go, nor is it likely to replace a laptop or a more expensive tablet – but it’ll do just fine for everyday use and simpler tasks.
If you’re playing a game that runs in 3D, you’ll struggle, but running apps like a web browser, Amazon’s own shopping app, and reading a book is the Fire 7’s bread and butter. If you are planning to load up on apps, though, we’d recommend opting for the 32GB option or plugging in an SD card.
Anyone coming from the 2019 model will still enjoy sizeable performance gains – but you’ve still got to deal with Fire OS. Amazon’s tablet OS has improved marginally, but it still feels clunky at the best of times.
If you’re well attuned to Amazon’s own ecosystem of Kindle books, Audible, Prime Video, and plenty more, then the good news is that the Fire 7 is a very capable focal point for all of that content.
For anyone new to using a tablet (and rightfully enticed by the price point), the main quirk is that the app store isn’t anywhere near as fully featured as Google or Apple’s offerings. Mainstays like Netflix are here, but Google’s own suite of apps is absent for the most part. Still, we’d argue that the Fire 7 just isn’t well equipped to be a work machine anyway.
When it comes to watching movies or TV shows, it’s a middling experience, too. The lower display resolution isn’t a huge issue on a tablet of this size, but having only one speaker can make the audio feel messy. It does have impressive volume, though.
Amazon Fire 7: Battery life
One big step up from prior models is the 2022 Fire 7 tablet's battery life. In our testing, flicking through web pages, social media, and watching some video content, we hit just under 11 hours of use before having to charge it – a significant improvement considering the 2019 model would be gasping for a charge before it hit 10 hours.
Sadly, charging remains slow – the adapter takes about 3 and a half hours to power the Fire 7 all the way up.
Amazon Fire 7: Price
As we keep mentioning in this review, the price of the Fire 7 makes its shortcomings a lot easier to overlook. That’s not to say it’d be a bad tablet if it cost more, but there’s an argument that if you’re looking for something more capable, you’ll already have set your sights on something pricier.
The 16GB models costs $59.99, but the 32GB is only $10 more at $69.99. Each comes with lock screen ads (another way of keeping the price down), but you can remove them for another $10 on top of the base price.
Amazon Fire 7: User reviews
Amazon’s own reviews for the Fire 7 tablet currently hover at 4.3 stars out of 5, which is nothing to be sniffed at.
Key positives from those that have shared their experiences are the value for money, ease of use, and battery life, although many have noted the sub-HD resolution.
One Amazon reviewer sums things up nicely, calling the Fire 7 “A decent cheap tablet if you want something for the Amazon ecosystem”.
Should you buy the Amazon Fire 7?
If you’re looking for a cheap 7-inch tablet to surf the web, do some shopping, and flick through social media, then the Amazon Fire 7 definitely fits the bill. It’s small, does what you need it to, and won’t sting your wallet.
However, if you’re after additional features, a sharper screen, more power and a more expansive app store, then it may be worth looking elsewhere.
If this product isn’t for you
If this review has put you off buying an Amazon tablet, it’s worth remembering you’ll struggle to get anything else in this price range. Apple’s iPad Mini, arguably the most premium “small” tablet, will set you back $499, for instance.
If you’re not married to the form factor, though, Amazon does offer larger versions of the Amazon Fire 7, with the Fire HD 8 adding a little extra size, and the Fire HD 10 adding a little more again. All of these still run Fire OS, though, which won’t give you the best performance.
Finally, the Lenovo Tab M7 is also worth a look. It’s similar in size, and pretty affordable at under $100, but runs Android, meaning it has access to a much wider range of apps.