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All-new Amazon Fire 7 (2022) review: Better value than ever

Ben Johnston
14 Jul 2022
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
60
inc VAT (16GB with ads)

Despite a minor price increase, the All-new Amazon Fire 7 (2022) is still the budget tablet to beat for sheer value

Pros 
Improved specifications
Reasonable battery life increase
Still fantastic value for money
Cons 
FireOS remains overly restricted
Sluggish performance at times
Mediocre display
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It’s been a few years since the release of the previous iteration of Amazon’s ultra-cheap tablet, but a brand-new Fire 7 has finally made an appearance. In keeping with the 2021 refresh of its bigger brother, the Fire HD 8, the 2022 Fire 7 has crept up in price since the last time we saw it, but justifies this extra cost with improved speeds and battery life.

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For how little the All-new Fire 7 costs, you were never going to get the best of the best, but Amazon has once again redefined just how much tablet you can get for well under £100. Cutting prices so low that nobody can compete, the retail giant continues its reign as the unrivalled champion of budget tablets.

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All-new Amazon Fire 7 (2022) review: What you need to know

The transition from the 2017 Fire 7 to the 2019 model saw very little advancement in the design department and Amazon is clearly still happy enough with how it looks and functions. The 2022 refresh bears near-identical measurements to its predecessors and once again the display is a simple 7in IPS panel with a resolution of 1,024 x 600.

While the exterior is unchanged, things are looking quite different on the inside. RAM has doubled – admittedly from 1GB to 2GB, but still – and the new MediaTek processor has improved clock speeds up to 2GHz, compared to the 2019 model’s pitiful 1.32GHz. The Fire 7 also runs on a newer version of Amazon’s FireOS, with all of the usual benefits and drawbacks, and offers hands-free Alexa compatibility.

All-new Amazon Fire 7 (2022) review: Price and competition

Breaking with the insane affordability of its predecessors, the All-new Fire 7 is slightly pricier at £60. That will get you the 16GB model with adverts on the lock screen. Spend another £10 and you can buy either the 32GB version with ads or an ad-free 16GB model, while the 32GB tablet with no ads (reviewed here) comes in at £80.

Depending on which model you opt for, the All-new Fire 7 starts to veer dangerously close to Amazon’s own Fire HD 8 tablet – its only real competition in this sub-£100 category. £90 will get you the 32GB version with ads, which has better performance and battery life than the All-new Fire 7, as well as a slightly bigger 8in screen.

All-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 construction with identically thick screen bordering bezels as the 2019 model. It’s not the most stylish of tablets, but it has a nice solid feel to it and is rugged enough to handle the occasional drop. The colour variety is pared down here, with just Black, Denim and Rose on offer – only the black model is available in the 32GB variant at the time of writing.

Around the edges, things are as familiar as ever, with the power and volume buttons joined by a 3.5mm headphone jack, a single speaker and a microSD card slot – this at least is different, as it now supports cards of up to 1TB in capacity. The only other change here is that, instead of micro-USB, the charging port has been modernised to USB-C.

One 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 set on one of the long edges of the display, as opposed to the short edge placement used by its portrait-friendly predecessor. Both the selfie camera and its rear-facing counterpart are puny 2MP numbers, so don’t expect to be taking any award-winning photos. That being said, for simple video call use, these will more than suffice.

All-new Amazon Fire 7 (2022) review: Display

While some other areas have received updates and improvements, the 7in IPS display is a carbon copy of what’s come before which, considering that we found this screen underwhelming three years ago, it’s disappointing to see no advancements here. The relatively meagre 1,024 x 600 resolution still looks sub-par and pixelated by modern standards, with a pixel density of just 171ppi well and truly falling short.

Equally, colour reproduction leaves a lot to be desired; the All-new Fire 7 covers just 61% of the sRGB gamut, so colours look fairly 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, though you will struggle in direct sunlight.

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All-new Amazon Fire 7 (2022) review: Performance and battery life

The good news is that the display is the only area in which the All-new Fire 7 actively disappoints. Beneath that lacklustre panel, the specifications are looking much more impressive. The quad-core 2GHz MediaTek MT8168 CPU is listed as up to 30% faster than its 2019 counterpart and comes with the backing of double the RAM at 2GB.

The combined power of these components speak for itself in our CPU speed test, with the single-core results showing an increase of roughly 52% and the multi-core more than doubling the speeds of the 2019 model. In practical terms, this still isn’t all that great – general swiping and app usage often feel sluggish – but it’s at least a big improvement on what’s come before.

We had some difficulties getting the All-new Fire 7 to play ball with our standard GFXBench GPU tests so all I can offer is anecdotal evidence. That being said, you shouldn’t expect wonders with 3D games. I was able to get the driving game Asphalt 9: Legends to run but the frame rates regularly dipped so low that, if they were a person, it wouldn’t be legal for them to get behind the wheel.

Still, as with most criticisms here, we circle back to just how cheap this thing is. While 3D games aren’t optimised, anyone whose gaming ambitions are more in the region of Candy Crush and Angry Birds should get on just fine.

One of our biggest issues with the 2019 model was its meagre single-digit battery life, so it’s heartening to see a decent improvement here. Amazon lists a maximum of ten hours but in our standard battery rundown test, we were able to squeeze slightly more out of it, resulting in a nice 31% boost over the 2019 version with a total score of 10hrs 35mins.

The provided 5W USB-C charger will juice the battery back to full in a little over four hours, which isn’t impressive but is acceptable enough at this price.

All-new Amazon Fire 7 (2022) review: FireOS and Alexa

Like the rest of its Amazon stablemates, the All-new Fire 7’s software is based on Android – in this case, Android 11 – with Amazon’s own FireOS launcher layered on top. Here, you’ll find the latest version of the latter, FireOS 8, with all the usual benefits and pitfalls of Amazon’s custom operating system.

A swipe to the right on the home screen jumps to your library, giving easy access to Kindle and Prime Video content, as well as all of your recently downloaded apps, while a swipe to the left gives personalised recommendations for things to watch, read and listen to next. Now that it runs on Android 11, the OS is compatible with Dark Mode, so you can read Kindle books or browse your emails with a white-on-black layout to rest your eyes at night.

The ongoing downside to FireOS is that the Amazon app store is noticeably limited, especially when it comes to Google apps. If you use the Chrome browser and were hoping to sync your bookmarks across your devices, you’ll be disappointed here. Equally, 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 shunted off to a web page that doesn’t actually allow you to edit. 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 honour belongs to the 2019 model) but its presence is still appreciated and will be instantly familiar to anyone who has had past dealings with Amazon’s smart assistant. Just say her 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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All-new Amazon Fire 7 (2022) review: Kids version

If you’re thinking about getting the All-new Fire 7 for your child, it may be worth pushing the budget a bit further and opting for the dedicated Kids model. The tablet is the same as the regular version, but the kids-centric variant also comes with a child-proof case, protecting against bumps and drops. If any accidents do happen, there’s a two-year worry-free guarantee, too, so you can just send it back and Amazon will replace it free of charge – no questions asked.

Just like the standard Fire 7, the Kids model comes in two versions – the 16GB model is priced at £110, while the 32GB will set you back £120. Both are available in Blue, Purple or Red and also come with a year’s subscription to Amazon Kids Plus, which includes thousands of apps, books, games and videos. You can easily filter what your child sees via the Parent Dashboard, as well as set time limits or educational goals, and grant access to additional content on apps like Netflix, Disney Plus or Zoom.

All-new Amazon Fire 7 (2022) review: Verdict

The line that Amazon has always tried to walk with its Fire 7 tablets is cutting prices low enough to blitz the competition, while still offering enough functionality to be worth buying. This delicate tightrope act hasn’t always paid off – the 2019 model definitely wobbled along the way – but the balance feels much better here.

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It’s no iPad, but for a tablet that at most costs £80, and can be had for as little as £60, this is better than it has any right to be. If you need something cheap and simple, and you can overlook a mediocre display and an obnoxious operating system, the All-new Amazon Fire 7 (2022) is the best budget tablet around.

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