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Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus (2022) review: More of a minus

Our Rating :
£119.99 from
Price when reviewed : £120
inc VAT

Wireless charging is a welcome addition, but the Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus (2022) lags in too many key areas to be worth the upgrade


  • Wireless charging support
  • Decent battery life gains
  • Improved brightness


  • Same performance as cheaper model
  • Low-quality display
  • Fire OS problems persevere

The Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus (2022) arrives alongside the standard Fire HD 8 (2022) as the latest refreshes to the brand’s middle-offering tablets. They both sit between the budget Fire 7 and the larger, pricer Fire HD 10.

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As the name suggests, the Plus is a slightly improved version of the base-model Fire HD 8 (2022), offering wireless charging, extra RAM and an improved rear camera for a bit more money. While these additions are certainly appreciated, the Fire HD 8 Plus (2022) struggles to pull ahead of its supposedly lesser sibling in too many key areas to be the superior choice.

Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus (2022) review: What you need to know

Unlike the standard Fire HD 8 (2022), which is largely a carbon copy of its predecessor, the Plus shakes things up a bit in the design department. The dimensions are near identical to the 2020 model, but the whole package has shed a few grams, now weighing 342g, and the rear panel trades the expected matte black for a textured grey number. The main camera also gets a slight upgrade to 5MP, though the selfie lens remains at 2MP.

Inside, the processor has been beefed up from a 2GHz quad-core to a 2GHz hexa-core, claiming improvements in performance speeds of up to 30%. This is still paired with the same 3GB of RAM and either 32GB or 64GB of storage space, once again expandable up to a further 1TB via the microSD card slot.

Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus (2022) review: Price and competition

Like its non-Plus variant, the Fire HD 8 Plus (2022) offers four different buying choices. The cheapest option is £120, which gets you 32GB of onboard storage and adverts on the lockscreen, 64GB with lockscreen ads costs £150, and both have the option to remove the ads for an additonal £10.

Due to Amazon’s iron grip on the budget tablet market, the only real competition comes from inside the house. If you want to spend a little less, the standard Fire HD 8 (2022) with 32GB of storage and lockscreen ads costs an even £100, with the 64GB model priced at £130 and again, the option to remove the ads for £10 extra. On the pricier side is the Fire HD 10 (2021), which has a larger 10in display and better performance, with prices starting at £150 for 32GB storage and lockscreen ads.

Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus (2022) review: Design and key features

Aside from the different colour on the back panel, the Fire HD 8 Plus (2022) is identical to the standard version, with the same dimensions and thick black bezels surrounding the screen. The light grey chassis feels a little drab compared to the Denim and Rose colours offered by the standard version, but the textured back does feel slightly more premium under your fingers than the matte plastic. Still, another colour choice would have been nice.

As with all of Amazon’s recent tablet output, the Fire HD 8 Plus (2022) is designed to be used in landscape orientation, with the selfie camera embedded in one of the long edges. With the camera at the top, you’ll find the volume and power buttons on the right, with the USB-C and 3.5mm ports just below them. The microSD card tray is on the bottom, and the two upward-firing speakers sit on the top.

Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus (2022) review: Display

Another area in which the Plus does very little to distinguish itself from the standard Fire HD 8 (2022) is the display. Here, we’ve got the same 8in panel with a 1,280 x 800 resolution, and a pixel density of just 189ppi. While this is perfectly adequate for casual viewing of Netflix or YouTube, it’s going to feel something of a fuzzy step down compared to most modern smartphones.

Just like the standard Fire HD 8 (2022), the Plus sees reasonable improvements in colour reproduction, with 82.6% of the sRGB gamut covered, though the accuracy leaves a lot to be desired, with an average Delta E score of 2.96. The contrast ratio and brightness level both get a decent uptick, however, with the former clocking in at 2,171:1 and the latter hitting a peak of 474cd/m².

Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus (2022) review: Performance and battery life

The Fire HD 8 Plus (2022) runs on the same Hexa-core 2.0GHz MediaTek MT8169A processor as the standard model, but it’s paired here with 3GB of RAM as opposed to 2GB. While more RAM is never a bad thing, its presence doesn’t translate into improved performance, with both the standard HD 8 and the Plus scoring near-identical results in our tests.

There are considerable gains over the 2020 HD 8 Plus, at least, with the 2022 model pulling roughly 27% ahead in the single-core benchmarks and more than 50% ahead in multicore.

As with the standard Fire HD 8 (2022), the GFXBench app that we use to test GPU performance failed to work here, due to the Amazon Store only offering an outdated version – more on that in a bit. In short, you’re not going to be playing high-resolution 3D games at fluid frame rates here, but games in the vein of Candy Crush and Angry Birds will run without issue.

In keeping with the standard set by the above CPU results, the Fire HD 8 Plus (2022) produced decent gains over its 2020 predecessor in our battery rundown test, but failed to pip the standard Fire HD 8 (2022) in any meaningful way. Still, a little over 19 hours is nothing to sniff at, so this is a positive result overall.

The only area in which the Fire HD 8 Plus (2022) shows any improvement over its little sibling is with charging, and even that isn’t anything to shout about. The provided 9W power adapter is said to fully charge the battery in three hours – as opposed to the standard model’s five hours – which is still quite sluggish by modern standards. As a first for the Fire HD 8 series, wireless charging via any Qi-certified charger is also supported, but don’t expect lightning speeds there, either.

Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus (2022) review: Fire OS and Alexa

The Fire HD 8 Plus (2022) runs on the same operating system as the standard variant, layering Amazon’s own Fire OS 8 over the top of Android 11. If you regularly use other Amazon products, you’ll find this a useful hub, with a swipe from the homescreen taking you to your content from Kindle, Amazon Music, Prime Video and more. Hands-free Alexa is also present again, allowing you to get things such as weather updates and TV recommendations without pressing a button.

As with all Amazon Fire devices, there are several ongoing restrictions that make the OS a bit of a pain to use. Most notably, the store is missing a number of games and apps that can be found on both Google Play and Apple storefronts. Google apps especially are missed here, as you can’t carry bookmarks over from your Chrome profile, and accessing Google Drive, though not impossible, is more of a labour than it needs to be.

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Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus (2022) review: Verdict

With all of the same issues and a distinct lack of improvements, it’s impossible to recommend the Fire HD 8 Plus (2022) over the cheaper standard version. All of the key areas – performance, display and battery life – are either identical or worse here, and minor changes such as the 5MP camera and 3GB of RAM don’t make enough of a difference to be worth the extra money.

If you absolutely must have wireless charging, consider pushing the budget a little further and going for the Fire HD 10 Plus (2021), which starts at £180 for 32GB storage and lockscreen ads. Otherwise, save yourself some cash and go for the standard Fire HD 8 (2022): it looks and performs mostly the same, offering much better value for money overall.

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