Kindle Fire 7 review—how much can you really get out of this brilliant value tablet?

The Kindle Fire 7 is one of the cheapest tablets on the market, but can it measure up in quality to its competitors?

Kindle Fire 7 Verdict
(Image credit: Amazon)
Woman & Home Verdict

A Kindle with a bonus if you’re looking for an eReader, but not the high-quality, fast-paced device you would want in a tablet

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Lightweight and comfortable to use

  • +

    Lots of pretty color choices on offer

  • +

    Affordable price

  • +

    Display adjustments available

  • +

    Compatible with smart apps

  • +

    Good amount of storage

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Short battery life

  • -

    Can be slow, sluggish and laggy

  • -

    Poor screen, sound and camera quality

We all love reading a book, but sometimes going digital with a Kindle Fire tablet or eReader can save a lot of space, arm ache and, if you’re buying a LOT of hardback books every month, money.

But choosing the best eReader for you can be a bit of a minefield these days with so many options out there. So, most of us default to the most widely known—the famous Amazon Kindle. Among the best Kindles on offer is the Kindle Fire 7, which is part of the brand’s line of eReader-tablet hybrids and boasts both Kindle reading abilities and smarter features like news and streaming apps.

One thing’s for sure, you’ll definitely be saving on monthly book spending with this one.

Specifications

RRP: from $70.58/from £49.99 Screen size: 7” display Screen resolution: 1024 x 600 (171 ppi)  Digital storage capacity: 16GB or 32GB Colors available: Black, twilight blue, sage, plum Processor: 1.3 GHz quad-core Cameras: 2 MP rear-facing and HD 720p front-facing Battery life: Up to 7 hours Charging time: 4 hours Weight: 286 g Dimensions: 192 x 115 x 9.6 mm

This is definitely one of the best value-for-money tablets on the market. If you opt for the lowest price available, you will be met with a stream of ads on your lock screen, but they're pretty harmless so if that doesn't bother you then it's a great way to save money. However, if you'd rather nix the ads, you can pay around $14 (or £10) more for a version without ads. While this tablet is available at some tech retailers and department stores, we'd suggest sticking with Amazon, as if you already have an account with them, it should automatically link this to your new tablet so that you can shop and download more quickly. They also offer discounts on the tablet now and then, usually during special events like Black Friday or their biannual Prime Day, which tends to take place in July and October.

Design

When it comes to design this robust tablet doesn’t go wrong. Managing to be both sleek and fun at the same time, the compact Kindle Fire 7 sports a seamless black front screen, rounded edges, and plain back that features only the happy Amazon logo. But our favorite thing about the design has to be the pretty colors available. There are three stylish shades on offer—a sophisticated dark sky blue, a dusky plum or a soft sage green, giving us almost home decor vibes with each color. However, if you prefer a plainer look there is a black option too. We also like how, unlike many other tablets on the market that house their buttons and jacks all over the place, all the essentials on the Fire 7 appear on the top edge of the device so you always know where everything is.

Display

With a screen resolution of 1024 x 600, display isn’t this tablet’s strong suit. Considering the price, you couldn’t really expect much more than this—but nevertheless, it is a factor that needs to be taken into account. If your main focus with this device is reading then you could probably get away with the display that it offers, as words are very clear on the screen and pleasant to read, with no blurring or distortion at all. We also like how there is the option to adjust the brightness and color, or even turn on the Blue Shade setting, which minimizes the amount of harmful blue light that the screen emits, a feature that other models, like the Kindle Paperwhite, don’t boast. However, if you’re planning on using this tablet for a binge-watch here and there, then you'll probably want to look elsewhere. Decades of technical development have accustomed us all to the close to the crystal-clear quality offered by most smart TVs and Ultra HD 4K devices these days, so the Fire 7’s online streaming site-like appearance may be jarring.

Features

Like you would expect from a tablet, the Kindle Fire 7 allows you to download all your go-to entertainment apps to watch, listen and read. It comes preloaded with the Kindle reader and has an app store where you can download the likes of Netflix, Spotify, Disney+ and the like—even Audible is available for those who prefer to listen instead of reading. However, unfortunately for anyone who was hoping for a Defending Jacob or The Morning Show binge, Apple TV isn’t available on the device. There are also games available and you can obviously shop on the Amazon store. The device even has its own internet browser, however, it isn’t the fastest we’ve used. It does also feature both front- and rear-facing cameras but the snaps you get definitely won’t be photo frame quality.

Performance & Use

If you’re using this as an eReader then it really is a pleasure to use if just for the lightweight comfort it gives you while reading, compared to its sister tablets that all come in quite a bit bulkier or even the Kindle eReader devices which do boast a bit more weight. However, if you’re hoping to do much more than click on and go to your Library then you might be in for a bit of a wait. The device’s interface is very sluggish indeed with a lag on pretty much every app you click into and even unlocking can be a bit slow. But when it comes to battery life, the tablet is on the other end of the speed spectrum— and not in a good way. This is one hungry device. It guzzles battery power like we do a bottle of Pinot on a Friday night, so it’s daily (and sometimes more frequent) charging with this one. We also couldn’t quite deal with the speaker quality when watching a film, which comes out hollow and almost slightly muffled.

What’s not good about the Kindle Fire 7

As we've touched on, this isn't the swiftest tablet on the market. The laggy interface can be grating and you'll need to keep the charger by your side at all times if this is a device you're hoping to get a lot of use out of. When it comes to the techy side of things, the video, sound, and photo quality are also still a few years behind. But at such a steal of a price, it's no surprise that it requires a little compromise.

Kindle Fire 7 Verdict

If you’re after a Kindle eReader with some perks or a screen bigger than your phone to look at on your daily commute, then this will tick all your boxes. However, this is not a laptop replacement. It won’t give you the screen crispness, high-tech fluidity or multitasking skills of a more high-end tablet like an iPad, but it definitely does the best it can do on the budget it was given.

Aleesha Badkar
Aleesha Badkar

Aleesha is digital shopping writer at woman&home - so whether you're looking for beauty, fashion, health or home buys, she knows all the best places to splash your cash. She earned an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London in 2017 after graduating from University of Leeds in 2014 with a BA in English and Spanish (which took her to Madrid for a fun Rioja and tapas-packed year). Aleesha has worked for woman&home since 2019, when she joined the team as their digital news writer. A year on the news team gained her quick and reactive writing skills and a love for breaking stories, invaluable insight into where to get the best lifestyle releases first, an AOP awards nomination and the nickname ‘crazy watch lady’ after she became so obsessed with the royals that she followed breaking news alerts on her Apple Watch.


Before joining the woman&home team, Aleesha wrote for their sister site GoodtoKnow, where she covered celebrity news, health advice and where to snap up the cheapest lifestyle buys. With a background in beauty, Aleesha has also written for Stylist and Women’s Health where she developed an understanding into what makes a stellar product and which brands are worth paying attention to. She never leaves the house without a slick of lip balm and a good slathering of SPF, cannot live without an eyelash curler by her side and is always on the hunt for new lipsticks to add to her ‘Lipstick of the Day’ Instagram story highlight (and color-coordinated collection).

But it’s not just beauty buys Aleesha can help you with. Social media savviness, strong PR relationships and a need to stay in the know mean she’s all about the latest fashions, clever gadgets and reliable lifestyle buys too. She loves indulging in an interior craze (with a bedroom drowned in prints, plants and pink), is a regular visitor to the Missoma and Edge of Ember 'New In' pages and can’t resist the allure of a kitchen gadget—just ask her three coffee machines.

When she’s not playing around with new products and testing anything she can get her hands on, Aleesha spends most of her time with her head in a current bestseller, catching up on the latest Netflix craze with her sister, trying out new recipes, drinking wine with her bestie and (in non-COVID times) has been known to be a bit of a jetsetter amongst her friendship group. Oh and she makes the most of her Disney+ subscription by watching the Marvel films on repeat (definitely not just for Chris Evans...).

Follow her latest shopping & lifestyle advice, beauty insights and social antics on Instagram at @aleeshabadkar.


Twitter: @aleeshabadkar

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Email: aleesha.badkar@futurenet.com