Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition Tablet Review: Give Your Kids a New Experience
Children are obviously not the most careful with tablets. Shattered screens, heavily soiled devices and gummy buttons are just a few of what happens when kids use tablets and that’s just one part of it. You also have to face the issue of unsuitable apps and inappropriate websites children can likely view and download while using the Internet. The Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition Tablet is here to fix these issues for parents as well as enhance the child user experience.
Thanks to iPad starting prices falling from $500 to $329 in the past couple of years; letting children have free/largely unsupervised use and even ownership of these devices, is no longer too much of a knuckle cracking experience.
Although children-specially targeted computers and tablets have been available for years, most of them have been low end, low grade and low useful content devices. This is where Amazon Fire array of tablets triumph, due to their affordable cost, amazing array of apps, good specs and features. From 2014, these tablets have been continually tailored by Amazon to be more kid-friendly. Even though this upgraded kid targeted tablet comes at a higher price, they are worth the extra cash.
Review Price: $130
- 8-inch Screen
- 2MP Front Camera
- Protective case
- Two-year free replacement policy
- One year of FreeTime Unlimited.
The kids’ edition version of the Amazon Fire HD 8 tablet is physically similar to the regular version. Where they differ is in software, support and accessories. At first look, it seems illogical to pay an extra $50 for a tablet that’s usually $70 but it is really not as insane as it seems.
The Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition goes for $130 and this is what the additional cash gives you:
A bumper tablet case that’s rubberised – this case is normally sold on its own by Amazon for $20 or $30.
A “no questions asked “ replacement warranty for two years – thrown inside mud or shattered screen or any other iPad disaster, Amazon will replace it during the first two years of ownership.
The Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition comes with 32GB worth of storage as against the 16GB of the basic adult version. The storage can also be expanded via microSD cards (which are cheap and easy to come by).
A full year subscription to FreeTime Unlimited. FreeTime is a subscription service similar to Netflix and it offers a wide variety of child-appropriate videos, games and eBooks. When the one year unlimited is over, the service goes for $2.99 a month for Amazon Prime members ($4.99 for non-members), which amounts to almost $35 per year.
Looking at all the above extra additions, it’s obvious they add up to way more than the $50 extra cost of the Fire HD 8 Kids Edition.
Of the extras included in the Kids Edition of the Fire tablets, the subscription to FreeTime Unlimited may seem the least useful, at least compared to the padded case, extra storage and no-hassle replacement plan. It’s actually Amazon’s secret weapon, and having used the service extensively over the past couple of weeks, it’s almost criminally low-profile for the value and flexibility it offers.
Now, the FreeTime Unlimited may seem like the least useful of the new tablet’s additions, when put up against features like extra storage and no questions two year warranty. However, based on our Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition, we can confidently say it is actually Amazon’s hidden edge.
FreeTime Unlimited adds the usual free FreeTime features, including scheduling and usage tools for parents to manage how and when kids use their tablet, with the subscription Unlimited access to give an amazing collection of videos, apps and eBooks to be enjoyed for a full year by its young users.
A child or children (multiple profiles cost extra) after set up, gets an interface customized with their information.
FreeTime operates solely in landscape though certain eBooks and app appear in portrait during their usage.
While there isn’t a specific masterlist of content included in the app, it still offers a huge amount of first class content that children will definitely enjoy and learn from.
During set up of the FreeTime service, choose the age range of media you want shown and the apps, videos and books displayed would be tailored to the chosen age range. The apps and eBooks are great but the videos come from Amazon Prime and don’t really offer much. The eBooks are quite formatted to fit the screen. Some books function in both portrait and landscape mode while others are limited to just one. Pinch-to-zoom to read small text is not available on the Fire HD 8 kids edition but double tapping a text makes it pop up in a huge bubble.
The apps available are mainly games. Most are free or premium but quite a number of the apps are premium. Not to worry, children cannot purchase any new apps without parental help.
The Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition tablet is worth the extra cost with it’s amazing no questions warranty and one year FreeTime Unlimited subscription.
It’s a smart purchase for parents who intend to give their kids more value without having to worry about replacing the device when it shatters or has children caused issues.