Amazon Fire 7 (2017) – Camera
I’d never recommend using a tablet as a camera, but that’s never stopped anyone before. In fairness, the 7-inch form factor makes for a slightly less unwieldy camera than some of the larger tablets I’ve seen tourists wrestling with.
Still, the camera in the Amazon Fire 7 is another area that’s fallen by the wayside in the list of priorities, so it’s not something you’ll want to use unless you absolutely have to. The rear sensor is only 2-megapixel, with a lowly VGA camera on the front.
The rear sensor still crops the sensor output awkwardly from 4:3 to create 16:9 aspect ratio images, with a resolution of 1600 x 1200. Not something you’ll want to be printing off and hanging on the wall at anything but the smallest size. Even then, images lack any definition, have lots of noise and are soft as a result.
The front-facing camera doesn’t really fare any better with its low resolution that can lose all detail from your face when taking a selfie. Even video chats through Facebook Messenger can be a struggle unless you can find some strong lighting.
Amazon Fire 7 (2017) – Battery life
One of our complaints about the previous Fire 7 was Amazon packing in a lowly 5V, 1A charger, that meant a slow charge rate of around six hours. That’s unfortunately not changed, so the Fire 7 remains a tablet you probably want to charge overnight.
Amazon said you could expect an extra hour of longevity over the previous generation and that seems to be true. An hour of Netflix streaming knocks off about 13-14% of the battery life with the screen set to half brightness. That’s no doubt helped by the screen’s low resolution and relatively low brightness, but overall battery life is pretty good for the money. You can expect just over 4 hours of gaming, too.
Should I buy the Amazon Fire 7 (2017)?
There’s not been a massive sea change between Fire 7 generations. Aside from the addition of Alexa and some slight improvements to networking and battery life, it’s all pretty standard for a Fire tablet.
Namely, performance is merely acceptable, the screen is rather lacklustre and the build quality leaves something to be desired. But this is a £50 tablet and there’s very little competition around for the same price.
In the end, the updated Amazon Fire 7 remains a good deal, all things considered. If you don’t have high expectations and go in fully aware of what to expect, the Fire 7 is a respectable enough tablet.
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The Amazon Fire 7 remains a decent tablet for those on a tight budget, and the addition of Alexa proves handy for fans of Amazon’s digital assistant.
Score in detail
Software & Apps 7
Sound Quality 6
Screen Quality 6
Battery Life 8
Build Quality 6