Amazon’s new Fire Tablet arrives this week. With a starting price of $60, it’s a little pricier than the previous-gen model that it replaces, but the new 12th-gen Fire Tablet has a faster processor, twice as much RAM, faster wireless, and a USB Type-C port.
The new 12th-gen Fire Tablet went up for pre-order last month, and it’s scheduled for release on June 29, 2022.
In a lot of ways, the new tablet is like a smaller, cheaper version of the 10th-gen Amazon Fire HD 8. Both tablets have the same MediaTek MT8168V processor. Both have 2GB of RAM. And both support WiFi 5 and Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity.
But there are a few reasons the 7 inch model has a starting price that’s $30 lower.
The 7 inch Fire Tablet has a 1024 x 600 pixel display, a mono speaker, and the starting price will only get you a model with 16GB of storage. If you spend a bit more on the Fire HD 8 you get a 1280 x 800 pixel display, at least 32GB of storage, and stereo speakers.
But there may still be a few reasons to consider the 12th-gen Fire Tablet 7. Not only is it still the cheapest model of the Amazon Fire Tablet lineup, but it’s also the first to ship with Fire OS 8, an updated version of Amazon’s tablet operating system that’s based on Android 11 and which brings new privacy features.
Here’s how the Fire 7 Tablet stacks up against the previous-gen model and the latest Fire HD 8:
|Fire Tablet 7 (2022)||Fire Tablet 7 (2019)||Fire HD 8 (2020)|
|Display||7 inch, 1024 x 600||7 inch, 1024 x 600||8 inches, 1280 x 800|
|Storage||16GB or 32GB + microSD (up to 1TB)||16GB or 32GB + microSD (up to 512GB)||32GB or 64GB + microSD (up to 1TB)|
4 x ARM Cortex-A53 @ 2 GHz
4 x ARM Cortex-A53 @ 1.3 GHz
4 x ARM Cortex-A53 @ 2 GHz
|GPU||Mali-G52 3EE MC1||Mali-T720 MP2||Mali-G52 3EE MC1|
|Battery||Up to 10 hours||Up to 7 hours||Up to 12 hours|
|Ports||USB 2.0 Type-C|
|micro USB 2.0|
|USB 2.0 Type-C|
|Charging time||4 hours (5W wired)||4 hours||5 hours (5W wired)|
|WiFi||WiFi 5||WiFi 4||WiFi 5|
|Cameras||2MP front & rear||2MP front & rear||2MP front & rear|
|Latest OS version||Fire OS 8||Fire OS 7||Fire OS 7|
|Dimensions||180.7 x 117.6 x 9.7mm||192 x 115 x 9.6mm||202 x 137 x 9.7mm|
|Weight||282 grams||286 grams||355 grams|
|Starting price (MSRP)||$60||$50||$90|
Keep in mind that those starting prices are for models with the base amount of storage and with ads on the lock screen. You can add $15 to the price to remove ads (or try to find a workaround that may allow you to do it without paying, although it’s not clear yet whether those tricks will work with Fire OS 8).
Update: My Fire 7 tablet has arrived, and while the small, low-resolution display definitely doesn’t look as good as the screens on the Fire HD 8 or Fire HD 10, there’s something attractive about the smaller, almost pocket-sized design that could make Amazon’s entry-level tablet an alternative to a Kindle for folks who don’t care about an ePaper display. The CPU and memory upgrades don’t exactly make the tablet super-speedy, but it feels at least as responsive as my 2020 Fire HD 8.
And Fire OS 8 may not be a huge update compared to Fire OS 7: most features and settings look and function the same way as they did before. But there are some welcome changes including support for a system-wide dark mode, a more colorful Settings menu, customizable Quick Settings, and a built-in screen recorder.
Update 2: Want to install the Google Play Store on the 12th-gen Fire tablet? We’ve got you covered.