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Ryan Haines / Android Authority

Amazon Fire 7 (2022) review: Carry-on companion

There are better tablets out there, but few are as portable (or as cheap) as Amazon's pocket pal.

Published onJuly 10, 2022

Amazon Fire 7 (2022)

The Amazon Fire 7's value lies in its portability and its price. It's easy to point to other tablets with more power and larger displays, but few compete in the sub-$100 category like Amazon. While the hardware is far from the best, creature comforts like a microSD slot and a headphone jack make this small tablet a solid travel companion, especially for Prime subscribers.

What we like

Unbeatable price
Still has a headphone jack
Expandable storage up to 1TB
Small, travel-ready design

What we don't like

Very slow charging
Underwhelming display
Weak cameras
Limited performance

Amazon Fire 7 (2022)

The Amazon Fire 7's value lies in its portability and its price. It's easy to point to other tablets with more power and larger displays, but few compete in the sub-$100 category like Amazon. While the hardware is far from the best, creature comforts like a microSD slot and a headphone jack make this small tablet a solid travel companion, especially for Prime subscribers.

Every so often, we have a familiar debate here at Android Authority. We go back and forth on how much you should spend on a tablet, and the answer often comes down to what you want to use it for. You can spend a lot of money, but then you have to make an effort to justify the tablet in your daily life, or you can go cheap and enjoy the occasional convenience of a larger display. Today, we’re looking at a device that fits squarely into the second category. This is our Amazon Fire 7 (2022) review.

Amazon Fire 7 (2022)

What you need to know about the Amazon Fire 7 (2022)

The amazon fire 7 2022 lies on a table showing the rear of the tablet
Ryan Haines / Android Authority
  • Amazon Fire 7 (16GB, ad-supported): $59 / £59 / €65
  • Amazon Fire 7 (32GB, ad-supported): $79 / £69 / €75
  • Amazon Fire 7 (16GB, no ads): $75 / £75 / €79
  • Amazon Fire 7 (32GB, no ads): $95 / £85 / €89

The Amazon Fire 7 arrived in June 2022 as a follow-up to the 2019 tablet of the same name. While the two budget tablets look almost identical outside, the latest version packs a few key refreshes. The RAM has doubled, for starters, going from a paltry 1GB to 2GB. A MediaTek 2.0GHz quad-core processor also replaces the previous 1.3GHz unit, which should boost the tablet’s performance capabilities slightly. You can also pick up an Amazon Fire 7 Kids version, which is the same tablet with a thick, durable case on top, though it’ll cost you a fair bit extra, with prices starting at $109.

See also: The best cheap tablets

Despite the improved internals, the Fire 7 (2022) design and build materials are unchanged. It’s decked in colorful plastic from top to bottom, with options like Denim and Rose in addition to a basic black finish. On the bright side, Amazon’s decision to stay the course means this budget tablet still carries a headphone jack and a microSD slot to expand the storage to 1TB. You’ll probably need that extra storage, too, as the Fire 7 (2022) comes with either 16GB or 32GB of onboard storage, which isn’t a lot if you want to download movies or games.

Most of Amazon's updates are hidden inside of the Fire 7, but it's nice to see creature comforts like a headphone jack and microSD slot.

Also unchanged is the 7-inch, 1,024 x 600 resolution display. It’s the only non-HD member of the Fire tablet family, offering sizeable bezels on all four sides. The top bezel houses a basic 2MP selfie camera, and there’s another lens of the same resolution around the back.

The Amazon Fire 7 doesn’t offer many specifics regarding the battery setup. It boasts up to 10 hours on a single charge but skips an official battery capacity. You can recharge it at up to 5W with the included charger and USB-C 2.0 port, though Amazon admits it will take about four hours.

As you might expect, you can buy the Fire 7 (2022) from Amazon in North America, in the UK and across the rest of Europe, and many other regions around the world.

What’s good?

The amazon fire 7 2022 tablet propped up vertically against a plant pot showing the screen displaying the Alexa app
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

We can’t talk about anything else without first acknowledging the unbeatable price of the Amazon Fire 7. You can add it to your travel bag for as little as $60 (if you’re willing to tolerate ads and not much storage). It’s a fraction of what any other small tablet will cost you and nowhere close to the $499 asking price of the iPad Mini. While it doesn’t reflect well on the spec sheet, the low price offers something that can be tough to match among modern devices — peace of mind. You simply don’t have to worry as much if something happens because the initial investment is so low.

The Fire 7 (2022) is also a no-brainer if you’re well-entrenched in the Amazon ecosystem. It syncs seamlessly with your Amazon Prime account and automatically picks up your Alexa preferences. Both aspects make setup a breeze, as you can get your Prime Video favorites and Kindle library in the palm of your hand right away.

The Fire 7 (2022) is the perfect size for travel, and has the perfect price for some peace of mind.

I can’t help but love the size of Amazon’s most affordable tablet. No, the 7-inch display isn’t much bigger than some of the largest phablets on the market, but it doesn’t need to be. While phones are billed as high-performance machines, the Fire 7 (2022) is just an easy way to watch your favorite shows and keep up with your Kindle library on the go. It’s small enough to fit into a purse or a backpack comfortably, yet large enough that you can enjoy your content, albeit in a lower resolution than most tablets.

The Amazon Fire 7 (2022) also shows that you don’t always have to revolutionize your design. It worked well in 2019 thanks to its headphone jack and expandable storage, and both of those features are back for another round. However, the microSD slot packs an extra punch as it can add up to 1TB of storage instead of 512GB. I doubt anyone is likely to need that much space on this tablet, but it’s a nice boost to the flexibility.

Most of Amazon’s internal upgrades serve the Fire 7 (2022) well, especially the boosted battery life. I spent most of my time between Netflix, HBO Max, and my Kindle library, and I had no problem reaching around nine hours on a single charge. It’s not quite the 10 hours Amazon boasts, but I’d bet that the battery life improves over time as the tablet adjusts to your usage. Any improvement is a positive when you remember that the previous Fire 7 was only rated for seven hours of battery life.

Get your favorite shows: The best video streaming apps and services

What’s not so good?

Reading a magazine on the Kindle app on the Amazon Fire 7 2022
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

While the Fire 7 (2022)’s price is one of its best features, it’s also one of the biggest limitations. There’s simply no way to put class-leading specs into such an affordable tablet.

Even though there are positive aspects to the unchanged design, there are just as many drawbacks. It’s almost impossible to use the Fire 7 (2022) without headphones, as there’s only one built-in speaker, and it’s off-center. It pumps decent sound out of the left side of the device but offers nothing from the right.

Amazon’s simple display is also showing some age. This is a budget-friendly tablet in the truest sense, but most modern content is produced in HD/4K. There’s no HD version of the Fire 7 (at least not yet), which might limit what you’re willing to watch. If you’re reliving an old favorite like Golden Girls, you might not be as worried, but modern hits like Stranger Things come out more than a bit soft.

Amazon's rock-bottom pricing limits the Fire 7 (2022)'s potential, and the anemic Fire OS app store doesn't help.

If you’re not already entrenched in Amazon’s ecosystem, the app store might come as a bit of a shock. The Fire 7 runs on Fire OS, which means there are no Play Services and no Google apps without sideloading and jumping through several hoops. If you’re on vacation, you might not have an issue with escaping Gmail and Google Drive, but it also means sacrificing a proper YouTube app and the far larger Play Store library. Amazon’s App Store just doesn’t have as many apps on offer as Google’s, though if you really want to, it is possible to sideload apps via APK files (or even install Google Play services) if you have the know-how.

Learn more: What you need to know about Fire OS

We should also acknowledge that nobody and I mean nobody, is buying the Amazon Fire 7 for its camera. It has front and rear-facing 2MP shooters but would probably have been better off skipping the rear lens. You might get some use from the selfie camera for video calls in a pinch, but the rear camera won’t top even the most affordable smartphone in any situation.

While I had no problems with the Fire 7’s battery life, charging was an entirely different story. Once you drain the battery, get ready to sit still for a while. The tablet comes bundled with a charger, but it’s only rated for a measly 5W of power. That means you’ll have to block out about four hours at an outlet to get back to a full battery.

Even though Amazon doubled the tablet’s RAM and upgraded its quad-core processor, the performance is still lacking. There’s a noticeable lag in tasks as simple as swiping away notifications, and search results take a long time to load. I don’t have an extensive Kindle library, but I found the Fire 7 taking more than a minute to load each time I browsed my books after some time away. It picks up the pace a little once you get into the swing of things but slows right back down when you walk away.

Amazon Fire 7 (2022) specs

Amazon Fire 7 (2022)
1,024 x 600 (171 ppi)
Quad-core 2.0 GHz
16GB or 32GB
2MP Front and rear cameras
Up to 10 hours
5W wired charging
Headphone jack
180.68 x 117.59 x 9.67mm
USB-C 2.0
Charger included
3.5mm headphone jack

Amazon Fire 7 (2022) review: The verdict

The Amazon Fire 7 2022 in hand showing apps
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

If you’re looking for an ultra-affordable tablet to watch your favorite shows or read Kindle books while you travel, the Amazon Fire 7 (2022) is a good pick. It’s about as far from the most powerful tablet as you can get, but the price tag is comfortably under $100, so you never really have to worry about a few bumps or knocks.

Amazon’s Fire OS might be an adjustment for some people with its lack of Google apps and services, but it’s much easier to feel like you’re on vacation without Gmail or Google Drive in your face.

Don’t miss: The best tablet deals

You should have no grumbles grabbing the Fire 7 as a tablet for a grandparent or a casual user, but it’s not one for gamers or anyone looking to do more than the basics. The kids’ version is an even better buy for youngsters with its thick bumper case and curated content library, though it does tip the price over $100.

The Amazon Fire 7 (2022) is as affordable as they come, and it makes a solid travel companion for your Kindle library and streaming services.

Although the Fire 7 packs a decent mix of size and affordability, it won’t blow anyone away on the performance front. It’s also worth considering that the ultra-low price doesn’t factor in a Prime subscription, which is really a necessity to unlock the Fire 7’s potential with access to Prime Video, Prime Music, and much more. This is true of all Amazon tablets, though if you’re hoping to enjoy your movies and shows in crisp HD, you might want to spend a little more money on one of the higher-spec options in Amazon’s portfolio.

The Fire 8 HD Plus ($109) offers a 1,280 x 800 display for around $100, or you can go all-in on the Fire 10 HD Plus ($179) with its Full HD 1,920 x 1,080 option. Amazon’s more expensive tablets also add a third gigabyte of RAM, Dolby Atmos, and two extra hours of battery life. However, the closest in price is the Amazon Fire 8 HD ($89), which drops wireless charging and has less RAM than the Plus variant. Unless you’re happy with the 16GB base model for the Fire 7, we strongly suggest you give the Fire 8 HD a look for its higher resolution screen. After all, it’s only $10 more than the 32GB Fire 7 variant (with ads).

Of course, the vanilla iPad ($329) is the most popular entry-level tablet for most, but even if you factor in a $119 yearly subscription to Prime, the Fire 7 still massively undercuts Apple’s slate. The excellent Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 ($229) is certainly worth considering if you want a larger, but still affordable tablet, though once again the price falls very much in the Fire 7’s favor.

amazon fire 7 2022
Amazon Fire 7 (2022)
Amazon's most affordable tablet is back with a few internal upgrades and a familiar, travel-ready form factor. It still carries a headphone jack and expandable storage, too.

Top Amazon Fire 7 (2022) questions and answers

If you want a small, powerful tablet to use all the time, you may want to invest in another device. If you just need a lightweight tablet for occasional travel, then the Fire 7 is definitely worth buying.

While you can’t make traditional voice calls with your phone number, the Fire 7 supports a host of video calling apps. You can download popular options like Zoom or run calls straight through Amazon as if you were using an Echo Show.

The Fire 7 packs a slot for standard microSD cards, and you can expand the storage up to 1TB.

Yes, the Amazon Fire 7 can be controlled with the onboard Alexa voice assistant.

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