With its Fire, Amazon had made a remarkable entry on the tablet market by offering good quality models at very attractive prices. The seventh generation is no exception to the rule with the arrival of the new entry-level Fire 7 tablet, priced at 70 euros – if we accept to receive promotional offers on its screen saver. Otherwise, you have to pay 15 euros more. Is it as attractive as the Fire version at 60 euros that we tested almost two years ago?
New out of old
Not surprisingly, we found the same constraints and benefits on the Fire 7 as on the previous model. The tablet embeds the operating system Fire OS overlay Android. Everything is reviewed in the Amazon sauce, the Play Store is absent (this is the case for all Google services), replaced by a proprietary store, certainly well supplied but where we have not found all our favorite apps, especially the Chrome browser. Normal, Amazon prefers to promote his! On the other hand, we enjoyed smooth navigation and easy access to content: apps, eBooks, games, videos, and music. A good point if you have already purchased content on Amazon because they are then available within the interface.
More surprisingly, for a novelty of 2017, the Fire 7 remained stuck on Fire OS 5 overlay of Android … Lollipop (5.1.1)! Apart from some comfort updates, the only real innovation made by Fire OS, in this version 5.3.3, is the addition of the personal assistant Alexa. And as it is not available in France, there is something to be annoyed. Would the American try to make something new with old? A little daring for a tablet that has changed little since 2015 and still costs 10 euros more.
Amazon Fire 7
Beyond this negative point, the tablet remains a price-quality ratio quite unbeatable compared to models of supermarkets sold at the same price. Players will especially appreciate the presence of many free games. Fans of sophisticated 3D games will be at their expense because this slate is clearly not powerful enough to offer a fluid display for this type of use. Inevitable since Amazon keeps the same small processor as the previous model, a MediaTek MT8127 (four cores and 1.3 GHz) with 1 GB of RAM. The configuration is still sufficient to run most apps. Of the 8 GB of internal memory, only 5.6 GB are available to the user, which is a fair bit. However, Amazon offers the 16 GB version for only 10 euros more and it is also possible to add a microSD memory card (up to 256 GB) to free internal memory. The only notable technical improvement comes from the Wi-Fi interface which now manages the 5 GHz band in addition to 2.4 GHz.
A little better in autonomy
Side endurance, the Fire 7, however, better than the old model. According to our measurements, the autonomy in general use that combines several types of use goes from 5:59 to 7:08. The video playback time (7:22) does not move. Nothing exceptional compared to some higher-end models but remember that the Fire 7 is sold under the bar of 100 euros and that many models at this price ensure endurance much worse.
A reduced definition for the screen
We would have appreciated that Amazon provides better display quality on its new generation of tablets. This is missed because the definition does not increase and remains at 1024 x 600 pixels and the brightness of the screen is still as low (311 cd / m²). Not very obvious for comfortable use in bright places, such as a park or garden. The only consolation, the contrast ratio is satisfactory (1196: 1) and the IPS technology offers comfortable viewing angles, which does not allow TN technology still present on some cheap models.
Amazon Fire 7 Side design, the Fire 7 is still not at the party with its black plastic case, far removed from the beautiful tablets of Apple or Samsung, price requires. Amazon has however made a little effort since the Fire 7 is slightly thinner (0.96 against 1.06 cm) and lighter (280 against 313 g) than the previous model. In the end, the grip is not unpleasant and the finish rather correct.
A poor camera
Amazon has not improved the photo features of its tablet either. The 2-megapixel rear sensor delivers pictures of poor quality, without detail, which become blurry when the light runs out.
As for the 720p videos, they suffer from tremors and a flagrant lack of precision. Only use if you really have nothing else on hand.