All New Fire Tablet Display Kid Proof Reviews Review and Buying Guide from experts and users.
± Slow… New FreeTime layout as of 10-13-18 is an absolute joke
This is so hilariously bad on Amazon’s part. This was ordered as an upgrade from the 6th generation, I can honestly say this tablet is ~70% as fast as the old one loading apps for my child. When my child attempts to download apps and games it will freeze, not download the app, or take FOREVER to download the apps. It sits there with the spinning wheel with full internet connection not downloading or doing anything. Amazon Customer Service did remote in to the device and was shocked at how poor the performance was and why apps wouldn’t download even when had full internet and my speeds tested out with 100mbs down and 20mbs up.
The Free Time update is complete total and rushed garbage. It’s a blazing pile of trash. Does Amazon developers not understand who are using their devices? Why would you take away the icons for children who can’t read to not be able to browse to games, shows, or movies. My child has NO IDEA how to get to shows or movies because she’s too young to read. She used the 2016 tablet and knew what she wanted because of the picture icons on the home screen that would take her to what she wanted (a game for example) and knew everything that she was about to click on would be a game. Now it doesn’t show any icons and everything is in this hot garbage mess on the homescreen and she has no idea if what she’s clicking is a show or a game that may never or will take forever to eventually download.
Did you not even do QA when you rolled this steaming pile out Amazon or what gives? Your customer service representatives are even shocked by how bad the new software update and the new device is.
± BEWARE! not Reliable, DO NOT BUY
After only 7 months, it stopped downloading videos and stopped deleting videos. Amazon clearly says “No questions asked, we’ll replace it”,,, but this is not true. I had to spend over 1.5 hours with their Tech support to try to fix the problem. They had me reset it to factory setting. Then they still wouldn’t send me a new one. The best thing they can do? Send me a refurbished one after they receive mine and test it for a week… REFURBISHED is the best you can expect from them… someone else’s garbage.
I had a horrible experience with them.
± Basic Tablet with Great Value
Update 10/05/19: After a year of having these I am, happy to report no problems with them and I still highly recommend them. Having the Freetime service is really the best part of these so I bought another pair on Prime day to get another year of subscription and will sell these. It looks like they sell for $60-$80 used, so that’s not a bad deal at all.
I pre-ordered two of these for my 5yo and almost 3yo for an upcoming vacation. I debated between these and getting a couple of used iPad 2s or 3s. Ultimately I was drawn to the 2 year warranty and 1 year of FreeTime Unlimited service.
Out of the Box
The tablets come already installed in their protective cases. One of the tablets was installed backwards, making the power button inaccessible, but removing the tablet and putting it back in was not difficult. The tablets come with a charging cable and transformer/AC adapter. I wasn’t sure if the transformer would be included since my Kindle Paperwhite did not include one, this was a pleasant surprise. One of the common complaints about other Kindles is that the charge port stops working. In an effort to prevent this I purchased a set of NetDot magnetic charger connectors. These are similar in concept to Apple’s Magsafe ports where the cable is held to the device with a magnet that can brake away without doing damage or putting strain on the port. One of the first things I noticed about the tablets is that the protective case is nice and thick, but not heavy. The bumpers will be good for the kids to grip their fingers around. The case material is slippery, but that’s what the warranty is for I guess.
When turned on, both tablets had around 70% charge on them. The first steps are pretty typical, choose a language, connect to WiFi. The update process was surprisingly lengthy for a brand new device that was received the day it released. There were two rounds of updates and all total it was between 15 and 20 minutes of time to install the updates. One very important item of note is that the tablet is pre-assigned for the account on which it was purchased. If it is being received as a gift, make sure that you do not accept the EULA and activate on the purchaser’s account because the free year of FreeTime will then be on the purchaser’s account. There will be an option to change accounts during the setup. Unfortunately I goofed up because I bought it on my business’ account using some racked up rewards points, but meant to activate it on my personal amazon account. A call to customer support had this resolved in a matter of minutes. I did not make the same mistake on the second tablet and everything went smoothly.
You will be prompted to setup Freetime profiles for your children. After setting up the first profile it immediately goes into setting up a second profile, with no obvious way to skip past it. Since I was only doing one profile per device this was a little confusing, but I found that just hitting the back arrow brought it back to the profile list and I could proceed from there. This was a little confusing and a surprising UI blunder on Amazon’s part, but nothing major.
Given the price of the tablet and the price of the base HD 8 tablet that uses identical hardware, I wasn’t expecting much in terms of processing power, but I was still a little surprised that a brand new device would lag as much as these do just when scrolling through menu items. You would think the software would be designed with the hardware limitations in mind so that the processing demand matched the processing power, but I guess you get what you pay for. I would say it’s about on par with an old iPad trying to run the latest version of iOS and showing its age. One of the biggest disappointments about this device is that you can’t access videos that have been transferred from a PC to the tablet when in the kids’ profiles. I suppose it is a safeguard, but I have a lot of downloaded movies that I wanted to put on for them to watch. Supposedly there is a workaround if you record a video to an SD card, then you can take the SD card out and add your own videos in the folder created by the camera. I haven’t tried this yet, but it sounds plausible. That said, with FreeTime there is more than enough content and you can download a decent amount for offline use.
I won’t go too in depth with this as it is a service independent of this device and there are plenty of articles about it already. That said, it is really a great service. There are tons of videos, books and games for the kids that would cost a ton to purchase a la carte. Having the ability to put time limits by category is really an interesting feature too. While the white listed internet sounded like a great feature, I’m not sure yet if there is enough sites to be that great of a feature, but it’ there.
All in all I’m happy with this purchase so far, we’ll see how the performance goes over time. I’m a little concerned that it won’t take much in terms of increased software complexity to really strain the ability of the hardware to operate smoothly. In the end these are sort of a throw away device so if they last 3 years I’ll be happy considering they were only $200 for the pair.
1 year of FreeTime service worth the extra cost for young kids
Can’t play videos copied from PC to device in kids profiles
Slippery case material
Bottom line: Great value for a kids tablet that you don’t have to worry too much about getting broken
± Warning: Do not trust Amazon’s FreeTime choices for your children! Lots of inappropriate content
Amazon’s FreeTime is required to run the thousands of apps, books, and websites supposedly safe for your children, but DO NOT trust the safety of the content in spite of the repeated assurances on FreeTime that everything has been carefully selected and parent approved. Yes, there are supposed age controls, but they don’t help since the content is shockingly mature. For instance, I entered my child’s age as 8 and then scanned the book list. About one third of the books were about ghosts, zombies, witchcraft, and warfare – with graphic, scary book covers. About one quarter of the books were teen novels that might be appropriate by age 13 (if ever) but why do they appear on an 8 year old reading list? There were also numerous books promoting world religions and religious holidays, but sadly not a single title was about Christmas or Easter. There were also several titles promoting evolution but none promoting creation. Overall, there were few books that qualify as decent literature so my recommendation is to turn off the books and the web browsing feature since Amazon’s parental controls are terrible. The game apps so far seem age appropriate, so that is good. But Amazon, you have this whole parenting thing backwards. We are the parents and you are not. As the parent, I would like to be provided with options for books, apps, websites that I look through and choose for my child. I do not want my children choosing media based on Amazon’s inappropriate recommendations. Can you please reverse this whole thing to give parents complete control? Instead of a parent having to block 500 inappropriate books one by one, I would prefer to choose books that I like for my child. Thank you for listening.
± Just buy an iPad and save the headache
First bad experience I’ve ever had with Amazon. I bought 2 of these for our 4 year old and 6 year old. My wife and I are both prime members, with amazon products everywhere you look in our house. I’m so disappointed in this tablet. We had an older generation fire tablet and the layout was great. Easy for our child to understand and get to what he wanted, with no problems. Now free time is a terrible mess of apps and books and games that have no organization and makes it extremely difficult for someone who can’t read operate. I wish I had never “upgraded” to these. Now I have an error message on the screen several times a day “oops something went wrong” that apparently is an amazon software issue with no fix. Restart the tablet and it comes back shortly. I now have 2 fire 8s that amazon should be ashamed to put their name on. I will try to return these without the boxes and see if amazon would accept them. Amazon- Bring back the old free time layout, stop trying to fix what was never broken!!
± WORST UPDATE EVER!!
WORST UPDATE EVER!!
The home screen used to be only the apps the kids downloaded. Simple. Now its a mess of apps, videos, books, etc. My daughter can’t read so she just hits a app she likes and has to wait for it to download bc she can’t tell which is downloaded and which is not. Plus we have had problems using the apps without internet. Use to be you could play the plays you downloaded without internet, now I find she needs my hotspot to play. Would not recommend after the update.
± Amazon Subscription Channels not available on Free time App.
The tablet works but I am massively disappointed. We are an Amazon family. I have the firestick on all my tv’s and use Amazon Channels instead of cable. I got this tablet for my 4 year old so he could play games and watch movies. Well come to find out in the free time app you cannot watch any of your subscription channels. The Noggin channel is how my child watches Paw Patrol, Blaze, and Umi Zoomi. Right now he can only watch the episodes I have purchased, and none of the ones on the channels I pay Amazon monthly for. The games are good and he has enjoyed that but he is having some issues with navigation and in the two weeks he’s had it we already had an incident where it refused to turn on and I had to look up a tutorial on how to fix it. I have been a loyal prime customer for many years. I am very disappointed with the free time interface and the exclusion of the channels on his tablet.
± WIN WIN SITUATION!!!
Got this for my 3 year old daughter, she loves it. I love it because, I have my cell phone back..
± Very frustrating!
When tablet is offline, your child is still suppose to be able to play games and watch videos that have been downloaded to the tablet. Every once in awhile it will let him but most of the time when he clicks on the icon is blacks out and says the tablet is offline. Also, downloading games proves to be very difficult. You have to download them in parent mode and then send them to the kids mode?
The pre-loaded icons on Amazon FreeTime cause lots of frustration too. I have tried many times to delete them. My son see’s them and wants to play them but they will either be an app that doesn’t work or something that he isn’t age capable for. Wouldn’t be an issue if you could delete the app so he doesn’t see it.
I purchased this tablet to ease our daily 2.5 hours car ride and let me tell you, the car ride is much more difficult!
± Buggy Software leaves kids frustrated and angry
Since last month, we started getting “Oops something went wrong” error message whenever my kid unlocks the tablet. The only solution is to restart the tablet. The error would appear again after some time, and you have to keep restarting the tablet.
This is so frustrating that even after Amazon acknowledged the problem a month back, they have still not fixed the issue. Instead, they are trying to sell more and more of this buggy piece of crap to people. A simple google search can tell you scores of other people affected by the problem.
My only reason for the bad rating is the way they have handled this fiasco. First, they blame it on the customer, then they want you to erase all of your data, then they would reset the account. After that, they will say it is a known software bug.
The screen material is not good and it attracts lots of gunk.
I think you get what you pay for, a cheap crappy tablet with tons of software bugs rendering it unusable.