Fire 7 Kids Edition Tablet Reviews Review and Buying Guide from experts and users.
± An amazing refresh of the base Fire tablet Kids Edition at an affordable price
Original review (June 10, 2019) and six updates at the end of the review (2019: June 11, 12, 13, 14, 19, and 21 respectively).
ORIGINAL REVIEW: June 10, 2019: 5/5 stars
UPDATED REVIEW: June 30, 2019: 3/5 stars (I docked down two stars for issues mentioned in UPDATE # 3 and # 4, and issues with parental controls).
For background information, I am a professor and a tech geek. I have used Amazon devices for around eight years now. I currently own three Kindle e-readers (1 Kindle Touch, 1 Kindle Paperwhite 3rd generation, and 1 Kindle 10). I also own two Amazon Fire tablets (Kindle 7 – 2015: 5th generation and Kindle 8 – 2018: 8th generation) and 3 Echo devices (1st generation Echo, 2nd generation Echo Dot, and 3rd generation Echo Dot). Please note that I have traded-in some of the dated versions of the above-listed products to get upgraded versions (more on this under the “Saving Money on Purchases” section.)
This device is Amazon’s most recently refreshed (2019 – 9th generation) Fire 7 inch Kids Edition Tablet (henceforth referred to as Fire 7 KE) at an excellent price. The Fire 7 (9th generation) is slightly better than the previous generation. The combination of quality and value are tough to beat, and the tablet does well overall. This is a comprehensive review, but for those looking for the bottom line, scroll down to the bottom to see some feedback on how to save money on purchasing the Fire and my final recommendations.
I have spent the past few days interacting with the Fire, using it, and reading other online reviews about this version to ensure the comprehensiveness and accuracy of information provided in this review. For reference purposes, this Fire model was last refreshed in 2017. This review overlaps with my review of the Fire 7 tablet because both of these are essentially the same tablet but to a different audience.
-THE BOX: The Fire 7 Kids Edition tablet enclosed in the Amazon Kid-Proof case, a quick-start guide, 5W wall adapter, and a USB cord (around 3 foot or 36 inches). The item arrived sealed and packaged well.
– AVAILABILITY: a Black tablet with Pink, Blue, or Purple cases with built-in-stand.
– Key things that have not changed from the prior Fire 7 KE model:
— Display size remains the same
— PPI remains the same at 171
— RAM remains the same at 1 GB of RAM.
— Speaker and microphone remains the same (mono speaker with built-in microphone)
— Size specifications stay the same
— Two-year service plan remains the same
— 1-year subscription to FreeTime Unlimited with automatic renewal at $2.99 per month plus tax. Individuals can cancel this subscription at any time by contacting Amazon Customer Service or the Amazon Parent Dashboard.
– Summary of critical aspects (listed in order of importance) that have changed in this version (Fire 7 Kids Edition: 2019: 9th generation) from prior generation Fire 7 Kids Edition tablet (2017: 7th generation). For the below comparison, the new version will be listed as Fire 2019 and the previous model as Fire 2017.
— Battery life has declined to 7 hours (1-hour reduction) from the prior version.
— Charge time has decreased from 6 hours (Fire 2017) to 4 hours (Fire 2019). This is a major plus because it would take forever to charge these tablets). Again, please note that this claim (regarding charging time) holds true only if an Amazon wall outlet is used. The tablet usually notifies you when you are using a non-compatible wall outlet and cable. I have tested charging speeds on third-party wall ports and noticed a substantial increase in charging time as compared to using an Amazon wall outlet. So, ideally, consumers should use only the Amazon wall outlet for fast charging.
— The new processors: Fire 7 2019 [Quad-Core ARM Cortex-A53 1.3 GHz] vs. Fire 7 2017 [Quad Core ARM Cortex-A7 1.3 GHz] is a bit faster. Again, this is my initial assessment. This would require additional testing and I will put in these numbers at a later time when they become available.
— Camera quality has improved 2 MP front and rear-facing cameras with 720p HD video recording as compared to the prior version.
— Slight increase in weight (2.3 oz/66 grams) though this item feels sturdier than the preceding model.
— New built-in stand (definitely a beneficial feature).
– Technical specs and other details:
— Size: 8.7” x 6.3” x 1.0” (220 x 161 x 25.8 mm)
— 171 pixels per inch (PPI) with IPS display technology and advanced polarizing filter. This means that there is a bright display with vivid colors and whiter whites for a great viewing experience from all angles.
— 7-inch screen, 1024 x 600 resolution with SD video playback
— Internal Storage: 16 GB
— External Storage: expandable storage using MicroSD card for up to 512 GB + unlimited cloud storage for Amazon digital content purchases.
— Weight: 16.1 ounces (456 grams)
— Warranty and Service: 2-year worry-free guarantee: if it breaks, return it, and we’ll replace it for free (Amazon really doesn’t ask any questions). The value of this feature cannot be overstated. A tablet in the hands of a child is subject to several drops.
— Camera: 2MP VGA front-facing camera and rear-facing HD camera
— Sensors: Accelerometer and light sensor
— Battery life: Up to 7 hours of battery life
— Fully charges in 4 hours (if Amazon wall outlet is used)
— Single-antenna dual-band Wi-Fi. Uses 802.11a/b/g/n with WEP, WPA, and WPA2 security using password authentication. No support offered to connect to ad-hoc (or peer-to-peer) Wi-Fi networks.
— Bluetooth 4.1 LE
— Ports: USB 2.0 (micro-B connector) to connect to the computer or for charging the device with the included power adapter; MicroSDXC slot for external storage, and 3.5 mm stereo jack and integrated speaker.
— Built-in microphone
– Some limitations (to be expected because of this tablet being sold at a bargain price and also being the base model of the Fire series):
— No HD video viewing available
— Camera specs are sub-par as compared to other costlier tablets (again this might sound oxymoronic…but just pointing it out)
— Max volume is below average (because of the mono-speaker)
— Sound quality is average
— Amazon’s ecosystem is not as massive compared to the Google Play Store and Apple Play Store, but this is a nifty device nevertheless.
— Amazon’s Silk browser is not as intuitive and user-friendly as more prominent competitors (Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, etc.).
— Some reviewers have claimed that the external storage (MicroSDXC card) is not as responsive as the internal storage (this is not something I have experienced).
— Because of concerns dealing with volume and sound quality using this model for listening to music, or watching TV shows, movies, etc. might require headphones or a speaker.
*** Please note that this product is only for Ages 3 and up as there is a Choking Hazard with small parts.
– Comparison between Fire 7 KE (this version – 2019 release) and Fire HD 8 KE (2018 release – mid-tier model):
— Charge time: Fire HD 8 (6 hours) vs. Fire 7 (4 hours)
— Display Size: Fire HD 8 (8 inches) vs. Fire 7 (7 inches)
— Video playback: Fire HD 8 (HD video playback) vs. Fire 7 (SD video playback)
— Resolution: Fire HD 8 (1280 * 800; 189 PPI) vs. Fire 7 (1024 *600; 171 PPI)
— RAM: Fire HD 8 (1.5 GB RAM) vs. Fire 7 (1 GB RAM)
— Battery life: Fire HD 8 (10 hours) vs. Fire 7 (7 hours),
— Speaker: Fire HD 8 (Dolby Atmos, dual stereo speakers) vs. Fire 7 (Mono speaker)
— Weight: Fire HD 8 (16.7 oz, 474 g) vs. Fire 7 (16.1 oz, 456 g)
— Internal Storage: Fire HD 8 (32 GB) vs. Fire 7 (16 GB)
— Expandable Storage: Fire HD 8 (expandable by to 400 GB) vs. Fire 7 (expandable by up to 512 GB).
— Colors: Fire HD 8 (Black, Marine Blue, Punch Red, Canary Yellow) vs. Fire 7 (Black, Twilight Blue, Plum, Sage)
— Cost: Fire HD 8 (16 GB – $79.99; 32 GB – $109.99) vs. Fire HD 7 (16 GB – $49.99; 32 GB – $69.99)
— Multi-touch: Fire HD 8 (10-point) vs. Fire 7 (5-point)
— Processors, software version, and cameras remain the same on both units.
– Comparison between Fire 7 KE (this version – 2019 release) and Fire HD 10 KE (2017 release – mid-tier model):
— Charge time: Fire HD 10 (5 hours) vs. Fire 7 (4 hours)
— Display Size: Fire HD 10 (10.1 inches) vs. Fire 7 (7 inches)
— Video playback: Fire HD 10 (HD video playback; 1080p HD resolution) vs. Fire 7 (SD video playback)
— Resolution: Fire HD 10 (1920 * 1200; 224 PPI) vs. Fire 7 (1024 *600; 171 PPI)
— Processor: Fire HD 10 [2xARM Cortex-A72 (1.8 GHz), 2xARM Cortex-A53 (1.4 GHz)] vs. Fire 7 inch (ARM Cortex-A53 Quad-Core 1.3 GHz) (basically Fire HD 10 would be substantially faster than either the Fire 7 or Fire HD 8)
— RAM: Fire HD 10 (2 GB RAM) vs. Fire 7 (1 GB RAM)
— Battery life: Fire HD 10 (10 hours) vs. Fire 7 (7 hours),
— Speaker: Fire HD 10 (Dolby Atmos, dual stereo speakers) vs. Fire 7 (Mono speaker)
— Camera: Fire HD 10 (0.3 MP front-facing and 2 MP rear-facing camera) vs. Fire 7 (2 MP front-facing and rear-facing camera)
— Weight: Fire HD 10 (23.3 oz, 660 g) vs. Fire 7 (16.1 oz, 456 g)
— Internal Storage: Fire HD 10 (32 GB) vs. Fire 7 (16 GB)
— Expandable Storage: Fire HD 10 (expandable by to 256 GB) vs. Fire 7 (expandable by up to 512 GB).
— Colors: Fire HD 10 (Yellow cover option) vs.. Fire 7 (Black, Twilight Blue, Plum, Sage)
— Cost: Fire HD 10 (32 GB – $149.99; 32 GB – $189.99) vs. Fire 7 (16 GB – $49.99; 32 GB – $69.99)
— Multi-touch: Fire HD 10 (10-point) vs. Fire 7 (5-point)
** If you are considering buying the Fire HD 10 KE, I would wait on it as there is a high probability that this model will be refreshed this year as the last update was in 2017 (Amazon seems to follow a 2-year refresh cycle though this is not always the case).
– Some useful features on Fire KE Tablets (not a comprehensive list). Please note that parental controls can be used to block all of the below-listed features.
— Accessibility: “VoiceView and Screen Magnifier enable access to the vast majority of Fire tablet features. VoiceView features text-to-speech voice. Fire OS 5 also includes system-wide closed caption settings, adjustable font sizes up to 50% larger, and a variety of book reading text adjustments such as adjustable colors and text spacing. Also includes adjustable font sizes/color, and built-in Oxford dictionary.”
— Surfing the web using Amazon’s web browser – Silk
— Watching movies, TV shows, and listening to music — Ability to read Kindle books.
— Ability to read the news using Washington Times
— Other apps (games, educational tools, etc. available in Amazon’s app store) plus several prominent apps included like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, etc.
— Ability to get set-up email apps, calendar, etc.
— Ability to play games that can be downloaded from the app store.
* Basically, this can function as both an adult and a kid’s tablet (older kids or adults can use it by disabling FreeTime).
– Amazon FreeTime Unlimited
— Amazon FreeTime Unlimited is a subscription that offers over “20,000 books, movies, TV shows, apps and games for kids 3-12. Age Filters ensure kids see age-appropriate content. Parents can add content to kids’ profiles to give them more access to apps and games.” “In FreeTime, kids do not have access to social media or Alexa. In-app purchases require parent approval. Parents can exit FreeTime using a passcode.” Another unique feature is Amazon’s FreeTime Unlimited in Spanish! Hopefully, there will be even more language options in the future to help bilingual or multilingual families and also to help those who wish to learn additional languages.
— Parents also have the option “to set educational goals and curfews, and manage content for up to 4 child profiles with easy-to-use parental controls.” This is really not as intuitive as it should be and can be frustrating to use. I have docked down a star as this has yet to be comprehensively developed.
— Generally speaking – FreeTime Unlimited offers an unbeatable value – I mean where else on earth can you get kid-friendly and generally holistic content for $2.99/month (after the 1-year subscription expires). Additionally, kids can’t make any additional purchases without parental authorization so it protects parents from liabilities.
*FreeTime unlimited has several nifty features that I cannot cover because of space limitations but it is pretty intuitive and outstanding. Amazon has done an outstanding job in this process. Parents have a lot of flexibility in choosing and curating content for children, permitting downloads, and even setting the tablet to turn-off after a preset amount of use or at a set time and turn on at a set time. This is a great feature, so you don’t have to constantly follow your kid saying – “you have 5 more minutes before to turn the tablet off.” The automatic turn-off absolves parents from this responsibility, avoids a potential meltdown, and teaches kids to be time conscious.
Wi-Fi: I was able to connect to the Wi-Fi network without any technical difficulties. The process was pretty straightforward.
– Saving money on purchasing the Fire Tablet Kids Edition
— The cost for the 16 GB Fire 7 will be $99.99.
— Customers should also know that they can easily trade-in their prior Fire tablet for Amazon gift cards (for $5-$25 depending on version and condition), which also entitles them to receive an additional 25% discount towards their new Fire.
— My recommendation would be to purchase this item during a sale event (for instance, Amazon Prime day is coming up in July). The customer can get this tablet for around $20 off during Prime day (based on prior sales analysis), and then stack the trade-in price and the 25% discount to get this item for a minimal cost (maybe you can snag it for $20 in total or lesser if everything is applied correctly). However, one thing to keep in mind is that Amazon might decide to remove the trade-in gift card and 25% discount at any point.
— Sometimes Amazon provides bundle sales on products (get 2 or 3 items for a substantial discount). This is something for consumers to consider.
To sum up my review, this is the basic Amazon Fire 7 Kids Edition tablet. No bells and whistles, but it does the job. Limitations include sound quality, volume quality, potential issues with MicroSDXC Card access, parental controls related limitations, and a basic app store. Updates worth noting in this version include a slight decrease in weight, increase in storage (internal and external), slightly faster processor, slightly improved cameras, and slight decrease in battery life (though this might be a more accurate representation of the life of the battery). The bottom line is that if you are looking to get a super affordable Kids tablet that is well-rated, small, lightweight, and has access to several education apps, games, etc. then the Fire 7 KE tablet is the way to go.
– UPDATE # 1 and # 6: June 11, 2019 & June 21, 2019: Fire HD 8 Kids Edition + Echo Dot Kid Edition (release date June 26, 2019)
I recommend the Fire HD 8 Kids Edition tablet (mid-tier model) as opposed to this Fire 7 KE (the model reviewed) for a few more dollars ($30 more). This can be purchased after following the cost-saving suggestions previously listed. My reasons are several and include: the 8 inch screen (as compared to 7 inches), higher resolution (189 PPI vs. 171 PPI), increased RAM (1.5 GB RAM vs. 1 GB RAM), battery life (10 hours vs. 7 hours), and the Dolby Atmos, dual stereo speakers (which can make a world of difference while watching or listening to something). I would personally get this tried and true model especially in light of Update # 3 (below).
— Amazon recently offered a bundle sale to purchase both the Fire Kids Edition Tablet and Echo Dot Kids Edition (colors can be chosen). Fire 7 KE + Echo Dot KE: $129.98; Fire 8 HD KE + Echo Dot KE: $139.98; and Fire 10 HD KE + Echo Dot KE:$199.98. I recommend the Fire 8 HD KE + Echo Dot KE for $139.98. One FreeTime Unlimited subscription can function across multiple devices and the best way to maximize it is in my opinion to get both these devices. I will soon post a comprehensive review on the Echo Dot Kids Edition once the device becomes available, but cannot cover it here because I have exceeded Amazon’s review space limitations.
– UPDATE # 2 (June 12, 2019): FreeTime Unlimited
— The age-specific apps/books/games on this device are not always age appropriate. Consequently, parents need to review every thing prior to letting children get these resources. These apps play a critical role in the formation of the child especially with screen time usage increasing at astounding rates (especially among children).
— This brings me to my second point of concern – screen time. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children under 18 months have no screen time with the exception of video-chatting while children 2-5 years should have no more than 1-hour per day of screen time (only high-quality programs) with parents co-viewing these videos with the child (parental interaction is key for formation of language skills and holistic development. Just watching educational videos is insufficient – kids learn by back and forth interaction with adults). They have additional guidelines for children 6 and older, which includes monitoring the child’s media usage, providing strict guidelines for use of media, etc. I would strongly encourage parents to review this information prior to purchasing this media device.
– UPDATE # 3: June 13, 2019: Battery Life
Some customers have complained about the low and unpredictable battery life for this new device. I did experience occasional fluctuations in battery life (nothing major) and so am docking down half a star. So, please bear this in mind when making the purchase.
UPDATE # 4 & # 5: June 14, 2019 & June 19, 2019: Toys Story Headphone
*Customers that preordered the item were supposed to get a free Toys Story headphone ($25 value). However, I never received it. I purchased this item in spite of the sound quality and low volume issues because of the free headphones. However, since I didn’t receive the headphones, I am docking down a star because the cost of getting a good-quality kid headphone ($24.99) added to the cost of the Fire 7 ($99.99) is equivalent ($124.98) to getting the better sound quality and volume Fire 8 KE ($129.99) with no headphones required and several other features. Amazon did contact me about this issue and asked how they could remedy the issue. They offered me $ 25 credit (headphone value) or a free headphone which I am grateful for. However, I still docked half a star because Amazon would not have contacted me if it was not for my review.
Please also note that several resources were used in the compilation of this review, but most of this review was based on my personal testing of the product.
Whenever I make any purchase, I try to do a thorough and accurate job with the review. My reviews are my honest and comprehensive assessment of the product. I always post future updates and corrections based on new information if deemed necessary. Additionally, I always include photos of products to verify both that I purchased this product and to back up appropriate claims in the review.
± SOOO frustrating!
The icons disappear more often than not, so she can’t use it independently. The parent controls are a joke and the way they are described is very misleading. You can’t designate educational apps or videos. You can’t pick and choose what you want to give access to. You can block things, but that’s not the same as being able to choose and only allow certain things. The only thing it considers educational are kindle type books (that I have to read to her because she can’t read yet), so I can’t require her to do educational apps before watching endless worthless videos. The “manage child’s content” won’t work. It’s in orange, so I can’t even click on it. Remove content won’t work. It keeps telling me I need to connect to the internet, even though I am connected to the internet. She still has access to everything that Amazon freetime thinks is okay. I have no say over what she has access to outside of blocking things one at a time, and even that won’t work right now because it keeps telling me I’m not connected to the internet. You can add good content, but you can’t arrange it in any way. It’s completely disorganized. I’m sure whoever is paying promotional fees gets to be what she sees first. I completely regret this purchase. I had MUCH better control of what she could play and do on my old phone that I was letting her use.
± Do it!
I love this thing! I went back and forth between buying this new product vs going with the older one that already had reviews to go off of.
To start, I use Apple products religiously, and this interface wasn’t too hard to figure out for me. I’m still getting used to it & how to use the parental controls – but so far, so good. I love that it has the two year guarantee on it if it were to break. That was actually my first selling point on this because I have a 1 year old that we actually got this for.
I was looking for something that I would have total control over (so he couldn’t go pressing buttons and order/buy/break things on it) & this has that option! You have to enter a PIN number to get out of the child’s account.
I downloaded Netflix to it & shared it to his account for long car rides.
So far, we love it. I’ll update if anything changes!
UPDATE: So, the battery life is great! We went on our first trip (only 2.5 hours away) the other day and the battery lasted the whole time (there and back) & still had plenty to spare. I have Netflix downloaded for him & I download episodes of his favorite shows for when WiFi wasn’t available. Worked like a charm and the car ride was easy/peazy!
± Plug and port
There is a flawed design here in my opinion. I have already had to send one back (I bought three identical devices for my 3 kids), and I’m getting ready to send another one. The device itself is excellent and my kids love it. But try and keep a charge in it – it’s not the cord. It’s the PORT itself. It strips easily or something. Just does not take the cord nicely like an iPhone or iPad does. Instead, you can tell right away it’s just a weird fit. And then after 3 days of use, my son’s completely stopped accepting the cord at all. I removed the case, i did everything. He is six years old and we were on a road trip across the country. He was pretty unhappy his kindle stopped charging and nothing we did could fix it. His replacement just arrived (we had Amazon send it to where our destination spot was on the west coast), so we’ll try it again. But if the port continues to give us problems on this one too, I will return all 3.
± Small screen size
I bought 2. The blue/purple. My daughter wouldn’t share her other table (iPad mini 4) or the leap pad ultimate so I set out to purchase my 2 year old son his first tablet. The FreeTime unlimited has everything I want. Unlimited amount of apps/movies/books etc for one price annually. We were not prime members when we purchased my daughter her iPad 3 years ago and the kindle is not something I would have ever considered because Android products are just in general buggy to me.
But, I HATE the way apples App Store is laid out, when first purchased it was bought for movies on the go but now that she’s 5 she wants to use the iPad independently without actually knowing what she’s doing and she’s getting into things she doesn’t need to get in to. And also momma ain’t paying $3-$5 pet app that they’ll both eventually outgrow.
So that’s where the Kindle came in. I bought 2. They both could do their own thing in a safe space. But, the reason for the one star is the screen size is super small. In the photo I have it next to the iPad mini and it’s almost half the size. My daughter where’s glasses and was having a hard time seeing the screen. That’s not really Amazon’s fault. But the overall screen resolution, processing speed etc could be vastly improved. They basically rereleased an older model but with included stand. I purchased because I thought the stand was neat and they included free toy story headphones if preordered. I’m returning and going with the 10”.
I don’t really like the way FreeTime is set up and think overall it could be improved but that’s not a big enough deterrent for me to not purchase.
± Great for kids.
Update: I am changing my review to 5 stars! After leaving this review I received awesome customer service. They did everything very customer friendly by contacting me to rectify. This experience was exceptional.
When I pre-ordered the tablet it said I would get free head phones. I did not receive the head phones. Other than that the product works well and is as expected.
± Thumbs up!
Great tablet! Has tons of educational games, videos & books. Easy set and runs smooth. My 3 year old loves it!
± Happy with Product
We have had these for a week (one for each of our boys). We plan to use them only on our long road trips.
So far, we’ve been pleased with the apps, parental controls, etc. I don’t love that YouTube kids is an option as an app. I need to figure out how to remove that specific one.
Unless you download a bunch of apps, they need to be connected to WiFi. We used my husband’s hotspot on his iPhone and it worked very well.
I haven’t been super impressed with the battery life, but again, my kiddos are using them for long road trips.
Great product for the deal price! We got two for $120. We also wanted two blue cases, which you could not do with the deal but I spoke with Amazon customer service and they sent an extra blue case free of charge. Very happy with the service.
± Broken touch screen
Wow amazon, you really messed up this time. For how much we love you and prime, this really put a sour taste in my mouth. The tablet arrived on time for our road trip the next day. I turned it on. The touch screen doesn’t work, at all! Now, I understand there can be defects, but the kicker here, is that when I opened this supposed brand new tablet, it had finger prints all over the screen already. So this tablet had probably already been purchased and sent back for the same problem. And then sold again? Wow, that sucks. Thanks a lot. Customer service is usually so great, but not in this case. I hope you all don’t experience this.
± I’m just not sure about these.
I don’t know if I’m spoiled because I’ve been using good kindle fire’s for so long or if these just aren’t well thought out. The good news is, I dug through the reviews looking for any indication that these wouldn’t play the many HD movies I’ve purchased for the kids in prime and found none. If you are looking for an answer and nervously reading the part where it says these aren’t HD, they aren’t, but it will still play your HD movies from prime videos, they just won’t look HD and its likely young kids won’t notice or, at least, protest the lack of high resolution.
The other good news is, they are easy enough to set up and there does seem to be a lot of variety. The only two languages you can choose are English and Spanish though, so if you have bilingual children, as long as its English and Spanish, you’re good. If you speak French at home, don’t get your hopes up. I don’t consider that a ding because I wasn’t really expecting language choices. Being able to choose two, or from two, is a bonus.
Then there’s the downside. These are kind of a pain. Firstly, because of the Freetime app configuration, when you load things to the unit, don’t expect them to show up in Freetime. They have to be loaded through Freetime to insure their accessibility. The problem is, you can’t access your movie library from your child’s profile. So after you approve their access in the parent dashboard, you then have to go to your child’s profile on the kindle and, assuming the little icon for what you approved pops up in the list of things “added for you” line, tell it to download. And you have to do this with each one because if you are lazy, like me, and try to do it in bulk, they disappear from your child’s profile and you can’t download them…that line will only hold x many items and it didn’t like any of the books I bought for them, so hopefully, if I add and remove permission enough times, the books will show up and I’ll get them all downloaded. The good part of this is that this only applies to parents who are going to use this offline…in the car, on a boat, on a plane. If you are using it with wifi, the kids can just stream whatever pops up and, I guess, what doesn’t pop up right away, might eventually pop up. There’s plenty to click on.
I wish I could say that the upside is that it makes buying movies for your kids obsolete but, just as adults do, kids have favorites or specific movies they want and, if they want to be able to watch them on demand, you will have to play with it to find ways to make them accessible. Once they appear, there is a favorite selection that puts a little heart on it. I didn’t see it go to any specific list but it has a heart on it so, whatever that means…that’s what happens.
Here’s the big downer. The Freetime app is not designed to support music. Amazon seemed surprised that I was bummed out by this. I found a lot of grumbles, suggestions and advice on putting music on these as I desperately searched for instructions explaining what I was doing wrong. Amazon has not been made aware of this seemingly obvious issue. The upside to this is, you don’t have to buy your kid any music because he can’t listen to it anyway. They are correct. If you look at the description, there is no promise of music. It just seems like an obvious oversight to me but maybe that’s just because I have that luxury on my kindle and assume that’s part of having a functional kindle. So, I feel bad for the parents that say they can’t get the music to work while other parents met with success. The parents that got it to work got lucky…its not designed to let your little one rock out to Mary had a little lamb.
The last thing I thought was odd was that you can’t go from a child’s Freetime profile to a non Freetime profile without a passcode but you can go from a Freetime to a Freetime freely. So if you have a three year old and an eight year old, your three year old can figure out how to access your eight year old’s favorite spider movie. I think that might defeat the purpose of setting specific age limits on specific profiles. I got two of these and both kids show up on each of them as a profile. That means the little one can tap on the big ones profile picture and access his stuff without his knowledge. Its not like there’s a way to use this to invade his privacy or anything, but it does give the little one access to things I only approved for the older one.
Anyway, I could go on and on about the goods and bads. They are functional toys…I wouldn’t get this as a kindle that would meet my needs…its kind of small and slow for an adult… and, for kids, its a little dysfunctional in some ways but it is a real pad that does some real things and that’s impressive for a little guy. I can’t complain since I paid 75 each and could easily spend that much on a pretend pad with cartridges that plug into it to allow kids to have a very small variety of activities. Its worth 75 bucks. I don’t think I’ll be upgrading these eventually, as originally planned though. Not because I wouldn’t like the kids to have a good kindle fire but because, until they don’t need Freetime, a good kindle seems like a waste of money. At least having cheap pads makes me feel like I bought something equivalent to the app I’d be using on it. Freetime has a ways to go before its a great experience but it has potential.