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Amazon Fire HD 8 (2020) vs. Fire HD 8 Kids Edition: Which should you buy?

The differences between the Amazon Fire HD 8 (2020) and the Fire HD 8 Kids Edition are small, but they can be significant depending on your needs. Knowing what the plan is for your tablet is key in understanding what to buy, especially when these two options seem very similar on the surface. Let's look at what separates these two devices and which you should get.

Amazon Fire HD 8 (2020) vs. Fire HD 8 Kids Edition: Reading between the lines

Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition on a flat white surface

(Image credit: Amazon)

Amazon continues to update the hardware on its excellent Fire HD tablets almost yearly and still keeps the prices extremely reasonable. 2020 saw the Fire HD 8 get its update and in-kind, so did the Kids Edition. The price of entry for the 8-inch tablet is low, making it a fantastic buy when you're looking for an entertainment device. So what makes the Kids Edition, well, a Kids Edition? It boils down to the software, a case, and some back-up from Amazon.

Fire HD 8 Kids EditionFire HD 8
Weight19.4 oz12.5 oz
Display8-inch HD8-inch HD
Dimensions9.2" x 7.2" x 1.0"8.0" x 5.4" x 0.4"
Storage32GB32 or 64GB
Expandable StorageUp to 1TBUp to 1TB
Screen Resolution1280x800 (189 ppi)1280x800 (189 ppi)
Battery lifeUp to 12 hours of multimediaUp to 12 hours of multimedia
Camera2MP front and rear-facing cameras with 720p video recording2MP front and rear-facing cameras with 720p video recording
Alexa enabledOff by defaultYes, hands-free
ColorsPink, Blue, PurpleBlack, Twilight Blue, Plum, White
AudioDual speakers with Dolby AtmosDual speakers with Dolby Atmos
CaseKid-safe case includedNo case included
Parental ControlsYesYes
Amazon Kids+One year includedNot included
PortsUSB-C, 3.5mm headphone jackUSB-C, 3.5mm headphone jack
WarrantyTwo years90-day limited warranty

As shown in the table above, these two devices have very similar internals, aside from a 64GB option for built-in storage on the standard Fire HD 8 (2020) and the included case for the Kids Edition. Both tabs support expandable storage up to 1TB, something you can easily achieve by grabbing a solid microSD card for your Amazon Fire tablet.

Each of these 8-inch tablets offers a solid set of internals, allowing them to be great for media consumption or even a bit of gaming. The 1280x800 HD display gives you an excellent screen for reading books from the Kindle store, watching shows from Prime Video, or playing a game from the Amazon App store. The increased 2GB RAM will give the performance a much-needed boost from the prior 1.5GB.

Things break, and if you plan on giving this tablet to a child — a two-year "worry-free" warranty will be well worth it for that added cost.

So what is the reason for the added cost for the Kids Edition? The case is a massive part of it. The included Fire HD 8 case is a soft rubber foam that offers exceptional protection for that inevitable drop that comes from letting a child play with almost anything.

Amazon Fire HD 8 (2020) held in one hand outdoors with grass in the background

(Image credit: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central)

Each of these tablets comes with a warranty should something go awry. That added cost for the Kids Edition version brings the benefit of a two-year warranty over the standard 90 days. Amazon calls the increased warranty a "worry-free guarantee," so if the tablet breaks for any reason in that two-year period, Amazon will replace it for free — that's definitely worth something.

On the Kids Edition, Amazon also bundles in a free year of its Amazon Kids+ that boasts over 20,000 books, videos, and games all specially curated for kids. Amazon Kids+ can be added to the standard Fire HD 8, although the monthly cost of $3 per month, or $70 a year, for a family plan might not be worthwhile. Amazon Kids+ allows for increased parental controls that let you set up the device specifically for your child. They only see the content you approve in an interface they can navigate more easily.

Amazon Fire HD 8 (2020) vs. Fire HD 8 Kids Edition: Which one should you buy?

Amazon Fire HD 8 on a fleece blanket

(Image credit: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central)

It all comes down to the primary reason for your purchase. If the tablet will be used mostly by a young child, go for the added cost of the Kids Edition tablet. You'll appreciate the included case for those accidental drops and have the added warranty if the tablet gets broken. Then, you can pair all of that up with the free year of Amazon Kids+ to get all the kids content and parental controls you could want.

However, if you plan on getting this tablet for an older kid, or you'll be using it most of the time, you can save the upfront costs. It is possible to get the same experience on the standard Fire HD 8 tablet, but if the enhanced parental controls, younger content, and bulky case aren't necessary for your situation, forgo that cost. You can get a decent heavy-duty case for your Fire HD 8 separately if needs be and enjoy the tablet any way you choose.

Chris Wedel
Senior Editor - Smart Home
Chris Wedel is a fan of all things tech and gadgets. Living in rural Kansas with his wife and two young boys makes finding ways to get and stay online tricky. By utilizing his years of experience with the tech and mobile communications industries — success is assured. When not conquering connectivity challenges and testing new gadgets, he enjoys cruising a gravel road in his UTV with some good tunes.
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