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Amazon Fire HD 8 (2020) vs. Fire HD 10 (2021): Which should you buy?

Amazon's Fire tablets are possibly the best tablets you can buy for the money. When you compare the Fire HD 8 vs. 10, you're getting incredible affordability and a ton of value in both. They run on Amazon's Fire OS and get their apps from the Amazon Appstore rather than the Google Play Store. They have full access to Amazon Music, Books, Video, Movies, Alexa, and everything else Amazon does; which, as it turns out, means you can do quite a lot.

Buying one of these tablets is a no-brainer for the budget-minded. The only tough part is deciding which one to choose.

Amazon Fire HD 8 vs. Fire HD 10: Value propositions

Best Amazon Fire HD

Source: Amazon (Image credit: Amazon)

As you'd expect, the larger Fire HD costs more than the smaller one, but there's more to break down here. The Fire HD 10's display isn't just bigger, it's denser, with a 1920x1200 resolution versus the smaller HD 8's 1280x800 resolution. Both offer the same 32GB and 64GB storage options and expand with a microSD card.

Specs aside, the Fire HD 8 and Fire HD 10 offer relatively similar software experiences, with both tablets running on Amazon's Fire OS interface rather than a more traditional build of Android. You get all of your apps from the Amazon Appstore rather than the Google Play Store, which means a more Amazon-centric ecosystem.

Although similar, these tablets are meant for two different types of consumers. Bigger is better for movies. Get the small one for reading and games.

That's not necessarily a bad thing; both tablets come with unlimited cloud storage through Amazon, and Amazon hosts a bevy of excellent, exclusive content on its video services.

The OS is fueled by Alexa, who enables you to use voice commands to navigate the software and interact with the thousands of skills available. The digital assistant can now be called upon no matter what state the tablet is in, even if it's asleep.

Both tablets feature Show Mode, which gives you a visual representation of some of the things that Alexa helps you with. This includes showing the latest news reports, calendar appointments, weather updates, and viewing any smart security cameras you may have connected. However, the new split-screen function in the HD 10 makes multi-tasking a cinch as you can access and view two apps at once, like staying on top of social media updates while reading an article or watching a movie.

Fire HD 8 (2020)Fire HD 10 (2021)
Display8-inch IPS LCD (1280x800)10.1-inch IPS LCD (1920x1200)
Storage32GB/64GB32GB/64GB
MicroSDYes; expandable to 1TBYes; expandable to 1TB
CPU + RAMQuad-core 2.0GHz
2GB RAM
Octa-core 2.0GHz
3GB RAM
AudioDolby Atmos dual stereo speakersDolby Atmos dual stereo speakers
Rear camera2MP 720p5MP
Front camera2MP2MP
Dimensions202x137x9.7mm247x166x9.2mm
Weight355g465g
ColorsBlack
Plum
Twilight Blue
White
Black
Denim
Olive
Lavender

Amazon Fire HD 8 vs. Fire HD 10: Which should you buy?

Best Amazon Fire HD

Source: Amazon (Image credit: Amazon)

When choosing between the Fire HD 8 vs. 10, you should think about what you'll be doing most with it. If you mainly want an e-reader for Amazon's enormous Kindle library, with the occasional video or music playback, the Fire HD 8's smaller form factor may be the better choice. It's half the price of the HD 10, and aside from weaker speakers and a slightly slower processor, you're not missing much.

Buy the HD 8 as an e-reader and light browsing device. Buy the HD 10 as a video streaming device.

If instead, you plan on watching a lot of videos and movies on your tablet, the larger Fire HD 10 is the better choice. The larger, denser display, strengthened with aluminosilicate glass, provides a much better viewing experience, and you'll appreciate the louder speakers. It's more expensive than the HD 8, but it's still a bargain compared to virtually every Android tablet on the market. And it's smaller, lighter, and brighter than the previous-generation 2019 edition HD 10 tablet.

No matter which tablet you decide on, you'll be getting a surprisingly great device for the money. They're both great for media consumption and light gaming, whether you're buying for yourself, your kids, or as a gift.