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Amazon Fire 7 tablet (2022) review: it's a great tablet from the right perspective

The Fire 7 tablet is going to continue being the gateway to Amazon's ecosystem.

Amazon Fire 7 (2022) Shrek review hero
(Image: © Andrew Myrick / Android Central)

Our Verdict

The Amazon Fire 7 sees a bit of a price bump, but that comes with a performance improvement and a slight design change with USB-C. It may not be the best tablet, but for this cheap, it doesn't matter.

For

  • Lightweight and portable to take with you everywhere
  • Expandable storage via microSD card is a nice touch
  • Fantastic battery life
  • Better performance compared to last generation
  • Ditches microUSB for USB-C

Against

  • More expensive than last-generation
  • Charging speeds limited to 5W
  • Screen still isn't great

What do you get when you combine a cheap tablet with access to a company’s ecosystem of different services? A tablet that continues to make Amazon money hand over fist, regardless of how good the device actually is. And that brings us to the all-new Amazon Fire 7 tablet. 

The Fire 7 has always been one of those devices that you just throw in your cart because it’s on sale for $20, or it’s in one of the “bargain bins” in the checkout line at Best Buy. But, unlike previous iterations, Amazon actually has made some meaningful, and dare I say, useful improvements to its cheapest tablet. 

However, just because the Fire 7 looks like it offers a good value on paper, does the hardware back that up? Let’s dive a bit deeper to see whether the 2022 version of the Fire 7 is really worth it. 

Amazon Fire 7 (2022): Price and availability

Amazon Fire 7 (2022) top-down on desk

(Image credit: Andrew Myrick / Android Central)

Amazon has a rather odd release “schedule” for its various tablets, and the company’s most affordable option was updated in May of 2022. This marks a three-year gap between releases, with the Fire 7 (2022) now available from many of your favorite retailers. You have three colors to choose from; the Fire 7 (2022) comes in Black, Denim, or Rose.

There are several configurations to consider if you’re in the market for a cheap Android tablet, with the base model and its 16GB of storage priced at $60. Maxing out the storage at 32GB bumps the price up to $80, with both of the aforementioned options coming equipped with an “ad-supported Lock screen.” If you want to ditch the lock screen ads entirely, Amazon offers that as an option with the 16GB version coming in at $75, and the 32GB model priced at $95. 

Amazon Fire 7 (2022): What you’ll like

Amazon Fire 7 (2022) face-down on table with light on logo

(Image credit: Andrew Myrick / Android Central)

When it comes to pretty much any of the best Amazon tablets, what helps set these options apart from the competition is price. As you’d expect, the most appealing and intriguing reason to pick up the Fire 7 is its incredibly low starting price of $60. And while this is a $10 increase over the previous generation, the price increase is actually warranted this time around.

For one, Amazon finally recognized that many people enjoy content in landscape mode, as the Fire 7 sees its front-facing 2MP camera moved to the side bezel, as opposed to leaving it at the “top.” It’s a trend we’ve been seeing in Android tablets for years, and one that we wish Apple would get the hint about when it comes to the best iPad models. In the off-chance you find yourself using the Fire 7 to video-chat, it’s definitely a more practical experience overall. 

Thanks to this one major change, Amazon has positioned all of your buttons and ports on the right side (when in landscape). The only omission from this is the microSD card slot, which can be found on the “bottom,” and can easily be accessed without needing a dedicated SIM card tool. 

Amazon Fire 7
Display7 inches
Resolution (PPI)1024x600 (171 ppi)
ProcessorQuad-core 2.0 GHz
RAM2GB
Storage16GB / 32GB
Expandable StoragemicroSD card, up to 1TB
BatteryUp to 10 hours
Charging time4 hours
Cameras2 MP front and rear-facing cameras
AudioMono speaker, 3.5mm headphone jack
PortsUSB-C, 3.5mm headphone jack
Connectivity802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth LE
ColorsBlack, Denim, Rose
Dimensions180.68 mm x 117.59 mm x 9.67 mm
Weight9.9 ounces (282 grams)

Something else that we’re extremely happy to see with the Fire 7 is Amazon’s admission that the microUSB port should be buried for good. Yeah, it still shows up when looking at the best Fire TV Stick, including the company’s latest Fire TV Stick 4K Max, but we wouldn’t be surprised if that changes during the next round of hardware revisions. With the Fire 7, Amazon made the same move as it did with 2020's Fire HD 8 and the 2021 Fire HD 10 revamp, bringing USB-C to its most affordable tablet. 

Amazon Fire 7 (2022) next to Galaxy Z Fold 3 with Kindle app

(Image credit: Andrew Myrick / Android Central)

From the display perspective, nothing’s really changed here, as you still have the same 7-inch, 1024x600 panel. We’ll touch more on that in the next section, but moving past that, as soon as you take the Fire 7 out of the box and boot it up, you’re presented with Amazon’s tried-and-true Fire OS interface. 

Naturally, this puts all of Amazon’s different services right in your face; from Kindle and Audible, to the Amazon App Store and Prime Video. The nice thing here is that you have quick and easy access to the entire Amazon ecosystem, including Alexa. One feature that kind of took me by surprise is the ability to turn the Fire 7 (2022) into a portable Alexa speaker. It’s one of those features that I have really enjoyed with the Fire HD 8, and I’m very happy to see it arrive on the more affordable tablet. 

Amazon Fire 7 (2022) buttons and ports

(Image credit: Andrew Myrick / Android Central)

Provided that you enable Hands-free Mode, you can just say “Alexa, turn on the living room lights” regardless of whether you have other Alexa speakers in the house or not. Even with various smart speakers around my abode, I’ve turned to the Fire 7 resting on my desk more times than I can even count when it comes to needing a quick answer, or controlling my various smart home devices.

Much of this was made possible due to the upgraded 2.0GHz chipset found in the new Fire 7, coupled with an additional 1GB of RAM. I also want to applaud Amazon for making these changes, as it’s definitely improved performance over the 2019 version, even with a few stutters and hiccups when trying to quickly jump between different tasks.

Amazon Fire 7 (2022): What you won’t like

Amazon Fire 7 (2022) close-up on Home Screen

(Image credit: Andrew Myrick / Android Central)

Amazon made a lot of the right moves when it comes to changing the overall design of the Fire 7. There are even three different colors to choose from if you really want to spice things up a bit. But the truth remains that in 2022, a 1024x600 display resolution is just abysmal. When you’re doing anything but reading a book, looking at the screen might just start to hurt your eyes. 

I almost would’ve preferred to see a Fire HD 7 released at the $70 price point, or somewhere in between the $50 Fire 7 from 2019 and the $90 Fire HD 8 from last year. But there’s really not much room in between the bottom of Amazon’s tablet lineup and its next “best” option. 

And while I want to give Amazon as much praise as possible for not only switching to USB-C but also including a charging brick in the box, there’s a limit to my excitement. That’s because you will find absolutely zero signs of fast charging anywhere with the Fire 7. The tablet is limited to reaching peak charging speeds of an incredible 5W. That’s not a typo, as I definitely double and triple-checked myself. Five whole watts. 

Amazon Fire 7 (2022) with case and charger

(Image credit: Andrew Myrick / Android Central)

What does that mean? While the Fire 7 is rated for 10 hours of battery life, an increase of three hours over the last iteration, it will take almost half as long to go from 0-100%. In a world where we can get a phone that charges from 0-50% in less than 20 minutes, having a device take between three to four hours to charge back up is just abysmal. It’s likely a minor gripe for some, but something about that 5W of power just sticks with me.

It really is difficult to complain too much about a tablet that’s this cheap and actually works. If Amazon wanted to improve its user experience, it should REALLY consider ditching the copious number of ads that are found. I mean, they’re everywhere. Everywhere you look, there’s another ad for a game that you’ve never heard of, or a reminder to watch a show that you don’t care about. It’s the same problem that I have with the Fire TV Stick 4K Max, as it just ruins the user experience. 

But in the case of the Fire 7 tablet, even with its improved processor and additional RAM, there are still bottlenecks and stutters that you have to deal with. Maybe if Amazon turned the ads down a notch or ten, then it would be a much more fluid experience. Don’t turn them off completely, that’s not the point, just stop trying to shove them in our face with every swipe of a page.

Amazon Fire 7 (2022): The competition

Amazon Fire 7 (2022) with Fire HD 8 Plus

(Image credit: Andrew Myrick / Android Central)

The only real competition for the Fire 7 comes straight from Amazon. The Fire HD 8 retails for $90, but it’s also on sale for Prime Day for less than the Fire 7. From there, the next closest tablet you might even want to consider is the Lenovo Tab M8, which is still under $100, but just barely. It’s also still running Android 10, and there hasn’t been a suitable successor model released at this price point.

So does the Fire 7 really have any competition? Not really. And that’s what continues to make it so popular, especially during different holiday times like Prime Day or Black Friday / Cyber Monday when it drops to just $20 or $30. Amazon doesn’t have any reliable competition in this corner of the market.

Amazon Fire 7 (2022): Should you buy it?

Amazon Fire 7 (2022) Home Screen on desk

(Image credit: Andrew Myrick / Android Central)

You should buy this if...

  • You want the cheapest Android-based tablet.
  • You are entrenched (or interested) in the Amazon ecosystem.
  • You want a lightweight and portable tablet to take everywhere. 

You shouldn't buy this if...

  • You care about specs.
  • You need the Google Play Store without sideloading.
  • You plan to do any multi-tasking or use processor-reliant applications.

I know I’ve gone a bit long about all of the different changes, and why these upgrades warrant a slightly higher price for the cheapest Fire Tablet. But there are good reasons for that. 

If you remember that this isn’t going to compete with the Galaxy Tab S8s of the world, or even Apple’s base-model iPad, the Fire 7 is quite a bit more capable than you might think. One reason why I continue to carry my Galaxy Z Fold 3 around as opposed to my Pixel 6 Pro is the ability to easily pick up where I left off from the Kindle app. And while there’s no cellular connection to be found on the Fire 7, and despite the lower-resolution display, I’ve been finding myself reaching for the Fire 7 more and more. 


There's some good to be found here

I’ve started to realize that the lack of the Play Store, while still frustrating, isn’t as much of a detriment as I once believed. I can’t go and find all of the different apps and games that I install on any of my other Android devices that are designed to kill time. Instead, I “kill time” by focusing on the book I’ve been wanting to read, or taking advantage of Amazon’s vast library of content. 

Sure, it takes absolutely forever to re-charge, and the screen resolution is comical in 2022. But that’s not really the point of this tablet. It’s a gateway device for the Amazon ecosystem and one that doesn’t break the bank in any form or fashion. 

If you want to use it to read, it’s as good as it gets, short of grabbing a traditional Kindle. If you want to throw on the latest season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel while you’re at your desk, it’s great at that too. But it’s also fantastic doubling as a smart speaker that goes with you anywhere in your home. 

The ad placement is also frustrating, just as it is with the Fire TV Stick 4K Max (which costs more than the Fire 7). But really, what more could you ask for from a serviceable and extremely portable tablet? There’s still nothing quite like it, even with all of the gripes that we have. 

Andrew Myrick
Andrew Myrick

Andrew Myrick is a Senior Editor at Android Central. He enjoys everything to do with technology, including tablets, smartphones, and everything in between. Perhaps his favorite past-time is collecting different headphones, even if they all end up in the same drawer.