Android Central Verdict
Amazon's updated Fire HD 8 Kids Pro brings improved performance and a new line of cases to protect the device. Much of the interface remains the same as the previous model, but the new hardware makes using it even better. The Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Pro is an excellent device for kids ready for a more mature tablet experience while keeping parents in control.
Amazon Kids+ continues to shine
Fun new case colors
Parental controls are still top-notch
The size is manageable for all ages
Still missing Google Play services
Limited to 32GB built-in storage
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Amazon has been a leader in tablets for kids for years now. Not only are the devices offered at an affordable price, but they have the widest kid-appropriate content library and fantastic parental controls. So, is the new Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Pro able to maintain that standard, or is it a downward trend for the company? Well, the hardware is improved over previous models, Amazon Kids+ has only gotten better, and fun, new cases are part of the equation — so, yes, it is still fantastic.
Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Pro (2022) review: Pricing and availability
Amazon announced the latest Amazon Fire HD 8 lineup, including kid models, in September 2022. Both the standard Fire HD 8 Kids and Pro versions retail for $149.99. The tablets are available through Best Buy, Kohl's, Amazon, and more. The device is black, but it's the case colors stand out. The case options for the regular Fire HD 8 Kids are Blue, Purple, Disney Princess, and Disney Mickey. As for the Pro model's slimmer case, the choices are Cyber Sky, Rainbow Universe, and Hello Teal.
Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Pro (2022) review: What's good
As some of the best Android tablets for kids, Amazon's Fire tablets excel in many ways. Notably in price, content, parental controls, and warranty. As a parent of two young children, it is a constant balancing act to allow them the chance to explore technology and, at the same time, protect them. For about three years now, the fantastic Amazon Fire Kids tablets have been a go-to for my family.
Last year, I reviewed the Fire HD 10 Kids Pro, and it was among the first kids' devices from Amazon to carry the Pro moniker. While Pro models don't offer any difference in hardware compared to the regular options, they do possess some meaningful differences for both kids and parents, depending on the situation. I go into more detail about those differences here if you want to learn about them.
Getting into the new Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Pro is largely the same device as before. It picked up some upgrades in the internal hardware to offer improved performance. While most kids using these tablets aren't looking for dips in performance, they will appreciate a reduction in hiccups while playing games and other tasks.
What will be noticed are the fun new cases. When Amazon introduced the Kids Pro models last year, they offered a more mature-looking and feeling case. Before, the only official cases from Amazon for kid's tablets were the super-protective, bulky foam cases. The Pro cases are much thinner yet still protective and offer fun designs on the back. The 2022 models get all new designs with Cyber Sky, Rainbow Universe, and Hello Teal. My son and I were sent to the Rainbow Universe for testing.
|Specs||Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Pro (2022)|
|Resolution||1280 x 800 (189 ppi)|
|Storage||32GB, Expandable up to 1TB via microSD card|
|CPU||Quad-core 2.0 GHz|
|Charging Time||5 hours with included 5W USB-C charger|
|Cameras||2MP front and rear with 720p HD video recording|
|Dimensions||8.3" x 6.4" x 0.7" (212 mm x 162 mm x 17 mm)|
|Colors||Cyber Sky, Rainbow Universe, and Hello Teal|
|Connectivity||2.4/5GHz Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooh 5.2|
|3.5mm Audio jack||✔️|
While my oldest has been using the 10-inch Pro model since last fall, my 7-year-old was using the standard 8-inch model from 2020. So, he was excited to test a newer model. Though his excitement was mostly because it was something new, it quickly became genuine as he began using it.
In asking what he liked about the new Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Pro (2022), he told me about the lighter case and how things were arranged on the screen. The difference in UI layout is due to the tablet being in the "Pro" mode. It is a layout that is more similar to what adults may be familiar with on the grown-up models.
The Pro model's UI provides better-defined categories for titles on the device. As my son's reading skills are improving, he doesn't like the screen being cluttered with all of the content he likes from Amazon Kids+. Grouping into categories allows him to have more control in finding what he wants. Yet, the interface still does a great job of bringing up titles he might be interested in.
Aside from the difference in the interface and case, the Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Pro (2022) gets access to an even more expansive library of content. With last year's introduction of the Pro models, Amazon also began offering a new internet browser experience that lets kids browse pre-selected sites, and lets parents whitelist specific sites too. But, because the tablet is tied to Amazon Kids+, parents still have loads of options to set the device up as best for their child.
We have a full breakdown of what Amazon Kids+ offers in this guide, but a quick explainer is it's a software layer that unlocks over 20,000 apps, games, videos, books, and more that are all curated for kids. Parents can choose an age range for their child, and the software will automatically offer titles in that range.
Along with the content, there are multiple levels of parental controls to not only pick the what apps your child has access to, but also how and when. For example, you can require 30 minutes of reading before games are allowed. You can set do not disturb times and also a time limit for device usage.
Something else my son told me that he liked was that it had more games for him to play. While it may seem that way to him, the Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Pro (2022) offers the exact same library as his older model, but as part of the Pro family, it provides a different discovery method.
The other benefit of purchasing an Amazon Fire Kids tablet is that you get a year free of Amazon Kids+. After the first year, the service is $7.99/mo for non-Prime members and $4.99 for those that are. If you go the annual route, it is $79/yr or $48/yr. Aside from the discounted Amazon Kids+, the tablet also gets the very valuable two-year worry-free warranty. This means that for any reason the tablet breaks or stops working, Amazon will replace it.
Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Pro (2022) review: What's not good
Much like previous Amazon Fire Kid tablets, there isn't much not to like here. Rather the same complaints remain. Largely that Google Play Services is missing. While most younger kids, even those ready for a Pro edition, likely won't care, many are familiar with apps like YouTube and some games only offered on the Play Store. But, with Amazon Kids+, as the parent, you can allow access to YouTube, and your child could then access it via the web browser.
The other ding of the Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Pro (2022) and other Fire Kids tablets is that Amazon continues only to offer 32GB of internal storage. Sure, you can pick up a really good microSD card to expand the storage. But it seems silly not to at least offer a 64GB model for the Pro versions.
Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Pro (2022) review: Competition
It's sad to say this, but when it comes to affordable tablets for kids which offer a massive library of kid-appropriate content and have excellent parental controls, there really isn't much competition outside of other Amazon Fire tablets.
If your child would benefit from a larger device, then you can opt for the Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids or Pro model if your child is ready for it. If you want to save some cash, check out the new Amazon Fire 7 Kids I reviewed earlier this year. It is a fantastic entry-level device that offers the same software benefits from Amazon Kids+ as the pricier models but at a more affordable cost.
While there are options outside of Amazon to look at, many of them that are going to be in a similar price range offer subpar performance. Not to mention nowhere near the same size library for kids or level of parental controls. Samsung recently announced its first tablet built for kids, the Galaxy Tab A7 Lite Kids Edition (opens in new tab).
While there are options outside of Amazon to look at, many of them that are going to be in a similar price range offer subpar performance. Not to mention offering nowhere near the same size library for kids nor level of parental controls. Samsung recently announced its first tablet built for kids, the Galaxy Tab A7 Lite Kids Edition (opens in new tab). But it is an AT&T exclusive and the performance and features will still need to be evaluated.
Google has partnered with a few brands to offer an environment for kids to safely explore tablets called Kids Space. In my testing, it is an OK option. But isn't nearly as full-featured as what Amazon Kids+ offers in either content or parental controls. I've heard that Google is continuing to build this platform out and, in time, could be a contender. But for now, Amazon is the clear leader in the kids' tablet space.
Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Pro (2022) review: Should you buy it?
You should buy this if...
- Your child is six or older and is ready for a more mature interface on their tablet.
- Your child is using an older device that is slowing down.
- You want a tablet for your child with excellent content and equally good parental controls.
You shouldn't buy this if...
- You're on a tight budget.
- You need the device to offer Google Play Services.
- You don't want to buy a microSD card for additional storage.
As I said in the competition section, there isn't anything better than Amazon's lineup regarding kids' tablets. The Fire HD 8 Kids Pro (2022) continues that legacy with improved performance that runs nearly any app asked of it. The more mature case and UI layout satisfy even the most experienced child. Thanks to Amazon Kids+, there are a lot of titles available for kids of all ages, and the safety controls ensure that parents can have peace of mind.
But the tablet isn't cheap. So if you are on a tight budget, you might consider picking up the Fire 7 Kids. The lack of Google Play Services might be a bummer in specific circumstances, but Amazon's content library is vastly better than it was even a few years ago. While the tablet only offers 32GB of internal storage, adding a microSD card is nice. So if you have a child that isn't ready for a big 10-inch display but is prepared to handle a "big-kid" tablet, the Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Pro (2022) is just the ticket.
Amazon stuck with a tried and true strategy for the new Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Pro (2022). The size is right in the middle, making it easy for nearly anyone to hold. The improved performance allows it to handle even more apps. With new cases in tow, it is an excellent device for the little kid ready to step up to big kid status.