Amazon Fire HD 10 (2019): Tablet bargains in the test

A lot of technology for little money, counter-financed by advertising and the intensive integration of Amazon services – these are the Fire tablets. Is this the same with the 9th generation Fire HD 10?

If you want to spend little money on a tablet, you can't avoid Amazon Fire tablets. We already have that in our guidebook How much tablet is really necessary and cheap home: tablets from 40 to 150 euros noted. However, this only applies if buyers can accept Amazon's advertising measures. The company wants to get the low sales price back by using FireOS instead of offering Google services, but only Amazon services. There is also advertising on the lock screen, provided customers do not have it removed for 15 euros. The Fire devices are also not particularly chic.

Even though some may not believe it, Amazon's Fire HD 10 (2019) is the best example of how appearance and money are sometimes directly related. The low retail price of 150 euros in the manufacturer's recommended price can be seen on the Fire HD 10. This is due to the very wide edge around the display compared to more expensive models, the thickness of the device of almost 1 centimeter and the weight of over 500 grams.

The simple plastic back doesn't look very high quality, doesn't feel too comfortably and sounds terrifyingly hollow when you tap on it. Whether the plastic surface was just as sensitive to scratching as the predecessor could not be verified in the naturally short test period. Overall, the overall build quality is decent, but the device is comparatively fragile. Even little effort causes the tablet to twist. If you add the low price to these findings, the first impression is put into perspective. After all, you can live with all the negative points, provided that users are reasonably careful with the device.

According to the name, the touch screen of the Amazon Fire HD 10 (2019) measures 10 inches. Thanks to the extended Full HD resolution (1920 × 1200 pixels) in 16:10 format, the display is still sufficiently sharp, provided you are not spoiled by ultra-high-resolution smartphone displays, which sometimes offer significantly more pixels with less diagonals. The remaining parameters are also correct.

Colors and contrasts are displayed sufficiently intensely overall, thanks to IPS technology, the viewing angle stability is surprisingly good. We measured the brightness at around 350 cd / m², which is quite low for an LCD. This is sufficient for – literally – domestic use, then the fairly strong reflections on the screen hardly disturb.

Cameras are available – you shouldn't say more about the possibilities of taking pictures with the Fire 10 HD (2019). Because it doesn't get any better. If you still want to know: Both the main camera on the back and the front camera have 2 megapixels each and allow video recordings with a maximum of 720p. It is enough for video chats, but you shouldn't really expect more from the two optics.

The camera (s) have more of an alibi function

With the low price, the technology can't really be reasonable, can it? Not really, but as indicated at the beginning, it is ultimately not Amazon's goal to make a profit by selling the hardware. Instead, the focus is on Amazon services. Accordingly, the hardware of the Fire HD 10 isn't bad at all for the price you call it.

Fully designed for Amazon services

The drive is an Octa-Core chipset, unspecified by Amazon, which should be the Mediatek Helio P60. Unfortunately, he only has 2 GB of RAM at his side, which is not particularly noticeable in normal operation, but is noticeable when multitasking. Because of the small amount of memory, background apps are closed earlier than with higher-priced tablets with more memory and tabs in the browser have to be reloaded when they are called up again as soon as more than a handful of them are open.

There is also no real multitasking with two apps open on the screen at the same time. The only exceptions are apps such as Netflix or Amazon Prime, which are reduced to tiny windows (Picture in Picture – PiP) instead of being banished to the background while surfing the browser or checking emails.

Speaking of multimedia: Here the Fire HD 10 is in its element. On the one hand, this is due to the two powerful speakers, which certainly offer a certain stereo separation and at least reproduce speech in a way that is easy to understand. This is also important when using the tablet as an echo show replacement and thus as a smart display with Alexa as a voice assistant and works very well there. The same applies to the show mode, in which the display is permanently active and, in addition to photo albums from the Amazon cloud, also shows upcoming appointments or other news graphically. The only disadvantage compared to real show devices: In addition to the speakers, which are weaker despite everything, the voice recognition still works properly due to the lower number of microphones, but clearly worse than the real smart displays.

Another reason for the suitability as a multimedia tablet: Due to the corresponding Widevine certification, there are no DRM problems and films and series can also be streamed in high resolution instead of only in HD. Streaming then also makes up for the disadvantage of the not excessively large internal memory. It can be expanded via micro-SD, but is only 32 or 64 GB in size internally.

Alexa in show mode – limited replacement for an echo show

The general performance is sufficient. Stutters or hooks are rare in everyday life, even games like Asphalt 9 or PUBG run smoothly, provided the graphics are reduced a bit. Hardcore gamers should still take a little more money in their hands and buy a stronger tablet. Other equipment is more basic: WLAN ac is also available, as is Bluetooth 4.2 and a 3.5 millimeter connection. Prospective customers are looking in vain for a fingerprint sensor, as is GPS or a data module for on the go. After all: For the first time, Amazon is installing a USB-C port in the current Fire HD 10 instead of the outdated micro-USB port.

Users who come from their Android smartphone and expect to find a similar user interface will be somewhat irritated. This is not the case at all. Amazon uses its FireOS version, which is based on Android 9, and adjusts some things here. This is already noticeable on the homescreen, which is prominently designed to have all Amazon services at hand with one click. Thus, users do not reach an additional homescreen with space for additional widgets with a side swipe, but the Amazon services for books, videos, apps, music, audio books, magazines and of course the range of goods offered by the marketplace. Fans of the Amazon services, who are also best Prime members and who use other paid services such as Audible, may feel right at home here. However, due to the lack of Google services, they then have to live with not finding all the apps in the Amazon app store that are available in the Play Store. In the end, even the YouTube app is just a web app that is more difficult to use than normal, which quickly becomes frustrating. But there is a remedy: All of this can be handled quite easily and with just a few clicks, for example by using the Fire toolbox from the XDA developers Google services installed and even uninstalled Amazon services. Without this or similar help, users have to live with the Amazon constraint and, with the cheapest versions, even with advertising on the lockscreen.

Incidentally, there is also a kids edition with a special protective cover and exchange program in the event of damage, which is around 50 euros more expensive, but the "normal" Fire HD 10 can also be operated Free Time make it childproof. Then parents can block in-app purchases and advertising, set learning goals and time limits, or use the parent dashboard to find out what their children particularly like – to avoid the unsightly concept of monitoring.

The battery in the Fire HD 10 does a good job. In everyday life, most users should only have to charge the device every few days. Several films in a row are also possible, provided the brightness, which is not outstanding anyway, is further reduced. To use the show mode, it is advisable to connect to the included power supply.

Amazon normally charges just under 150 euros for the Fire HD 10 with 32 GB of internal memory, the version with 64 GB usually costs just under 190 euros. In fact, there are always offers, then the small version is even available for around 100 euros. Our price comparison currently shows at least 120 euros. In addition to black and white, there are also blue-gray colors.

Amazon Fire HD 10 KFMAWI 2019, with advertising, 32GB, black (53-018703)

Fire HD 10 32 GB

Amazon Fire HD 10 KFMAWI 2019, with advertising, 64GB, black (53-018704)

Fire HD 64 GB

Amazon Fire HD 10 KFMAWI 2019, no ads, 32GB, pink, Kids Edition (53-018727 / 53-018724)

Fire HD Kids Edition 32 GB

The Fire HD 10 from Amazon is quite a price performance bargain. It is – especially in occasionally coming offers – cheap, offers decent performance, has a not too bright, but otherwise very good display and brings Alexa, which can also be used in show mode. You get the most out of the device in two ways: either as a prime member and subscription to other Amazon services, and / or by (additional) installing the usual Google services.

There are actually not many alternatives in the lowest price region for tablets. The Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 is a bit more expensive, but does not quite match the performance of the Fire HD 10. All that remains is the Fire HD 8 that we tested here in the Kids Edition, but not only smaller, but also less equipped. How to find the right tablet for you can be found in our guide How much tablet is really necessary? summarized. We also mention in our article These tablets have current Android tablets up to 300 euros and with Android 9.


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