7th Gen Kindle Fire 7 Tablet with Alexa Unboxing and First Impressions

by 3:26 PM 0 comments

I decided to take advantage of some Prime Day discounts and pick up the 2017 edition of the Fire 7, Amazon's budget-friendly 7-inch tablet. This is the 8GB model with the Amazon "Special Offers" deals on the lock screen. This post is not a comprehensive review, but I wanted to share my first impressions with the device after putting it through a few paces over the past couple days.

Unboxing

Inside the package, you'll find the tablet, a/c charger, USB-3 charging cable, and documentation. No special accessories included, which you won't really expect for such a low price.

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The tablet is quite chunky; certainly not a sleek, slim device like the Nexus 7 or similarly sized devices. It has both front- and rear-facing cameras, a speaker on the bottom left-hand corner of the rear side. There is a micro-SD card slot on the right-side and a volume rocker and power/screen-on button on the top. Also on top is the headphone jack and charging port.

The cable is about 3 feet long so you may need an extension cord if you wish to use the tablet while it's charging. It does fit into the port quite securely unlike some of the other cheap Android devices that I've checked out before.

The back is plain except for the camera lens in the top left corner, the Amazon logo in the middle top, and the speaker in the bottom left corner. I highly recommend a case as the back gets scratched quite easily. [Here is the one I chose.]

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A Few Specifics

The tablet is running a customized version of Android, which Amazon calls Fire OS. It does not have access to the Google Play Store so you have to use apps that are available in the Amazon Appstore. This means that none of your typical Google apps, which are often pre-installed on most other Android tablets and phones, are even available for the Fire tablets.

The Fire has an internet browser called Silk which seemed adequate, but I missed having all of my Chrome bookmarks. The Kindle, Audible, Music and Amazon apps worked quite well as you might expect.

The speaker on the back has pretty decent volume though you may still want an external speaker or earbuds. I picked up an inexpensive set of AmazonBasics branded earbuds to use with the tablet and have been quite pleased with them.



(Update: It looks like this model is no longer available. Here is a similar product.)

As I mentioned above, I opted for the model which includes ads for specific products on the lock screen. The benefit of this is that the device has a significantly lower price tag than its counterpart without the "Special Offers". I didn't find them to be too bothersome. As soon as you swipe to unlock the screen they go away and you are able to use the device without any restrictions.

This 7th Generation edition of the tablet also comes with the Alexa Voice Services installed. I found this to be a nice feature, but one I didn't use all that much. I have both the original Echo and an Echo Dot in my home and I use them all the time. I just didn't find a need for Alexa on the tablet, but perhaps with more use of the device that will change.

Final Thoughts

My favorite use case for the Fire 7 was to read Kindle books. And I did download and try out a couple of free games from the Appstore that were quite enjoyable. This device is not a powerhouse, nor is it intended to be. If you're looking for a productivity tablet then you may want to pass on the Fire 7. But if you want a media consumption device or ebook reader which can also run a few apps and games and has web access, then I don't think you can go wrong for the price.

(I also grabbed a pack of screen-protectors to prevent scratches to the screen.)

You may also want to consider this Fire 7 bundle which includes the tablet, screen protector, and case for a $15 savings.




J.D. Sutter

Founder of Porchlight Family Media

Podcaster, new media consultant, Android fan, audio drama reviewer and foodie.