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Amazon Fire HD 8 2020 release date, price, specs and Kids Edition

Amazon Fire HD 8 2020
(Image credit: Amazon)

Meet the new Fire HD 8 2020, which is catching up to its big brother, the Fire HD 10, by getting USB-C charging and a faster processor. Amazon today introduced the updated Fire HD 8 and Fire HD 8 Kids Edition, as well as a new model, the Fire HD 8 Plus, which features 50% more memory as well as wireless charging support.

This update helps make things easier on Fire tablet shoppers who don't want to pay a higher premium for modern charging. Speed-wise, it's got a 2.0 GHz quad-core processor, a step up from the 1.3GHz chip in past Fire HD 8 slates, but still a step down from the 2.0 GHz octa-core chips in the HD 10.

Amazon Fire HD 8 vs Plus vs Kids Edition specs

Fire HD 8Fire HD 8 PlusFire HD 8 Kids Edition
Screen8-inch 1280 x 800-pixel8-inch 1280 x 800-pixel8-inch 1280 x 800-pixel
Processor2.0 GHz quad-core processor2.0 GHz quad-core processor2.0 GHz quad-core processor
PortsUSB-C, microSDUSB-C, microSDUSB-C, microSD
Storage32GB, 64GB32GB, 64GB32GB, 64GB
CaseNot includedNot includedKid-proof case with adjustable stand, in blue, pink, or purple
Warranty90-day limited warranty90-day limited warrantytwo-year worry-free guarantee
FreeTime UnlimitedNot included6-month subscription1-year subscription
Special featuresNoneSupports wireless charging, 9 watt faster-charging power adapter includedNone

Amazon Fire HD 8 2020 release date and price

The Fire HD 8 starts at $89, which is $10 more than the 2018 Fire HD 8. The HD 8 Plus is $20 more, and throws in support for wireless charging, and Amazon bundles it with Angreat's Made for Amazon Wireless Charging Dock in a $139 package. 

Amazon Fire HD 8 2020 color options

(Image credit: Amazon)

All models will be available for pre-order today (May 13), and should ship on June 3.

Amazon Fire HD 8 2020 Kids Edition

As has been the case in the past, the Fire HD 8 Kids Edition 2020 costs a bit more than the standard edition, but includes enough for parents to not worry about that bump. That's because the Kids Edition Fire tablets can take many more bumps.

Now $139 (another $10 price increase), the Fire HD 8 Kids Edition includes the standard bumper case (in blue, pink or purple), a two-year "worry-free guarantee" (essentially a no-questions asked warranty) and a year of FreeTime Unlimited.

Amazon Fire HD 8 2020 design

Amazon's tweaked the look of its middle child with the Fire HD 8 2020. For starters, the corners seem a bit more curved, and the webcam is moved from one of the narrow sides to the wider side.

But if you're not looking closely, the Fire HD 8 2020 does look an awful lot like the 2018 model. The biggest physical difference is that Amazon's seen the light of reversible charging, and swapped out microUSB charging for USB-C. 

Amazon Fire HD 8 2020 docked

(Image credit: Amazon)

The Fire HD 8 Plus 2020 also differs slightly, offering wireless charging and supports the Qi standard. You'll need to buy a charging dock that's custom-made for the Fire HD 8, as 

The Fire HD 8 is coming in four colors: white, black, Twilight Blue, and Plum, and the Fire HD 8 Kids Edition adjustable stands will be in blue, pink and purple. 

Amazon Fire HD 8 2020 display

Amazon's keeping things in 2018 when it comes to the 8-inch 1280 x 800-pixel screens in the Fire HD 8 2020, which have offered OK color quality, but not much else.

Amazon Fire HD 8 2020

(Image credit: Amazon)

That sub-1080p display resolution will leave you longing for crisper images if you own a laptop or any other screen that is Full HD. For example, don't let your kids see their friends' iPads if you don't want to have to explain why those tablets have such nicer screens. 

For what you should expect, the Fire HD 8 2018 produced 80 percent of the sRGB spectrum and 307 nits of brightness, which beat the scores from the Fire 7, but not those of any iPad.

Amazon Fire HD 8 2020 performance

According to Amazon, the Fire HD 8 2020 offers a 30% speed jump over predecessors. The improvements start with its its 2.0 GHz quad-core processor, which should deliver a welcome boost when compared to the previous Fire HD 8, which had a 1.3 GHz quad-core chip. 

While the Fire HD 8 Plus' 3GB of RAM is more memory than you get with the Fire HD 8 and HD 8 Kids Edition (2GB in each), all of these pack an upgrade from the 1.5GB of memory in the 2018 Fire HD Plus.

Amazon Fire HD 8 2020 battery life

We hope to see some significant gains in endurance from the Fire HD 8 2020. Amazon rates it for up to 12 hours of life on a single charge, which is 2 hours longer than it claimed for the HD 8 2018. 

And that 10 hour estimate for the previous Fire HD 8 proved close, but a little over-ambitious. That tablet scored an OK 9 hours and 12 minutes on our battery test, which tracks how long a device lasts while web-browsing at 150 nits of brightness.

Amazon Fire HD 8 2020 outlook

While we're not thrilled that Amazon upped the price of the Fire HD 8 by $10 across the board, this year's models have some welcome upgrades. First and foremost, we're always happy to see them get faster processors, as they've never really thrilled when it came to speed. USB-C is another welcome upgrade, and one we hope the Fire 7 gets soon. 

Amazon Fire HD 8 2020

(Image credit: Amazon)

Most importantly, though, a 20% increase in battery life will likely mean the world to everyone, especially parents getting tired of kids handing them a tablet and saying "it's dead." We can't wait to get the Fire HD 8 2020 family into the Tom's Guide labs to test these claims and see how this year's upgrades work out.