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10 Reasons to Avoid Buying an Amazon Fire 7 Tablet in 2023

The Amazon Fire 7 was first released back in 2015 as an ultra-affordable tablet for basic media consumption, reading, and web browsing. At launch, it was a compelling option if you wanted a small, cheap device and weren‘t concerned about having cutting-edge specs. However, eight years later, the Fire 7 is really showing its age. Its hardware is extremely outdated by modern standards and it struggles with even basic tasks.

As a technology expert who has tested hundreds of tablets over the years, I strongly recommend avoiding the Fire 7 in 2023. While the low price may seem appealing, you‘ll likely end up frustrated by the tablet‘s limitations and poor performance. There are much better options available now in a similar price range that will provide a significantly better user experience.

Here are the top 10 reasons I advise steering clear of the Amazon Fire 7 tablet:

1. Sluggish Performance Due to Weak Specs

The Fire 7 is powered by an outdated quad-core 1.3 GHz processor and either 1GB or 2GB of RAM depending on the model. That‘s far below what you‘ll find in even budget tablets in 2023. Apps take a long time to open, multitasking is nearly impossible, and the interface often lags or freezes up during use. Web pages take forever to load and scrolling is choppy.

For comparison, the 2022 edition of Amazon‘s Fire HD 8 tablet, which isn‘t much more expensive, has a newer hexa-core processor and 2GB of RAM standard. It‘s a night and day difference in terms of responsiveness and smoothness. 2GB is still on the low end, but it‘s usable for basic tasks, whereas 1GB just doesn‘t cut it anymore.

2. Tiny, Low-Resolution Screen

One of the biggest downsides of the Fire 7 is its 7-inch screen with a resolution of just 1024 x 600 pixels. Not only is this smaller than most modern tablets, but it‘s a very low pixel density of 171 PPI. Text looks fuzzy and images lack detail. The viewing angles and color accuracy also leave a lot to be desired.

The 8-inch 1280 x 800 screen on the Fire HD 8 is a big step up in terms of sharpness, brightness, and visibility. If you plan to do a lot of reading or video watching, the larger HD screen is well worth the upgrade. The Fire HD 10 has an even nicer 10-inch 1920 x 1200 screen if you want the best visual experience.

3. Constant Lock Screen Ads

By default, all Fire tablets come with "Special Offers" which are basically just lock screen ads. You have to pay an extra fee (usually $15-20) for the version without these sponsored messages. But on the Fire 7, these ads are even more annoying because the lock screen shows up every time you turn on the tablet.

Since the Fire 7 has no fingerprint reader, you have to swipe the lock screen every single time to unlock it, and therefore are forced to view the ad. The later Fire HD models at least stay unlocked in between uses so you see the ads less often. This may not bother some people, but I find it incredibly irritating to be bombarded with marketing constantly on a device I paid for.

4. Limited App Compatibility

Many Android apps have minimum system requirements that the Fire 7 simply doesn‘t meet due to its low RAM, weak processor, and small screen size. Top games and more demanding apps will often fail to run or even install in the first place. And with each passing year, fewer apps remain compatible with the Fire 7‘s aging components.

Even if you sideload the Google Play Store to get access to a larger library of apps not available on Amazon‘s Appstore, you‘ll still run into errors trying to use apps not optimized for the Fire 7. The tablet also ships with Android 7.1 Nougat and can‘t be upgraded to later versions, so some newer apps may require a more recent Android version as well.

5. Locks Up Easily With Bigger Apps/Games

If you do manage to get a more intensive game or app running on the Fire 7, don‘t be surprised if it crashes, freezes, or causes the tablet to overheat and shut down. With only 1-2GB of RAM, the tablet just can‘t handle the memory demands of large, complex apps and will start to chug pretty quickly.

Even having more than a few browser tabs open at once is enough to bring the Fire 7 to its knees. The limited 8-16GB of storage also fills up fast, especially since the Fire OS operating system takes up nearly half of that space out of the box. Running out of storage can cause lots of instability and unresponsiveness.

6. Pain to Troubleshoot When Things Go Wrong

All these performance issues and incompatibilities lead to a myriad of problems that often require troubleshooting to resolve. But figuring out the cause is difficult on the Fire 7 since you have so little visibility into the system resources and what‘s happening behind the scenes.

More often than not, your only recourse is to force quit apps, reboot the tablet, or reset it back to factory settings and start over from scratch. That‘s a huge hassle if you have a lot of content downloaded that you now have to re-download again. I‘ve wasted countless hours going through these steps on Fire 7 tablets.

7. Frequently Won‘t Turn On Or Charge

By far the most common complaint I hear from Fire 7 owners is that the tablet suddenly won‘t turn on one day and appears to be completely dead. No matter how many times you press the power button, the screen stays black and unresponsive.

This can happen seemingly at random, even if the tablet was working fine before and had a decent battery charge. In some cases, leaving it plugged in to charge for a while and then trying the power button again revives it. But many people find their Fire 7 permanently bricked.

The likely culprit is a fried battery or faulty charging port that is no longer providing power to the device. Cheap components and lack of quality control on Amazon‘s part means hardware failures are pretty common on these budget tablets.

If your Fire 7 still won‘t turn on after charging and a factory reset doesn‘t work, your only option is to contact Amazon support for a replacement if it‘s under warranty or bite the bullet and buy a new tablet. Considering the tablet‘s low cost, repairs usually aren‘t worth it.

8. Zero Water Resistance

The Fire 7 has no official IP rating for water or dust resistance, unlike some of Amazon‘s newer tablets like the Fire HD 8. So if you accidentally drop it in the sink, spill a drink on it, or get caught in the rain, there‘s a high risk of permanently damaging the tablet.

Many people like to use their tablets in the kitchen to view recipes or in the bathroom to watch videos, but I would be very careful about doing this with a Fire 7. Even slight splashes or high humidity could cause problems if water gets in the uncovered ports. Definitely keep it away from the beach or pool.

9. Flimsy Construction, Especially for Kids

The Fire 7 has an all-plastic body that feels really cheap and flimsy compared to more premium tablets with metal or glass chassis. The soft plastic is prone to scratches and dings, and I‘ve seen the back cover actually come off after a drop on concrete, exposing the inner components.

If you‘re planning to give the Fire 7 to a child to use, you‘ll absolutely want to buy the Kids Edition that comes with a rugged bumper case, or purchase a separate third-party case. The tablet definitely won‘t survive the rough and tumble of toddlers or younger kids without some serious protection.

10. Much Better Alternatives for the Price

As I mentioned up top, there are tons of great tablet options these days around the $50-100 price point of the Fire 7 that will give you a far better experience. Amazon‘s own Fire HD 8 and Fire HD 8 Plus are hugely better in every regard and still very affordable at $90 and $110 respectively.

If you can stretch your budget a bit further, Samsung‘s Galaxy Tab A8 ($230), Lenovo‘s Tab M8 ($120), and Nokia‘s T20 ($250) all trounce the Fire 7 with superior screens, battery life, speakers, performance, and build quality while running a more flexible full Android operating system.

Even refurbished iPad models can be found for under $200 if you look around and will run circles around the Fire 7, especially in terms of app selection and smooth functionality. I really see no reason to saddle yourself with the Fire 7‘s limitations to save a few bucks in 2023.

The Bottom Line

Unless you need the absolute cheapest tablet available, I strongly urge you to pass on the Amazon Fire 7. Its lackluster performance, low-end screen, meager storage, and unreliable hardware just aren‘t worth the savings compared to the far better options now on the market.

The frequent reports of the tablet not turning on or holding a charge are major red flags that it likely won‘t last very long before needing to be replaced. Spend a little more on a tablet with sufficient power and memory to handle today‘s apps and content and you‘ll have a much more enjoyable and frustration-free experience in the long run.

What are your thoughts on the Amazon Fire 7? Do you agree that it‘s an obsolete tablet to avoid in 2023 or have you found it adequate for simple use cases? Let me know in the comments below!