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Samsung Tablets vs Amazon Fire: Head-to-Head Comparison

Samsung and Amazon both sell highly popular Android tablets catering to varying needs and budgets. Samsung Galaxy Tab S devices compete with the Apple iPad Pro in the ultra high-end space. The online retail giant‘s affordable Fire 7, Fire HD 8 and Fire HD 10 models target price-conscious consumers.

With widely varying hardware specifications and software capabilities even between different models under the Samsung or Amazon brands, it can get confusing for buyers to pick the right tablet.

This comprehensive side-by-side analysis between the market‘s budget and premium tablet heavyweights will cover all major factors differentiating the two ranges. Hopefully it will help shed light on the capabilities offered across price points. Time to pit Galaxy Tabs against Fire slabs!

Lineups Overview

Samsung‘s premium tablet portfolio includes the top-flight Galaxy Tab S8, S8+ and S8 Ultra. Next in line is the do-it-all Galaxy Tab Active aimed at enterprise and industrial environments needing rugged dependability.

More affordable options like the Galaxy Tab A8, A7, S7 FE (Fan Edition) cater to general consumer segments. Rounding off the selection is the compact Galaxy Tab A7 Lite – an 8.7 inch portable for tight budgets.

Display span a vast range too – from 8.7 inches on the A7 Lite to a spacious 14.6 inch mega-screen on the S8 Ultra. Resolution scales from 800p entry-level up to ultra sharp 2960 x 1848 Quad HD+ on the flagship for a crisp, pixel-dense visual experience. Most Samsung tabs leverage brilliant Super AMOLED panel technology.

Amazon‘s Fire tablet family starts at just $50 for the 7-inch Fire 7 – among the cheapest name brand options out there. Step up to 8 and 10.1 inch options with the mid-range Fire HD 8 and top-dog Fire HD 10 which maxes out at sharp Full HD resolution.

All Amazon slates utilize IPS LCD rather than costlier AMOLED displays. Let‘s analyze technical panel parameters as we kickstart an in-depth face-off across categories.

Display Technology Face-Off

Thanks to high-grade Super AMOLED adoption across its tablet lineup from compacts to large-screen flagships, Samsung dominates display superiority over Amazon‘s IPS LCD-toting budget tablets aimed purely at affordability.

The 14.6 inch Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra is currently the pinnacle of tablet display engineering with its 2960 x 1848 pixels resolution across 336 PPI density on an exceptionally vibrant, contrast-rich and color-accurate Super AMOLED panel. Peak brightness hits an searing 500 nits for superb HDR content clarity. Refresh rate options cover silky smooth 60 or 120 Hz.

In comparison, the Amazon Fire HD 10 serves up 1920 x 1200 pixels across 224 PPI which lags behind not just in resolution terms but also panel quality. Maximum brightness of 400 nits is decent yet a far cry from Samsung‘s peak. And being limited to 60 Hz with no high refresh rate support leaves some fluidity on the table for scrolling and transitions.

The numbers illustrate Samsung‘s commanding lead in display technology clearly. But Amazon still manages to serve up totally usable visuals that work great for video binging on a tight budget. Resolution and watching comfort do see a major upgrade as budgets go up towards the $700+ Galaxy Tab S8 though. Ultimately display performance aligns closely with price brackets between these brands.

Processing Power and Benchmark Battle

Samsung pulls no punches when it comes to outfitting its premium tablets with sheer processing grunt. The Galaxy Tab S8 range rocks Qualcomm‘s cutting-edge Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 silicon built on advanced 4nm process for blazing speed and outstanding efficiency.

Based on ARM‘s latest Cortex-X2 ultra core, the octa-core Kryo CPU paired with high-clocked Adreno 730 graphics simply smokes Amazon‘s dated MediaTek chipsets on heavy multi-tasking and intensive gaming. The performance differences show up clearly across synthetic benchmarks.

Amazon‘s tablets employ MediaTek Helio chipsets which tend to be a couple generations behind the bleeding-edge Snapdragons powering flagship Samsung Galaxy tablets and top-tier Android smartphones in general.

Tablet Chipset AnTuTu v9 Geekbench 5 (Single / Multi-Core)
Samsung Galaxy Tab S8+ Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 978204 1219 / 3462
Amazon Fire HD 10 Helio P60T 314082 354 / 1324

As seen in popular benchmark apps testing overall and graphics performance, Samsung‘s silicon outmuscles Amazon‘s by huge 2X to 3X margins thanks to process node advantages, smarter CPU architectures and vastly more powerful GPU rendering.

Naturally this big performance delta comes at a price – $700 and up for Samsung flagships compared to the $150 Fire HD 10. Still, power users need consistently zippy responsiveness and heavy apps/games capability which only Snapdragon-class performance facilitates. Casual media consumption focused buyers get by decently via Amazon‘s thriftier tablet processing.

Operating System and Software Ecosystem Divergence

The Galaxy Tab S8 models and even mid-tier options like Galaxy Tab A8 ship with Google‘s latest Android 12L software optimized specifically for large-screen devices. You get full access to all major apps in the Play Store plus support for all multi-tasking and content creation capabilities of vanilla Android.

Samsung further boosts productivity via value-adds like Samsung DeX which offers a desktop-style experience when you hook tablets up to external displays. Specialized tools like the S-Pen stylus also require the full range of touch and pressure sensitive APIs only Android allows.

Amazon tablets run the company‘s own Fire OS wrapped around an Android 9 foundation instead of unfettered Android itself. As a result, the Amazon App Store sees only a small subset of the millions of apps available from Google Play. App variety and quality tends to take a hit.

Games and creative tools get limited support. And core optimizations particularly around tablet-benefiting features like split windows and floating pop-ups aren‘t fully realized since Amazon uses custom forks rather than native builds. Any missing apps cannot be side-loaded easily either, hampering versatility.

If your use case calls for a widely varied spectrum of specialized apps across productivity, creative fields and other niches beyond just media consumption, the Galaxy Tab S8 provides vastly expanded scope thanks to full-fledged Android 12L and DeX support. But Amazon‘s streamlined Fire OS still handles the essentials using curated app versions.

Camera Technology Comparisons

While not many use tablets as primary photography tools, the ability to capture high quality images and video can come in handy during scanning documents or when your phone isn‘t available to snap pics on the go. Tablet cameras also impact functionality for video calls.

Once again Samsung pulls far ahead on imaging specs. The Galaxy Tab S8 and S8+ offer dual rear shooters (13MP main + 6MP ultra-wide angle), great for expansive landscapes. The 12MP ultra-wide front camera has a very versatile 122-degree field of view tailored for group video calls.

Both rear and front cameras across the S8 lineup record crisp 4K video at fully fluid 60 fps. Autofocus and flash round up the tablet‘s photographic flexibility. The large, high resolution Super AMOLED displays makes images and videos appear even more vibrant after captures.

Amazon‘s Fire HD 10 sports relatively paltry 2MP front and rear cameras limited to 720p video recording. Without auto-focus or flash, coupled with the small lens and sensors, the cameras are passable at best and clearly not positioned for photography enthusiasts or creative usage scenarios.

If your use case calls for occasional document scanning or product photography on the go, the Galaxy Tab S8 range certainly holds a commanding edge over Amazon‘s tablets which focus primarily on media consumption over content creation capabilities.

Battery Life and Charging Comparison

The Galaxy Tab S8+ with its beefy 10,090 mAh battery lasts an excellent 13 hours between charges when web browsing or playing videos continuously at medium brightness levels. The smaller Tab S8 still impresses at 11 hours thanks to its 8000 mAh cell. Charging speeds are blazing fast thanks to 45W Super Fast Charging allowing a 0 to 100% top up under 80 minutes.

Amazon‘s Fire HD 10 manages a decent 10 to 12 hours between trips to the adapter courtesy its more modest octa-core Helio G80 Arm-based silicon manufactured on efficient 12 nm lithography. The frugal processor allows the 6000 mAh battery to stretch a single charge almost as long as Samsung‘s flagship despite the much smaller capacity and older generation chipset.

When it comes to charging though, just 15W peak charging is supported. So a full 1 to 100% recharge takes almost 3 hours, considerably slower than Samsung‘s premium tier models. Still, battery life is very solid on the Fire HD 10 considering its cost and promised usage times align with real-world experience for the most part.

Storage and Expansion

The Galaxy Tab S8, Tab S8+ and Tab S8 Ultra all ship with 8GB RAM for effortless multi-tasking and background app retention during fast switching. The standard 256GB built-in flash storage on base variants with scope to specify beefy 512GB further aids performance by reducing storage bottlenecks. And as expected from portable computing devices, microSD card expansion upto 1TB allows basically unlimited content, apps, games and media carry.

Amazon equips its tablets more modestly but adequately for the price. The base Fire 7 and Fire HD 8 serve up 32GB onboard storage paired to 2GB RAM which is enough for several games and a sizeable apps+media collection. The range-topping Fire HD 10 gets 64GB built-in working in concert with 3GB RAM for smoother overall responsiveness. Those wanting more can insert 512GB microSD cards into any model.

Given the 4X cost differential between base variants, Samsung adding more memory right off the bat along with support for latest standard NVMe-based removable SSD storage is only expected. But Amazon tablets counter nicely with microSD expansion ensuring lack of space rarely gets in the way. Unless you seek massive games or rich content creation apps requiring ample memory from the get go, even 32GB Amazon Fires seldom feel desperately lacking even for moderate power users.

Extras and Standout Features

Here Samsung pulls far ahead with tangible everyday utility via exclusive capabilities lacking on Amazon‘s no-frills tablet range. One standout option is Samsung DeX that blurs lines between production-geared desktop environments and touch-friendly mobile interfaces by entering a special desktop productivity mode.

This allows effortless connection of Galaxy tablets to external monitors, keyboards and mice. Resizable windows, support for monitor spanning, specialized app UIs closer to desktop equivalents all hugely enhance the ability to multitask and crank through intensive workloads without compromising ease-of-use on the go. Artists and creators further benefit from precise pressure-sensitive input using the included S Pen stylus. Little touches like magnetic accessory slots and back cover keyboard attachments demonstrate Samsung‘s attention to detail and device extensibility that budget rivals don‘t bother attempting.

Amazon keeps thing simple focusing purely on cost-effective content delivery and consumption rather than content creation versatility possible via Samsung‘s PC-style DeX capabilities or S Pen nuanced digital inking. If productivity beyond basics matter, Tab S8 tablets pull far ahead. But those wanting just the essential experiences get them reliably from Amazon‘s range without costly superfluous extras.

Value Calculus – What You Get for Your Money

And that neatly brings us to the final real advantage Amazon‘s tablets retain over Samsung‘s – sheer affordability. The feature and performance-rich Galaxy Tab S8 starts at $700 for the 11-inch variant, crossing into four figures for the expansive 14.6-inch S8 Ultra. Even mid-tier alternatives like the Tab A8 cost north of $200. There‘s no escaping the fact that Samsung charges premium prices for its engineering brilliance and miniaturized high-end componentry. Hardware quality has tangible price tags.

Amazon‘s value slant shines through in the numbers. The 7-inch Fire 7 usually retails around just $50, making it the cheapest branded tablet offering out there. The Fire HD 8 rings up under $100 even for 64GB configurations. And range topping 1080p packing Fire HD 10 still sticks to super affordable $150 pricing. If your use case revolves around social feeds, web browsing and personal media consumption rather than content production, these tablets deliver entirely satisfactory specifications at outstanding value.

Just don‘t expect consistently zippy performance across intensive gaming or demanding creative workloads. And software scope feels limiting next to Samsung‘s DeX enabled multi-window Android interfaces. But for kids use or secondary household tablets meant mostly for disposable video binging, Fire bargains get the job done reliably without emptying wallets.


There‘s good reason Samsung is considered the premier Android tablet brand while Amazon caters to budget buyers wanting basic slate functionality without wallet agony. Flagship Samsung tablets lead uncompromisingly on display quality, benchmark-shattering responsiveness, versatile software ecosystem and niche special capabilities. You pay premium prices no doubt, but get brilliantly engineered packages in return. Performance metrics align closely with each model‘s price point.

Amazon keeps thing simple, targeting buyers not needing cutting-edge specifications or versatility but still appreciating brand-name dependability. If needs revolve around web browsing, ad-supported video and music streaming, social network scrolling or ebook reading rather than intensive gaming or demanding creative work, Fire tablets deliver surprisingly well. Kids also benefit from curated content experiences.

So choose Samsung for uncompromised productivity and pen-toting creativity or Amazon to maximize value without completely sacrificing user experience quality or reliability. Each brand serves their market segments admirably while specializing in mostly non-overlapping usage scenarios catering to different priorities. Hopefully the nuanced slate comparison above helps match prospective buyers with the right tablet model fulfilling needs and budget in one neat package!