Amazon Fire HD or Samsung Galaxy Tab A?

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I'm looking for an inexpensive tablet. Mainly to do Web browsing, listening to music, and watching some shows on the go. Right now I've narrowed down choices to the Amazon Fire HD 8 without ads or the Samsung Galaxy Tab A. Both are in the same ballpark price-wise and feature-wise. Either Prime or Netflix would be the source of videos to watch. It also might be used for some Skype calls. Or, anything else I should consider?
 
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I picked up the Amazon HD 8. I liked the screen on the Samsungs better (go figure, more money) but the Samsungs seemed more behind (1GB of RAM). I use mine to read books, surf the web. Reading is good, web is ok; the screen resolution is worse than I expected. It's just not sharp. Worse: it's very reflective. Often I have to angle the screen to avoid glare. I read someplace that the memory is slow too. HD 8's charge slowly and every review says the camera is a joke. Might not matter for Skype, but they are low end. That's all I got, don't know much about the Samsung. I do like the nightsceen mode for reading in the evening. Battery life seems ok, get a few nights of light usage out of it, without charging overnight--a heavy user I think might get a full day out of it, and of course it can charge as slowly as it wants overnight. Mine has ads, and I don't think I'll pay to get rid of them. They can be a bit of a nuisance, but only when starting an app it seems. It's not like it pops up while reading a book or surfing the web.
 
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I'm replying from a Galaxy Tab A and really like it, browse the Web, Microsoft Office, watch YouTube it's been fun using it couldn't be happier, my wife has the Amazon Fire and always has challenges with it as she has to constantly reconnect it to our home Internet. TOTO.
 

Bud

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I use the Fire and have had no problems with it. Using it right now. Ads people complain about are only on the lock screen, really not a big deal. This is my second one over the last five years. Wife using the older one. No complaints.
 
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The OP said he would be getting the ad-free version of the Fire, which costs a few bucks more, so the comments about ads don't seem relevant in this case. As a Fire owner I would say get the ad-free version. It's worth it. I haven't used the Samsung tablets, but I've been mostly pleased with the two Fires we have, considering how affordable they were. We have both HD 7 and HD 8 models. The interface is clunkier than an Apple product, but those are a lot more money.
 

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Amazon tries to pull you into the ecosystem, I have avoided their tablets.
 
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Originally Posted By: dishdude
Amazon tries to pull you into the ecosystem, I have avoided their tablets.
How is that? I already have Prime, so perhaps I wouldn't care. It's also a cheap tablet. It's not like you're buying a home computer that you're going to use for ten years. It's got what, a two year lifespan ahead of it? Then something else will be available--faster, better, whatever.
 

dishdude

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Originally Posted By: supton
Originally Posted By: dishdude
Amazon tries to pull you into the ecosystem, I have avoided their tablets.
How is that? I already have Prime, so perhaps I wouldn't care. It's also a cheap tablet. It's not like you're buying a home computer that you're going to use for ten years. It's got what, a two year lifespan ahead of it? Then something else will be available--faster, better, whatever.
Although the Fire runs on Android, it's a customized version that doesn't have the Play Store, so you're limited to what apps you can install on it. I guess it depends on what you're using it for, but in general I want all of my mobile devices to be able to download all the apps from the Play Store. For example, I subscribe to Google Play Music, but I can't use that app on Fire devices because Amazon won't allow it. Yes, you can root and do workarounds, but I would prefer to just purchase something with out of the box support.
 

sciphi

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Thanks for the replies! I'm going to pick up a Samsung Tab A since it seems like a better-rounded machine than the Amazon-centric (duh) Fire HD. I can still get my Amazon content on the Samsung, while also stream Netflix and do some light word-processing without issue.
 
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Originally Posted By: dishdude
Originally Posted By: supton
Originally Posted By: dishdude
Amazon tries to pull you into the ecosystem, I have avoided their tablets.
How is that? I already have Prime, so perhaps I wouldn't care. It's also a cheap tablet. It's not like you're buying a home computer that you're going to use for ten years. It's got what, a two year lifespan ahead of it? Then something else will be available--faster, better, whatever.
Although the Fire runs on Android, it's a customized version that doesn't have the Play Store, so you're limited to what apps you can install on it. I guess it depends on what you're using it for, but in general I want all of my mobile devices to be able to download all the apps from the Play Store. For example, I subscribe to Google Play Music, but I can't use that app on Fire devices because Amazon won't allow it. Yes, you can root and do workarounds, but I would prefer to just purchase something with out of the box support.
Fair enough. I only went with Amazon due to price. If it dies after a year I won't buy again. If it goes two I'll think about it. I had been hoping that anything I download, type up or otherwise would want to keep would be stored on the SD card; that way if it ever bricked I could pop out my card and go elsewhere--otherwise I'd have gone Apple (although that was a much more expensive option).
 

CKN

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Originally Posted By: supton
Originally Posted By: dishdude
Originally Posted By: supton
Originally Posted By: dishdude
Amazon tries to pull you into the ecosystem, I have avoided their tablets.
How is that? I already have Prime, so perhaps I wouldn't care. It's also a cheap tablet. It's not like you're buying a home computer that you're going to use for ten years. It's got what, a two year lifespan ahead of it? Then something else will be available--faster, better, whatever.
Although the Fire runs on Android, it's a customized version that doesn't have the Play Store, so you're limited to what apps you can install on it. I guess it depends on what you're using it for, but in general I want all of my mobile devices to be able to download all the apps from the Play Store. For example, I subscribe to Google Play Music, but I can't use that app on Fire devices because Amazon won't allow it. Yes, you can root and do workarounds, but I would prefer to just purchase something with out of the box support.
Fair enough. I only went with Amazon due to price. If it dies after a year I won't buy again. If it goes two I'll think about it. I had been hoping that anything I download, type up or otherwise would want to keep would be stored on the SD card; that way if it ever bricked I could pop out my card and go elsewhere--otherwise I'd have gone Apple (although that was a much more expensive option).
I have had my Fire HD for 6 years with no issues. Used primarily for reading.
 
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I've tried a few Amazon devices, and came away relatively disappointed, even knowing the limitations up front. The first was a Fire TV Stick. The interface is heavily Amazon-centric, which I knew going in. I didn't realize how frustrating and non-intuitive it would be to use other services, however. It was one of those things that I thought I could get used to. I paid half price for it during their opening promo a number of years ago; I probably won't buy one again. Amazon had a super low price on their 7" Fire tablets back in the fall. We bought two for our kids...something like $30 each. How bad can they be, right? Physically, I'm impressed with the build quality. The plastic casing feels cheap, but has proven to be very durable. The screen, as indicated by Supton, is notably poor in resolution (and very prone to reflection). The most frustrating part, though, noted here by others and similar to the Fire TV Stick, is how Amazon-facing the user experience really is. You can't install Chrome or YouTube on it -- not without either trying to side-load the apps or rooting the device to install another shell or launcher. So synchronization with your bookmarks in Chrome won't be straight-forward. If you use Firefox, it may be okay -- I'm not sure if Firefox is in the Amazon App Store. These tablets, again, were a case where I read a lot of reviews and thought I could get used to them, but I cannot. The kids never use them. They just sit on the counter in our electronics "basket". Given a general use case, I would recommend against Amazon hardware. Not because it's poor in quality (it usually isn't), but because the low purchase price is subsidized by the delivery of Amazon-centric content to the exclusion of other stuff. I'm not upset that it's that way (they have every right to make a buck), but the tradeoff is not what I expected, so I probably wouldn't do it again. If buying ONLY to surf the web or read Amazon e-books or watch Amazon streaming, I think the ratio of what you get to do for the price paid is much more attractive.
 
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Originally Posted By: sciphi
Thanks for the replies! I'm going to pick up a Samsung Tab A since it seems like a better-rounded machine than the Amazon-centric (duh) Fire HD. I can still get my Amazon content on the Samsung, while also stream Netflix and do some light word-processing without issue.
There is a Netflix app for Amazon Fire tablets.
 
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