If there’s one thing we know about kids in the 2010s, it’s that they can’t get enough of our smartphones and tablets. Maybe it’s because they want to be like us or maybe it’s just because those glowing screens are the key to a world where you’re never bored.
Either way, we’ve all experienced the terror of giving your very expensive and very fragile device to a kid that’s just as likely to spill a drink, drop it or put their mouth around it. All of which means that you’re probably on the hunt of the perfect kid-proof tablet. Well, say hello to the Amazon Fire Kids Edition. It’s an Amazon Fire 7 tablet stuffed inside a big, soft and tough case and loaded with some kid-friendly extras, but is it worth it?
With Three offering the tablet on a monthly contract or for Pay as you Go with a mobile WiFi hotspot, we’re taking the opportunity to look at the device and help you figure out whether it’s the right one for you. Let’s get started.
Inside that big blue (or pink) case is an Amazon Fire 7 tablet, which typically retails at just £50. That’s an extremely low price for a tablet, and that low price is reflected in the quality of the tablet.
Put simply, it won’t look wonderful placed next to efforts from Apple, Samsung or Sony. Packing a smaller 7” screen with a less than HD resolution (1024 x 600), the Amazon Fire 7 is what you might consider a perfect beginners tablet. Sure, it doesn’t look at incredible, but for those less discerning (or kids), it’s a perfectly acceptable screen to look at and use.
It’s backed up by a quad-core processor clocked at 1.3Ghz and 1GB of RAM, which also makes it far from the fastest tablet around, albeit one capable of playing games and watching videos.
Really then, what I’m suggesting is that the tablet inside that kid-proof case isn’t the best around. What it is, however, is good enough for kids. It’s also lovely and light, coming in at just over 400 grams with the case included, so even the smallest arms can carry the device.
On the front of the tablet you’ll find a VGA front facing camera for kiddie-selfies and a 2MP rear facing camera for capturing all their adventures. The device charges via a micro-USB port at the bottom and headphones can also be plugged in, to save you listening to their YouTube videos too.
7 hours of battery life should see your little ones though a couple of days regular usage too. If the 16GB of internal storage runs out, you can expand it up to 200GB with a micro-SD card.
Kid specific stuff
The Amazon Fire Kids Edition is running Amazon’s Fire OS, which is a modified version of Android. That means you’ll be able to download and run just about any Android application on the tablet, but since it’s for kids, Amazon have made some special adjustments.
Alongside bigger icons and the use of bright colours, Amazon have strong content controls which means you can block certain applications, disable parts of their Internet browser, only allow certain applications to run or instruct the device not to function beyond bed time. They’re all nice features which allow a parent to ensure that their child is using their tablet safely and properly.
To make it easier for kids to know what they’re meant to go on, Amazon include one year of Fire for Kids Unlimited, which offers over 5000 age appropriate games, educational apps, videos and books entirely for free, so wherever your kids mind wanders, there’s something for them to see and do.
Additionally, Amazon have ensured that YouTube only shows age appropriate videos, so you aren’t likely to find your child watching questionable content with the Fire 7.
Those are features which you simply don’t get with any other tablet, but it’s another feature which should be of real interest to parents.
We speak, of course, about the 2-year ‘Worry free guarantee’ which means that if your tablet breaks or stops working in any way, you can return it and get a new one sent to you with no questions asked. For those of us with young ones who seem to break everything they touch, two years of completely free repairs is a godsend.
So, should you buy the Amazon Fire Kids Edition?
If you’re looking for a tablet for your child, there’s no better option out there than the Fire Kids Edition by Amazon. With good enough specs, a comfy and secure case, specially tailored software, a years’ free Fire for Kids Unlimited with over 5000 kid-specific apps, books, videos and educational tools and two years completely free returns and repairs, it’s the best choice available on contract at Three, or elsewhere.