In addition to an asymmetrical new “high-end” Kindle e-reader likely dubbed Oasis, Amazon could be gearing up to unveil at least one low-cost follow-up for 2015’s Fire tablets this week. The 2016 Fire HD 8 hasn’t been confirmed by the company’s head honcho yet, but its specs are out in the open for the whole world to see on GFX Bench.
The Amazon “KFGIWI” (the previous Fire HD is also known as KFMEWI on the inside) apparently sports the same 1,280 x 800 pixels resolution screen as last year’s model, only bumping up the pre-installed Android iteration from 5.0 to 5.1 Lollipop.
What’s radically changed then? Not much at first glance, with a MediaTek MT8163 SoC replacing the old MT8135, and half a gig of RAM added on top of the existing 1GB. Now, the new processor contains a quad-core CPU clocked at a maximum of 1.3 GHz, down from 1.5, but this is a 64-bit silicon, and it should noticeably improve performance, including in the graphics department, courtesy of an ARM Mali-T720 GPU.
Still, we’d hardly call this an important upgrade, as it barely accommodates 8GB data internally, and actually downgrades the 5MP rear camera to a crappy 2-megapixel sensor. But if the price is right, i.e. $100 or so, and there’s a microSD card slot to store stuff externally, the rehashed Amazon Fire HD 8 could well sell in decent enough numbers to justify a 2017 sequel, and another after that, and another after that.