Buy now £99.99, Amazon.co.uk
The fire 7 kids is built for little kids. The screen is 7in, which feels a decent size for little hands. And although it’s not HD, it’s a sharp enough resolution that kids will be hooked – and you don’t feel like you’re giving them the latest tech to scratch and smash up.
There are tactile, easy-to-use buttons on the side for volume and power. The headphone jack comes in handy for when the sound of the Peppa Pig app gets too much for everyone in the car (roughly two seconds after it fires up, from our research).
The bumper cover is made from lightweight, grippy-feeling foam. Although it looks bulky, it’s actually very light to hold. It prevented any bumps, scrapes or breaks throughout our testing – even when pushed to the limit by, err, spirited toddlers who chuck stuff across the room. The case has a built-in stand, which is handy for propping it up while watching content.
It also has two 2MP cameras – one on the front and one on the back. Compared to flashy smartphones, 2MP might sound a bit measly, but it kept our testers happy. Let’s face it, they’re not taking Insta-worthy photos yet.
While the fire 7 kids has 16GB of internal storage (more than enough for our three kids combined), you can bump it up to 512GB using a microSD card. However, to do this you have to remove the cover, which we found was very reluctant to leave the tablet.
Entertainment and content
As we mentioned, the fire 7 kids comes with a year’s subscription to Amazon Kids+. This platform gives them loads of age-appropriate material. Our four-year-old tester loved the Peppa Pig app, as well as CBeebies and Paw Patrol content.
If your child is slightly older, Amazon Kids+ goes up to age 12, so there should be something for everyone.
The tablet connects to WiFi, but you can use it internet-free by downloading your apps to the tablet. This is really easy to do with a few taps, and then you’re good to go whether you’re in the car, on the tube or in a restaurant. You can also temporarily download kids’ movies too.
Our kids seemed to be entertained by the fire 7 kids for hours and hours and hours. They felt like they had the world at their tiny fingertips, even though in reality they were operating in a very safe and relatively small arena. This made them feel grown up and in control.
The most important thing to us when testing the tablet was the parental controls, so we really put them through their paces. Brilliantly, it did everything we wanted it to do.
A parental dashboard lets you set up profiles for different children who regularly use the tablet. Within each profile you can enter the child’s age and select what age-appropriate content you want them seeing. You can also set screen-time limits, and alter them for weekdays and weekends. Another nice feature is it’s pretty quick to add on extra time if, say, you’re stuck in traffic, or you want to use it as a special reward for your child.
We liked that we could monitor what our children had looked at, across their profiles. It gave us a breakdown of how long they were using which apps or watching entertainment. This made us feel really comfortable with what they were doing on the tablet, and it didn’t feel like a huge mystery or worry.
You can check on your parental setting and child’s usage even when you’re not with them or the tablet. The dashboard is easily accessed from any device via your Amazon account. You can also set up multiple grown-ups to manage the dashboard, meaning you won’t get a panicked call to add more time if you’re away from home.
One of the other features we loved is that you can click to “pause” the device. We’re yet to find a more effective method of getting our children’s attention.
The verdict: Amazon fire 7 kids tablet
Our kids loved the fire 7 kids. It was a great introduction to the world of tablets for them. We were actually amazed at how absorbed they became, having never shown an interest in tech before. To balance this out, we were glad of the stringent parental controls and felt like we were able to monitor and limit their usage easily.