Fire For Children content is striking
Enormous cost premium over standard HD 6
No screen protector
WHAT IS THE AMAZON FIRE HD 6 KIDS EDITION?
You can’t help but notice how many kids playing with their parents’ or – the blessed blighters – cheapo Android tablets or their very own iPads. What, you haven’t discovered? Well, Amazon obviously has, and is currently offering a child-targeted tablet package. It’s essentially an Amazon Fire HD 6 with a couple of additional extras.
Most clearly, you get a chunky case in a range of pink or blue, but there’s also a year’s subscription to Amazon Fire For Kids Unlimited, giving access to your load of kiddy-friendly content. Really probably most attractive, and finally, is a two-year guarantee that guarantees a replacement tablet following any breakage, no questions asked.
Yet, those extras come in a fairly significant price premium, with the 8GB model weighing in at the 16GB version at £139 and also £119. That’s compared to £79/£99 for the regular HD 6. This had better be worth it…
AMAZON FIRE HD 6 KIDS EDITION – DESIGN
At the center of the package is the Fire that is conventional HD 6, which we’ve described in detail 6 review. It’s a fairly heavy, chunky 6-inch pill. It feels better built than most, though, once it’s squished into the furnished Kids Edition case and its particular size and weight problems aren’t so useful.
Amazon Fire For Kids 4
On the most notable is the power button, a Micro USB charging port, a 3.5mm headphone outlet and the miniature hole for the microphone. There’s a rather thick black bezel round the display, in which will be the front-facing camera, while you’ll also discover a camera on the back, in addition to a mono speaker.
I am reminded by the Kids Edition case of a car dashboard, a little rubbery but nevertheless firm, and textured with that, dimply pattern that is grainy. Right in the box it has that new-car smell.
Fitting it involves simply squeezing it over the edges of the Fire HD 6, which can be easy enough. The lips that secure the case within the tablet are negligible, which means that you are able to pop the case on and off . I worried at first about that. The pill then pop out and possibly take a knock anyhow, but although serious damage might be prevented by that huge rubber bumper from a preliminary impact? I tried dropping it on a few different surfaces, but it stayed put.
But although the case protrudes in the front to help prevent harm there’s nothing to reduce a direct hit from a table corner or random pointy toy lying on the ground. I’d have liked to have seen a display guard bundled in, rather than as a £9.99 optional extra.
Amazon Fire For Children 3
In a great world, the case might possess an easy kickstand to hold the HD 6 upwards on a table for video screening. Practically, though, that would likely demand a protruding part that’s readily snapped off, so I will understand why Amazon has chosen to keep things uncomplicated.
AMAZON FIRE HD 6 KIDS EDITION – SCREEN
Again, there’s not much more to add about the Fire HD 6’s 6-inch screen that we haven’t said already in our original review.
That’s plenty sharp enough, specially for the kind of content with which the Kids Edition will be faced, and it’s also bright, with viewing angles that are decent.
It isn’t the absolute best for reading on which can be ironic when you think about its Kindle heritage.
OPERATION AND FIRE OS
Fire OS is Amazon’s own operating system, although you’d barely know it, predicated on Android –. This really is really much an Amazon experience, and as such is geared heavily toward buying the company’s wares and using its services. Amazon even has its own app store.
Amazon Fire For Children 8
The homepage is dominated by a central carousel of recently used programs, while shortcuts to Amazon services and any or all important parts are along the most notable.
To get the full rundown how the HD 6 and Fire OS perform in the hands of full-size individuals, head to our overview of the fundamental Fire HD 6.
The HD 6 uses a MediaTek quad-core 1.2GHz processor, with 1GB of RAM, which is readily enough power for a budget tablet computer – notably one that’s meant mainly to be used by children.
FIRE FOR KIDS APP
That one-year subscription to the Fire For Kids Unlimited service is the real reason this tablet will be loved by young kids. It’s basically a simplified OS within Fire OS, giving access to loads of age-appropriate content.
It’s all very nicely thought out – which causes it to be more of a shame that you simply only get a one-year subscription.
It’s the length of time it will take to download many of the apps, if I have one real complaint about the service itself. The kids at whom these programs are targeted only don’t have the patience to wait, and it’s not made clear enough that something’s downloading. There’s merely a little orange progress bar across the underparts of the the app icon. Clue yells of “Dad, it’s not doing anything!”
Fire For Children is accessed initially just as with some other program from Fire OS. Once it’s fired you up ’re presented with all the choice to add profiles for each of the children who’ll be using the tablet.
Once that child is signed in, they have five choices of content: Characters, and Publications, Videos, Apps, Camera. They can also search by title. Whichever type you choose, the volume of content is remarkable, and full of A-listers.
Browsing by character shows lots of familiar faces: Thomas the Tank Engine, Fireman Sam, Postman Pat, Gruffalo, Dora the Explorer and tons more, as well as classes for example Dinosaurs, Trains, Princesses, Sports and, er, Kittens.
My two kids – aged 6 and 3 – didn’t seem overwhelmed by the enormous selection, though. Because way kids have of making you realise they’ll be showing you before you understand it, new tech works, they were casually swiping right to whatever caught their eye and just getting on with it.
You’re additionally in to get a unique treat if you spent much of your youth in the ‘80s. When I spotted, in the Videos section, the whole first show of Mysterious Cities of Gold, my heart leapt with joy. (I still dream occasionally of flying that gold condor…) Additionally, does anyone remember Round the Twist?
There are some customisations you could make regarding what your children can do and for how long. As an example, if there are any specific programs that the child enjoys which are outside the Fire For Kids selection – such as CBeebies Playtime – it is possible to just add them to your child’s programs list. This really is especially helpful for supplying kids that are elderly with some content that is more appropriate, as much of the Fire For Kids stuff looks aimed at youngsters aged 8 and below.
Nevertheless, as a security precaution, you can’t add a web browser to a child’s profile – you’ll need to sign them into an adult user profile in the event you intend to provide internet access to them.
For Kids Settings page inside the Fire, there’s additionally the option to Set Daily Goals & Time Limits. This allows you to define what time of day like a minimum of 30 minutes reading books, and whether you wish to set them a target, your child’s profile can be accessed, for how long per day.
Books download much faster, though, and videos stream instantaneously over Wifi. The latter does mean your little darlings won’t get to watch anything in physician’s waiting room or the car, etc.
If you’re actually following a virtual walled garden in which young kids can play and study, this is a great spot to begin. The fact that the wall shuts out the internet unless you’re signed into an account that is adult may be frustrating on occasion, but there’s so much content that is great in the Fire For Kids service.
Is it worth the huge price premium over the regular HD 6, though? Maybe not.
The two-year warranty is certainly a draw, but the Fire For Kids subscription is just for one year, and the rubber case is arguably only worth a few pounds.
The larger, technically more remarkable Tesco Hudl 2 is around exactly the same price and in addition offers some child safety features, although not the superb free (and ad-free) content.
A good attempt at making a genuinely child-friendly pill, but using an enormous cost premium.