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Samsung’s ST30 and ST6500 aren’t the company’s only new digicams today; there’s also the mid-range ST95, ST90 and ST65 on offer. Set to arrive in February, the cameras are under 17mm thick, with 16-megapixels on offer in the ST95 and 14-megapixels in the ST90 and ST65.
The Samsung ST95 also gets a 3-inch touchscreen, but all three models support 720p HD video recording (with the ST95 also throwing in H.264 support). A 5x optical zoom is standard across the range, as is smart auto and smart filter.
Samsung expects the ST95 to be priced at $199.99 when it arrives next month, while the ST90 will be $149.99. Finally, the Samsung ST65 will be a mere $129.99.
Samsung Delivers Stylish Design and Enhanced Performance Through the New ST95, ST90 and ST65
Slim-line design and high-quality performance for those passionate about photography
SEOUL, Korea – January 19, 2011 – Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd, a global leader in digital media and digital convergence technologies, announced today the ST95, ST90 and ST65, the latest additions to its ultra-slim, stylish design range, delivering the perfect balance between style and functionality. The latest launches reinforce Samsung’s ambition to produce high performing, fashionable and portable models for all customers, which still maintain a premium and high quality feature set to guarantee great images.
The ST95, ST90 and ST65 boast impressive performance features within their ultra-slim line design. With each device measuring 16.5mm (ST90) or 17mm (ST95 and ST65), the new cameras ensure users have the most sleek and stylish compact cameras on the market to match their personal style. The compact design of each model has been specifically developed to improve the overall usability and function of the cameras. The ST95, ST90 and ST65 also offer a variety of fashion leading color options. All three cameras can effortlessly slip into any jacket pocket for added portability, so it’s ready to go whenever you need to capture that perfect picture.
The compact models incorporate leading features to maximize performance in any situation, delivering high image quality. These features include a 26mm wide lens on the ST95 and ST90, and a 27mm wide lens on the ST65 plus a 5x optical zoom lens, to ensure users can capture every detail within the frame while delivering a deeper image perspective. The camera range also boasts 16 megapixels for the ST95 and 14 megapixels for the ST90 and ST65, delivering sharp, crisp and highly detailed photographs in any environment. Whether the user wants to capture the perfect shot of friends or the latest scenic setting from their hotel window, the intelligent Smart Auto system chooses from 16 different landscape and portrait modes (15 modes on the ST65) to automatically select the appropriate settings allowing you to capture the perfect image.
“Today’s launch reinforces Samsung’s ability to balance our consumers’ needs for style and design while still maintaining high performing innovative features,” said Mr. Hyunho Chung, Executive Vice President and Head of the Digital Imaging Business, Samsung Electronics. “We know that our customers are passionate about compact and sleek design and following the global success of the ST60 and ST70, we have upgraded and streamlined the optical performance within the slim-line outer body to meet these demanding requirements. The design has been carefully considered to ensure it meets the requirements and usability needs of our customers for the best camera experience.”
All three cameras include 720p HD Movie recording, and the ST95 also supports H.264 codec, providing up to 2-4 times longer recording capabilities compared to conventional models with MPEG-4 OR MJPEG. Capturing high quality video to share and enjoy with friends is a must-have function, and the latest ST range makes sure people can effortlessly capture and create through the HD shooting and HD playback movie functions. The ST95 also reaches new levels of interaction with the consumer, through newly developed Smart Touch 3.0 User Interface which works on the 3.0″ wide multi-purpose LCD touch screen, so users can quickly access, manage and use key features like they would on a modern day Smart phone.
Smart Feature Technology for intuitive and easy to use capturing
To reach the high-performing standards required by today’s passionate camera users, the ST range also boasts Smart Filter and Smart Album functions. The Smart Filter delivers a high-performing artistic edge to both still shots and videos through the miniaturizing effect, compositional contrast with a Vignetting filter and the Fish-eye setting to provide a cool, unique and stylized finish. For all those photos of friends, birthday parties and celebrations with loved ones, the Smart Album automatically organizes photos by type, date and even by face recognition, so you can always find your best friend amongst your favorite photos for added ease of use.
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What is 4K?
Put simply, 4K is four times the resolution of ‘Full HD’ video. Most current TVs have a resolution of 1920×1080 pixels, which is called Full HD. That’s a misnomer of course, because 1920×1080 isn’t the highest possible resolution. 4K refers to the number of pixels across the image, which is almost 4000. The actual resolution of most 4K devices is 3840×2160. This is why it is also called 2160p on some phones and cameras.
UHD, though, is the acronym you’ll hear most in relation to TVs as it’s more easily understood as a progression from Full HD. 4K and UHD are used interchangeably, and it simply stands for Ultra High Definition.Ultra HD Premium: 4K standards explained
Until earlier this year there was no official standard for UHD. No resolution nor other aspects such as the frame rate and colour spectrum were set in stone.That’s why it’s something of a minefield to buy an older 4K TV as you have to be very careful to make sure that it has up-to-date HDMI inputs (at least one needs to support version 2.0) and also the new video format – H.265 a.k.a HEVC – which has become the standard format used for 4K broadcasts and for streaming. Netflix and Amazon are already using it for streaming in UHD.
In January 2024, the recently formed UHD Alliance finally announced a new standard: Ultra HD Premium. You’ll see this on TVs and other devices (such as Ultra HD Blu-ray players) and it means they meet or exceed the minimum requirements for the standard. As the name suggests, it’s a better-quality version of 4K. Resolution remains the same, but it set certain standards for brightness, black level, colour depth and gamut and more to ensure these devices can handle HDR video. HDR is a major reason to buy a new 4K TV with the Ultra HD Premium badge, but many non-premium TVs will still allow you to watch 4K video.
Ultimately, even with the new standard, it’s still very confusing to know what to look for when choosing a UHD TV.Ultra HD Blu-ray
It’s almost impossible to find any TV broadbast in 4K yet, and there isn’t a whole lot of content on Netflix or Amazon. The situation will improve, but there’s now a new option: Ultra HD Blu-ray. This is an update to the Blu-ray standard which means that discs can contain real UHD video.
Previously, you could buy 4K Blu-ray discs, but these were merely created from 4K video downscaled to the normal 1920×1080 resolution. The new Ultra HD Blu-ray discs have 3840×2160-pixel video at up to 60 frames per second and may also have HDR video on them.
There are currently two players to choose between: Panasonic’s DMP-UB900 and Samsung’s UBD-K8500. They’re not cheap though: the UB900 costs £599 from Currys and the K8500 costs £430 from Appliances Direct.
The discs themselves cost around £25 and there aren’t many of them yet. Launch titles include Mad Max: Fury Road, Kingsman, The Lego Movie and Life of Pi. Universal is releasing 100 Ultra HD Blu-rays by the end of the year and Sony is also getting involved. Titles such as The Amazing Spider-man 2 are already available from Amazon.
Twentieth Century Fox, Warner Bros. and Paramount will also have Ultra HD Blu-ray discs, with some titles being re-issues of older films which you’ll now be able to watch in glorious 4K.
The discs will not play in a standard Blu-ray player and they are region free (unlike Blu-rays). Some of the new discs will support new audio formats such as Dolby Atmos and DTS:X but there’s no change in the actual quality of the audio on an Ultra HD Blu-ray – it’s the same specification as Blu-ray.
What’s important is that the bit-rate is higher than streaming video services and with features such as HDR, you should see noticeably better quality from an Ultra HD Blu-ray than you will from Netflix or Amazon. And if you do have a surround-sound system, audio should be noticeably higher quality too.
Right now, of course, it’s too expensive to recommend investing in an Ultra HD Blu-ray player: prices are bound to come down towards the end of the year.UHD TV poll 4K explained: The history of high definition
As a very brief history, SD (or standard definition) TV had a resolution of 704×576 in the UK. In the US, only 480 lines were used. These were pre-widescreen resolutions, but widescreen SD merely increased the horizontal resolution and kept the same number of lines (the vertical resolution). Because the aspect ratio of the video pixels could be altered to create widescreen or non-widescreen content, video resolutions are often referred to only by the vertical resolution (number of horizontal lines): 480p, 576p, 720p, 1080p etc.
‘HD Ready’ displays then became available in the mid-2000s. These typically had a resolution of 1280×720, and content with this resolution was branded as ‘HD’. This is why displays and video content with a resolution of 1920×1080 was called ‘Full HD’.
A resolution of 1920×1080 roughly equates to 2 megapixels, which isn’t very high by today’s camera standards. Displays, however, have lagged far behind camera sensors, and it’s only now that we’re seeing TVs and computer displays with resolutions higher than 1920×1080 becoming affordable.
What you need to watch UHD TV
Obviously, a 4K display is the first component you’ll need. Usually that means a TV, but there are also projectors and computer monitors. We’ve reviewed the latest 4K PC monitors.
If you’re buying a TV, look specifically for HEVC / H.265 support. It’s useful to try to get the apps you’ll need on board, rather than relying on an external set-top box or media streamer. Currently, though only Amazon and Netflix have 4K-compatible apps, and it’s crucial to check if your chosen TV includes the 4K versions of the apps before you buy.
When adding 4K sources, your TV will need HDMI 2.0 ports that support HDCP 2.2 or later. On cheaper 4K TVs, you might find only one port supports this, with the others only supporting older versions of HDMI, such as 1.4.
If you need more than three or four HDMI 2 ports, you should consider a 4K-capable AV receiver. Again, ensure the ports are HDCP 2.2 compliant.
See also: 5 cheapest 4K TVs in the UK
Aside from a UHD TV, you’ll need some content to watch. All UHD displays will upscale lower resolution video, just as Full HD TVs do now. Upscaling is similar to enlarging a photo in an editing program: it doesn’t add extra detail, it merely uses interpolation to ‘guess’ the colour of the newly created pixels. 1080p video upscaled to 4K might seem sharper, but in reality you’re looking at the same level of detail a Full HD display would show. Some TVs are better at upscaling than others, with Sony being one of the best.UHD & 4K content
If you’re going to spend hundreds or thousands on a UHD TV or monitor, you’ll want 4K video to get the most out of it. This is still surprisingly thin on the ground, but it will broaden out hugely in 2024.
BT broadcasts certain programmes in UHD on its Sports channels, and Sky has just announced its new Q box which will let you watch sports, movies and TV shows which Sky will be broadcasting in UHD in 2024, hopefully including the next series of Game of Thrones. BT’s is a broadband service and you’ll need at least a 44Mbit/s download speed before BT will offer you a UHD chúng tôi you’d expect, the BBC and other broadcasters are all working towards offering a UHD service.
And, as we’ve said above, there’s the new Ultra HD Blu-ray discs and players.Netflix and Amazon: UHD streaming services
Before you get too excited, both services offer UHD only for a limited number of shows. For Netflix you’ll need a Premium subscription (£8.99 per month) and a 4K TV with the Netflix app and support for HEVC / H.265. Don’t forget that your broadband connection needs to be a ‘reliable’ 25Mb/s in order to reliably stream UHD content from Netflix.
Amazon doesn’t charge extra for UHD, which is nice, but you will of course need a 4K TV with the Prime Instant Video app – or the new Amazon 4K Fire TV which you can buy for £79.99.
Both services have some of their own original content in UHD – Transparent and Alpha House for Amazon, and House of Cards and Breaking Bad for Netflix. Amazon has several upcoming original shows which will be available in UHD, as does Netflix.
Only Amazon lets you buy 4K movies, though. These start at £14.99, and the list includes After Earth, Captain Phillips, Elysium, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,Godzilla, Moneyball, The Mask of Zorro, The Amazing Spider-Man, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, The Da Vinci Code, The Patriot, Think Like a Man Too, This Is the End.
You’ll find a selection of 4K content on YouTube, but little of interest. And you’ll need the YouTube app on your TV to watch 4K content.Photos
Besides video, you can watch photo slideshows in glorious 4K on a UHD TV. Photos, as we said right at the start, contain more detail than any Full TV can show natively, but a 4K TV can show almost all the detail of an 8Mp photo. An iPhone 5, for example, takes photos at a resolution of 3264×2448 which is similar to 4K resolution.Games
Don’t bother looking to games consoles for 4K content, though, as both the Xbox One and PS4 lack the necessary HEVC H.265 decoder. If you have a new PC with a powerful graphics card, there’s a chance it might support 4K gaming but only if you have an Nvidia GTX 980 or Radeon R9 295 graphics card. Even then, a single card will struggle to maintain more than 30 frames per second at 3840×2160.Home videos
You can create your own 4K UHD content by buying a 4K camcorder, 4K GoPro or a smartphone which can record 4K video. Most of the current flagship models do this, including the iPhone 6S, Galaxy S6, LG G4, HTC One M9, Nexus 5X and 6P, Xperia Z5 and Moto X Style and Force.
However, just because a device supports 4K recording doesn’t mean it will be top quality 4K. The same sentiment applies to 4K video. Just as Full HD quality varies between Blu-ray movies, streaming services and broadcast TV channels, so will 4K video.
New Fitbit Charge 2 and Flex 2 pack auto-tracking, move nudges, more
Fitbit has updates its two most popular fitness wearables, with the Charge 2 and Flex 2 adding features like auto-recognition of different exercise types, guided breathing, and Apple Watch style reminders to get up and move. Meanwhile, there’s a new app with Fitbit Adventures pitting your exercise regime against a trek through Yosemite, while designer collaborations aim to make the health gadgets as close to high-couture as possible.
Charge 2 takes last year’s Charge HR and makes four key changes. For a start, the new model has a 4x larger display, and it now supports interchangeable bands: Fitbit figures that, if you can have your pick of straps and even change during the day, you’ll wear the fitness tracker more. There are now seven built-in clock faces ranging from analog through to digital, with different degrees of health info shown on them.
More fundamental than the aesthetic change is the new personalized exercise modes. Whereas the Charge HR had a generic mode, the Charge 2 can be switched between different types of sport – running, weights, treadmill, elliptical, and more – each with a different set of real-time feedback data shown while you’re working out.
A new interval workout mode guides wearers through interval training, buzzing as they should switch between high-intensity exercise and periods of rest. Those out running or cycling, meanwhile, can connect the Charge 2 to their phone’s GPS and get a summary map, pacing, and distance results afterwards.
Importantly, Charge 2 promises to be cleverer than its predecessor. Although you can manually switch into an exercise mode, there’s also auto-recognition – the band can spot when you’re sleeping, too – while the all-day pulse rate tracking aims to help wearers stay in the right “cardio zone” to maximize the results of whatever they’re doing.
Since that can be something tricky to understand for many getting started with a new fitness regime, the companion Fitbit app has been redesigned too. There’s now a Cardio Fitness Level score, essentially an answer to the question not only of “how fit am I?” but “how do I compare to other people like me?”
On the flip side, Charge 2 also introduces guided breathing sessions. Again, that calls upon the heart rate sensor, which measures beat-to-beat variability in real-time and then creates a personalized session either two or five minutes in length that – with pulsing concentric circles on the wearable’s display – guides you through lowering your breathing rate.
Fitbit says the research suggests improving breathing performance for slower, deeper breaths can help with cardiovascular health, lower blood pressure, and cut anxiety. Stand or sit still too long, meanwhile, and the Charge 2 will nudge you to get up and walk 250 steps.
As with Charge HR, Charge 2 supports caller ID from the Bluetooth connected phone, but Fitbit has added text message and calendar alert support too. Battery life remains at five days.
At launch, there’ll be classic bands as well as various “luxe” leather versions in indigo, brown, and blush pink. Two special editions – one with a lavender band with rose gold body, and the other with a black band and gunmetal body – will follow on afterwards.
Flex 2, meanwhile, revamps 2013’s original Flex, preserving the simplicity but throwing in some of the features from its more complex Charge 2 sibling. As before, it’s a tiny nugget of tracking electronics that fits into a wristband, but now both tracker and band are 30-percent slimmer.
Indeed, the whole tracker itself has been redesigned, and there’s an extra, color LED atop the row of white progress lights. It’s used to prompt movement reminders, as well as give call and text notifications from the Bluetooth connected phone.
Like the Charge 2 it automatically recognizes periods of exercise, but it’s also Fitbit’s first swim-proof tracker, able to spot if you’re in the pool and track laps, pace, distance, and calories burned.
At launch, there’ll be a “classic collection” with seven colors – yellow, grey, magenta, black, pink, navy, and lavender – along with a Luxe Series, which encloses the tracker in a metal bangle or necklace. Down the line there’ll be a range of designer enclosures, bracelets, and straps from Public School, Simply Vera by Vera Wang, and Tory Burch.
Although the new hardware is Fitbit’s big news today, there’s also movement in the app. You can now connect multiple devices to the same account – handy if, say, you want to wear a Flex 2 while you’re at the gym but a Blaze smartwatch the rest of the time – and new software for Blaze expands smart notifications to any app you select, adds movement reminders, and new clock faces.
A variety of new designs and accessories for Blaze are also being added, including leather and nylon bands, and even a 22 ct good plated range as Fitbit tries to position its wearables as “high-end jewelry”.
There’ll also be improvements to Fitbit Challenges in the app. While there have been social challenges before now, not everybody opts into them; those who prefer not to are missing out, Fitbit says, since on average those in a group challenge do 30-percent more steps.
So, the new Fitbit Adventures are effectively individual challenges. Fitbit measured out the steps involved in three Yosemite trails, and as you exercise you see how far you’re progressing through them. There’s photography of various landmarks – you can move the phone around to view them – and, periodically, “hidden treasures” like quizzes, mini-challenges, and information about the area.
Come mid-September, Fitbit will be sponsoring the New York Road Runners Association’s marathon in NYC, and app users all over will be able to virtually compete too through a custom in-app experience.
The new Fitbit Charge 2 goes on sale in mid-September, and is up for pre-order in black, blue, plum, or teal from today, at $149.95. Extra regular bands will be $29.95 apiece, while leather bands will be $69.95; the special edition versions will be $179.95.
As for Flex 2, that’s also up for pre-order now, priced at $99.95, but will ship this October. Extra regular bands will be $14.95 each, or a three-pack for $29.95, while the metal bangle will be $99.95 for gold or rose gold, or $89.95 for stainless steel. The pendant necklace will be $99.95 for gold or $79.95 for stainless steel.
The new Fitbit Adventures are available today for iOS, Android, and Windows users.
Slow wireless chargingBest Prices Today: Sherpa 100AC Portable Power Bank
The Goal Zero Sherpa 100AC is a combination of all modern and past technologies used to charge our devices. For the current generation of devices, there are two USB-C ports and a Qi wireless charging pad. For older devices, there are two standard USB ports. For even older devices, there’s a standard US 110V outlet—like the one your phone’s wall adapter plugs into.
There’s also a charging port, that can fill up the 94.7Wh battery pack in just a couple of hours. You’ll need to purchase that dedicated charger separately. However, our testing showed that a USB-C wall adapter with Power Delivery charged the Sherpa in just over two hours.
Note: This review is part of our roundup of portable power banks. Go there for details on competing products and our testing methods.
Nestled among the Sherpa’s array of ports is a small status display.
The Sherpa 100AC is pricey. It’s currently listed at $299.95, which is a lot for a battery pack. But the Sherpa isn’t your typical battery pack.
The front of the pack is where you’ll find all of its ports, along with a small display. The screen will show you the battery’s charge percentage, the amount of time until it will die based on the current usage, and a breakdown of each port’s current output.
There are four buttons, two on each side of the screen, for controlling various functions. A power button turns the pack on and off, as well as adjusts the display brightness with multiple presses. The check-mark button is used to change settings. The button with a triangle on it breaks down port usage, or if you press it for about 5 seconds, it takes you to the settings menu, where you can view historical input and output of the pack, change the behavior of the USB-C ports (auto, input, output), and view other system stats. Finally, the Wi-Fi like symbol is used to toggle the wireless charging pad on and off.
The pad is located on top of the pack, directly in the middle. On either side of the pack there’s a slot where you can stash one of the included cables. Included in the box are four cables: Lightning, USB-C, and USB-C to USB-C. Each is just a few inches long, making them portable.
The two USB-C ports are capable of Power Delivery speeds, meaning they can fast-charge the likes of the Pixel 3 XL, or charge a Nintendo Switch thanks to the 60W capability. You can also use the USB-C ports to charge the Sherpa, which I used to test charge speed via the Huawei Matebook X Pro charger. The 65W wall adapter and USB-C cable charged the Sherpa 100AC in 2 hours and 15 minutes. Using the Samsung wall adapter and a USB-C cable, charge time was over 12 hours. The standard USB ports are the typical 5V/2.4A output, so the same as the stock iPhone wall adapter.
I took the Sherpa 100AC on a trip with me recently, toting it around in my backpack. It’s bigger and heavier than most battery packs I carry, but not so much so that I could tell a difference.
The wireless charging pad has a max output of 5W, which is on the low end of the current Qi specs. And I think the emphasis here is on max. In testing the iPhone XS on the pad, it charged the phone’s battery to 28 percent in an hour. That’s the slowest wireless charger I’ve tested yet.
As for overall capacity, I put the Sherpa 100AC through our normal efficiency testing and it output 78.78 percent of its total capacity, putting it in the middle of the pack when compared to other battery packs.
The Sherpa 100AC isn’t for everyone. Its price alone excludes a lot of potential buyers. Instead, it’s built for someone who’s frequently away from outlets, but needs a reliable and fast battery pack, without having to worry about what kind of connections he or she needs. And in that regard, the Sherpa 100AC excels.
Bottom line: If you need a versatile battery pack that you can take in your carry-on bag, and can charge practically any device you own, then the Sherpa 100AC is it.
Are you struggling to keep track of your fitness routine? We all know maintaining our physical health is crucial for effective operation in everyday life. But it can be jarring sometimes when it comes to tracking and maintaining a proper routine. That’s where Samsung Health comes in. Samsung Health (formerly known as S Health) is a fitness tracking app, developed by Samsung and is included with all Samsung Galaxy devices, and if you’re operating a different android device, then the app is available on the Google Play Store or Samsung Galaxy Store. This app offers a significant number of features to help track your fitness progress, and they are listed down below.User Interface
The Samsung Health UI is minimalistic and very clean, all the features are located in the 3 main tabs on the bottom of the app, and it makes sure that it does not get cluttered with unnecessary features that are not required. You can also create a personal profile, get achievements, and be provided with a weekly summary of your progress just by swiping from the left side of the app.Home Tab
The home tab will have the bulk of the features baked in. It consists of many tiles, and you can pick and choose what tile is represented on the main page. The tiles consist of the following.
Pedometer: It tracks your daily steps and has to be activated when the phone is placed in the pocket. You can set a daily step count target and also share your progress through a variety of mediums such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, etc.
Active time: It tracks how long you have been active for and how many calories you have burnt during that time.
Exercise tile: You can choose from a variety of different activities such as running, walking, cycling, etc., and based on that, the app will include it in the active time and track your activity.
Food: You can add different types of food, homemade or from a restaurant, and how many calories it consists of in this tile. You can also choose what type of meal and at what time of day you have a meal like breakfast, lunch, etc.
Additional trackers: These would include sleep, weight, heart rate monitor (only if you have Galaxy S10 model or older), water intake, stress levels, blood pressure, caffeine, blood glucose, weight management, and menstrual cycle.Together Tab
The Together part of the app is a great way to get your friends and loved ones involved on a path to fitness. It consists of features like putting two people together and putting them head to head and measuring each person’s performance and see who can one-up each other, and it also has a global challenge, where you can participate and measure your performance with the people around the world who are using the app in their fitness journey.Discover Tab
The discover tab has some extra features like Programmes, Samsung has partnered with other fitness apps that provide a workout programme, which not only tells you the duration of the programme, it also tells you the difficulty level of the programme, the equipment required and the objective of the programme. It also has a feature called Mindfulness, where they have collaborated with the Calm meditation app, and it gives you most of the features like nature sounds, meditation programmes, sleep stories, etc. Finally, they also feature Products, where you can check what accessories like Galaxy Watch and featured apps like MyFitnessPal that are compatible with the Samsung Health app to sync across your fitness tracking data.
Stylish & lightweight
Basic camerasOur Verdict
If you’re looking for a budget 10in tablet for a range of tasks then the Fire HD 10 is easily one of the best. Just check it has all the apps you need first.Best Prices Today: Amazon Fire HD 10 (2024)
Amazon is back with yet another new version of its Fire HD 10 tablet. Now in its 11th-generation, the 2023 model brings a few small improvements and is even pitched as a productivity device.
You heard that right: Amazon now sells a Fire HD 10 Productivity, which bundles the tablet with a Bluetooth keyboard case and a year’s subscription to Microsoft 365 so you get Word, Excel and other apps.
It does a surprisingly good job of being a little laptop if you don’t need to go beyond reasonably basic tasks.
And if that’s not of interest, the Fire HD 10 is a great entertainment tablet starting at just £149/$149. Confusingly, there are many different versions of the tablet including a new Plus model which is essentially the same but also has wireless charging and an extra 1GB of RAM. It’s also available as a Productivity bundle, and this is the version Amazon sent for this review.Design & Build
A new tablet rarely looks dramatically different but it’s clear Amazon has made some refinements here compared to the previous version of the Fire HD 10 which launched in 2023.
For starters, it’s a reasonable amount lighter at 465g as opposed to 504g making it more comfortable to use. I like the soft-feel matt finish and the Fire HD 10 is available in Black, Denim, Lavender and Olive.
Note that the Plus model I was sent only comes in a grey called Slate.
It’s quite reminiscent of the Tesco Hudl 2 from 2014, showing how much budget tablet design has come on over the years.
Amazon is pitching it at more landscape use with some small tweaks you might not immediately notice, such as moving the webcam to the longer side, just as you’d find on most laptops. It also looks more stylish with slightly more rounded corners and thinner bezels.
Part of the reason for the switch to landscape is that Amazon sells the Fire HD 10 with an optional Bluetooth keyboard – made by Fintie – which turns it into something resembling a mini laptop. It offers a pretty good typing experience and has shortcut keys, although not all the ones I’d like.
Usefully, the tablet can be detached from it thanks to magnets, but when attached doesn’t angle backwards very far. As well as the keyboard, the Productivity bundle also comes with a 12-month Microsoft 365 Personal subscription.Specs & Features
As the name suggests, there’s a 10.1in screen with a Full HD resolution 1920×1080 pixels. It’s not much different from the screen on the 2023 Fire HD 10 and is a decent display considering the low price. The IPS panel provides good viewing angles, punchy colours and there’s plenty of brightness – 10% brighter than previous generation, according to Amazon.
Inside is the same octa-core processor but Amazon has increased the RAM by 50% to 3GB (4GB for the Plus model) giving it a better ability to handle multi-tasking. Another sign, along with the Productivity bundles, is that this edition is pitched as more than just a tablet to watch videos and use social media. A cheap alternative to a Microsoft Surface Go or even an iPad, perhaps.
In general use, both the Fire HD 10 and Plus models are nippy and can swap between apps without much hesitation. Do remember this is a budget tablet, so don’t set your hopes too high: performance isn’t iPad-smooth.
What isn’t so good, if you are going to use the tablet for a company account, is that you may be asked to encrypt the storage in order to use Outlook. A pop-up message warns this may result in ‘significantly slower device performance’. However, this isn’t aimed at corporate use, and is designed for Microsoft 365 Personal.
The rear camera has been bumped from 2- to 5Mp but remains mediocre in terms of quality, performing badly in low light. The front camera is arguably more useful and is still 2Mp. It’s good enough for video calls with better detail than some laptops we’ve tested recently.
Connectivity comprises USB-C for charging and a headphone jack. Internally, there’s no upgrade to Wi-Fi 6 but that’s acceptable at this price but you do get an upgrade Bluetooth 5.0 LE.
Stereo speakers sit on top when you have the tablet in landscape mode and sound reasonably good, although nothing special. You get the usual lack of bass and there’s distortion at higher volumes. They support Dolby Atmos but this seems to be a tick-box exercise only and doesn’t really do much in terms of a spacious sound field.
Battery life is still quoted at 12 hours and I think you’ll get that with varied usage. For video playback, I found it to match the previous model at around 10 hours.
Sadly, that USB-C port doesn’t offer any kind of fast charging and the supplied 9W charger will take around four hours to fully charge the Fire HD 10’s battery. The Plus model I’ve tested comes with wireless charging; a little odd for a tablet having to balance it on a charging pad but it works and is faster than wired at 15W.
Amazon mentions a Wireless Charging Dock for Fire HD 10 Plus made by Anker, but this isn’t on sale at the time of writing.Software
As you probably already know, Amazon uses its own operating system called FireOS which is based on Android. Surprisingly, it’s the older Android 9 Pie – Google isn’t far off releasing Android 12.
While that is somewhat irrelevant, it’s slightly worrying on a security front. Version 9 Pie is still getting support and updates so it isn’t an issue and I assume Amazon will move onto Android 10 when necessary.
The user interface is very different from other Android tablets and is, as you might expect, centered around Amazon’s services and content.
Whether this works for you largely depends on whether you’re an Amazon customer or plan to sign up to services such as Prime and Kindle Unlimited.
Even if you’re used to normal Android tablets, you’ll get used to Amazon’s version after a while. The bigger issue – as ever – is that there’s no Google Play Store. So don’t assume the apps you normally use will be available.
There are plenty of popular ones including Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Facebook, Spotify, TikTok, Sonos, Disney+ and many more. But you can’t get Google Chrome (or other Google apps officially), Slack, Fortnite or banking apps such as Monzo.
Alexa is, of course, here in hands-free guise, so you can ask her questions even when the tablet is locked and with the screen turned off.
Also, the Echo Show mode is back – oddly missing from the previous Fire HD 10. This allows you to use the tablet like one of Amazon’s smart displays. There’s a simple toggle switch in the drop-down menu for it, or you can just ask Alexa to enable Show Mode. It works best when you plug in the charger.Price
The 2023 Fire HD 10 is still amazingly cheap, starting at
The Plus model I’ve tested starts at
The Productivity bundle Amazon starts at £259.97 and you can also get a more basic bundle with a protective case and NuPro screen protector starting at £202.97.
In the US, the Fire HD 10 starts at US$149 at 32GB although is ‘Temporarily out of stock’ at at the time of writing. The Productivity bundle starts at US $269.97.
Check out our chart of the best budget tablet and best Amazon Fire tablets if you’re not sure which to buy yet.Verdict
The Fire HD 10 is still one of the best budget tablets you can buy, offering a lot for not much money.
It has an improved design, slightly better performance and other small upgrades – even if a higher resolution rear camera and Bluetooth 5.0 won’t matter to many.
If you want a 10in tablet to access popular entertainment and social media apps then it will do the job very well indeed, as long as there is support for the apps you use the most. In 2023 there typically will be, although some of the most popular mobile games are not available.
Of course, working on a small keyboard and display could be a sacrifice you’re not willing to make. Ultimately the experience is a compromise and well behind what you can expect from a budget Google Chromebook, let alone a laptop or Microsoft Surface.
But that’s not the biggest problem: it’s that there just aren’t enough productivity apps here: you’ll have to use Google, Slack and others via the web browser, which is far from ideal.Specs Amazon Fire HD 10 (2024): Specs
Resolution: 1920 x 1080 (224 ppi)
Processor: Octa-core up to 2 GHz
Storage: 32 or 64 GB (expandable by up to 1TB)
RAM: 3GB (4B Plus)
Camera: 2Mp front, 5Mp rear
Connectivity: Dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0
Alexa-enabled: Yes, hands-free
Sound: Dolby Atmos, dual-stereo speakers, microphone
Battery Life: Up to 12 hours of mixed use
Charging: USB-C (USB 2.0), Wireless charging (Plus)
Dimensions: 247 x 166 x 9.2mm
Colours: Black, Denim, Lavender and Olive (Plus only in Slate)
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