Kindle Fire Kids Edition

Kindle Fire Kids Edition Review

If you want to find out more about a great and budget friendly tablet for toddlers, then look no further than my Kindle Fire Kids Edition Review. I’ll be digging into all of the key features of the device, and also pointing out a few flaws along the way. If you already have a Kindle Fire Kids Edition, then check out my post about a great pair of headphones for your child.

My little boy has had his Kindle Fire Kids Edition for around 3 months now, after he finally dropped our 3 year old Samsung Galaxy Tab one too many times. During this 3 months, we’ve road tested the Kindle Fire Kids Edition to the extreme. I’ve also used it myself when stuck in a hotel room with sleeping toddler that I didn’t want to wake up, so I’m hoping I can give a good all-round overview.

Currently for sale on Amazon for £99.99 for a 16GB version, which includes lots of little extras.

The Good:

  • 2 year worry free guarantee
  • One year subscription to Fire for Kids included
  • Shockproof removable case
  • Simple to use parental controls
  • 7″ screen size perfect for little hands
  • Weighs only 405 grams
  • Expandable storage of up to 128GB supported by microSD
  • Front and rear facing cameras
  • Wifi connectivity
  • Bluetooth compatible
  • 7 hour battery life
  • Looks like a “real” adult tablet

 

The Bad:

  • Difficulties in claiming on 2 year guarantee
  • Fire for Kids content warning
  • Slow charging speed
  • Bugs with profiles and downloaded apps when no wi-fi
  • No 3G/4G connectivity

 

The Details:

2 year guarantee

The standard Fire Tablet with 7″ displayKindle Fire Kids Edition Guarantee and 16GB storage is available to purchase for only £59.99. One of the major selling features and reason for the £40 price increase on the Fire Kids Edition is that when you make the purchase, it also comes with a 2 year “worry free” guarantee.

What the guarantee means is that if the Kindle is damaged in any way within the first two years of purchase, Amazon will replace the item, no questions asked. Knowing that this item was going to be used by my toddler, obviously this was a huge bonus for me, especially given that he managed to break the Samsung in less than 12 months of using it (*throwing/dropping it in a tantrum).

Is it worth £40?  Obviously you could not bother with the Kids Edition and know that you could replace it once within 2 years for the same cost anyway, however there are a few extras within that £40 too – a kids shockproof case, and one year subscription to Fire for Kids.

Please note that there are a few negative reviews stating the difficulty that customers have had in claiming against the guarantee, so maybe it’s not quite as “worry free” as Amazon are marketing it, I don’t have any personal experience in this though.

One year Fire for Kids subscription

Another big bonus that made me think the Kindle Fire Kids Edition was worth the extra £40 is that it comes with the one year subscription to Fire for Kids Unlimited. This is a service aimed at three to twelve year olds, and offers thousands of free games, apps, books, tv shows and movies at the touch of a button.

The subscription usually costs £1.99 if you have an Amazon Prime membership, or £3.99 if you don’t have Prime membership. We do have Prime, so to me the inclusive value of having this for free within the Kindle Fire Kids Edition package is £23.88.

As promised, there are literally thousands of games, apps, books, tv shows and movies to choose from, some of which will only work when connected to wi-fi. It does provide a great deal of choice when you are in a wi-fi zone, and your child should not get bored with all of this content to play on.

It’s not all a positive experience though. Although Fire for Kids is for children aged 3-12 years, there’s no way to narrow that down. My 2 year old is certainly not interested and doesn’t understand the apps built for 12 year olds, and I’m sure a 12 year wouldn’t want to look at toddler apps either. Also, in order to watch the tv shows and movies, you will need a wi-fi connection, which renders the subscription pretty pointless for using the tablet when out of the house and travelling in the car, which is our primary purpose for the tablet to be honest.

Kindle Kids-proof CaseShockproof case

The Kids Edition comes with an Amazon Fire for Kids Kid-Proof case, which I have to say is brilliant. It’s made from a foam PVC type of material, which means it can take a pretty hefty shock if the Kindle is dropped. It’s also not too bulky that it makes the device difficult for your toddler to handle.

The Amazon Kids-Proof Case can be purchased separately at £19.99, or you can buy similar items such as the MoKo Fire 7 Case for slightly less at £14.99. Either way, this is already included in the Kindle Fire Kids Edition package, so it’s another cost that you have saved.

Parental controls that make sense!

One of the major downfalls of the iPad is the lack of parental controls available. Android fares slightly better in this area, but I think this is something which Amazon have really managed to excel with the Kindle Fire Kids Edition (as is also available on the standard Kindle Fire).

It works by creating profiles on the Kindle for each family member, and then as an admin (parent) with pin protected access, you choose to add specific apps which you are allowing the other users to have access to. You can really fine-tune this too. You can choose whether or not to allow the child to have access to the wi-fi and internet or not. You can choose to limit the number of hours the child is allowed to access the Kindle.

It is truly a fantastic feature, but note there are plenty of complaints about the current bugs with the profiles (as of September 2016). Somehow linked to the use of profiles, there is an issue that apps you have previously downloaded will all of sudden require a network connection in order to be used, as the Kindle wants to redownload the app. There’s seemingly no logic to it, and Amazon have acknowledged it as a problem but provided no estimation of a date for a fix. This is truly frustrating, speaking from experience, but one way we have gotten around this slightly is to ensure we open the app that we will really be wanting to use before we leave home, and then do not close the app!

7″ screen and 405 gram weight

The screen resolution is 1024 x 600 and has an advanced polarising filter, it’s fantastic quality. At only 7″ screen size (17.7cm) and 405 gram weight including the case, it might seem too small when you compare to your own iPad or Android tablet, however you need to think of things from your toddler’s perspective. My little boy struggles a lot less when carrying his Kindle around the house when compared to thinking back to him lugging the 10.1″ Galaxy around a few months back. He’s dropped it a lot less times because of this.

Expandable storage (with microSD)

A great feature that is still missing from Kindle microSD slotiPads – the ability to easily increase your storage device without adding external devices to the tablet. MicroSD cards are so easy to slot in and work instantly, so this is something I loved with having an Android Samsung Tablet, and now also a possibility on the Kindle Fire Kids Edition.

The device supports up to 128GB microSD, which is a huge amount. The 16GB internal storage of the device is sufficient for numerous apps, however once you start to download a few of your child’s tv shows on BBC iPlayer, you’re going to want to supplement it.

Something to point out is that similar to using a microSD on Android mobile phones and tablets, some apps require that they be installed on the device’s internal storage, and so you still need to be careful with the 16GB that the Kindle Fire Kids Edition comes with.

Front and rear facing cameras

The front camera of the Kindle leaves a lot to be desired in terms of photo quality, however it’s fine for things such as making video calls or taking silly selfies, which all kids love doing let’s face it!

The rear facing camera at 2MP is still not up to the standard of your iPhone, but it’s highly doubtful your toddler is the next David Bailey so it’s sufficient for them to have a bit of fun.

Wi-fi and Bluetooth connectivity

The device comes with wi-fi and Bluetooth connectivity, however there’s no option to get 3G/4G connectivity through purchase of a SIM card and data package. Of course the fastest way around this is to set your mobile phone as a hotspot and use the data included in your mobile phone package, just keep an eye on your usage.

Also worth pointing out, that you cannot turn the wi-fi on and off through your child’s profile, you have to log into the adult profile to switch it on, and then log back into the child profile where the child can then use it. In my mind, it’s just another feature of the parental control, but some users seem to find this annoying.

Battery life and charging speed

Again, comparing to a 10″ tablet or iPad, the 7 hour battery life of the Kindle Fire Kids Edition doesn’t sound that great, however when compared to other 7″ tablets, where the average battery life is only 5-6 hours, you can see that the Kindle fares well.

One major annoyance is that the tablet takes almost as long to charge as the battery life lasts – usually 5-6 hours for a full charge using the mains adapter. Also, the micro USB charging cable is very short at only 0.7m long, so it means you can’t easily have the device charging and use it at the same time.

Kindle Fire Kids EditionAppearance

We’ve realised with our little boy that looks are important. He wants to play with things which look like grown up things. He wouldn’t be happy with a kids V-Tech tablet, he would just want to use ours. So for me, it was important to buy him a real tablet, but something that will withstand his rough and tumble attitude, and something that I could trust him to only access suitable content on. The Kindle Fire Kids Edition ticks all of these boxes, without having such a high price tag that I need to be very precious with it.

 

Overall conclusion:

Value for money: 4/5

Style: 4/5

Quality: 4/5

Usefulness: 4/5

Price: £99.99

Buy from: Amazon.com

The Kindle Fire Kids Edition is so close to being 5/5 in each category, but it’s just missing a little bit of something in each area. The styling is still just a little bit clunky, the quality and usefulness are downgraded because of the functionality problems of the profiles and having to redownload apps, and altogether this just means that for me, it’s not quite a 5/5 on value for money either. It’s still a great buy for us though because of the durability of the device. I’ll keep you updated if I find a better option.

 

If you have any questions or thoughts on this item, please comment below. If you like the article please share with your friends and come back soon for more!

16 responses to “Kindle Fire Kids Edition Review

  1. Norman

    Baby an toddlers gadgets website, on the market today there are so much baby stuff that you can pick from to make life more easy for you and that little one. I have see some baby inventions over the yes i guess you would say what will they think of next. The information that you have here is great for the parent or parents wanting to find out more about things that relates to babys. Great job.

    Reply
    1. Caroline

      Hi Norman,

      Thanks for your comment! I totally agree with you, but I’m trying to only focus on the “essentials” for parents, as I know there are some totally pointless gadgets out there that will just be a waste of money!

      I hope that you and others agree with me if you make these purchases 🙂

      Caroline

      Reply
  2. WorkingMomma

    Great review! I was thinking about getting a gadget for my little one and this really helped me. And it has a shockproof case already — that’s nice. I did hope I’ll be able to store movies offline though. Maybe in the future there’ll be an app that allows offline viewing. But as it is, Kindle Fire for Kids would be great for the price. This is really helpful, thanks!

    Reply
    1. Caroline Post author

      Hi there,

      Yes, the fact that you cannot store movies offline whilst in the kids profile is probably one of the biggest downfalls of the Kindle Fire Kids Edition. You are able to download them whilst in the parent profile, for example if you have an Amazon Prime membership, however there’s no way of transferring them to be played on the kid profile. We do manage to download some tv programmes for offline viewing as we are based in the UK so can use the BBC iPlayer download function. Perhaps there is something similar that you can access?

      It really is a great piece of kit for the price – there’s absolutley no worrying when it gets drops because of the replacement guarantee!

      I hope you find it as useful as we do 🙂

      Caroline

      Reply
  3. compteach

    Hello. I have a small brother and all he does is snipping around our tablets and phones. Having an option for the real tablets, gadgets is really nice idea, specially because kids are putting everything in their mouth, and the review that you have made is really great. I appreciate sharing these info with us.

    Reply
    1. Caroline Post author

      Yes that’s so true! Kids always want to use a “real” gadget like they see their parents playing on. That’s why the Kindle Fire Kids Edition is so great as it’s such a low price point for what is essentially a “real” adult gadget. You don’t have to worry so much about the cost of the child damages it :

      Reply
  4. Joy

    Wow, Caroline!

    Thank you for putting together such an informative site! As a mom to 7 kids (all too grown up for these toys) and a grandmother to a beautiful 2 year old girl with another on the way, you just saved me so much time!

    Being a grandmother at such a young age presents some unique challenges. I am so immersed in the lives of our youngest kids that I find myself out of touch with toys for my granddaughter.

    It is so nice to be able to just pop onto your site and gain so much information so quickly. Way faster than trying to figure it all out myself!

    Thanks again! Joy

    PS: I also like the site itself. Too cute! Keep up the awesome work!

    Reply
    1. Caroline Post author

      Hi Joy,

      Thanks for your comment! Wow, 7 kids and nearly 2 grandkids, you sound like a total pro! You are right though, kids toys changes so quickly these days because of technological advances that it’s difficult to keep up with the latest piece of kit. I never imagined that my 2 year old would be playing on their own tablet at this age, but it’s just the normal thing to do these days! With the prices of these gadgets becoming so cheap these days, it feels silly not to immerse them into the technology, otherwise I fear they could be left behind their peers.

      Please come back again as I’ll be posting with more new toddler tech toys soon (no doubt my little boy will be receiving plenty for his 2 year birthday this week 😉 )

      Caroline

      Reply
  5. Carol

    My biggest concern with technology has always been the lack of parental controls. There seems to be so many ways to get around them with the Apple products that we use in our household. The Kindle sounds like they may actually have this under control. I wasn’t sure about the case and whether it could really hold up to being dropped, but it sounds like they’ve done a pretty good job with that as well. But, always needing wifi, now that is an issue when it comes to long car rides, etc. Are there ANY games that can be played on it without wifi? Also, I’m assuming books can be downloaded and read without the use of wifi, correct?

    Reply
    1. Caroline Post author

      Hi Carol,

      Yes the case has definitely served us well so far, it does seem to absorb some pretty hefty shocks from my little boy smashing it around!

      Regarding the wifi issue, it’s not such a huge problem but I cannot figure out the pattern of when or why some apps work fine all of the time, and sometimes need reconnecting to wifi at random. There are plenty of games that can be played offline though, it’s more that the tv shows and movies are a problem. I’ve had no issues with Kindle books being downloaded and used offline though.

      I’m hoping that Amazon provide a software update soon to sort out this bug with app connectivity, and then it will be a true gem of a gadget for little ones.

      Caroline

      Reply
  6. Christopher

    Interesting article, Caroline. I remember using a kids device of my own when I was younger, but that was before the Fire came out, so it’s completely different. It’s really unfortunate that your child broke your Samsung Galaxy Tab in only 12 months, though, haha. I’m very pleased with how you formatted your article, and told us about even the most minor things, such as the Worry Free Guarantee. It shows that you’re putting effort into what you write, instead of just writing. For that, I applaud you for a job well done!

    Reply
    1. Caroline Post author

      Hi Christopher,

      Thanks for the feedback, I’m just trying to include all the info that I would want to know myself as I always spend hours researching products before I buy 🙂

      Yes I did find it quite hard not to be angry that he broke the Samsung Galaxy, but then realised it’s my own fault for allowing an 18 month old to walk around carrying a 10 inch tablet without a shockproof case! You can see why the worry free guarantee that comes with the Kindle Fire Kids Edition is one of my favourite features, ha ha!

      Caroline

      Reply
  7. Michael

    Hi Caroline, my youngest is nearly 3 and already he is addicted to tractor ted on my phone’s you tube. Can you download any tractor ted related games or stories on this device? also my 2 daughters have innotabs for the past 2 years but through wear and tare both my wife and I are thinking about a new upgrade – never knew this product existed and thanks for sharing so much valuable information on it…

    Reply
    1. Caroline Post author

      Hi Michael,

      Tractor Ted? I had never heard of it until I just looked it up! Unfortunately I’ve just had a look on the Kindle Appstore and there aren’t any Tractor Ted apps or books to download, which is a real shame. I also couldn’t find anything in the Kindle eBook store.

      Are there any other favourites that you would like me to check out for you? Our little boy is currently in the Peppa Pig phase, and absolutely loving the Peppa’s paint box app 🙂

      I would definitely favour the Kindle Fire over the Innotab, mainly because of the way you set up profiles meaning that I can use it in full in my own unlocked profile (with PIN code), and have the safety of knowing that my son can only access the features that I’ve allowed. Also because it’s a real adult tablet, I think my son likes it more since it’s not just a toy, it’s something grown up that mummy uses too – you know what I mean I’m sure?!

      If you have any other questions, please drop me a note!

      Caroline

      Reply

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