Trending December 2023 # Tata Sky Plus Transfer Hd Set Top Box Review # Suggested January 2024 # Top 17 Popular

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What’s new?

Earlier version of the Tata Sky STB worked as a personal video recorder (PVR) apart from just streaming live TV, users were able to record the TV programs into the available storage in the box and were able to watch it later. This one is slightly different from the older one; you can transfer your recorded content directly to your Smartphone using the Tata Sky Mobile app. Users can record TV shows, movies from different channels and watch it later on their phones or tablets on the go. This new-age set top box wants to find an alternate for bigger screens, and wants the mobile device to be your portable TV.

Setting up is facile

It does not require a working internet connection to record, transfer or view the videos.

Transfer Process and Speed

The transfer process was very effortless and smooth, it took me 2 minutes to understand the whole process and start copying the content to my smartphone. The speed is something that may take your patience to a different level if you with to transfer the content in HD. It is a time consuming method as the PVR compresses the size of the content to a smaller sized format to save space on your portable device.

It takes almost 5 minutes to transfer 10 minutes of standard quality video content and takes almost equal time matching the duration of the content while transferring it in HD format, which is 1 minute for every minute of content.  After re-encoding the video format, it takes around 100 MB for 15 minute of content which means we can easily store a lot of content on a device with bigger storage.

The Plus Points

These are some factors where the Tata Sky+ Transfer HD proves handy and future ready:

It comes ready to record content from up to 3 channels at one time. For now, only 2 channels can be recorded simultaneously but the company confirms that it will enable the third slot with future upgrades.

It offers 1080p resolution (p means progressive), where the predecessor Tata Sky+ HD STB offers 1080i (I means interlaced). 1080p is better as it displays sharper images – each row is refreshed 60 times per second which is double the rate of 1080i which refreshes only 30 times per second. With this upgrade we noticed an immediate improvement in terms of clarity and colour.

The wireless remote comes with a touchpad, which definitely means it has been planned to be used with upcoming apps and services.

App Features and Feedback

The Tata Sky Mobile app has a few functions to control your programs and recording, basically this STB has moved from remote to smartphones. The mobile has taken the centerstage and we can get a glimpse of how the future of satelite television is going to change. Here are some useful features of Tata Sky+ Transfer:

Watch the content without transferring it to your smartphone, you can directly stream the content over Wi-Fi network. All you need to make sure is that your smartphone and the STB are connected to the same Wi-Fi network. So while you are at home and away from your TV set, you can enjoy your favorite recorded content on the smartphone without consuming your data.

You can watch live TV on the go, if you have forgot scheduling the recording for your favorite program and cannot reach a nearby TV set; it’s still possible not to miss that show. Just activate the Everywhere TV feature on your Tata Sky app and watch TV using your data connection from anywhere around the globe.

You can schedule the recording for your favorite program using the Remote record feature on the Tata Sky Mobile app. Browse through the program you want to record and schedule its recording using the mobile app. You need to be connected to the same Wi-Fi network as the STB.


We appreciate the initiative and effort to take the TV experience to such portability and enhance the user convenience but we wish the price would have been a little more convincing.

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How To Select And Set Up An Hd Tv Antenna

With cable companies bleeding their customers dry for channels they don’t even watch, many are considering “cutting the cord.” The rise of Internet streaming services gave hope to budget-conscious consumers. It finally seemed as though people could break ties with the cable companies. However, subscriptions to all of the streaming platforms quickly added up, negating any potential savings. There were also some significant drawbacks to eliminating cable, like losing access to your local news and sports.

Before you concede defeat, what if we told you there were high-definition channels that you could watch free of charge? It’s not a fantasy but rather a relic of an older era of television that many people forgot about: over-the-air broadcasting. The antennas of the past have made a comeback, offering sleek, elegant designs that are more sophisticated and powerful than their precursors.

HD TV antennas can pull in channels from many of your local affiliates like ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, PBS and more. This means you can watch your local news, sports and primetime TV without paying a single cent.

Find out what channels are available in your area

Before you cancel your cable subscription and buy an antenna, you’ll probably want to know what channels you’ll be able to pull in. Fortunately there are a number of websites that can show you which channels are being broadcast in your area. Head to TVFool or AntennaWeb and punch in your address. Both websites will analyze the location of transmission towers relative to your location and present you with a list of channels you are likely to receive.

TVFool has a lot of information but can be somewhat difficult to interpret. AntennaWeb doesn’t have quite as much technical data; however, it does present its findings a little more clearly. Ultimately both websites will tell you what you need to know, so which one you use is up to you.

Directional or omnidirectional?

Now that you have some idea as to which channels you’re likely to receive, you have to select an antenna suitable to your situation. There are two types: directional and omnidirectional. Directional antennas are oriented in one direction and are capable of pulling in transmissions from further away. Omnidirectonal antennas are able to pull in channels from all directions but are generally weaker. To determine which one is best for you, refer back to your results on TVFool or AntennaWeb. You’ll notice that along with a list of channels, there is a geographical map.

This map will show a bunch of lines in relation to the location you previously entered. These lines represent the broadcast transmissions for each one of the channels. If all of the transmission lines are coming from a particular direction, grab a directional antenna. If the broadcasts are coming from all directions, pick up an omnidirectional antenna.

Indoor or Outdoor?

Once you’ve decided on a directional or omnidirectional antenna, you now need to consider whether to opt for an indoor or outdoor model. TVFool and AntennaWeb will also tell you how close you are to the broadcast towers in your area. If you live thirty miles or closer to the towers, then an indoor antenna will most likely do the job. If you live further away, then you’ll probably have to look into getting an outdoor antenna. Of course, these predictions won’t apply to everyone, as there are a number of factors that contribute to antenna reception. While distance to the transmission towers is important, there is one other thing you’ll want to consider.

Think about your surroundings. Is your “line of sight” to the broadcast towers obstructed by anything? While it’s not necessary to actually be able to see the towers, obstructions along the way can hamper the signal. Buildings, trees, mountains, etc., can all interfere with your reception. Outdoor antennas tend to be more powerful than the indoor variety. In addition, the outdoor models are not subject to impedances within your own home (e.g. walls).

To amplify or not to amplify

In today’s market you can find antennas with built-in amplifiers or add after-market ones to your existing antenna. In essence, amplifiers are intended to “boost” the broadcast transmissions that your antenna pulls in.

The danger of using an amplifier is that it doesn’t discriminate what it amplifies. That is if you live in an area with spotty reception (e.g. snow), you run the risk of amplifying that distortion. If you live far from your local broadcast towers and are having trouble pulling in channels, an amplifier might help. Just make sure you hang on to the receipt in case it makes matters even worse.

Antenna Placement

Once you’ve settled on an antenna, you’re going to want to think about where you will place it. With outdoor antennas, you really only have to consider which direction it will be facing (unless it is omnidirectional). Indoor antenna placement, however, can make a huge difference in the quality and number of channels you receive.

As with outdoor directional antennas, if your indoor antenna is directional, you’ll want to place it so that it is facing the broadcast signal’s point of origin.

We mentioned before how a clear “line of sight” can drastically improve reception. While you can’t do much about buildings or trees, you can make sure your indoor antenna is near a window or placed against an outward facing wall.

Generally the higher an antenna is placed the better the reception.

Try a variety of different placements to see which one works best.

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Zte Blade S6 Plus Review

Our Verdict

The ZTE Blade S6 Plus is a nice phablet for £200, but it doesn’t offer enough to make it worth an extra £50 on top of the standard model, which already has a large 5in screen. In comparison to that phone it’s lost some of the features we liked, and despite having a larger battery runtime still isn’t great. If you’re looking for a 5.5in phablet at £200, our money would be on the Kingzone Z1.

We were impressed with the ZTE Blade S6, but if you thought the ZTE Blade S6 Plus was merely a larger phablet version of the mobile phone you’d be wrong. Find out why in our ZTE Blade S6 Plus review. Also see:  Best phones 2023 and  best Android phones 2023. 

If the ZTE Blade S6 looks a bit like an iPhone 6, the Plus looks a bit like, well, an iPhone 6 Plus. It’s a plastic smartphone, but its clean white front, circular home button, rounded corners and curved screen edges do look a bit Apple-esque. It’s stylish for the price, just £203 from GearBest‘s EU warehouse with free shipping. 

Its 5.5in screen is an HD IPS panel. Not only does it offer a larger screen area than the 5in ZTE Blade S6, but it supports a Family Mode that is in essence an easy mode, enlarging the type font and putting only the essentials on a tile-based home screen not too far removed from the appearance of Windows Phone. You won’t find this on the Blade S6. See all  Android phone reviews. 

The larger screen makes for a slightly lower pixel density – 267ppi against the standard S6’s 294ppi – but it’s bright and clear, and adequate for watching films and playing games. 

A few cosmetic differences include the loss of a speaker grill at the top (here it’s just a slit), central positioning of the bottom-mounted charging port, a dual- rather than single-LED flash and the addition of an IR blaster. Other connectivity specs are the same, with 4G, dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 and GPS. 

One useful new software feature is the ability to turn off the home button LED that glows blue when the phone is on charge or the battery is low. Also see:  Best phablets 2023. 

There are other differences between little and large, too. None of the gestures we admired in the Blade S6 are supported by this Lollipop phablet, and performance is a tad slower, despite the same hardware inside, but still acceptable for a mid-range phone. The battery is larger at 3000mAh against 2600mAh, yet battery performance still isn’t ZTE’s strong suit. 

Rather than side-accessed trays for the dual-SIM- and microSD slots the rear cover is removable, although the battery hidden below is not. In common with the mini Blade the Plus is a dual-SIM dual-standby phone, although here you’ll find one Micro and one Nano, rather than two Nano. 

ZTE Blade S6 Plus review: Price and UK availability

The ZTE Blade S6 Plus was supplied to us by GearBest, which was charging £203.33 with free shipping at the time of writing. Using the coupon code ZTES6PLUS you’ll get it for £180.66. This phone is despatched from its European warehouse, which means you won’t be liable for import duty when shipping it to the UK. Nevertheless, before you buy you should read up on our Best cheap 4G phones 2023. 

ZTE Blade S6 Plus review: Design and build

Hands up, I’m not particularly keen on phablets. And that would be small girl hands up – phones are just getting way too big these days. With its 5.5in screen and 156.6x77mm chassis the Blade S6 Plus isn’t a phone I could comfortably use in one hand without fear of dropping it. The left- and right screen bezels are reasonably slim; it’s the top and bottom bezels that make this phone feel huge – more so than the Kingzone Z1, which is actually only a few millimetres smaller. 

Admirably, though, in common with the smaller Blade it’s just 7.5mm thick (thinner than the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, for example); it’s also pretty light for a phablet at 150g. That certainly makes it easier to manage. 

Despite my reservations about large phones, they do have clear benefits. The rear-facing speaker is no longer in a position to fire sound into your palm, for example, and the larger screen is useful for playing games and watching video. Those who have eyesight problems will also enjoy the benefits of larger fonts, icons and buttons, especially when used with the aforementioned Family Mode. 

It’s a nice screen, too. The resolution is only HD (we’d rather see full-HD on a phablet), but its a good-quality IPS panel with nice colours and good viewing angles. The pixel density is much lower than that of phones such as the iPhone 6 Plus (401ppi) and Note 4 (515ppi), but at 267ppi it’s not fuzzy either. (There’s also a massive difference in price, of course, and you could buy three of these for one of those.) 

For a mid-range Android the ZTE Blade S6 Plus is nicely designed. The screen has a slippery but silky smooth feel to it when swiping, and its rounded screen edges are so well done that you realise the rear cover comes off only when you can’t find the SIM tray. 

The white front is very clean, and the buttons below it glow a cool blue. Usefully, you can now turn off these blue LEDs when the phone is charging or the battery is running low, which can be irritating at night. The silver plastic rear is more standard mid-range fare, but the way it wraps around to the front prevents it feeling flimsy or creaking in use.  

ZTE Blade S6 Plus review: Hardware and performance

At £200 performance is decent, if not mind-blowing. Given the identical hardware inside – a 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 64-bit octa-core processor, Adreno 405 graphics and 2GB RAM – you might be surprised to find slightly lower performance than what you get with the £50 cheaper Blade S6. Also see:  What’s the fastest smartphone 2023. 

In our benchmarks we measured 663 points in the single-core and 2095 points in the multi-core component of Geekbench 3.0. By comparison the standard S6 recorded 658 and 2420 respectively.  

It was also faster in SunSpider, with 1088ms against this Plus’ 1309ms (lower is better in this test). That’s in Chrome, however, which we use to ensure a fair test across phones; using the preinstalled browser the Plus scored 1117ms.  

GFXBench graphics results showed less difference. The standard S6 saw an extra frame per second in T-Rex with 25fps against the Plus’ 24fps. In Manhattan both phones scored 11fps. 

We’ve recently begun using Geekbench 3.0 to also measure battery life, but for now we have few results to compare, and we have not run this test on the standard S6. However, even with its larger 3000mAh battery (the S6 has 2400mAh), the S6 Plus didn’t score particularly well. We recorded 3 hours 58 minutes, with a battery score of 1587 points. There’s no power-saving mode on this phone to extend that life; neither does it support quick charging.  

In terms of storage you get 16GB, plus a microSD slot that supports up to 32GB. After installing our benchmarking apps only 7.83GB was available, but you can uninstall some of the preinstalled apps. And this is Android, so you have all manner of cloud storage services available to you. See all  smartphone reviews.  

ZTE Blade S6 Plus review: Connectivity

Connectivity wise there’s 4G LTE on one of the two SIMs, plus dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, USB OTG support and an IR blaster. Like the S6 you also get AliveShare, which lets you share games, content and more with handsets that also support AliveShare. NFC is not supported. This phone is dual-SIM as standard, accepting one Nano and one Micro. For more details on what that means see our  best dual-SIM phones 2023. 

Check your mobile network is compatible before you buy the ZTE Blade S6 Plus, as we understand customers in North America will have issues. The Blade operates on GSM 850/900/1800/1900MHz, WCDMA 900/2100MHz and FDD-LTE 800/900/1800/2600MHz. 

ZTE Blade S6 Plus review: Cameras

When we tested the ZTE Blade S6 we noted that the 13Mp Sony camera with 28mm lens and f2.0 aperture produced realistic colours and sharp detail, but that the LED flash did little to help photography in low light. ZTE has rectified this with the Blade S6 Plus, adding a second LED flash to the camera. In other respects it’s the same, which means 1080p video remains a bit jerky. 

The Camera has a Simple mode that makes taking decent pictures easy even if you don’t know what you’re doing. You can also select from a range of modes such as HDR, Panorama, Smile, Beauty, and add filters in real time. Having taken a photo swiping in from the right opens the Gallery, and you can choose to edit photos either in Google’s standard app or the preinstalled PhotoEditor, which offers options to add effects, borders, decoration and annotations, and crop, straighten or otherwise adjust your image.

The 5Mp selfie camera has Beauty and Smile modes, but you can’t adjust the effect. Whereas we used Camera360 to edit selfies on the standard S6, this app isn’t installed on the Plus. If you want it, though, it’s a free download from Google Play. Also see:  Best selfie phones 2023. 

ZTE Blade S6 Plus review: Software

The Blade S6 Plus comes with Android Lollipop 5.0 out of the box, and ZTE installs the MiFavor 3.0 UI. The biggest difference between standard Android and MiFavor is that the latter removes the Apps menu, displaying every app on the home screen, in the same way that Apple does with iOS. We don’t like this approach – it’s just too messy, and half these apps we will never use and therefore don’t need to see – but you can easily hide away unwanted items in folders by dragging one app on top of another. 

All the usual Google apps are preinstalled, as are many of ZTE’s own, which means in some cases you have two apps for one function, such as editing pictures. We don’t really mind that, although it is a waste of storage space if you have no intention of using them. Some of the third-party stuff can be deleted including WPS Ofiice and Clean Master, but not the core stuff. 

Some of ZTE’s software is useful, though. Mi-Pop, which we also saw in the standard S6, is much more useful here, placing onscreen a back button that you can position anywhere you like, making one-handed operation with the large screen easier. Hold and drag it to also see buttons for home, the multitasking menu and more options, or long-press it and you also get options to turn on and off the sound, turn off or reboot the phone, lock the screen or take a screenshot of a specific part of the screen. 

The Family Mode we mentioned earlier will be useful for beginners or those with poor eyesight, enlarging fonts and turning the home screen into a tiled interface much like Windows Phone that shows only the items you need (you can add extras if you like). 

But while the Plus has this useful Family Mode, it’s lost the gestures supported by the Blade S6. And that’s a shame. The ability to turn on the flashlight with a shake or launch the mirror app by lifting the phone and pressing the volume up button are among those we missed.

Read next: 

Follow Marie Brewis on  Twitter.

Specs ZTE Blade S6 Plus: Specs

Android Lollipop 5.0 with MiFavor 3.0 UI

5.5in (1280×720, 267ppi) IPS display

1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 64-bit octa-core processor

Adreno 405 graphics


16GB storage (plus microSD up to 32GB)

dual-SIM dual-standby (one Nano, one Micro)

GSM 850/900/1800/1900MHz, WCDMA 900/2100MHz, FDD-LTE 800/900/1800/2600MHz

dual-band 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi

Bluetooth 4.0


IR blaster

13Mp Sony Exmoor IMX214 rear camera (f2.0 aperture, 28mm lens, LED flash), 1080p video

5Mp front camera (f2.2 aperture, 80-degree wide-angle lens)

FM radio

3000mAh battery



1-year warranty

Geekbench 3.0: 653 (single-core), 2095 (multi-core)

GFXBench: 24fps (T-Rex), 11fps (Manhattan)

SunSpider: 1309ms (Chrome), 1117ms (preinstalled browser)

battery life (Geekbench 3.0): 1587 (03:58)

Videocon A55 Hd Quick Review, Price And Comparison

Camera and Internal Storage

On the memory storage front, A55 HD comes with the 4 GB of internal storage capacity that can be expanded up to 32 GB via Micro SD card. Though the phone comes with the expandable memory option, but the internal storage of the device seems to be on the lower side as the phone comes with the HD display which means that the customers will be able to play the HD games and movies, and we know that it requires more space as compared to the normal data so the internal memory seems to be a bit insufficient. Though the external memory storage will not let you to run out of space.

Processor and Battery

The A55 HD comes with the 2000 mAh of battery, and this seems to be enough for the average users and can easily give backup of about a day. For the heavy users it can last for less than a day after a single charge. The battery segment was important with regard to this device as first it has the larger HD display and second it is a Quad Core based processor, but the battery seems to be a decent one and will not let the phone to dry down easily.

Display and Features

The display can be considered as the USP of this device, the A55 HD sports a larger 5.0 inch OGS Capacitive HD touch screen. So the device comes with the HD display which altogether changes the user experience of the device. And comes with the screen resolution of about 1280 x 720 pixels which clearly depicts that the device comes with the HD screen as we had stated earlier. Again the OGS display helps to increase the clarity of the device and is not included in most of the device in this segment. With the large screen that again comes with the HD screen will let the users to enjoy the games and will make the display quality to be crystal clear and sharp.

The Videocon A55 HD comes with the number of features, for connectivity options it comes with the 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS. The phone runs on the Android v4.2 Jelly Bean OS and adds newer features and apps to the device. The A55 HD also offers the dual SIM feature to the customers that lets to use both the SIM at the same time. The phone also supports unique features like flip-to-silent and face-detection for unlocking the phone.

Comparison Key Specifications

     Model         Videocon A55 HD

Display 5.0 inch OGS Capacitive HD touch screen, with screen resolution of about 1280 x 720 pixels

Processor 1.2 GHz MTK6589 Quad Core processor

RAM, ROM 1 GB of RAM,  4 GB of internal storage capacity that can be expanded up to 32 GB via Micro SD card

OS Android v4.2 Jelly Bean

Camera 8.0 MP of primary camera with LED flash, 3.2 MP of secondary camera at rear

Battery 2000 mAh

Price Rs.13,500


At last we can state that this device from Videocon, A55 HD is surely ready to buzz the market in its segment. With the addition of Quad Core processor, dual camera, dual SIM and HD display the phone seems to offer all the features expected in this price segment. The Videocon A55 HD is launched at the price tag of Rs.13,500 and is a good option in this price. Secondary camera of this device is also a notable feature. So all and all Videocon had come up with a nice and powerful device that too in the budget segment and will not be heavy on the pockets of the customers.

Amazon Fire Hd 8 (2023) Review: Spot The Difference?


Still one of the cheapest tablets around

Hands-free Alexa

Headphone jack & expandable storage


Performance isn’t really any better

Limited selection of apps

Awful cameras

Our Verdict

If you’re a Prime subscriber and won’t miss Google apps you might be able to live with the Fire HD 8’s limited selection of apps, mediocre performance and terrible cameras. Most people will be better off with a slightly more expensive Android tablet, but the HD 8 does make for a good kid’s tablet.

Best Prices Today: Amazon Fire HD 8 (2023)

Amazon’s Fire HD 8 tablet has, for a long while, been our pick of the range. It sits in the middle between the smaller Fire 7 and bigger Fire HD 10.

This new 2023 model is virtually indistinguishable from the 2023 model, but is now more expensive. Everything is more expensive, yes, but it grates to pay more for a new device with little in the way of real upgrades.

We called the Fire HD 8 a “brilliant combo of function & value” in 2023, a “budget tablet no brainer” in 2023 and said it was “still fine value” in 2023.

But now, in 2023 with essentially the same limitations, same poor cameras, same screen, slow charging and no perceivable increase in performance, it’s much harder to recommend it.

Features & design

Plastic build

Headphone jack

Same old design

Amazon calls the 2023 Fire HD 8 “All-new”. But put it side by side with the previous generation and you’ll need a spot-the-difference competition to identify any external changes.

The buttons and USB-C port have been rearranged slightly, but other than that, this is the same tablet with a chunky bezel around the screen and a cheap-feeling plastic frame and back.

Jim Martin / Foundry

There’s a handy headphone jack, ideal for when kids want entertaining on long journeys, and two speakers in the top edge for when you don’t want to use headphones.

They may support Dolby Atmos, but that doesn’t mean they sound good. You won’t want to listen to music on them and they’re only passable for watching videos on Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.

Jim Martin / Foundry

If there’s a highlight it’s that the Fire HD 8 has the best battery life of the Fire tablet range at “up to” 13 hours. That’s one more than the Fire HD 10 and three more than the Fire 7.

How long you actually get between charges depends on what you use the Fire HD 8 for. Watching downloaded videos is fairly power efficient so should get close to the claim, but playing Roblox or other games will seriously shorten the battery life.

And the bad news is that it takes five whole hours to charge from empty.

As before, Amazon offers a Plus version of the Fire HD 8 which costs $20 / £20 more, but charges in three hours, has more RAM and adds wireless charging too.

Both versions are available with either 32GB or 64GB of storage, and you can still add a microSD card to expand that by up to 1TB extra.


1280×800 pixels, 189ppi


One of the reasons we’ve traditionally recommended the HD 8 over the Fire 7 is because it has a larger, higher resolution screen. Most phones these days have screens almost as big as the Fire 7, but with much higher resolutions.

Even now in 2023, the HD 8 still has the same screen it’s always had, with no upgrades. This means a resolution of 1280×800 pixels which equates to 189 pixels per inch.

To put that in context, even budget phones have screens with around 400ppi. Yet Amazon has stuck resolutely to the same resolution every year. I wouldn’t call it ‘blocky’ but it’s not as sharp as you might expect from a brand new device, and that’s noticeable when you’re reading pages of text.

Jim Martin / Foundry

I didn’t have the 2023 model to hand for direct comparison, but the screen on the new version looks lower quality.

It isn’t particularly bright, the backlight isn’t very even across the screen and brightness and colours change as you move the tablet in your hands and look at the screen at an angle.

Colours are fine and, overall, it’s acceptable for a budget tablet, but it’s disappointing that there’s no improvement, and possibly even a slight decline in quality.


The most important thing to understand about Fire tablets is that they are not Android tablets. They do run Android beneath Amazon’s highly customised Fire OS interface and they do run Android apps.

The key difference is that there are no Google apps or services. No Gmail, YouTube, Maps, Photos, Drive or anything else. And that includes the Google Play store.

To install apps, there’s Amazon’s own Appstore. This has a good selection of popular apps and games, but a far smaller overall choice than the Play store.

Jim Martin / Foundry

As long as you don’t need to do online banking or use specific smart home devices from a Fire tablet, you’ll be ok.

Entertainment is well covered with apps for most of the big-name streaming services in the Appstore.

You can control many smart home gadgets with Alexa on the Fire HD 8, but only if you have another device such as an Android phone or iPhone on which to install the app and connect it to Alexa.

You won’t find apps for Google Home, Nest, Philips Hue, TP-Link Tapo, WiZ or Samsung SmartThings in the Appstore.

It’s possible to use Amazon’s Silk web browser to watch YouTube and use Gmail and Google Maps, but the experience – compared to having dedicated apps – isn’t nearly as good.

Fire OS is instead designed to make it simple to access Amazon’s services such as Prime Video, Kindle, Amazon Music and – of course – to buy physical products from Amazon.

Fire OS itself is fairly intuitive, with a Home screen containing apps, recently used apps and a Discover section that largely promotes Amazon’s own content.

There’s a For You screen that also has a list of recently used apps along with “Watch next” for Prime Video and suggestions for other apps and games you might want to download.

Jim Martin / Foundry

Swipe down from the top and you’ll find a brightness control, various shortcuts to settings such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, plus a toggle switch for Show Mode.

Enabling it turns the Fire HD 8 into an Echo Show, displaying rotating home screens with news, weather, recipes and other things.


Hexa-core CPU, 2GB RAM

With previous Fire tablets, I haven’t run our usual Geekbench and GFXbench tests. There are two reasons for this. First, it used to be awkward to install these apps because they weren’t on the Appstore. Second, the results would have been meaningless to most people looking to buy a cheap tablet.

Both apps are now on the Appstore, but neither would work properly or give any results. Geekbench 5 crashed at the end of each test and didn’t record a score, while GFXbench refused to connect to the back-end servers to download the benchmarks.

This means I can’t say for sure if the extra two processor cores make the HD 8 30% faster as Amazon claims.

What I can say is that this tablet still feels underpowered. Even swiping around the home screens and the notification shade can leave you waiting for the screen to catch up, and apps take longer to load that you’d expect.

The Silk browser ground to a halt every time I  tied to go to any complex web pages, such as Google Photos. It crashed a good few times and quit back to the home screen, too. A less than ideal experience if you’re trying to use Google services.

Jim Martin / Foundry

Show Mode works ok, although it isn’t as responsive as a real Echo Show. If you have other Echo devices, you’ll probably find they answer first before the Fire HD 8 has got its act together.

Cameras are the same 2Mp ones found in the Fire 7 and many Fire tablets over the last few years. It’s hard to overstate how bad they are. The rear one captures smeary photos and jerky video, while the front one is adequate for video calls, but not selfies.

Price & availability

Starts at $99.99/£99.99

Ad-free model is $10/£10 more

64GB of storage adds $30/£30

Fire HD 8 Plus is $20/£20 more than equivalent non-Plus model

Kids Editions cost $149.99/£149.99

Where the Fire HD 8 used to cost $89.99/£89.99, it’s now on the cusp of $100/£100. And you’ll pay $10/£10 more for the ad-free model.

If you think 32GB isn’t going to be enough storage for apps, games and downloading videos to watch, the 64GB model is an extra $30/£30.

Opt for the Fire HD 8 Plus and you get an extra 1GB of RAM (which makes almost no difference) and wireless charging. That’s $20/£20 extra.

You can buy the Fire HD 8 from Amazon, naturally, but soon you’ll also be able to buy it from other retailers. At the time of this review, on the tablet’s release date, it was only available from Amazon.

There’s a choice of black, denim (blue) and rose (pink).

Amazon also sells the Fire HD 8 in two different kids versions. One is called the Kids and is aimed at ages 3-7, and the other is the Kids Pro aimed at 6-12s.

Both cost $149.99/£149.99 and comes with a protective case. The Kids model has a chunky bumper case that is easy to hold and offers excellent protection.

For older kids, the Pro has a slimmer case in a selection of more grown up designs, and a more grown-up interface too.

Both include a year’s subscription to Amazon Kids+ which includes a variety of age-appropriate content including games, e-books, audible books, videos and more, all of which are ad-free.

In the UK, the kids tablets have 32GB of storage in the UK, but in the US you can opt for 64GB if you’re willing to pay an extra $30.

As ever, they come with a two-year warranty that covers accidental damage. The regular Fire HD 8 (and Plus) has a single year of warranty that does not cover damage.

It is worth noting that the regular models include the Amazon Kids app, which allows you to lock down the tablet at certain times, choose what content your kids can use and prevents them using the unfiltered internet.

You won’t find a great budget tablet for much under $200/£200, but you’ll find some recommendations in our roundup of the best budget tablets.


Fire tablets may be cheap, but the new HD 8 – especially if you go for the extra storage and choose the ad-free model – is getting quite expensive.

You might be happy to accept the limitations of the Appstore and not having any Google services, but it’s worth knowing you can buy a similar-spec Android tablet for almost the same money. Samsung’s Galaxy Tab A7 Lite is available from chúng tôi for just $109, and in the UK for under £120 from various retailers including Argos.

It offers similar performance and build quality, but will at least have all the usual Google apps, including the Play store.

I’m sure market forces have dictated Amazon can no longer sell Fire tablets as cheaply as it once did, but with almost no improvements to be seen over the past few years (unless you count the USB-C port) this 2023 Fire HD 8 does not represent the great value it once did.

Amazon Fire HD 8 (12th gen): Specs

Fire OS (based on Android 11)

8in 1280×800 HD IPS touchscreen, 189ppi

2.0GHz hexa-core processor


32/64GB storage (microSD up to 1TB)

2Mp main camera, support for 720p HD recording

2Mp front-facing camera

802.11ac dual-band Wi-Fi

Bluetooth 5

202 x 137 x 9.7mm (7.94” x 5.40” x 0.37”)

335g / 1.88oz

Vankyo Leisure 470 Hd Mini Wifi Projector With Roku Express Review

Entertainment centers – which typically include speakers, televisions, digital media players, gaming consoles, and streaming sticks – have become the most important gathering area in every home. Consumer-grade projectors remain a compelling replacement for these costly setups, and the VANKYO Leisure 470 HD Mini Wifi Projector with Roku Express included, sets new bars for quality and portability that will allow you to take the full-featured cinematic experience with you. Let’s take a closer look at its all-in-one feature set and key specifications.

This is a sponsored article and was made possible by VANKYO. The actual contents and opinions are the sole views of the author, who maintains editorial independence, even when a post is sponsored.

Unboxing and Setup

Unboxing the VANKYO Leisure 470 HD Mini Wifi Projector with Roku Express was effortless and straightforward. The neatly-designed modular packaging style inspires confidence in the brand and the product overall. The product comes with two remotes: one for the projector, and one for the Roku Express streaming stick attachment, which is packaged separately.

Since the VANKYO Leisure 470 Mini Wifi Projector is meant to move with you, a removable hard plastic lens cover is also provided. As someone who takes great care of my devices, the inclusion of the protective cover brought me great satisfaction.

Beneath the user manual, I also uncovered a cleaning kit, complete with a white microfiber cloth and five cotton swabs. VANKYO goes the extra mile when it comes to providing essentials for user care, and this is not something that should be overlooked.

The complete list of contents in the box are as follows:

VANKYO Leisure 470 Mini Wifi Projector (White)

VANKYO Leisure 470 User Manual

VANKYO remote

AC power cord

Plastic lens cover

Roku Express streaming device with optional mounting adhesive

Roku Express Quick Start Guide

Roku remote

Micro-USB power adapter

Micro-USB power cord

HDMI cord

2x AAA batteries

Design and Specs: Movie Magic on the Move

The VANKYO Leisure 470 Mini Wifi Projector features a sleek structure, complete with gently-curved edges and a tasteful 3D molded stripe pattern along the perimeter of the cube-shaped form factor. Modest air vents flank the left and right sides of the projector. This prevents overheating by regulating device temperature via a dual-fan design. Two knobs located above the projector lens are lightly knurled to enhance grip, allowing you to manually adjust the keystone and focus for ideal image quality, no matter the ambient lighting conditions.

The same buttons you will find on the VANKYO remote control are readily accessible along the top of the unit. The power button even illuminates to maintain legibility in the dark. The power button will illuminate red if the unit is unable to draw enough electricity to turn on. This was especially helpful when testing the VANKYO outdoors using portable power solutions.

Another vent houses a built-in stereo speaker that produces surprisingly high-fidelity sound, given the projector’s overall small footprint. The projector features a native resolution of 720p, but 1080p upscaling is also supported. In my testing, this resulted in stellar picture quality. Thanks to the LED projector technology, colors are vivid and subjects appear distinct, due to its brilliant 3500:1 contrast ratio. Every VANKYO Leisure 470 Mini Wifi Projector also comes with a three-year warranty.

Key Features:

Suitable for indoor and outdoor use

Compatible with iOS and Android (Wi-Fi Sync for smartphone integration)

Expansive range of supported screen sizes: 39 – 250 inches (measured diagonally)

Size, Weight, and Power:

Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.7 x 2.8in (19.7 x 14.5 x 7.1cm)

Weight: 2.2lbs. (1kg)

Power Supply: AC 100-240V, 50/60Hz


Display type: LCD

Light source: LED (120 lumens)

Lamp lifespan: estimated 50,000 hrs.

Aspect ratio: 4:3/16:9/Auto

Native resolution: 1280 x 720

Keystone correction: ±15

Input/Output Ports:

2x HDMI input

1x USB port

1x AV input

1x SD card slot

1x 3.5mm audio jack

Supported Media:

Photo formats: BMP/JPG/PNG/JPEG


Video input signals: 576i/720p/1080i/1080p

Audio formats: MP3/WMA/MP2/AAC/FLAC/PCM

Speaker: 3W/4ohm

Portable Cinema Setup Process

Setting up the VANKYO Leisure 470 Mini Wifi Projector could not have been easier. With its built-in power supply, you simply plug in the AC power cord to the projector, attach the other end to a wall outlet, and you are ready to sit back, relax, and watch. No clunky power blocks! The Roku Express streaming stick is powered by a micro-USB wall adapter and connects to the VANKYO Leisure 470 via an HDMI port.

Note that if you plan on taking the VANKYO Leisure 470 Mini Wifi Projector outdoors, you will want to ensure that you are close to a power outlet, or bring a portable power station along. The projector does not feature a built-in battery and will power off when unplugged.

I tested the VANKYO Leisure 470 primarily indoors using a grey mounted sheet as a screen. This worked wonders, but you can also point the device at a blank wall or the ceiling for extra convenience. I tested these methods as well, and they worked sufficiently. While television screen sizes are typically limited to 85 inches or less, I can stretch my content to fill a projection size of up to 250 inches, measured diagonally on the VANKYO Leisure 470.

The ceiling method is ideal when lying in bed or meditating, and the blank wall method is ideal for instances when you may not have a screen, such as outdoors. The VANKYO Leisure 470 also features a small kickstand that can be adjusted accordingly to angle the device based on your preferences and relative viewing environment.

Built-in Roku Express Streaming Player

The VANKYO Leisure 470 comes bundled with a Roku Express smart TV device that offers access to a vast library of over 4,000 streaming apps, including popular favorites, such as Amazon Prime Video, Max (previously HBO Max), Apple TV+, Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and YouTube. Some apps even allow you to stream 300+ live TV channels, live news, sports, music, and movies for free. The included Roku remote even features quick toggles for Netflix, Hulu, Sling TV, and Disney+.

The Roku Express features automatic software updates, ensuring access to the latest features, and support for private listening via headphones with the Roku companion app available for iOS and Android.

Final Thoughts

The VANKYO Leisure 470 HD Mini Wifi Projector with Roku Express Streaming Player remains an incredible deal for anyone looking to level up their entertainment at just $139. Keep in mind that a Roku Express can be purchased standalone for $29.99, so you are gaining more than a compact projector. You are purchasing a ticket to an immersive large-scale cinematic experience with stereo sound, diverse I/O options, and access to your favorite content at your fingertips. An experience that you can take with you wherever you roam.

Brahm Shank

Self-proclaimed coffee connoisseur and tech enthusiast Brahm Shank is captivated by the impact of consumer tech: “It’s profoundly moving when people discover that the phone in their pocket or the tiny computer on their wrist has the power to enrich their lives in ways they never imagined.” Apple, Inc. and its unique position at the intersection of technology and the creative arts, resonates deeply with Brahm and his passion for helping people unleash their potential using technology. Over the years, Brahm has held various podcasts – including famed technologist David Pogue of The New York Times on topics such as Big Tech and digital wellness.

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