Amazon Fire vs. Samsung Tablet: Which Is Right for You?

Compare hardware specs, operating systems, and app availability

Amazon Fire tablets and Samsung tablets look similar and share many of the same apps and features, but there are important differences between the two tablet brands. We've compared Amazon Fire vs Samsung tablets to help you decide which is the best fit for your needs.

Amazon Fire Tablet vs Samsung Tablet

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Overall Findings

Amazon Fire
  • Less expensive than budget Samsung devices.

  • More uniform design.

  • Best e-reader and tablet combo.

Samsung Tablet
  • Comes in a variety of specs, sizes, and price points.

  • Overall better hardware.

  • Supports a broader range of apps and tasks.

Samsung and Amazon make several tablet models of various sizes. Formerly called Kindle Fire, Amazon Fire tablets make for great e-readers, but they can also do just about everything a Samsung tablet can do with a few exceptions. The primary difference between Fire models is the display.

Samsung makes a wider range of devices offering different display qualities and levels of performance. The Fire 10 HD is a little less expensive than the comparable Galaxy Tab A8, and it even beats out the A8 in terms of performance. That said, the best Fire tablet can't compete with the best Samsung, especially when it comes to the camera, battery, and app availability. Given the differences between models, it's important to look at the individual technical specifications.

Operating System and Apps: Android vs Fire OS

Amazon Fire
  • Runs Fire OS.

  • Built-in Alexa voice assistant.

  • Optimized for the Kindle e-reader app.

Samsung Tablet
  • Runs Android.

  • Built-in Google Assistant.

  • Better compatibility with other Android and Google devices.

The main difference between Amazon Fire and Samsung tablets is the operating system. Samsung devices run Google Android while Fire tablets run Fire OS. Samsung users have access to the Google Play Store where they can download Android apps. In addition, Samsung has its own store with exclusive apps for its devices.

Amazon Fire users are restricted to Amazon's app store, although it's possible to sideload apps by adding Google Play to your Fire tablet. If there are specific apps you want to use, a Samsung Tablet is more likely to have what you need. That said, a Fire tablet has its own advantages, especially as an e-reader. The Kindle app is available for all Android devices, but Fire tablets are optimized for reading books aloud thanks to built-in Alexa support.

Likewise, the Alexa app is available for Samsung devices, but Samsung tablets use Google Assistant by default. Depending on whether you already have other Alexa devices (such as the Echo Show) or Google devices (such as the Nest Hub) in your home, either Fire OS or Android may be a better fit for your existing ecosystem.

Performance: Fire Is for Media Consumption, Samsung Offers More

Amazon Fire
  • Ideal for reading, watching, and listening to content.

  • Overall faster than budget Samsung models.

  • Not as powerful as high-end Samsung models.

Samsung Tablet
  • Better for gaming and productivity.

  • Offers a broader range of price and performance.

  • Longer battery life.

Samsung and Fire tablets have similar processors, but they are designed for different purposes. Amazon Fire devices are primarily made for reading, listening to music, and watching videos. Samsung tablets can do all the same, but there are higher-end Samsung models available that are optimized for gaming and productivity software like the Galaxy Tab S7 or the Galaxy Tab S7+.

These tablets come with a higher price tag, but they can do more than the average Amazon Fire. On the other hand, the Fire 10 HD is slightly faster than the similarly priced Galaxy Tab A8. Samsung devices typically boast longer battery life than their Amazon counterparts, lasting more than 12 hours on a full charge compared to 8-10 hours for Fire tablets.

When deciding between tablets, pay attention to the RAM and internal storage. The former determines the types of apps you can run, and the latter determines how many apps your device can hold. Most Amazon and Samsung tablets offer microSD slots for expandable storage.

Hardware and Design: Samsung's Cameras Give the Galaxy an Edge

Amazon Fire
  • Brighter, more detailed display than budget Samsungs.

  • Same connectivity features as Android devices.

  • Slimmer, lighter design.

Samsung Tablet
  • Takes better pictures and videos.

  • Better for voice and video conferencing.

  • More display size variety.

Both tablet brands are lightweight and designed for portability, but Fire tablets are generally lighter and thinner. Fire HD tablets are known for their superior displays while Samsung offers a wider array of display sizes.

Samsung tablets generally have better cameras. Amazon has improved the camera on its newer tablets, but it can't compete with most Samsung devices. If you want a tablet for participating in Zoom meetings, you're better off with a Samsung. Both brands are evenly matched in terms of Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and USB connectivity, but only the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 and S7+ support 5G.

Final Verdict: Mostly a Matter of Preference, But Both Have Their Advantages

Samsung and Amazon both make terrific budget tablets. Since they come in many different models, it's important to look at the technical specs of each device rather than make broad comparisons between brands.

The biggest factor to consider is whether you prefer Fire OS or Android. If you're already familiar with Android and Google Assistant, a Samsung tablet will feel more familiar. If you're used to Alexa and Kindle e-readers, you might be more comfortable with a Fire tablet.

FAQ
  • Where do I buy a tablet?

    Once you've decided which model of tablet to pick up, you can make your purchase at most major retailers that sell electronics, including Target, Best Buy, Walmart, and Amazon. You can also pick one up from your wireless carrier, Amazon, or a third-party marketplace like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace.

  • Why would you buy a tablet when you have a smartphone?

    The biggest advantage tablets have over smartphones is their larger screens. If you want to watch movies, read books, or play games on the go, you'll benefit from the bigger display. Artists also use tablets with a stylus to create drawings and do design work.

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