Amazon Fire Tablet vs NOOK 7″ ─ What’s the best $50 tablet?

The battle between two $50 tablets

The new Nook tablet certainly has some impressive aspects about it, which you can learn about in our review, but how does it stack up to last year’s Fire tablet? In this comparison between the Nook tablet and the Fire tablet, we find out which tablet is better in several key areas.

Hardware

Both tablets have a solid build quality to them. The Nook has a matte finish on the back that can easily get dirty, while the Fire has a hard plastic back that’s easy to clean. Otherwise, they both have similar hardware characteristics, except for the button position. The Nook does have a slightly cheaper build quality feel to it, as the construction does not feel solid — unlike the Fire. For build quality, the Fire definitely takes the win thanks to its heavier and more solid feeling construction.

Performance

While build quality isn’t that big of a deal breaker, device performance is. In my usage of both tablets, they did extremely well for their $50 price points. The Nook lagged on some apps from the Play Store, but did great on the pre-installed Nook apps. Since the Fire tablet is more limited in terms of apps, it does quite well with whatever is thrown at it. The pre-installed apps are all reasonably well laid-out, and they work fantastic. From a purely performance perspective, the Fire wins thanks to its general fast nature and fluid user experience through the OS.



Software

The software on both devices is Android, but the Nook runs a barely modified version of stock Android, while the Fire runs Fire OS. The differences? No Google Play Store on the Fire; no native Google apps, either. But, it does come with the Amazon App Store. However, the app selection is rather disappointing, especially for a Google person. On the other hand, the Nook has full access to the Play Store so you can download all the apps you love and use. The Fire does come with Alexa built in, and of course the Nook has Google Now. The winner in this category is the Nook, with its stock Android and Google Play access.

Display

Moving on from the software, to the display. Both are the same size, but they are quite different. The Nook tablet screen sometimes takes extra pressure to register, and is not that premium. However, the Fire offers a much better screen that gives the impression of premium — making it the winner in this category.

Camera & Speakers

Finally, let’s take a look at the camera and he speakers. Both tablet cameras are like any other tablet in this regard — poor image quality. Sure, they will work if you’re in a bind, but by no means will they replace your phone’s camera. There is a larger difference in the sound quality, with the Fire having much better sound. But, it would still be advisable to wear headphones when watching a movie or listening to music. Yet again, the Fire wins in this category.

Summary

Overall, either tablet will be a great option. However, if you’re looking for a tablet that you will always be using, then look elsewhere. These are meant for light usage, and they do quite well at that — not much more. If you’re interested in getting on of these for yourself or someone else, links are below. Also, be sure to check out our video below to get a better look at the tablets!

Get the Nook TabletGet the Fire Tablet