Quick impressions of the Amazon Fire HD8 Plus

I’ve been playing around with the new Amazon Fire HD8 Plus and I’m really liking it as a dedicated Home Assistant tablet in the living room. I bought the bundle with the wireless charging stand so that the tablet can be moved around easily. I had the 2017 version of the HD8 which I was able to get Home Assistant to be functional, but I wasn’t happy with it. So far, I haven’t found any problems with it besides the price. I haven’t tested Alexa or Google Assistant with it, but I wouldn’t expect it to be great. Here are some highlights:

  • No more lock screen ads or lock screen! Pressing the Power button from sleep mode will bring up the Home Assistant UI (assuming that was the last app you opened), just like with a regular Android tablet
  • Google Play Services and Play Store are supported. I use the Amazon Fire Toolbox to easily install the service.
  • Still uses an outdated Android Webview version, but there are no issues loading custom Lovelace cards
  • When using the bundled wireless charging stand, the tablet screen can stay awake to display the Home Assistant UI. You need Fully Kiosk Browser and the ‘keep screen awake’ setting enabled.
  • Resuming the tablet from sleep is very quick, taking less than a second.
  • Home Assistant UI is snappy using the latest HA 0.111
  • Battery life can last for the full day with the screen being on for hours (will likely degrade over time though)

So yeah, I’m pretty happy with it. Though keep in mind the screen size is small, so I designed my Lovelace UI to focus on media and nothing else. I’ll share some videos later to demonstrate these features. If there is anything you want me to test out, let me know!

Hi, thanks for sharing your impressions! It’s really helpful for me.
I’m going to use amazon fire hd8 plus or hd10 as a wall tablet and interesting in a ways to unlock them with minimal effort.
Can you try wakeup on motion using build-in camera? As I know fully kiosk browser and https://github.com/thanksmister/wallpanel-android have such feature.

I won’t be able to test with Fully Kiosk (don’t want the “please get a license” banner on my screen) but I’ll try the other app you mentioned.

I’ve tried using the Fully Kiosk motion camera function on a cheap Android tablet and it worked, but not as well as I wanted. But I’ll blame it out the cheap camera and weak tablet I was using.

I just started testing the motion detection with the camera using Wall panel and it’s working great so far. I think it’s more responsive than Fully Kiosk browser. Still need to test motion detection at nightThanks for pointing me to this app!

Hi. Did you try it at night? Are there any pitfalls when using wakeup on motion? Did you have to manually wake it up sometimes?

Are you using the Android app? What sensors do you show available on that side?

Using the Wallpanel app, the available sensors are: battery level, USB plugged, AC plugged, charging, and Light. I haven’t connected Wallpanel sensors to HA using MQTT yet, but I would rather use the Home Assistant app since it’s easier to setup.

I tried it at night and it worked as expected. You can change the settings for motion sensitivity (tolerance between images) or minimum brightness to detect motion the way you want. For example, I may not want the tablet’s bright screen to turn on during the middle of a movie, so I would increase the ‘minimum brightness’ setting. Motion is detected as soon as my hand reaches for the tablet. It’s pretty fast–I haven’t had to wave my hand around to get the screen to turn on. I hope you are using a wireless charging stand, as the camera motion detection is always running and draining the battery.

The front camera on the Fire HD8 is sufficient enough for motion detection to work. I tried using Wallpanel on a cheap Walmart Onn tablet and it was awful due to the front camera (everything was dark) and slow, slow processor.