The Amazon Fire HD 8 and Onn have access to two different app ecosystems, which may have an impact on your buying decision.
The Fire HD 8 ships with Fire OS 7.3, an Amazon-developed operating system that uses its own app store. This app store has many of the apps you’d want to see, like Disney+, Netflix, Spotify, and Sonos. But it’s currently missing a few big ones, like the new Peacock streaming app, the Roku Channel, the Barnes & Noble Nook e-book app, Fortnite, and, of course, Google’s own apps, like Gmail and Google Calendar. You may be able to find alternatives in some circumstances—Kindle instead of Nook to read books, the built-in generic email app, etc.—but if you’re reluctant to leave the warm embrace of the Android app ecosystem, the Onn may make more sense for you.
On the other hand, the Fire 8 gives you access to Amazon Kids+, a curated selection of kid-friendly books, movies, TV shows, and apps that doesn’t really have an equivalent on the Onn Pro 8. This is a premium feature that costs $2.99 per month but may be worth it if you’re envisioning this tablet as a sort of robo-babysitter. Both tablets let you create dedicated profiles for kids to restrict what content they can access. Not even the iPad can do that.
And of course, if you’re an Amazon Prime subscriber, you’ll have easy access to all of that premium content, like Prime Video and select free e-books, the moment you turn on the Fire.
The Onn, meanwhile, ships with Android 10 and has access to the Google Play app store. That means apps you’ve previously purchased on Google Play will be available on the Onn without having to buy them again, saving you money. It also means you have access to Google apps including Gmail and Google Calendar without having to use third-party options that may not be as fully featured as Google’s versions.
Both tablets also ship with different built-in digital assistants: Alexa for the Fire HD 8 and the Google Assistant for the Onn Pro 8. If you merely use digital assistants to do things like set reminders, ask for sports scores, or check the weather forecast, this probably isn’t a big deal. But if you’ve already gone all-in on, say, an Alexa or Google Assistant-powered smart home filled with smart lights, video doorbells and the like, that may influence your tablet-buying decision, too.