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Amazon Fire 7 vs. Walmart Onn Face-Off: What's the Best Supercheap Tablet?

Amazon has long owned the market for cheap tablets. Walmart's butting in, though, recently launching the $64 8-inch Onn to face the $50 Amazon Fire 7.

The Onn offers an unadulterated version of Android, but does this new challenger pose a threat to the Fire 7's dominance? Here's how the Walmart Onn and Amazon Fire 7 stack up. 

Amazon Fire 7 vs. Walmart Onn Specs

Amazon Fire 7Walmart Onn
Starting Price$49$64
CPU/RAM1.3GHz quad-core/1GB1.3GHz quad-core CPU/2GB 
Display7 inches, 1024 x 6008 inches, 1280 x 800
Storage16GB | 32GB16GB
Battery Life6:56 (Alexa off) | 6:16 (Alexa on)5:29
Size7.6 x 4.5 x 0.4 inches8.2 x 4.8 x 0.4 inches
Weight10.1 ounces12.2 ounces

Design

The Amazon Fire 7 and Walmart Onn are both pretty basic slates, but we prefer the Fire 7, whose plastic back feels more durable and less cheap. The Onn's back is textured in a way that it makes a bad-sounding noise if you scratch a fingernail over it.

At 10.1 ounces in weight and 0.4 inches thick, Fire 7 is a bit lighter than the Walmart Onn (12.2 ounces, 0.4 inches), though that makes sense, given that the latter's an inch larger than the former.

MORE: Best Tablets - Top Tablets on the Market

The Fire 7 includes a headphone jack and microSD reader, the same ports you get with the Onn.

Winner: Fire 7 

Buy the Amazon Fire 7

Display

Watching an episode from the Amazon Original show Fleabag on the Fire 7 and Walmart Onn (placed side by side), the difference felt like night and day. The Onn's screen produced such a dimmer image that I had to squint at star Phoebe Waller-Bridge to see details in her face; she had lost the rosieness in her cheeks, and her skin had turned a sickly hue.

I couldn't see a notable extra sharpness in the Onn, even though it has an 8-inch, 1280 x 800 panel, which is sharper and larger than the Fire 7's 7-inch, 1024 x 600 screen. Neither display is high res, but I'm betting the Onn's dimness is dulling out any fine details from that slate's screen.

According to our colorimeter, the Walmart Onn edges out a win in terms of color output, producing 73% of the sRGB gamut to the 66% rating from the Fire 7. The Amazon slate has the edge in brightness, however, emitting up to 370 nits, which outshines the 273 nits from the Walmart Onn.

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While both tablets darken notably when viewed at 30 degrees to the left or right, the Walmart Onn has the more pronounced difference, as it's got the lower max brightness to begin with.

Winner: Fire 7 

Buy the Walmart Onn

Performance

Neither the Amazon Fire 7 nor the Walmart Onn is built to impress with speed. Both pack a 1.3-GHz quad-core processor, and the Fire 7 has 1GB of RAM while the Onn has 2GB. 

As I navigated the slates' interfaces, pulling up websites, opening apps and performing general, low-impact usage, I didn't see a huge difference between the two. Each tablet even takes a moment to realize that you tapped an app before it opens or to load the keyboard after you tap the URL field. 

To test the tablets' gaming chops, I opened the relatively modest Asphalt 8 on both, and played the game on the two slates side by side. Cars looked sharp in both, but frame rates, for both, were sluggish and slow.

The Fire 7's score of 1,922 on the Geekbench 4 performance test might be low, but it still beats the Walmart Onn's 1,415. 

Winner: Fire 7 

Software and special features

If you're all about the apps, you might have a problem with the Fire 7. That's because this slate runs Fire OS, which doesn't include the Google Play store. The Walmart Onn, however, runs the real, untainted Android operating system, so it isn't missing anything. 

This means Fire 7 users depend on the subset of Android apps that made it to the Amazon Appstore. When I compared the top 20 free and paid apps on Google Play against what's in the Amazon Appstore, I found that the Amazon shop has only 11 out of the 20 top free apps and 5 out of the top 20 paid apps from the Google Play store. Missing apps include Snapchat, Wish, WhatsApp and Cash App, while available apps include Instagram, TikTok and Netflix.

MORE: Walmart Sets Fire to Amazon with Three New Tablets Under $100

Amazon households, though, may prefer the Fire 7 because of its Alexa integration, which just improved in the 2019 model. Now, you can activate Alexa without a tap or touch, just with your voice (which should have been the default since Alexa made it to that tablet).

Winner: Walmart Onn

Battery life

When it comes to life on a single charge, the Fire 7 lasts longer, but there's one thing you should know in order to optimize the Amazon slate's endurance. On the Laptop Mag battery test (web browsing at 150 nits), the Fire 7 made it 6 hours and 56 minutes, beating the Walmart Onn's time of 5 hours and 29 minutes.

However, we got an even better score from the Fire 7 with hands-free Alexa on. . With the setting enabled, the Fire 7 got a time of 6 hours and 16 minutes, which is a pretty notable drop. That means if Alexa is enabled, it's using more of your battery to stay listening. 

Winner: Fire 7

Value

The Walmart Onn costs $64, which is $14 more than the $50 Fire 7. However, the Fire 7 costs $65 after you pay Amazon to lay off slashing your lock screen with "special offer" ads. The Fire 7 will save you some cash, but only if you're willing to deal with some baked-in Amazon promotions.  

Winner: Tie

Overall Winner: Amazon Fire 7

Amazon Fire 7Walmart Onn
Design (10)87
Display (10)2418
Performance (20)1918
Operating System, Special Features (10)610
Battery Life (20)1712
Value (15)1010
Overall (100)8476


Walmart's Onn is priced to compete with the Fire 7, and the challenger wins my respect for its superior app store. But it fails to match Amazon's $50 standard in every other way. The Fire 7's brighter screen, better back panel and longer battery life add up to a winning proposition. 

Credit: Laptop Mag 

Henry is a senior writer at Laptop Mag, covering security, Apple and operating systems. Prior to joining Laptop Mag — where he's the self-described Rare Oreo Expert — he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. You can find him at your local pro wrestling events, and wondering why Apple decided to ditch its MagSafe power adapters.