Yesterday, after many years of rumors, Amazon finally announced its first smartphone called “Fire Phone”
In summary, if you are hooked into the Amazon ecosystem with their Kindles and Fire TV then this is the phone for you. Otherwise, iPhone and Android phones would be a better choice for everyone else.
So, lets start with the some of special features that come with the Fire Phone. It has five cameras on the front of the phone (no, that’s not a typo) to mimic a “3D” interface and those same cameras can be used by developers to improve their games and apps. Also, those cameras are used for tilt scrolling pages like in the browser so you don’t have to scroll with your finger.
Next, is the “Firefly” camera that can scan any product that you show it and instantly shows a link to buy it on Amazon. This would be great if you’re shopping for a pricey item and want to make sure it isn’t cheaper on Amazon (sometimes it is).
Lastly, the Fire Phone includes Mayday which debut on the newest Kindle Fires back last fall. What this feature does is it lets you have a personal video chat with an Amazon representative. Primarily, you are usually calling in to a support center and describing what your problem is to the agent. Now, with this feature the agent can see what is going on your phone and simply help you fix any problem.
You also get 1 free year of Prime membership ($100 value) with the purchase of this phone. I would have like it to be two years because you’re going to be under contract for that long so why make a person pay for another year when you’re going up against the likes of Google and Apple that have complete OS for years. Especially, when you’re trying to lure customers that already have been with these platforms for years now.
Other than those features it’s really a Moto X for comparison without any Google apps like Maps, Gmail, YouTube, and others.
2 GB RAM
4.7” inch screen
13 MP camera
Glass front and back (like iPhone 4 and 4S)
$200 on a two-year contract with AT&T ($650 no-contract)
My first impressions are that it’s a decent phone that’s way overpriced. Nexus 5, Moto X, OnePlus One, and many others are less than $350 OFF-CONTRACT and I can’t stress that enough. The only phone that can pull off that pricing is the iPhone 5S because of App Store and incredible build quality.
Also, to a certain extent this feels like the Facebook phone (a.k.a HTC First) that came out and was completely forgot in a month’s time. If there’s anyone that can pull of coming into a crowded marketplace that Amazon would be fully capable of doing that. It’s just that I don’t Fire Phone is going to do that for them like the Kindle Fires did. I just wished Amazon would have taken the opportunity of pricing this phone to just break even because it’s an unproven phone OS that people will compare to the iPhone and with so-so specs, carrier exclusively, and a high price tag that many people will go with stuff they already know like iOS and Android.
If it would have been around $400 off-contract and $50 on-contract then I would have thought the latter of the Fire Phone and probably would recommend it to people like my parents.
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