Amazon Fire Phone

Engadget

Gizmodo

Doesn't seem bad but I guess I don't get why I should want this instead of any of the thousands of other phones.

It has a 4.7-inch, display with 590 nits of brightness for awesome outdoor viewing. It also has circular polarization, so it will look good even if you're wearing polarized sunglasses.

Under the hood there's a quad-core 2.2GHz processor, which is probably Qualcomm's beefy Snapdragon 800. It's not quite as robust as the new 801 we're seeing in phone like the Galaxy S5 and the HTC One (M8), but it's where the Nexus 5 gets its super speed, so hopefully that'll come through here as well. It has 2GB of RAM, which is competitive to other high-end smartphones. It boasts Gorilla Glass 3 and rubberized edges for extra grippiness.

It rocks a 13MP f/2.0 camera with image stabilization and a hardware camera butter. There's also unlimited cloud storage for all of your pictures.

The headphones have flat cables, and there are magnets on the back of them. They stick together to help keep them from tangling in your pocket.

I never heard of a nit until today.

It seems pretty bad to me. Way too expensive and ATT only? Good luck Amazon!

I think it looks an awful lot like an iPhone 4...

Dynamic Perspective seems like the only real innovative thing, unless you're talking about the direct access to Amazon's store.

Also, innovative might be completely gimmicky in the same way everyone turns off most of Samsung's innovations.

Yeah I don't really understand why anyone would buy this over alternatives or why Amazon thought it was a good investment. I would guess a loss leader to get people entrenched in their services where they make money, but it is not priced as such.

Yeah, the launch price seems high to me. Going with just AT&T now is also another losing proposition for anyone other than Apple and I wish companies would stop doing that, though I guess AT&T keeps funneling enough money that it makes it worth it.

Well if ATT was dumb enough to pay for the exclusive you really are only losing out to possible T-Mobile customers as well so perhaps they (Amazon) just did a simple model where it showed the upside on the T-Mobile side wasnt enough to outweigh the Exclusive $$.

I stink at prognostication but I can't imagine this succeeding. As a consumer it fails to compel at every level: mediocre to decent specs, tied to a carrier, expensive. And, of course, locked down to Amazon's ecosystem. I say this as a pretty solidly entrenched Amazon ecosystem user. I mean, I love my Paperwhite but utterly regret my almost-unused Kindle Fire HD.

As an Android developer it's even worse. Someone in our morning standup jokingly asked whether I was going to support dynamic perspective or whatever the hell that feature is. No. Support an entirely separate version of the app with all Google features removed and new Amazon features added? To what end? Gawd almighty no.

I feel a wee bit bad for the engineers on this thing. They're trying, I'll grant them that. But what a sorry, losing proposition.

I've already heard that retailers will be blocking Amazon phones as they are afraid that folks will come in, scan the barcode and just order from Amazon. Can't blame them. Go to a store, try on clothes or look at the display, essentially the store employees go through all the work with no chance of getting a sale, and Amazon gets all the business.

I don't work retail, but if I knew that was a possibility, I would block the hell out of them too!

This seems like a really odd product. I can't quite figure out who the target market is other than Amazon loyalists.

I'm a pretty consistent Amazon customer; I have a Kindle, a Prime membership, most of my movie rentals are purchased through Amazon Video, and I get a lot of my games and random purchases through them.

Even with as much of a reliable customer of theirs I may be, this phone is quite baffling to me. It just doesn't have a compelling reason to migrate to it rather than stick with my Samsung through my current mobile carrier.

Farscry wrote:

I'm a pretty consistent Amazon customer; I have a Kindle, a Prime membership, most of my movie rentals are purchased through Amazon Video, and I get a lot of my games and random purchases through them.

Even with as much of a reliable customer of theirs I may be, this phone is quite baffling to me. It just doesn't have a compelling reason to migrate to it rather than stick with my Samsung through my current mobile carrier.

+1 to everything you posted. I like Amazon but I just don't see a reason for this. I am kind of surprised it wasn't better. At least when they put out the Fire tablet (and why couldn't they have different names? Even Apple has the iphone and ipad) it was cheaper and better than any other Android tablet.

The target audience seems to be the compulsive shopper--not the healthiest demographic, I'd say. Amazon's big bet here is Firefly, which does sound innovative, just not in a way that's good for anybody.

I'm kind of surprised by how expensive the no-contract version is.

Malor wrote:

I'm kind of surprised by how expensive the no-contract version is.

Me too. It seems to go against Amazon's MO.

Well, they want people who have money yo spend, I guess.

I'm making a prediction that this goes the way of that famous and long-lived Facebook phone. How could it miss?

Coolbeans wrote:

I'm making a prediction that this goes the way of that famous and long-lived Facebook phone. How could it miss?

Sweet. I'll put it in my pocket next to my iTunes phone, my Facebook phone and (fingers crossed) my Twitter phone. This is really where this is all headed. I want to carry 70 phones in my pocket. One for each service I use regularly.

I do wish it was standard Android, but just with exclusive apps like the Amazon Prime Video or whatever. Locking it to Fire and Amazon App Store only makes it a tough sell. I'm not willing to give up the dozens of Google Play apps I have either got on sale or that just don't have an Amazon App Store equivalent.

Well, side loading has always been easy on Amazon products, so hopefully they didn't lock the OS down too much.

But, yes, not having Google apps on the phone seems incredibly stupid. I mean, a phone without Google Maps is likely to be a still birth, right?

garion333 wrote:

Well, side loading has always been easy on Amazon products, so hopefully they didn't lock the OS down too much.

But, yes, not having Google apps on the phone seems incredibly stupid. I mean, a phone without Google Maps is likely to be a still birth, right?

They do have their own maps app on of course, but I think the bigger problem is going to be the UX created by its 3D camera imaging. If it's not entirely flawless, it's going to be a gimmick and most people will probably turn it off, killing its flashiest (if not most interesting) differentiator.

If the UX is as bad as described in this article, then the Fire phone is going to fail pretty fast, I think.

In a way, these operational functions made me feel uneasy because I don’t want to necessarily keep my head still while using my phone all the time, or set off unintended actions. And these things were definitely possible. While looking at a product image on the Amazon store app of a bottled product that was identified using Firefly, the image erratically jumped between big and small. I just wanted it to stop.

People aren't going to start keeping their head still to get the phone to work properly, so somehow the phone will need to compensate. Good luck with that, Amazon.

For some reason I really dislike that button.