Amazon Fire Smartphone? Nope. Not A Prayer

On Wednesday June 18, Amazon announced their first ever smartphone – the Amazon Fire.  While this Fire OS based device (an Android derivative) may be the only phone with Dynamic Perspective (a screen that shifts as you tilt the device) , Firefly technology (Google revamped for Amazon) and Mayday (live help at the push of a button) .

It’s not the first phone with quirky features that you have to “squint real hard” to see how the mass market is going to gravitate toward buying one.

amazon_fire_smartphone
Notably the Amazon Fire Smartphone announcement was one of the few big (recent) tech events that elicited almost unanimous yawns from the Geardiary team.

Sure it’s cool that a full year of Amazon Prime is included with the phone – but the starting off-contract price for the 32 GB Fire device is $649. By comparison the 32 GB Google Nexus 5 is available for $399 – a full $250 cheaper than Amazon’s Fire.

Our thoughts on this device?

 

judie

Judie – 

Meh

dan

Dan – 

$649 off contract? What are they smoking?

joel

Joel – 

Double meh

wayne

Wayne – 

Here’s one site’s guess (see link) as to why this is priced so high. I think the logic is faulty because it presumes that competitors – mainly Apple and Samsung – will stand still or tread water in terms of innovation. It also blindly ignores the ecosystem power of Apple.

michael

Michael – 

Um, yeah – if the 32GB was $499 and on Verizon I would buy in a second … as it stands I closed down the livestream … no chance.

dan

Dan – 

In addition, I expect too many of the wiz-bang features that they showed off that will make people want this phone are going to be like the ones that Samsung has that sound great, but you really don’t use them, and you’ll actually turn off as you need to conserve battery life.

michael

Michael –

I also found the presentation dreadful … Too much ‘here is how you make the sausage’, and too little ‘ this is why you care’.Though I understand why Amazon cares … The entire thing is one big happy eye-tracking point-of-sale system for them

wayne

Wayne – 

Who is the market for this? Amazon customer? Well they already have Prime – how does this really make their life easier (beyond early adopters), Mom and Dad, Grandma and Grandma? Maybe but the phone still seems too expensive, Teens? Nope, Early adopters? No.

At least they didn’t come out with anything dopy like the AmazonBook (faux Social Media).

mike

Mike – 

Very interesting. Who’s getting one on July 25? Fun tilt and 3D features. Unlimited picture storage would be prime for me

travis

Travis – 

OK, finally got a break and watched their videos from the website. Seems like a bunch of inflated features, but is it a good phone? Maybe the actors in the video just annoyed the hell out of me.

mitchell

Mitchell – 

 Haha wow, they are tripping

judie

Judie – 

 I have virtually unlimited storage on Google server — 200GB for $50/year. Getting a meh phone with unlimited storage isn’t a pro for me.

joel

Joel – 

 Oh and the eye tracking stuff has been DONE before….the only hope is it might actually WORK on the Fire Phone but whatever … it’s gimmicky.

dan

Dan – 

At that price my solid recommendation for a good android phone is the Moto x when it is on sale. $349 for 32GB and unlocked.

wayne

Wayne –

I snagged a Moto X on sale – I agree. The only question in my mind is battery. If you absolutely need the best battery my vote is the Galaxy Note 3. I bought a spare battery and external charger and I am pretty frequently swapping a full battery for an expired one (get’s me a good 12 hours). Only downside to the Note 3 battery swapping is that it’s not that convenient to do if you have a case.

The initial reviews of this Amazon Fire are tepid at best. Nobody can figure out who is going to buy one —- MOSTLY BECAUSE NOBODY IS BUYING THIS.

mitchell

Mitchell – 

LG G2 is the best for battery in a normal form factor. If it weren’t for the LG software and rubbish build quality I’d carry one daily. LG proved they could make a quality phone with the Nexus 4, shame it didn’t carry over to the G2.

There you have it – our relatively unfiltered back channel first impression discussions of the Amazon Fire smartphone. It’s important to note that these are all first impressions based only on the announcement of June 18, 2014. When the device begins shipping our tune may change – so keep watch for further updates.

Who’s getting one of these? (crickets chirping)


About the Author

Wayne Schulz
Wayne is a diehard Android user and consultant specializing in Sage 100 ERP Accounting Software. He lives in Glastonbury CT with his two children. When not helping them with their homework or pushing the latest school fundraiser off on his co-workers, he is active hiking and investigating all manner of technology.