The Amazon Fire Phone has officially launched in the US; available on AT&T the smartphone is Amazon's first and comes with some pretty unique features including a '3D' Dynamic Display and a camera that can recognise any object.
Despite this the reviews have started pouring in and honestly? They're not great. As was first feared, Amazon has built a smartphone that seemingly ditches the design in favour of becoming the ultimate enabler for your shopping addiction.
With a 720p display and Amazon's heavily skinned version of Android the online marketplace was always going to be fighting an uphill struggle so to compensate the company loaded it with free services like Amazon Prime.
"Amazon’s consumption-first approach works on tablets, for watching and reading and shopping. But tablets are for fun. Smartphones are for work, for life. They’re not toys, they’re tools. Amazon doesn’t understand that, and the Fire Phone doesn’t reflect it. Amazon’s first smartphone is a series of interesting ideas in a package that is somehow much less than the sum of its parts."
"Amazon is asking a lot of customers who switch to the Fire Phone -- learning a new phone operating system, and giving up familiar Google products and access to huge app stores. That's a tough sell. People are fiercely loyal to their operating systems. According to a survey by 451 Research/Yankee Group, 93 percent of current iPhone owners intend to stay with Apple, and 79 percent of Android owners intend to stay with Android. I doubt that Firefly, Dynamic Perspective and easy shopping on Amazon is going to seriously test that loyalty. It's not enough to test mine."
"As I tested out the Fire Phone over the last week, Amazon’s comparison to Mr. Pine became less flattering. When Mr. Pine paints his house purple, he isn’t trying to improve how it functions. He’s merely trying to stand out from the crowd. Some of the Fire Phone’s headline features feel as if they were born of the same superficial impulse."
"The company owes its success to millions of loyal online shoppers and bookworms who use Amazon for its convenience and aggressive pricing, so why come out with a smartphone that isn't particularly convenient, and isn't particularly cheap? By no means is the Fire a horrible phone, but it's a forgettable one. You might want the eventual Fire Phone 2, perhaps, but for now, you're better off sticking with what you know."
"If you care about getting the latest apps and services or having a big screen, you might want to consider other options. This is a phone for folks who only want to live in Amazon's world and don't need access to the latest and greatest apps and services rival devices offer. I suspect most people don't fall into that category though."
"None of the Fire Phone's flaws are totally insufferable, but there's just no reason to suffer them at all. Fire OS is workable but mediocre as a smartphone operating system, and the hardware doesn't bring anything to the table that counteracts that."