Amazon’s announcement of the new Fire Phone came quickly, but is the company’s fire sale one that will take off? There is plenty of new tech available with the Fire Phone, and Amazon has had years to learn what consumers want from mobile devices thanks to the company’s experience with the Kindle Fire tablet. However, fire can be dangerous to control.
Fire Phone — Bright New Features
Amazon has packed a bunch of new functions into the Fire Phone, including the ability to point the camera at anything and bring up relevant search or Amazon.com results. Another function, called Dynamic Perspective, allows you to tilt the screen to view different content. It’s a bit like holographic DVD cases. Amazon also wants users to quickly access all the content, menus and options when using the Fire Phone, so gestures are heavily implemented into the phone’s operation and apps says Jason Hope.
Like the Kindle Fire, Amazon has added Mayday, a single-button video call to an Amazon staff member who can answer any question about your device or its capabilities. To encourage users to enjoy apps, especially those created for the Fire Phone, Amazon will gift $10 worth of Amazon Coins, the new in-app currency, to Fire Phone owners. As you’d expect, the Fire Phone comes with 365 days of Prime membership, including the new Amazon Prime Music service.
When it comes to specs, Amazon has packed a 2.2 GHz quadcore processor, Adreno 330 GPU and either 32 or 64 gigabytes of storage space into the phone in addition to 2 gigabytes of RAM. Bluetooth, NFC and WiFi are all standard. Because Amazon wants this phone to sound as good as it looks in theory, there are dual stereo speakers.
Blazing Bright or Burning Out?
Despite Amazon’s hardest efforts and best intentions, the Fire Phone has, well, come under fire. Most users find the hardware interesting — if not intuitive — but the lack of integration from an established name such as Google or Apple leaves them frustrated. In comparison to those powerhouses of technology, Amazon’s app store is paltry. Amazon’s store has less than 250,000 apps while both Google and Apple have announced the available app number in their respective stores had reach 1 million in the past year.
Another criticism that this phone has received is that of battery life. All those nifty new features and functions quickly drain the battery, and many reviewers reported that the phone couldn’t last a full 24 hours of normal usage without dying.
In fact, one review, Sebastian Anthony from Extreme Tech, went so far as to call it a “gimmicky mess.” He called Amazon’s Fire Phone an over-sized “Buy now” button, and wasn’t impressed with the company’s attempt at further increasing sales by converting all of the smartphone’s users to Amazon.com consumers.
However, not everyone has been as harsh on the phone. Several testers commented that they would like to try an Amazon Fire Phone 2.0, but that they just weren’t ready to make the first iteration their main mobile device.