Amazon Fire Phone

If you haven’t seen an ad for these phones you will soon. The ads are popping up on TV, billboards, and on the internet. I decided to pop into an AT&T store to check this phone out. The front and back are both glass but the sides are a plastic material that feels good in your hand. It gives the device some grip. I opened some apps and checked out the camera — it seemed to all perform well. It felt though like I was using a tiny Kindle Fire. This could be a good thing or a bad thing, though I am leaning more towards bad because I didn’t find the Kindle Fire particularly impressive. I mentioned I stopped in an AT&T store to check the device out. This is because it is exclusive to the AT&T network so the only place to get the Fire Phone is from AT&T or direct form Amazon. The phone costs nearly $650 to purchase out of contract. If you are setting up a new contract or renewing then you can get the Fire Phone for around $200.

First impressions aside, the phone isn’t bad. The hardware is fairly decent if nearly outdated compared to the pace of the market. You can purchase the Fire Phone with 32GB or from what I can tell from my research you can purchase a 64GB version or will be able to soon. The camera is nice weighing in at 13 megapixels and is capable of taking 1080p video. You screen resolution junkies may be disappointed however, because the screen resolution on the 4.7″ screen is only 720p. The rest of the hardware is pretty middle of the road not blowing away any of the current Android based devices.

The Fire Phone runs the Fire OS 3.5 which does not allow you to directly access any of the apps on the Google Play Store that most other Android devices have access to. You can side load apps from other sources but I have never had much luck side loading apps. The Fire Phone excels at giving you access to all of your Amazon and Amazon prime content like books, movies, and music. The Amazon app store is filled with great apps but If you are an Android or iPhone user you might not find all of your favorite apps for this device. One of the big features Amazon is talking about with this device is Firefly, which is an object recognition app that identifies things using the camera then links you to them in the Amazon store. This feels like a way to push users to buy more from Amazon to me and really not that impressive. With the phone, you receive 1 year of Amazon Prime free plus unlimited Cloud Drive storage and automatic backup. That’s nice I suppose.

Based on my first impressions and the reviews I read for this device I wouldn’t recommend this device to anyone but the most diehard Amazon content users who need to make phone calls between movies. I certainly wouldn’t recommend it for a business user as all of its features are centered on accessing amazon content and entertainment leaving little room for productivity. If you want to check out more information about the Fire Phone you can go to Amazon’s site here:

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