“Amazon devices started as dirt cheap but good hardware sold essentially at cost. But with the release of the HDX line, the company eased into higher-quality and slightly more expensive devices. The Fire Phone is the culmination of that shift,” Eric Limer writes for Gizmodo. “It’s not cheap, it’s not even cheap-ish; it’s full-on premium. And it’s a test of whether that’s a space where Amazon can compete. This is a big step for Amazon.”

“At its core, the Fire is a perfectly usable — if not fantastic — phone,” Limer writes. “Fire OS, Amazon’s unrecognizable fork of Android, has moved past the awkward teen years. But Fire OS 3.5 often feels better-suited to the tablets it was originally meant for than it does a phone.”

“Fire OS offers unique ways to navigate, but none of them is preferable to the basics,” Limer writes. “Extras are fine, even if you’re ultimately ignoring them, but Fire OS 3.5 is also missing some features that are pretty standard now across iOS, Android, and Windows Phone 8.1. Fire OS’s voice assistant, for example, is way behind Siri, Google Now, and Cortana.”

“Dynamic Perspective is ostensibly the Fire Phone’s killer feature,” Limer writes. “It’s impressive tech! It’s also pretty useless… if there’s some cool, useful functionality to be had from super-aggressive, super-accurate face tracking, the Fire Phone doesn’t have it. Dynamic Perspective is packed into pretty much every corner of the Fire Phone, but in ways that range “amusing the first dozen times” to straight up annoying.”

“Should you buy it? Nope. Definitely not,” Limer writes. “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. At a $200 on-contract, $650 unlocked price point you’ll be better served with just about any other flagship phone…”

Read more in the full review here.

MacDailyNews Take: Misfire Phone™.

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