Gizmodo reviews Amazon’s Fire Phone: Don’t buy it

“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™.

Related articles:
Why you shouldn’t buy Amazon’s Fire Phone – June 22, 2014
Amazon Fire Phone could add 55% to users’ shopping bills – June 20, 2014
Amazon’s Misfire Phone: How Jeff Bezos failed – June 19, 2014
Amazon’s Fire Phone might be the biggest privacy invasion ever – June 19, 2014
Analyst: No impact to Apple iPhone from Amazon ‘Fire Phone’ – June 19, 2014
Amazon launches shopping machine masquerading as a phone – June 18, 2014
Amazon Fire Phone’s Firefly feature: Apple’s iPhone already has it – June 18, 2014
Amazon shows ‘Fire Phone’ with 4.7-inch 3-D display to court mobile shoppers – June 18, 2014
Analyst: Amazon smartphone no threat to Apple’s iPhone, but Android phone makers beware – June 17, 2014


  1. RE: Dynamic Perspective

    Impressive + useless = gimmick

    Isn’t that the first thing you think of when you hear about these types of features?

    Just saying, if added Apple a feature similar to this, it would be part of Accessibility, where it makes most sense – not as a default method of navigating around the system.

    1. It doesn’t need to be impressive to be a “gimmick.” For, example, that touching two phones together to transfer stuff feature. Samsung kept highlighting it in its ads, like it was something people actually wanted to do, touch their phone with some else’s phone. Those ads were embarrassing…

      And the “wireless HDTV” ads. People apparently have a desire to haul their huge (and expensive) HDTV sets outside, to the backyard. All in the name of a unique feature that no one really wants. Whereas Apple invents features that people don’t know they want, until they see it… 🙂

  2. Wow, what’s impressive (in a bad way) is how negative all of the comments are on Gizmodo. Usually you see a few morons saying, “I have one and love it. It’s just marketed poorly”. I mean FFS, there’s even a comment for that very same FIre Phone article praising the Microsoft ‘Kin.

  3. Just remember this phone tracks everything you do and stores it on Amazon’s servers. When you use the Firefly button, it saves the pic, GPS coordinates, audio clip of where you were to Amazon servers.

    1. Wow! the spooks at NSA and GCHQ gotta love that. Now, if only they could get access to Amazone’s servers. . . but, of course, that’ll never happen, will it?

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