Amazon has finally entered the smartphone market with the release of the Amazon Fire phone. It has been talked about so much prior to its release, that I had to find out if it lived up to all the hype. Here is a look into the phone and what it offers its users.
First things first, the price is simply outrageous. Sold for a whooping $199 for a two-year contract and around $600 unlocked, it seems like a pretty hefty ask from a brand which has not even established itself in the mobile arena.
Looking at the hardware of the phone too, does not impress much. The screen is a little small by smartphone standards with a 4 inch display. It greatly resembles the LG Nexus 5 with the rubberized edges and glass front and back. To me, it looks quite brittle and I would not be surprised if it breaks the first time I drop it. Also, the glass back panel is extremely susceptible to scratches and smudges, forcing you to have to constantly wipe it down.
A review of this phone would be incomplete without talking about the two main unique features this phone brings to the table, Dynamic Perspective and Firefly.
Dynamic perspective uses 4 cameras on the corners of the phone to create a 3D like effect. The only place where this application finds even remote use, would be in the maps where tilting your phone would provide a different perspective, allowing you to peak around buildings and so on. However, this is not anything a little pinching and swyping can not achieve. So this feature is fancy, but pretty useless.
Finally we come to Firefly. This is by far the coolest thing about the phone. This feature allows you to use your camera to identify objects around you and find them on Amazon.com. While it is just an extensive marketing tool, among many annoyingly ones embedded into the phone, it does come handy to identify music, songs, books and pretty much anything.
To wrap up my review, I go back to the question it started with. Is it worth all the hype? Unfortunately the answer is a no. The smartphone market is incredible competitive right now and this phone has not offered us anything fantastic. It is grossly outperformed its competitors like the HTC One M8 and iPhone 5s.