Amazon launched their first phone Amazon Fire, a couple of days ago and techies like me were given a chance to test it for half an hour. The first thing that came to my mind was that for someone who owns a Fire tablet, this device can be very appealing. The device has an expected focus towards Amazon store.
There are some positives and negatives, pricing will be tagged under the latter. Some experts don’t like the device; others say they will buy it whenever they have the opportunity. The same night Amazon Fire was rolled out for testing, I spoke with another industry expert. I think his opinion is worthy of a mention here. Here is what he had to say:
Richard Querrey, blog editor and technology expert at www.contractphoneswithfreegifts.com doesn’t think the Amazon phone is all that appealing:
“I quite like the concept of the Amazon Fire phone but they’ve got the execution wrong in my opinion. The pricing is way off the mark ($650 off contract) for a phone that is so heavily orientated around Amazon products. The Kindle Fire did well because it’s affordable. The Fire smartphone simply isn’t and for a subpar performing phone it’s too expensive.”
The hardware feels a lot like Nexus 4 and Galaxy smartphones. The side buttons are well placed and there is a very useful camera shutter and firefly button in the center – very stylish and useful. Then there is the main operating button, much like iPhone is place in the middle of the phone that can be used to go to app launcher or revert to home screen.
Fire has a 13 megapixel camera – could’ve been better? Maybe. Even though the competitors are offering much more, but you cannot take away the fact that Fire has a solid 13 megapixel camera with decent effects and features.
What impressed me most is the storage capacity of Fire. Fire comes in two models with 32GB and 64GB options but has no external storage option. Regardless of that, the memory is delightfully large. Sony and Samsung are continuously launching high end phones with memory of 16GB, so Fire might raise a few eyebrows and get some attention on this front.
Just like Fire tablets, the OS used is Fire 3.5. Fire OS is Android based but slightly customized. You cannot get access to Google Play services – which mean that Gmail, Google Drive, Google Maps and Chrome are not available in this handset. This can be seen as a drawback.
Much of the functioning and toggling of Fire OS is like Android. There are some cool advance features like when you are watching a movie; you can use “show me IMDB data” option for that particular scene.
The OS is solid and only with time we can know about the updates and features.
Every tech enthusiast likes new phones stirring up new excitement. As much as I would like to see Fire making the top shelf, there are some serious flaws. The phone is solid, decent hardware and software specifications, but its pricing is too high. Pricing is comparable to iPhone 5s and HTC One M8, while the phone lacks capabilities to match theirs. So the burning question comes up that why would anyone buy Fire when they can buy iPhone 5S and HTC One?
However if prices and contracts are to come down, there isn’t anything wrong with the device technically. It is overall a well gelled piece of hardware and customized OS.
Guest article written by: Nuur Hasan is a software engineer at Gloria9 Technologies. He is obsessed with technology especially smartphones. Nuur is a regular blogger and thinks that sharing ideas, experiences and knowledge can lead to more creativity in the tech field. His other interests include cricket, politics, Doctor Who and reading fiction.