Amazon Fire Phone

By now, you probably know that Amazon (yes, that Amazon) has a phone coming soon. If you don't, here is everything you need to know about the Amazon Fire Phone. As expected, reactions are mixed. Will the features and access to Amazon's content be enough to get folks to buy? Or will it sit on the shelf and collect dust while people reach for Galaxies and iPhones?

I'm a fan of the Kindle Fire tablets. Amazon delivers what I want in a tablet at a great price. They are one of the few companies that can make me forget about any unfriendly anti-consumer practices they have, and get me to spend my money solely because of the convenience. I know, I know — bad hippie, no donut. But I'm not alone, the Kindle Fire tablets have sold well, and Amazon is very pleased. But I'm not sure yet about the fate of the Fire Phone, I'll wait until I actually touch the thing. But gut calls are always interesting, so now's the time to make one.

Tell us what you think in the poll below!

 

Reader comments

This week's sidebar poll: Amazon's Fire Phone - a flop or not?

117 Comments

Absolutely... One of the reasons why the Fire Tables do so well is because of the price, however it seams Amazon has gotten too big for it's britches and decided no one cares about price as long as there is an Amazon logo on it. The outdated hardware does not justify the price even if they have some cool software features. You also won't lure anyone that is already part of the Google Store and Apple Store to join the Amazon Store. The number of apps that are missing make the Amazon ecosystem less viable than what it could be.

I agree...I'm firmly invested in the Google ecosystem with phone, music, movies, etc. I'm not leaving. I like the concept of the phone, but this isn't close to what I would need to switch...

The haters are thick here. I'm always happy when new technology like the Fire Phone come out. I may not get it but I'm sure it will do very well.

This isn't hate. This phone is being released with features that are good on paper but we need more time to see how well they will hold up on a day to day basis. Now, I like me the idea of this device but at this price and only to be 720p is absurd in my opinion. It's too expensive to be competitive.

AC App via Nexus 5

What is the actual need for a resolution higher than 720? Once yiu get hifher and resolution ppi goes up and uou left with at yhe kost a 5.7" screen that you dont even have more than 12" from your face, besidea paper you really wont be abke to tell yhe difference. Yet ppl still go out to by phones based of of those specs kike qhd which in turn must have a bigger battery so yiur oaying for a feature that technically your not using unless you say that you payong for thr drainage of battery. Stupidity

Posted via Android Central App

There's nothing wrong with 720p.

The problem is that other phones for the same price are 1080p. Phones with a 720p display are much cheaper for the most part.

Like Apple Kool Aid much?...... If that where true, everything would be pixelated since your eyes are so crappy.

Posted via Android Central App

There are way more idiots swayed by mass marketing tho (see: Samsung's aggressive campaign behind the Galaxy brand, which started years ago)... Is Amazon gonna go all out to push this as hard as the Kindle Fire tablets? What will they highlight in commercials?

Pricing was the biggest differentiator for the tablets. Later on they started showing off stuff like parenting controls and the live assistant, but I doubt those were huge driving forces towards more sales. What's the wow factor on the phone, Firefly? Seems dubious at best to me...

I doubt AT&T is gonna push them very aggressively in stores either, despite exclusivity (see: Moto X, FB phone, etc).

AT&T may not have to. Amazon can make a lot of noise on their own.

This is interesting for those embedded in Amazon's ecosystem...otherwise I don't see the advantages.

How would we know? Amazon never releases sales figures for individual devices. Remember the first 8.9" $500 Kindle Fire with 4G LTE? How'd that do? Yeah, I don't know either. They're still making them, but the reviews are kinda meh.

Its got some android bits I wouldn't call it a skin like some people do the changes go deep into the OS

Posted from my Nexus 7 2013 or Samsung galaxy S5

The only things remotely interesting about this phone (from a HW perspective) are the cameras for the dynamic perspective.

Rooting this phone would throw all of that out. All of the other hardware is pretty mid spec. If you are going to root, you can find much better, cheaper options.

This phone is for people who really don't care about android per se. Or, hardware specs for that matter. I _can_ see this doing well for those who are into Amazon and not really tech savvy. Nothing wrong with that.

I don't think that it is going to blow away any sales numbers. In fact, we will likely never know just how many were sold.

I am curious about the Dynamic Perspective display. Maybe just a gimmic that will get old, but I really want to get my hands on one. Too bad there aren't any Amazon stores to walk into. I suppose ATT stores will have them.

Don't rub it in. I know people across the Pond and we are sooooo f**ked over here compared to what you guys get. ;)

Posted via Android Central App

Fir....haaaaaaa got y'all. But seriously if Amazon ONLY had the store I would call complete flop, But having the streaming music and movie service on top of other devices like the Kindle's and fire TV which and to be honest their cloud, I definitely see it as a positive for the company. Will it be a iPhone or Galaxy S Series type hit? I don't think so. But it'll do well. The free prime membership is a great deal btw. The only real problem I see other than no Google apps is the At&T exclusivity. I for sure thought you'd be able to buy it unlocked from Amazon with a promotion where the first however many orders in participating locations get their phone delivered to them by a drone.

Posted via Android Central App

Their music streaming service works fine on any other Android, si it's not a particular advantage to this phone. Video might be, but I think most people buy a tablet for that... And/or are too burdened by data caps to make good use of it on a phone. The included Prime membership just means it's a $100-200 on contract phone rather than $200-300, still not a killer deal. You can find a One for $100 on contract or a Moto X free on contract without much work.

The only true differentiators here are Firefly and the 3D multi camera aspect which looks like an afterthought.

Personally while I think the Amazon Fire Phone is a interesting device and has some cool features and value to it, the fact is, I still wouldn't buy one. Three reasons why, its carrier exclusive to AT&T, so no T-Mobile, its $650 price tag (locked to AT&T) is expensive and more importantly, it doesn't have the Google Play Store access so I can have the apps I have purchased and will purchase over the years. No real app store like Google Play or even iTunes, is a deal breaker. Of course while I can get around some apps or sideload, the fact is I use many Google Services including GMail, Keep, Drive, Calendar and more. But I would own the Amazon Fire TV considering it has what I need and I don't need a bunch of apps for it.

I've used the Amazon App Store everyday since it was released and it comes nowhere near matching Google Play. Yeah it might have free apps daily but it takes more than that to match Google Play. If apps transferred from GP to AAS and vice versa it would be a lot better. AAS has 200K apps and 85% of those are complete crap but that is because if GP doesn't approve the app AAS will.

Posted via Android Central App

Agreed. The Amazon Appstore is nowhere close to what the Play Store has. Right now I have about $28 in Amazon Coins to buy apps with, but I haven't been able to find any decent apps to use them on. If they can get that up to par, however, it would go a long way towards moving people into their ecosystem.

I think people want it to flop b.c it is not what was expected. I think an exclusive was not a good choice, but I think the attention it gets in stores plays a big role in it's success. If AT&T dedicates a lot of floor space to the phone it will do good. The name alone will carry sales.

The average consumer does not think about the App Store or google play services. They will see they have a calendar, can get emails, use Facebook, and surf the web. All of those things are there in a unique package.

It is all about marketing people. Samsung has great marketing and that gave them the initial push. Amazon will do the same as will AT&T

Yeah. I like this phone. Also, if it does well the fact that it was exclusive wouldn't be bad because AT&T had the iPhone exclusively and that's the point mist average consumers have/want. Anyway, I really like this phone and I like Google a lot too. I own an Nexus 7 so my decision is not biased, also I haven't bought into any amazon services.

nexus_logic - Working on his HTC One Max in the Nexus Lab

If they would of came to market with a nexus, OPO, Moto X price point it would of been a smash. $650 is too steep.

Posted via Android Central App

What is this moto x price people keep saying. Do they not remember it was $650 unlocked and $199 on contract.

It did not see sales until the exclusive ran out and the price dropped. Moto is not amazon though. Amazon will sell.

Better off with a blackberry z10 and os 10.3 to come out which will have the amazon app store on it, save yourself about $500, plus you can get CDMA versions

Posted via Android Central App

I use almost all of Amazon's services. Prime, Kindle, music, and have had their free app of the day for... well about 600 apps now. So while I wouldn't go out of the way to buy this phone outright, I'm completely open to it. I would want to see it and use it before I call it either way. It's not something I can be opposed to having only seen it in a few hands on videos.

Yes for the price tag it is a flop considering u can get a nexus 5 for way led outright or the one plus storm. Both are round 300 and offer the same or more and fully Google play store. So yeah the fire is a flop

Posted via Android Central App

The nicest thing I can say about this phone is that it sucks less than I expected it too. It is definitely not worth the price they are asking though. No multi-tasking in 2014? 720p display?The 3D thing is really cool, but totally a gimmick.

Not going to call it a winner or a loser yet, the market will decide that. But, I probably will not go out and buy one. Neat concept of the twist gestures, I'm sure by next year someone will replicate it though.

I'd take one if I won it (wink wink) but I believe that the fire phone isn't the phone that amazon should have launched
Posted via Android Central App

Too pricey and restricted. It's strange that they release a phone like this (carrier locked, contract, high price) since it's such a different strategy from the Kindle Fire tablets.

or the Facebook smartphone that HTC manufactured for Facebook...

do people even remember the Facebook smartphone from last year?

You're joking right? The Facebook phone is the HTC First...

Posted via Android Central App on my Galaxy S5/Galaxy Note 3

If it only had access to Google play, it would be a strong contender. But it does not, so it's fate is unknown.

Posted via Android Central App

I would have been MUCH more interested in this phone if it wasn't $650 off-contract. I'm not into being tethered to a crappy carrier via a contract that costs more for the same thing I could get without a contract.

Ya it would intrigue me at nexus style pricing. Amazon would still profit from content purchases. But no.... Way too much money. Plus who wants to be on contract at AT&T?

This phone is DOA. I think it's the most dumbest move any new phone Manufacturer can do is put a new product out to market and RESTRICT it to only one Carrier. DUMB DUMB DUMB, did I say DUMB, YES DUMB. Any marketing team from the smallest products to the most exspensive will never RESTRICT their product to only one market. This phone has descent hardware and that is it, it's over priced, restricted to one Carrier and it is trying to introduce a new OS at the same time. Sorry Amazon & AT&T this phone is DOA.

AT&T is the right carrier to do that with. Their network is common and they have a large user base. The phones can probably be used on T-Mobile and the MVNOs. Maybe they have modest sales target for the first year or two and just want to deal with one carrier while they get their feet under them. Especially a carrier like AT&T who can market a phone really well. Amazon knows what they are doing and will at least hit their sales goal with this device. I think it will take an iteration or two before it really takes off, but I think it definitely will eventually. Amazon plays the long game.

Didn't Apple give AT&T exclusive on the first iPhone?
Didn't hurt them much. But then it was a phone the iFans really really wanted.

I won't buy it!!! I don't like it. Let me count the ways: 1. Yet another phone tied to a limited number of high priced carriers and my low cost carrier is not one of them!!! 2. Yet another proprietary operating system - Amazon-ified Android. 3. More features I don't need that will chew up more battery power I don't want wasted - 3D. 4. A phone to tie me into one retailer and only one retailers' on-line store!?!?!?!? - please, not another apple!!! 5. Yet another phone that will have delayed Android updates, just like all of the non-Google Nexus phones. I buy Nexus due to quickest Android updates and better price point!!! 6. Yet another phone that I may or may not be able to locate a case I like.

Lets see...I have an android device and I have amazon prime. I have full access to google play services and the amazon appstore, amazon prime music, etc. My phone is easily rootable and I can run any rom I want, get the latest android, etc. I could move to this Fire phone and continue to have amazon, but lose all my google stuff, have a lower res screen than my 1.5 year old phone, and have a device that will likely be a royal pain to root or run custom roms on.

yeah, 3d perspective nonsense isn't going to win me over all that. FLOP.

Amazon have deliberately not released a movie streaming app for android, kept it exclusive to kindle fire, so I expect they'll make a big thing of that

Amazon has a staggering content library that makes it appealing as a contender. If they can manage to build a better app library, I can see this device edging out Windows Phone and carving a little slice out of Android.

The biggest thing standing in this device's way is the carrier exclusivity. That alone COULD kill it, but only time will tell.

AT&T is the worst, I am avoiding it on that point alone, but figure in that it is running 4 cameras simultaneously to create the 3D effect I'm sure that battery is toast in about 5 minutes regardless of what they say.

Posted via Android Central App

I've used all of the big four, and they're pretty much all the same. The notion that any one of them is more evil than the rest is ridiculous. They all just want our money and will nickel and dime us in different ways. I use AT&T because they have the best coverage in my area of the country and, as one member of a 5 phone family plan, I pay less than if I went on my own, even using a pay-as-you-go service.

Maybe we'll get a Google play edition. Lol I'd buy one perhaps if that happened.

I like the hardware, why everyone keeps making smaller phones with snapdragon 400s and crap is beyond me. At least this phone is a powerful phone and while that screen is 720p that's a bonus for battery life. 64gb option, there's only a couple other phones that offer that.

Posted via Android Central App w/G2

I don't think it will be a flop if they market the ease of customer service everywhere. I believe anyone who would admit they are ignorant to how technology works (.000001% of the people who are on Android Central) would buy it in a heartbeat. I only wish they would of put the price point to 149.99 to get it out of the same price point as high end phones and allowed TMobile and/ or Sprint carry the phone.

not making the Verizon version is a silly move.... say what you will about Verizon, they still command HALF of the cellular market.

As much as I love Amazon, there is no way that I'm buying the Amazon Fire phone. One simple reason, AT&T is still on 3G in my area, with very spotty 3G coverage. Verizon has almost seamless 4G LTE coverage around here and I always get at least 15mbps.

What I found intriguing was the FireFly software. If the public rejects the phone, it would be great if Amazon releases the FireFly software as an app, very much like they did with the Kindle app. I'm sure it would need some tweaking before being released as an app but I found its features impressive as it is now.

Posted via Android Central App

I agree, that is pretty much the only feature of the Fire Phone I'm actually interested in. The 3D, meh. The tech support, I'm tech support for most people I know. Amazon App Store only and AT&T, no freaking way. But, Firefly is pretty cool.

Posted via Android Central App

I don't dislike amazon (shop there a lot) but I really don't like anything running fire OS. It is a worse OS than android designed rather overtly to get you to buy stuff from amazon alone. It also muddies the android ecosystem (although thankfully most consumers will never realize the fire OS is based on android)

I don't like to be a hater and try most of the time to restrict things to my opinion only but I truly feel that the tech world and android in particular would be a better place if all fire branded amazon stuff was obliterated...

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Honestly the price is the biggest point against this device. A friend asked me about this for her mom (still using a blackberry but loves her Fire HD) but when I mentioned how expensive it was they both gave it a pass. I also wonder how well Amazon can do with a Fire product sold on a completely different strategy then the rest of the line - Kindle Fire/TV are portrayed as devices for the masses that won't break the bank and Fire Phone is anything but...

Posted via Android Central App

I'm really confused at who their target audience is. On one hand they have the low end tech running a phone with only a 720p screen. But on the other they have these 4 cameras on the front that allows tracking and gives users a 3d effect. It's like they decided, we want a simple phone that anyone can use but at the same time lets through a curve ball into the mix and give people this 3d effect that will get lost on those same users. Confusing. I just don't think it will do well. And the asking price of it on contract?? Might as well get the Moto X which is just about the same thing as this.

I like this phone, I really do, it's like a smaller phone version of my KFHD. Locking it onto AT&T, though, is a huge dealbreaker; it's not a gamechanger like the iPhone was at launch so I don't see it benefiting anyone but AT&T, and even then, I'm not sure about that either.

I wonder if the OS will autoupdate like the Fire tablets do. I just lost root on my Fire because of that. No fun but at least Google services still work. On second thought, a smartphone without Google services isn't all that great either.

Posted via Android Central App

They are one of the few companies that can make me forget about any unfriendly anti-consumer practices they have, and get me to spend my money solely because of the convenience.

Wow, what an idiot. Just like the Apple sheep but worse because you openly admit it.

If this phone: 1) had a 1080 X 1920 screen; 2) were selling UNLOCKED for about $299/16gb and $349/32gb ; 3) were NOT chained to AT&T for such a RIP-OFF price...then this would be a HIT! Except for its 720 screen, this phone is NOT Mid-range; unlike the MOTO Xphone last year with its CLEARLY Mid-range specs coupled with its gross HIGH-END price ( and that's why the Xphone didn't sell well)...

The biggest problem I see with it is that it's exclusive to AT&T. This phone is perfect for my parents; the carrier is not.

Posted via Android Central App on my Droid Maxx

Yeah, pretty much this. "Carrier exclusive" is no longer the draw it once was, and I would definitely argue it's now a serious handicap. No other major phone releases on just one carrier these days, only the weird novelties like the ASUS PadFone. The phone will sell because Amazon and AT&T will push it, but it won't be a success.

If it were priced better, it might stand a chance, but at $650 unlocked and $199/$299 on contract, it is just too expensive for the target audience.

Posted via Android Central App

biggest problem is the price tag.

i thought it was going to be 199 and 299. and then i saw on contract on ATT. LOL fail.

Traded in my I phone 5 for a Note 3 just before the Galaxy 5 hit. I looked at the specs on both phones and the Note 3 was way more powerful! Never buying another apple product again! Plus new technology is coming out that was already on this phone.

Posted via Android Central App

It is exclusive to one carrier and its not the first of its kind like the iPhone was. It won't flop but it won't be some "revolution" of smart phone.

Posted via Android Central App

Judging by how fast Amazon app store gets updates to all the apps, we can expect fire phone 2 to get the next updates. Hahaha

The panda has spoken

HTC First was a flop! This phone won't be a flop like that. Because the tablet was out a couple years ahead of the phone I think it will have some followers that will be happy with it.

Here is another company that doesn't get it. The more bloatware they put into a phone, the less likely anyone is going to buy them. Why do they think people root their phones? The Kindle Fire tablet made sense. But why foray into the phone arena? Seriously? Why can't these companies just come out with just apps for the Play Store? This phone is nothing but a fad. And as fads go, they shoot up, explode and disappear.

Of course it's not a flop.. it's just the people that read here are most likely not in the Android Eco System.
This phone makes perfect sense if you own one of their tablets and are a Prime Member.

Prime member and Amazon lover, however the phone looks like an iphone and has no practical application for the 3D technology, this may just be an "Oooh, look what we can do". The phone is neat at best and lacks technology. In my honest opinion they would have been better off partnering with Ford and building a car controlled by your phone.

Posted via Android Central App

Amazon has enough money to throw around to give incentives to prime users which might just get enough of them to buy this phone. I wouldn't buy it but I realize they didn't make it for me. I'm sure they have a target demographic so only time will tell. I'm not ready to say it's a flop just yet.

I see most of these posts talk about price and at&t only as the cause for "flop". This is Amazon folks, Both WILL change in time for Xmas.

Can't really say it will be a flop as it's way too early to tell.

The exclusivity deal with AT&T, though, has the potential to kill any potential hope for the device. Not saying it will, but it's possible.

If you are reading this forum, you either ARE a power user, or THINK you ARE a power user. This phone is not now, never has been, and never will be for power users. If you even know what rooting and side-loading means, this phone was not made for you. This is by design. Amazon wants folks who will not tinker with their phones or tablets at all outside of loading apps from their app store. That is why they threw the instant help feature on there...that is a huge selling point for your grandma in her rocking chair trying to figure out how to skype the grandkids.

Believe it or not, power users are a very small minority of smartphone owners at this point. Amazon has sold a bajillion kindle fire tablets. Now think about how many fire tablet owners will buy this phone because it is what they are used to seeing, and therefore presents no learning curve. Now think about how many Amazon prime folks there are out there that would love to watch their shows on the train to work, or on their break at work. Take it a little further, how many kindle fire owners will want this for no other reason that to have matching phone/tablet because it just looks nicer?

I think this phone will do well (not great, only because of the AT&T exclusivity). If/when they decide to open this to the masses (doubt they will go unlocked...probably just add it to the other major carriers) this phone (especially if they give you Prime for free when you get it) has the potential to nestle itself into the number 3 slot behind only iPhone and the Samsung flavor of the month.

If the phone can be used as a regular phone without the Amazon crap being in ur face all the time then it will fly. Otherwise it will go the way of the Htc First and orher specialty phones.

Not for me or my friends, but several people asked about it in our store yesterday, shame it's carrier exclusive as no one around here will leave Verizon due to coverage.

I think this will flop due to offering it to a limited market. Should have included Verizon and t-mobile carrier support at the minimum.

Posted via Android Central App

I voted not sure. I don't think this phone will be a total flop, like the HTC First ( think that was the name of the most recent facebook phone), but I don't think it's going to sell in the quantities Amazon would want. The AT&T exclusivity will ultimately hurt the sales. I think they should have just made the phone GSM unlocked, and sold it via their website. They could have then had a deal where you could get the phone under contract with AT&T, or via one of those payment plan setups. However, I think the price is a little steep. I kind of feel like they should have gone the Google route, and subsidized the purchase price, as they would probably make money off of using amazon services on the phone . I guess we shall see what happens after it gets released to the public.

I would set it to the tune of rappers delight but to the tune of flip flop instead of hip hop

Posted via Ash William's Boomstick