Thursday, July 10, 2014

Is the Amazon Fire Phone the Phone for You?

by A.L. Woods, Staff Writer

Last week, Amazon, the world's largest online retailer, announced its latest foray into the tech world - a first attempt at a smartphone. By all indications at first view, it boasts a dazzling array of specs and features. So the question of the day right now is: Is the Amazon Fire Phone the phone for you?

Specs

In terms of specs, the Fire Phone really is a superphone among smartphones:
  • Available in both 32GB and 64GB
  • 4.7" LCD display
  • Quad-core Snapdragon processor with 2GB of RAM
  • 13 MP rear-facing camera/2.1 MP front-facing camera
  • Fire OS 3.5
  • 2400mAh battery
  • 1080p HD video recording
  • Dual stereo speakers
Price

From $199 on contract to $649 off contract.

Features

This phone boasts an unbelievable number of features not seen in other smartphones which include 3D viewing, live onboard customer assistance, and the ability to scan all kinds of material - print, video, music, etc. - and provide instant information and purchasing details for the user. Amazon has even included a full free year of its popular Prime service for phone buyers.

Disadvantages

I'm a diehard Android gal who loves Samsung phones. Although the Fire Phone operates on a highly customized version of Android, it almost feels like too much is going on. Let me disclaim that I've formed my opinion solely from reading and watching online reviews and I haven't had the opportunity yet to 'hands on' it.

Also, in an echo from the iPhone past, the phone will initially only be made available on AT&T.

Specific details

The Fire Phone's major claim to fame is its awesome display with 3D rendering and multi-cameras which enable the 3D experience. This is probably the first time that this technology has operated smoothly on a smartphone without appearing gimmicky and without having to use an extra accessory, such as 3D glasses.

Product selection/availability

As stated above, the phone is available in two models: 32GB and 64GB. Amazon is accepting preorders right now both directly through its website and through AT&T, its chosen carrier.

User-friendliness

One of the major benefits of using Amazon devices is that they're so user friendly that even your grandmother can use them without a steep learning curve. To enhance this concept, Amazon has included its now famous Mayday service on the phone, a video chat application where a live customer service representative will assist you with any problems that you are having.

Overall quality

The phone appears to be of excellent quality, both in design build and construction materials.

Ideal market

The ideal market for this phone is clearly long-time, diehard, loyal Amazon.com customers. With the specs and features that it offers though this target market may be easily expanded to include techies and those who are looking for an alternative to the iPhone.

Conclusion

As much as I love experimenting with and upgrading to new smartphones I think that I'm going to continue to hold on to my Galaxy Note 3 for a while. You all be the guinea pigs and come back and let me know how your user experience goes.

Sources:
Amazon.com
Amazon Fire Phone
Engadget.com
CNET.com

[Originally published on Yahoo! Voices 06/26/214.]