Amazon's Fire Phone is now officially available to consumers in the United States through AT&T. It's time to see how much interest people really have in an Amazon phone.
The device has been rumored for years, and the day has finally come when people can hold it in their hands, and experience the company's vision for what a phone should be (which obviously includes a lot of shopping and consuming content on Amazon).
Unfortunately for the company, the early reviews haven't been incredibly positive.
CNET says its 3D visuals are cool, the OS design is "fresh," and the Amazon services integrations are deep and convenient, but overall doesn't think it competes very well with competing Android and iPhone models with a "less extensive" app store and service experience, more sluggish performance, disappointing battery life, and a lack of Google services.
Engadget concludes that it's a "unique device," but that you're "better off waiting for the sequel."
Gizmodo calls the device "a shaky first step"
ExtremeTech calls it "a gimmicky mess, unless you’re looking for a Buy Now button in the shape of a smartphone."
These are probably not the kinds of comments that already disappointed Amazon shareholders are enjoying hearing.
PCWorld was a bit more positive after using the device for five days: "After spending several days with Amazon's handset, I actually don't think the Fire phone is unusable, or even bad. As far as first drafts go, it's miles ahead of what BlackBerry and Microsoft achieved with their late entrants to the smartphone market."
They still seem to think there's plenty of room for improvement, and Amazon will no doubt gather all of the complaints about its first model when designing the second.
Here's a teardown:
"We can't wait for customers to experience Amazon Fire for themselves," said Ian Freed, vice president of Amazon Fire. "Fire offers an amazing value for customers with innovative features like Dynamic Perspective and Firefly, access to Amazon-exclusive content and services, including Mayday, ASAP and more –plus premium hardware with 32 GB of memory –twice the amount leading competitors offer, as well as free, unlimited photo storage in the Amazon Cloud and 12 months of Amazon Prime included."
"Fire pushes the boundaries of innovation, and is easy-to-use," said Jeff Bradley, senior vice president – Devices, AT&T. "Amazon has a vast content ecosystem that consumers know and love. AT&T has built a reputation of offering innovative devices with great pricing options – all on the nation's most reliable 4G LTE network. Together, we're thrilled to offer a device that will be as dynamic as its name."
Fire with 32GB is available for $27.09 a month with AT&T Next 18 or $199 with a two-year contract. The 64GB version is $31.25 a month with AT&T Next 18 or $299 with a two-year contract.
Image via Amazon