Fire on ice: 6 things that would have made the Amazon Fire a better phone

Fire on ice: 6 things that would have made the Amazon Fire a better phone
The Amazon Fire Phone event came and went, leaving mixed feelings regarding the handset. Though undoubtedly a very strong first foray in the world of smartphones for Amazon, some of its features left something to be desired not because of the overall package, which is pretty inventive, but mainly on account of the flagship price tag that Amazon pinned on the Fire.

As a reminder, the Amazon Fire Phone is a unique piece of hardware that comes with the so-called Dynamic Perspective System, combining the phone's sensors, like accelerometer or magnetometer, with four low-power infrared cameras at the front. The phone can thus track your eyes and face, and add perspective to the typical flat phone interface, for a 3D-like effect without glasses or parallax shenanigans. It also features the Firefly service that can recognize over a 100 million things - from songs and art to detergent - and give you real-time info on them, or let you get them (with Amazon's helping hand, of course). 

The handset sports a 4.7" HD 720p display with high peak brightness, quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor, 2 GB of RAM, 13 MP optically-stabilized camera, and a dual stereo speaker set. Specswise it's a mix between a current and a last-year flagship, with only the screen resolution trailing behind, but the display performing where it counts - contrast ratio and outdoor visibility, says Amazon. Still, the $199 price tag for the 32 GB version on a two-year contract with AT&T means you can get any other flagship instead of the Fire, and so do the $649 asked for the device off-contract. At such a pricing level, you'd have to consider all the pros and cons about the Amazon Fire, and that's why, after we listed all the new features that come with it, we are listing 6 major grievances, too. Is there anything you would add or take out of the mix below?

Related phones

Fire Phone
  • Display 4.7" 720 x 1280 pixels
  • Camera 13 MP / 2.1 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 800, Quad-core, 2200 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB
  • Battery 2400 mAh(22h talk time)

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28 Comments

1. Jason2k13

Posts: 1467; Member since: Mar 28, 2013

the front looks ugly, just looks messy with all those camera on the side.

14. enthasuium

Posts: 150; Member since: Nov 21, 2013

Phonerena Logic: this 720p screen looks tad outdaded for the phone's asking price. but Below HD iphone 5s display never was a problem......

18. joaolx

Posts: 364; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

What? It might be below HD but the ppi is a bit higher although similar to the Amazon Fire phone. Other than that, it was 9 months ago, so the standard changed and people want more than 720p for a 649$ phone right now. Comparing to the iPhone is stupid since it was released 9 months ago.

2. gigaraga

Posts: 1454; Member since: Mar 29, 2013

Well it is a work in progress. It doesn't look too bad but it also doesn't exactly scream premium as well. Maybe their next generation?

3. FingerMyApple unregistered

1 thing to make it a bad phone: assembled in US

4. diehardnokian

Posts: 147; Member since: Apr 27, 2014

what's the android version here?

6. itsdeepak4u2000

Posts: 3718; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

Android (4.2.2) Fire OS 3.5.0 UI

5. fanboy1974

Posts: 1345; Member since: Nov 12, 2011

As a Note 3 owner I'm not impressed. Too many negatives in critical spots. From spec's to carrier to ecosystem. Their tablets look better than this and I don't care for it either.

7. StraightEdgeNexus

Posts: 3689; Member since: Feb 14, 2014

Hope Amazon makes a WP version of this, more competition is good for us. :)

15. Reluctant_Human

Posts: 913; Member since: Jun 28, 2012

They wouldn't be able to without paying Microsoft and going by their standards. Android is an open ecosystem that they tweaked for this phone, it wouldn't be possible for them to the same with Windows.

23. rodneyej1

Posts: 3576; Member since: Jul 06, 2013

Do us all a favor, and ignore trolls..

27. Liveitup

Posts: 1798; Member since: Jan 07, 2014

You do realise WP is license free right?. Right now its cheaper for many manufacturers to produce a WP than an Android. The hubs on Fire Phone are clearly inspired by WP.

28. Reluctant_Human

Posts: 913; Member since: Jun 28, 2012

Every phone operating system has terms and conditions, To use Google Android you have to meet certain criteria like keeping their Services. However there is a free open source version of it that amazon tweaks. Its their cost of doing business. Much like Nokia did with their Android phone. WP has a licensing cost. That's simply one of their costs of doing business. It's not a about being hurt or hating its just fact.

8. Hyperreal

Posts: 361; Member since: Oct 08, 2013

"5" 1080p display, for instance, one would notice pixelization only from 7.8” (19.8cm)" - wow i dont know which idiot has written that. Its impossible to see pixelization on 5 inch 1080p display from 20cm!

9. feeth

Posts: 20; Member since: Jun 14, 2014

either the price should be way, way lower or specs (all of them) way better. imo, for now, its total garbage with its pathetic quality/price ratio.

10. NotAGeek

Posts: 279; Member since: Jan 26, 2014

Just ditch that gimmick of 3D perspective,slap a 1080p screen,make the phone thinner,and call it a day

16. Bondurant

Posts: 784; Member since: Jun 04, 2014

Whats the point then ? There are a hundred other such phones, including Chinese ones for 200$ price tag.

11. Bondurant

Posts: 784; Member since: Jun 04, 2014

It looks better than a samasung S5. if samsung S5 can sell so much, why cant this? And the price is just like any other flagship phone price and this phone is good enough to be a flagship. Sure it may lag on paper specs in terms of resolution and not using the 801,805 chip, on the other hand it does have huge new features and way advanced UI. If real world usage the phone runs fluid and screen looks fine, than the latest chips is needless. While if the 3D on 1080 resolutions was going to cause problem then its a necessary sacrifice. The size also with its short width is perfect for one hand usage and grip. For those wanting gimmick 2k resolutions, 6000mah battery life, and the chip powerful enough to run a 2017 games, will not want this phone. Others who want a phone for its phone usage, its UI experience and feature rich (unlike a heart sensor or finger print sensor, or a dual back fail camera lol), will be happy with this phone. But Amazons attempt to innovate and do different should be promoted rather than have 100 flagship phones with competing over the same old specs (screen resolution and antutu benchmarks).

19. ojdidit84

Posts: 462; Member since: Jul 16, 2011

I know that stating whichever phone looks better to who is all subjective but I just can't agree with this looking better than the S5. I'm in now way a big fan of the way the S5 (or any other Samsung looks) but this phone takes the prize in the ugly smartphone category, IMO. It's a black iPhone 5C with more bezel than the M8 and the extra sensors, though they may be used for the UI experience, are just awkward. Then there's the price point. The Kindle Fire did so well because it was a decent tablet and it helped push that budget price point for tablets that size. This on the other hand, for what you get at that price, I don't see them having anywhere near the success that they did with the Kindle Fire.

12. T.Law

Posts: 423; Member since: May 10, 2014

I have mixed feelings about this phone.

13. AfterShock

Posts: 4147; Member since: Nov 02, 2012

Is not how it looks, it's the purpose of the phone, it's an overly expensive shopping cart.

17. jimjam unregistered

Free prime data/voice eg 100mb/10minutes was the only thing that would have swayed me.

20. blackberry_Boy

Posts: 213; Member since: May 27, 2014

One thing that could of made this phone even better was not to be created this is a pure privacy stealing device why do u need four sensors on the front screen why to snoop in our life's this phone is garbage. Already FB listening to our tv shows etc and other apps helping these ad company's to flood us with things to buy and now a amazon phone knowing dam well people shop on amazon like crazy now there going to throw ads in your phone to go buy more.

21. DontHateOnS60

Posts: 872; Member since: Apr 20, 2009

Looks like an iPhone. Last time I checked a 16GB iPhone was $199, so no, this isn't over priced in that respect.

22. 0xFFFF

Posts: 3806; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

Don't own any Amazon devices and this phone makes it even more unlikely I ever will. Amazon should offer a free barcode tattoo with the phone, as it is basically for people who want to be property of Amazon.

24. rodneyej1

Posts: 3576; Member since: Jul 06, 2013

I rather stick with my L1520... Much better device in my opinion...

25. StraightEdgeNexus

Posts: 3689; Member since: Feb 14, 2014

Yeah fanboys always stick to their tiny world.

26. lanhvantho

Posts: 3; Member since: Jun 18, 2014

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