Source: WSJ

Category: Digital Media, Technology

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4 Responses to “Amazon Fire Phone Review: Full of Gimmicks, Lacking Basics”

  1. Iamthe50percent says:

    As a “dumb phone” user contemplating a smart phone, I’m asking what are the basics that are lacking? The specs look good to me. I’m not interested in iTunes or watching movies on a phone just being able to get news.

    • JKoen says:

      First a quick rundown of Phone operating systems.
      iPhone is a closed operating system, which means any apps or anything you want to do on the phone first has to be vetted and approved by apple. The pros of this type of OS is you know everything is going to work really well together. If you have an iPad or Macbook, the iPhone connects really easily and operates really well with them. The con is that you can only do what apple thinks you need to do. You cannot modify the phone and you only get apps apple has approved. The good news is apple has a lot of apps, and most app developers develop for Apple first.
      Android is an open system which means anyone with a computer can customize their phone in any fashion they please. This includes some pretty interesting stuff including overclocking or under-clocking your processor to increase performance or battery live. You can add apps from either the play store or third party apps you find on the internet, or even build your own apps. With that said; most phone carriers lock the phone and run their own branded version of android, so in order to really experience the full functionality of android you will need to do a lot of playing with the phone. So the pros are you have a lot more functionality. Cons not everything is as smooth and hassle free as the iPhone. Developers typically develop for Apple first then move on to Android, so there is usually a bit of a delay in rollout of new apps.
      In truth both Apple and Android phones are great phones, and you probably won’t go wrong with either. My wife has the iPhone S5 and loves it, and I have a 3 year old HTC Sensation that I run the latest Android OS on. I would recommend either an iPhone or Nexus 5, if you are in the market for a smart phone.
      The problem with the Amazon Fire is that even though it cost as much as an iPhone or top of the line Android you don’t get either the functionality or flexibility of the other systems. Then it is Amazon branded so you are going to have to deal with Amazon advertising all the time. They are trying to build a closed system on an already crowded market without offering anything really unique. Maybe they will work this all out in the future, but right now there are way too many down sides.

      • Iamthe50percent says:

        Thanks very much. I think I’ll go with the Samsung Galaxy that friends have been recommending, but the 4 instead of the 5 to save money.

  2. Livermore Shimervore says:

    First of all this phone has some specs better than the current iPhone, most notable the battery capacity and memory, two things that can’t be upgraded on the iPhone and with the battery, gets progressively worse with each charge cycle.
    Secondly, people don’t get what this phone represents. Bezos is completing the circle of devices to have a soup to nuts ‘eco system’ of books/music, shopping and TV for the faithful Amazon buyer. We’re talking 20 million Prime subscribers already. A larger screen device is something that older Amazonians, tired of squinting on their puny screen Iphones, have been long been looking forward to. Amazon’s Fire phone gives them a familiar path to jump into an Google/Android phone. The complimentary year of Prime makes this a $120 phone as few people buy unlocked/off contract phones. There’s simply a huge segment of iPhone users that really have no use for iTunes nor are they app purchasing addicts.
    And if you want to talk about gimmicks let’s discuss how Siri is the epitome of this. All phones need some distinguishing features to get the buyer to pick up the phone and hold it in their hand when in the BestBuy Mobile store, otherwise it’s just another 5″ slab among a sea of competitive choices. Bezos knows what he’s doing, there’s a whole slice of the smartphone population that’s simply there for his taking, if anything he took too long to get this out but I’m glad to see that it comes with with excellent hardware at the $120 price point instead of $300 for an iPhone 5S with similar 32GB memory.