Amazon Fire: 6 Key Points

Amazon’s Fire smartphone competence remonstrate people to buy some-more things from Amazon. But cruise these factors before shopping a phone. PreviousNext

Amazon on Wednesday announced a initial smartphone, a Fire Phone. Amazon’s categorical goal: Put a specialized purchasing device in a hands of a best and many constant customers. Amazon believes it can use consumers’ omnivorous direct for new smartphones to replicate a success of a Kindle line of tablets, that people use to buy many things from Amazon. Amazon done a pivotal mistake in a thinking, however, that could spell disaster for a Fire Phone.

The Fire Phone has lots of strengths. The hardware is decent. It doesn’t contest with tip smartphones, though a peculiarity and facilities transcend those of many mid-range and entry-level competitors. It comes installed with content, and with a giveaway year of Amazon Prime, Fire Phone owners have their collect of movies, radio shows, and song to watch and listen to during no additional cost, during slightest for a while. It has a good camera. The 13-megapixel shooter is good in low light and uses design stabilization to whet focus.

The Mayday underline will interest to a tech illiterate. Can’t figure out how to change a Fire Phone’s settings? Use Mayday and a live Amazon tech support deputy will seem to help, no matter a time of day. Smartphone novices competence find Mayday a lifesaver when they get stranded regulating a phone’s features. No other phone builder offers what amounts to 24/7 roadside assistance. It’s an word process of sorts. The Fire Phone competes on these fronts well.

The weaknesses have to do with Amazon’s long-term thinking. For instance, Amazon apparently spent years building some of a Fire Phone’s technologies. Dynamic Perspective stands out as a many promising, nonetheless many gimmicky, feature. Dynamic Perspective uses 4 user-facing cameras to conclude accurately where a owner’s conduct is. The Fire Phone uses this information to emanate 3D effects in certain tools of a user interface. Dynamic Perspective now is singular to wallpapers, maps, and screensavers. Amazon was intelligent adequate to offer a program growth pack for Dynamic Perspective, though developers have to be assured to use it. If they don’t, Amazon will have spent years formulating something that’s zero though a novelty.

Firefly is a good apparatus for tracking down real-world objects online. Snap their design with a camera and Firefly offers links to those objects on Amazon’s website. It can do a same with audio, such as song and radio shows. Amazon put tons of work into creation Firefly quick and user friendly. It will positively offer as a useful apparatus for anticipating some-more information about a good many things out in a world. At a finish of a day, however, a categorical idea is to get people to find things sole by Amazon and to squeeze them regulating their phone.

Another problem is apps. The Fire Phone runs Fire OS, a split chronicle of Android that is concordant with many — though not all — Android apps. This could lead to displeasure among users if they find their favorite app isn’t supported. Further, a Fire Phone doesn’t embody a Google Play Store, that is where many Android device owners find their apps, games, and content. It will use Amazon’s Appstore instead. Amazon has about 240,000 apps and games in a store, that falls good brief of a 1.2 million in a Google Play Store.

The Fire Phone’s biggest problem is a soul, if we will. In building a Fire Phone, Amazon customarily looked for ways in that to awaken consumers to buy some-more stuff. That’s not what a smartphone’s primary purpose is or should be. Smartphones are for connecting, for communication, for managing, and for discovering. Yes, they are mostly used to buy and entertain, though a many renouned apps are for gripping owners in hold with a people in their lives. They are apps for texting, email, and amicable networks.

The smartphone in my slot already does many of a things a Fire Phone can do. There’s something about a Fire Phone’s tie-in to a single, hulk purveyor of products that feels icky to me. I’d rather not feel that approach about my smartphone, and I’m betting others competence feel a same. Still, a Fire Phone offers some cold record and will interest to revolutionary Amazon shoppers. Click by the slideshow to decider for yourself.

Eric is a freelance author for InformationWeek specializing in mobile technologies. View Full BioPreviousNext

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