On Wednesday, Amazon reduced the Fire Phone right down to £99. Across twitter and many forums many opinions raged as to whether it was worth it or not. Well, here are all the orders Amazon received. So clearly a lot of people thought it was worth of shot.
My first chance to use the Amazon Fire Phone was last night. I opened the box and realised that the phone needed a charge as the battery was at 36%. Once it reached 100%, I turned it on and was presented with a video that explained clearly all its main features and how to use the gestures, along with practising them too. Simple idea but genius.
The phone’s hardware feels good in the hand and comfy to hold. But it does seem to pick up fingerprints. The screen is excellent. So a short while later I realised a software update was waiting. This was date 26th August 2014. So this got installed and from there I started to explore the phone further.
The next step afte the video was logging in to twitter and facebook, this is not mandatory. Then I setup my Google account for email, contacts and calendar. Then I explored further. I had heard the headphone audio was outstanding and I can confirm that the sound output via the headphone jack is possibly the best I have ever heard from any smartphone. However, I can not find any sound equaliser. Camera. I have done some limited testing but it appears the camera takes good shots but its operation is both excellent and then at times weird. Again I need more time to explore this feature.
Now I know some of you are screaming “it does not have Google apps or the Google Play store” . Well, I can shout back just as loudly. So what! For most people the world does not evolve around Google. So long as the apps you need are available on the Amazon app store then all is fine. If you are heavily invested in to the Google Play store then this phone is not necessarily for you, but those starting fairly new to the world, or perhaps are invested in the Kindle Tablet eco system, then on paper all should be ok. However, I need more time to assess everything.
Fire OS. Now my thoughts on the Fire OS and its skin and for another day. I will add that I am pleased I bought this phone. Whilst I can see potential areas where it is not perfect, I think I can see what Amazon might have been trying to do. Anyway, more soon when I have had a week or so with it.
One thing I did want to test was the Mayday help button. Video support call worked just fine with on screen guidance. This really was the ultimate support call and shows up so many other companies who provide a poor after sales service.
And don’t forget to “fire” off any questions.
And here are some photos from the Fire Phone. What I have found is that it is able to capture a wider field of view than several other smartphones.