6 reasons you might want to buy the Amazon Fire phone

by Jeff Hilimire on June 20, 2014


This week Amazon introduced the Amazon Fire phone. It was only a matter of time before Amazon entered the phone market and based on what I saw this week, they came to play. It’s at par or better than the current phones in the market in all the major categories (read more here), but here are six reasons you might want to consider this phone:

1. It’s hooked directly to your Amazon and Amazon Prime accounts – As someone that loves his Nexus 5 Android phone mostly because of how connected it is to my Google accounts, I can see the same benefits coming from using the Amazon Fire. If there is a second “service” I use after Google, its likely Amazon. From buying most of my things through their e-commerce site, to using their cloud storage, to Amazon Prime and everything awesome that comes with it, I can see the benefits of directly linking to Amazon’s services.

2. Firefly – This new technology gives you the ability to use your phone’s camera to identify objects in real life and then, of course, buy them. Let your camera scan over a book and up will pop information about that book and how to buy it on the spot. Same for advertisements, movie billboards, etc. If you see a sign on the train that has a phone number on it, the phone will see the phone number and let you dial it. Reportedly the device can already recognize 100 million objects.

3. Unlimited, free photo cloud storage – ’nuff said.

4. Dynamic perspective – Amazon added some really interesting functionality with their phone called, “dynamic perspective”. The phone is equipped with four front-facing cameras that track where your head is while you’re looking at the phone and then changes the perspective of the screen accordingly. Here is a good video explaining why this is incredibly cool.

5. Best in class stereo speakers – This one may be more important to me than others, but I am constantly wanting my Nexus 5 to have better speakers. For instance, I listen to podcasts while doing the dishes or getting ready in the morning and better speakers would be really helpful. While I obviously have yet to test out the speakers on this phone, the reports say they’re better than anything else out there.

6. It’s only $199 with a two-year AT&T agreement, plus you get a year free of Amazon Prime ($99) – That’s pretty competitive in the market for such an amazing phone, and with Amazon Prime kicked in for free for a year, it essentially makes the phone $99. That’s crazy.

  • Emil Engelman III

    Jeff agree with everything you have said in the blog. The fire looks to be a great phone.

    I too love the Nexus 5 because of the connection to Google. I pay for extra Google drive storage and my work and personal life is on Google drive Including all my DVDs. Yes Google has got me and is using all my data for targeted advertisements. LOL

    I see two potential issues with the Fire phone.

    1. Fire phone users are limited to the Amazon app market. (I stopped using the Amazon app market due to the limited amount of applications that the market had so my perspective on the market may be a bit dated )

    2. The SOS feature how secure is that?

  • Del Ross

    What I like is competition. it was getting worrisome for a while, with only Apple, Samsung, and HTC seeming to really compete for the definition of a smartphone experience. Google’s entry was helpful. Amazon’s moreso. Once these two giants leverage their scale and scope to provide a carrier substitute it will be even better for consumers. Jeff, will you be getting a Fire Phone?

  • greghorowitz

    Yeah, the app-store problem is huge. How do they overcome the chicken-egg problem there? Developers won’t produce apps for it unless people buy, but people won’t want to buy if it means having to give up all their favorite apps on their existing device.

    My initial impression is that this phone seems to provide far more value to Amazon than to consumers.

  • http://www.jeffhilimire.com Jeff Hilimire

    GH, this is absolutely going to be Amazon’s biggest hurdle to overcome. However, what I’ve learned in switching phones over the years is that most people’s “need to have” apps are all already existing on the 3 major platforms (Apple, Google and Amazon). And Amazon has an advantage in that they have been running an app store well before this phone came out, used by many Android users as well as via their tablet. So I’d bet they have the major apps (Evernote, Dropbox, etc) and will be adding more as they go.

    As far as this being more for Amazon than consumers, I suppose you could say the same thing about Google and Apple phones. They are all gateways into spending more money with them (or in Google’s case, more ways to get ads in front of you).

  • Eric Hammond

    I agree with you both, but submit that an additional hurdle, general ecosystem. The average person is not in love with change. The reason the average non tech person stays with a platform is their level of comfort with the OS/ ecosystem.

    As we can see the market seems able to only successfully support two of them. Amazon’s phone seems late to the game and does not have anything that truly be considered a key differentiator. All of the features look to “me too” features or things that are available on other OS.

    The next item worth pointing out is lack of identity. Most people think of Amazon as either a reader company or an eBay competitor. They don’t get a mention on the tablet front and putting out a phone with features that are lack luster won’t do a bit to change the perception.

    What do you guys think?

  • http://www.jeffhilimire.com Jeff Hilimire

    I think they’ve got a few things going for them.

    First, it appears they’ll continue using some kind of forked Android OS or something very similar. At least that’s how it appears. So there shouldn’t be a big learning curve.

    Second, they control the most popular “store” on the planet. If they leverage amazon.com aggressively, and you know they will, people will be buying this phone by the millions.

    So I think they actually have a chance. I personally was hoping they’d do something crazy like have the best battery by far which would give them a real shot.

    Either way, I’m with you that they have a HUGE uphill battle, but the fact that they have amazon.com gives them a fighting chance.

  • http://www.jeffhilimire.com Jeff Hilimire

    I won’t be switching to the Fire Phone at this point, but Dragon Army is very interested in Amazon (we’re building our games for their platforms) and I’m particularly rooting for them in that industry, so we’ll definitely have one to use and test. I’m looking forward to getting my hands on it and trying it out.

  • Pingback: The #1 reason why you shouldn’t bet against the Amazon Fire phone()

  • http://www.digitalmarketingspeak.com/ Vlad Gorenshteyn

    It’s quite interesting seeing Amazon unveil new products and every-time I’m like “this makes perfect sense for the Amazon eco-system!”

    I will say this with a caveat (I’ve yet to stop by the Dragon Army layer and see this puppy) and there are many cool hardware/software features on this phone but I have three reasons why I will NOT be getting a Firefly…and I’m in the market!

    PRICE: there is no way in hell I’m shelling out $650 for an unlocked phone. And I think that eventually Amazon will either a) give these phones away with Prime membership, and/or b) create a “Prime+” membership that perhaps is $25 more expensive a year and locks you into a 3 year obligation but includes say 2 pieces of Amazon hardware to help you more easily consumer their content/products/services.

    DESIGN: this phone is mediocre (at best) and offers no color options. I’m not sure if there was some sort of a hardware limitation on making this phone sexy but I think Amazon really killed an opportunity to stand out in the market.

    DURABILITY: it amazes me that while in Japan in excess of 90% of all phones are waterproof, we get like 2 models (coincidentally both Japanese phones) that are truly waterproof. Anyways, why not make an all-terrain phone? Add to that perhaps a feature that makes the phone more robust when it comes to drops (see the poor predicament I’m in below #firstworldproblems) with a stronger glass/chassis and you’ve got yourself a winner.

    ~my two cents

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