Amazon can't be too pleased with the first batch of Fire Phone reviews. The smartphone's more outlandish technology works, certainly - Dynamic Perspective tracks your face; Firefly snaps and searches for your products - but the takeaway nonetheless has been "so what?" Amazon can't complain too loudly, however: it only has itself to blame.
Microsoft isn't letting any grass grow under Amazon's Fire Phone, pushing out a version of Skype for the face-tracking smartphone in time for its public release. The new app, already available in Amazon's Appstore, has been tweaked to take advantage of the Fire Phone's enhanced carousel as well as its quad-camera Dynamic Perspective system.
When Amazon wades into a new segment, competitors take note, and few devices have been so nervously anticipated as the Fire Phone. Amazon's first smartphone doesn't just put Prime in your pocket, it also pushes the limits of UI, with its quartet of Dynamic Perspective cameras, and computational photography, with Firefly. Ambitious, then, but Jeff Bezos & Co. have seldom lacked that. Question is, does the Fire Phone deserve to be the hottest handset in town?
Kindle Unlimited, Amazon's all-you-can-eat ebook subscription service, has officially launched, with more than 600,000 books that Kindle ereader and app users can choose from. Priced at $9.99 per month, the subscription covers both ebooks and a selection of Audible audiobooks of which there are more than 2,000, Amazon says.
Amazon has quietly updated its Fire TV set-top box to push its Prime video content as well as bring streaming music to the platform, raising its game in the aftermath of Google announcing Android TV. A revamp over the weekend added Amazon Cloudplayer to the supported services for Fire TV, as well as answering a common complaint by making it easier to find Prime movie and TV content that's free to watch for Prime subscribers.
Amazon may be late to the game in smartphones, but outspoken chief exec Jeff Bezos isn't concerned that the Fire Phone has missed the boat. "We have a long history of getting started and being patient," Bezos said of Amazon's willingness to give the Fire Phone project time to play out, while also defending its unexpectedly mainstream $199.99 sticker price.
Amazon's Fire Phone is proving divisive, with the 3D smartphone encountering both curiosity and criticism for its unusual interface and underwhelming pricing structure. Rather than shaking up the smartphone industry, Amazon's "little bit different" was an even easier way to shop from the company's own store. Missed the big event? Confused about what makes the Fire Phone special - or worthy of mockery? We've got you covered.
Amazon’s Fire Phone is a pretty cool piece of tech. It’s the right size, has a very respectable spec sheet, and the price is fair (not great). All that adds up to enough reason most people would want to snatch one up when it becomes available. In theory, I’d love to as well; here’s why I wont.
You may or may not like Amazon's recently announced Fire Phone, but for what it's worth, it has some amazing features that you would be hard-pressed to find in other smartphones or services. One of those is Mayday, a 24/7 live assistance service that will get you through your technical problems with a personal touch. And we've got an exclusive hands-on video of just how well this extremely helpful feature works.