Amazon's Fire Phone is a lot of things, but easy to repair isn't one of them. So say the folks at iFixit, who have completed their teardown of the handset, which took place live today. Though not everything about the smartphone was a hassle, there were enough issues to give it a low score: 3 out of 10.
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?
On launch, the Amazon Fire Phone was a curiosity with a lot of promise. Whether or not you need Amazon at your fingertips, the screen and camera ensemble on the device are intriguing. Tracking the orientation of your head, and letting you “peek around” object on-screen, a clear angle for the Fire Phone is gaming. Now there are two new games specifically designed for the device.
Amazon’s Fire Phone, set to launch next month, comes with a wide range of features that some critics are calling gimmicks. They argue that the device’s four cameras on the front that allow it to deliver a 3D-like effect and some extra Dynamic Perspective features, like tilt and swivel, makes little sense. And Firefly, they say, is little more than a way for Amazon to make more money off a given product. The truth, however, is much different.
Developers need a reason to bring their wares to a platform. More often than not (read: just about always), that reason is money. Developers need incentive to bring apps and things to a new ecosystem. To encourage Development on their Fire OS platform, Amazon is offering their own currency to potential Developers.
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.