The Buyer's Guide

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Amazon Fire Phone

Amazon Fire Phone

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70 Engadget Score
A dependable product that doesn't really stand out from the competition.
70

A dependable product that doesn't really stand out from the competition.

How we score

The Engadget Score is a unique ranking of products based on extensive independent research and analysis by our expert editorial and research teams. The Global Score is arrived at only after curating hundreds, sometimes thousands of weighted data points (such as critic and user reviews).

Engadget Review

Amazon's debut phone isn't bad, per se, but there's little incentive for anyone to switch carriers or platforms to buy it. Its unique features don't provide enough utility, and come at the expense of both battery life and performance.

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Pros
  • Mayday provides quick access to tech support
  • Comes with free year of Prime membership
  • Good call quality
Cons
  • Exclusive to AT&T, no global options
  • 3D effects can cause motion sickness
  • Limited ecosystem
  • Dynamic Perspective and Firefly need some work
  • Unique features hamper battery life and performance
70 Engadget Score
A dependable product that doesn't really stand out from the competition.
70

A dependable product that doesn't really stand out from the competition.

How we score

The Engadget Score is a unique ranking of products based on extensive independent research and analysis by our expert editorial and research teams. The Global Score is arrived at only after curating hundreds, sometimes thousands of weighted data points (such as critic and user reviews).

Scores

Engadget

70
 

User Reviews

80
DrPepperDanny
I love my Fire. I like being individual with it not having a mainstream android...read more
80
BONZIE97
PROSDisplay is amazingGood battery lifeBuilt to lastUniquePowerful processorCONSAmazon...read more
80
JoxGO
There's a lot to like about this in spite of a few flaws. - Engadget
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Score Breakdown

 
80
Average user Score
 
80
DrPepperDanny
07.05.15
I love my Fire. I like being individual with it not having a mainstream android phone or Apple product.I find it personally very user friendly the Fire user guide which 'Fires' up upon starting the phone give you the easy to follow low down on how to make the most of the feature such as peek,swivel, and tilt.I've read a review about someone complaining about the lack of back button. This is remedied on the Fire by just a simple swipe up from the bottom of any portion of the lower screen ( you dont have to swipe up from the bottom hand left hand corner only for example)There are two volume buttons and the camera/firefly button these are along the left side of the phone this are of CNC machined aluminium so is the Menu button and Lock button, these are nice to the touch. the camera is accessed by one click and firefly by holding the camera button and firefly 'Fires' up very quickly ideal for having to capture a quick picture or if you rapidly need to compare the price of an item or product you find on your travels against Amazon or google shopping or just to find out more about an item.Firefly is also great for identifying TV shows or music eliminating the need for an app like Shazam. Firefly identifys shows and music pretty flawlessly but some items and products aren't always correct first time. but it's pretty reliable for mainstream items. less so the more obscure the item.The ease of use to identify a TV show or film is a nice touch you simply open up Firefly and point it at whatever is playing on a screen in front you. it'll bring up the show,episode, IMDB information and how much it is on Amazon.The Mayday feature runs really well even without Wi-Fi, The attendants are always polite and extremely helpful. Once I forgot how to turn of recommendations in my Carousel and couldn't be bothered remembering so I did a quick wrist 'swivel' and pressed Mayday, within 30 seconds I connected with an attendant who quickly took control of my phone and turned it off showing me the process also. (Amazon Mayday attendants cannot see you but see your screen so I wouldn't recommend pressing the Mayday button when you're on Online Banking or something for example!There are multiple lock screens which make use of Dynamic Perspective which follow your movement from the lock screen allowing you to look around the scene.This is good if you want to quickly show off a 'cool' 'fun' and 'unique' feature of the phone.With regards to Network/Carrier it is possible to use a Fire Phone on Giff Gaff as this runs on the 02 network. All that is required to do is change a few APN settings which can be found easily online and how-to-guides on how to run an 02 Fire on giff gaff are available.Technically one could say the same for Tesco mobile as they run on 02 also but I don't quote me on this. Accessories wise can be a pain to find on the high street next to no stall or shop does Fire phone accessories and I ordered screen protectors and case from Amazon.Amazon maps is excellent as good as google maps. Amazon App store has had a load of featured app worth over £75 (at the time of writing) for free ranging from great space rpg Star Command to things like Smart Office 2 which is an excellent office app.Some people are not a fan of the Fire OS, sometimes I think because they're a bit too used to iphones or other android phones but I think it is unique and user friendly but it can depend on how one can pick up things quickly some people have complained about it's ease of use.The Fire user guide shows you how to make use of all dynamic perspective features and with a swivel of the wrist and tap Mayday and an attendant can help you with anything else anytime 24/7! But once you know it inside an out it is a real breeze of a phone!
 
80
BONZIE97
03.10.15
PROSDisplay is amazingGood battery lifeBuilt to lastUniquePowerful processorCONSAmazon App Store (VERY limited)I have tnjoyed everything about this phone with the exception of the app store. It is so limited it is unbelievable, hopefully Amazon fixes this soon, it has potential, it just needs some work. As far as the phone itself, the only flaw is I have had difficulty with the call quality, that's it.
 
80
JoxGO
02.24.15
There's a lot to like about this in spite of a few flaws. - Engadget
 
80
ScottMcElroy
12.29.14
Having used a lot of Samsung and Apple smartphones, I wasn't expecting much from the Fire Phone, but I must admit, I have been pleasantly surprised.I was a bit skeptical about not having Google Services on this phone, but after using it for a few days I can't say I really miss it much. The included email application is good and works easily with both my GMail and Yahoo accounts. The maps program has built in navigation. I do miss having Chrome browser history shared between my browser and phone like it was with my Galaxy, but the Silk browser works just as well.Build quality is actually very good. The front and back are both high quality Gorilla Glass 3, but I am not 100% sold on the plastic edges. As a bonus, they are very grippy making the phone more difficult to drop, but on the downside the edge between the plastic and glass is noticeable.I am really impressed with how well dynamic perspective works, and it makes menial tasks like scrolling in a web browser by tilting the phone or pulling out the side menu very easy and is extremely reliable, much more so than eye scrolling. The lock screen is really cool because you can use the dynamic perspective to peek behind objects in the photo/scene. They include some games that use the perspective as well, like a clay modeling program, a puzzle game where you rotate a cube, and a cheesy game where you can play games with a monkey (peekaboo sorts of games and interacting with it).One thing I don't like with many Android phones is they are a hodgepodge of Apps and settings and don't really seem coherent. Amazon has done a good job making a very coherent and well designed product that feels very polished. Honestly it works as seamlessly as an iOS product as far as I am concerned. I know I will get down-voted by iOS fans for saying that.The screens are responsive, the icons are nice looking, the phone, message, mail, and browser icons are always easy to find, there isn't a lot of unnecessary widgets and clutter. The phone didn't really need any customization out of the box.The phone has the typical grid arrangement of Apps or you can pull down on the screen and bring up a carousel view which shows recent or pinned applications as long as their recent content (like Silk browser pages, combined email inbox, or Prime Music songs). This is a really neat view for quick access to frequently used applications.Battery life seems pretty typical based on my use. Similar to my Galaxy S4. Turning off dynamic perspective could extend this a bit, but I actually really like the feature.Mayday is a built in support App which I haven't tried yet, and Firefly works well for identifying products, shows, and music. I love that the camera has a hard button for turning it on and taking photos, this is much quicker and more stable than using soft shutter release buttons. The camera image stabilization works okay, but the flash seems to be a bit weak (or maybe just how camera chooses to expose). The face detect circles are nice and the camera seems to easily be able to recognize faces, even in fairly low light.The only real drawback to the Fire Phone is not having easy access to the play store, but I find many Apps are basically mobile web browser sites, so many of them aren't necessary at all other than for notifications, so if you don't find your App, maybe check the companies website and see if the mobile version will work just as well (this is especially true for financial Apps). I was worried this was going to be a deal breaker for me, in fact I bought the phone planning on trading it in for a different device, but I plan on keeping it now.P.S., Recommend to check it best price at www.seebestdeals.com/?p=1744Hope it helps.