That’s right. Amazon has made phone. It’s called, not surprisingly, the Fire Phone. It’s only available through AT&T. However, considering how exclusive devices only last so long, I can see this eventually being ported to other service providers.
At the same time, I’ve been looking over the reviews. CNN calls it “a shopping device that makes calls”. They weren’t impressed with it as a standalone device compared to others beyond the fact that it has great shopping options for Amazon products and stores. c|net said it “failed to ignite”. There are the cool 3D graphics, fresh looking OS, top-notch one-handed operation, and great Amazon service integration, but it has a less extensive app store, disappointing battery life, and a sluggish performance. The pros don’t stand high enough above the cons to make this a premium phone. And engadget says, “wait for the sequel”.
For me, my personal pet peeve is the lack of expandable memory, something that keeps me Android loyal and away from Apple. My Samsung Galaxy has a MicroSD slot that makes migrating media and adding more space really convenient. Sure, you can get cloud storage like Dropbox and ZipCloud, but it doesn’t have Google Drive, and cloud storage is useless if you have a bad signal. Add to that the fact that I don’t have to get a new device to get more local storage, and I’m not moving off Android any time soon.
The user reviews seem to be pretty balanced. Some positives are the Amazon integration, getting Kindle books easily on their device, and Amazon Prime availability. The Dynamic Perspective is creating a sensation, but the gimmick of it seems to be wearing off pretty fast. But, the battery life, lack of Google apps, and the price point seem to be major complaints. One user even complained that it ran hot, which, to them, was a funny coincidence for the name.
One good thing, though, is their SDK marketing. Check out the product page for the phone. Check out the features. There’s a link right there in the feature descriptions that takes you over to their developer site where you can snag your own SDK and start making apps. And judging by some of the apps already available, it looks like people have been on the SDK bandwagon for a while already. You can get the phone and already download a large selection of apps just for your device, if you have the memory space.
All in all, if I were looking for a new phone at this time, my research is telling me to move on.