Kemory Grubb – Associate Editor
Jeff Bezos described the phone as one that was built for Amazon Prime members. The phone is built on a fork of the Android Open Source Project, which means its Android 4.2 stripped of all Google’s closed source services/apps. So Amazon is replacing Google Play Services with Amazon Prime, this not much of a problem since Amazon does provide a well stocked app marketplace. It can be assumed that this phone is not being marketed to users outside North America. In addition to that the phone is being released exclusively on the AT&T network.
If Amazon makes an international version of the phone available, the phone itself doesn’t present much that would make a potential buyer forego a Samsung, LG, Motorola or any other established brand. The notable “innovations” the phone offers by way of its 5 front cameras, dynamic-perspective and the “FireFly” service are just gimmicks. In going up against a Samsung S5 in features, or a Motorola G in price, Amazon needed to pull out as many tricks as possible. The Amazon Fire Phone is the summation of all the tricks needed to challenge the status quo of the phone market.
Omar Samuels – Associate Editor
Is the Amazon Fire Phone hot… or not?
Before wading in here let me first of all declare that one could consider me a little bit of an Amazon Fan Boy… I luv me some Amazon. There is a 9 out of 10 chance that if you lay hands on something in my house it probably came from Amazon (yeh… freal). One would therefore think that for me at least, it’s a no-brainer: “Ditch that Nexus 4 and go pre-order that phone today!” is probably what they would say.
I think not! Personally, I have nooo problems being an early adopter once a product comes out swinging with the right kind of punch. I bought my first Chromecast on the day it was announced (yes, I said first.. I have two now and the original Sony Google TV set… I AM a little bit of a risk-taker, thanks for asking). Would I do that with this Fire Phone? NOPE!
Why not? Well, it’s definitely not any fault of how it looks. It looks AWESOME in my opinion (like a Nexus and iPhone had a baby), so what if it has glass at the front and at the back… so does my Nexus 4 and I’ve dropped that from one storey up with no drama, so I don’t have any fears there. OK, so is it features? No way… it has features and specs up the wazoo! Firefly, MayDay and (notice the quotes) “3D” gimmickery! For me, as I said I’ve been dealing with Amazon for some time now and though they are definitely king of online retail this side of my hemisphere, they’ve not always been as geo-friendly as I’d like (though friendlier than most). Questions remain of just how many of those features will be geo-blocked or eliminated altogether? I’ve bought apps and music via Amazon for example… and ahh… it’s not been my favourite experience… and don’t even get me started on Amazon Instant Videos.
Lindsworth Deer – Associate Editor
The US$199 Amazon Fire smartphone on a 2 year contract is already destined for superstardom, as it’s got great genes like its parents, the7” Amazon Kindle Fire Tablet launched in 2011 and the Amazon Fire TV recently launched in April 2014. It’s already a part of the great tradition of products that Amazon has launching that take advantage of people’s propensity to make snap decisions to buy products.
This phenomenon is start off with you making rational left-brained decisions, only for your less logical right-brain to kick in, with your emotions getting the better of you, resulting in impulsive buying. In effect, the rationale behind the Amazon Fire smartphone is the same as the Amazon Kindle Fire Tablet as describe in my article Amazon is Legally Blonde as the Kindle Fire HD Upgrade is CEO Bezos’s Confessions of an Online Shopaholic and the Amazon Fire TV, launched earlier this year; Couch Potato Shopping anywhere, anytime.
Only this time, it’s packing some truly head turning technology that’ll have Amazon Prime users fire up, pun very much intended!
Never mind the fact it’s currently tied to an uber-exclusive deal with AT&T; this is a Volkwagen or Volks-phone if you will, literally meaning “people smartphone”. Amazon did this one…..for the Amazon Prime peeps! That’s not an issue here, as this, as I’ve hinted, is one for the shoppers on Amazon!
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