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Amazon Fire review

6.4/10 AVG.
RATING

  • Amazon Fire
  • Amazon Fire
  • Amazon Fire
  • Amazon Fire


6.4/10
Informr score
The Amazon Fire currently has an Informr score of 6.4 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 38 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

What's good

  • Crisp, bright display
  • Unlimited photo storage for Prime subscribers
  • Firefly search
  • Respectable battery life

What's bad

  • No storage expansion
  • Limited wearable support
  • Questionable future for Dynamic Perspective display features

With a face-tracking camera array, 24/7 live support and access to a bounty of Amazon services, the Amazon Fire is turning heads in the smartphone market. How does Amazon’s first venture into smartphones stack up against the competition? Let’s take a look!

Outside of the Amazon-exclusive features, the hardware used in the Fire is firmly in the mid-tier. A 4.7-inch 720p display provides crisp visuals and plenty of screen real estate while a quad-core processor ensures smooth phone operation. With 2GB of RAM, the device should multitask with ease. It runs Amazon’s FireOS, an offshoot of Android’s Jelly Bean OS. This means it lacks support for wearables and some of the newer accessories gaining popularity as well.

One of the most talked about features of the device is the Dynamic Perspective display. Using five cameras, the device tracks your face to create a pseudo-3D element to supporting apps and allows for a wide range of gesture-based controls. Reviews for Dynamic Perspective were scattered from glitchy to great. Engadget warns, “Users with motion sickness will not like the Dynamic Perspective option. Fortunately, Amazon will let you turn this feature off.”

Wired UK had issues with face tracking when more than one person was looking at the phone. CNet says that it is “a lot like having a Kinect stuck on the front of your phone, even though it isn't particularly useful.” In many ways, the biggest concern will be support for the feature. If app developers embrace the technology, reviews might improve.

Integration with Amazon Prime and the Amazon store is where the device truly appears to shine. This brings us to another highly touted feature of the device--Amazon Firefly. Simply launch the app and use the camera to highlight any object around you and Firefly scours Amazon and other supported services, including iHeart Radio for music, to find purchasing or streaming options. Reviews for the feature are quite high. Combined with the free year of Amazon Prime that comes with the purchase of the phone and it offers an easy-to-use portal into everything that Amazon has to offer. The Verge notes, “There simply has never been a better device to help you indulge in impulse purchases.”

Overall, reviews note that the phone, much like its hardware, is simply okay. Engadget says, “Spec-wise, it isn't the most impressive phone. But it's not horrible either - it's simply what you'd expect from an average phone.” It appears the big question for most potential buyers is if you want to buy into the Amazon ecosystem. Coupled with an Amazon account, the phone offers convenience and a novel take on the smartphone.

If you’re not a fan of Amazon’s services, you might find more compelling options elsewhere. Android Central summed up the device well, stating, “Amazon created a mobile device that speaks to its customer base perfectly, and the end result is the Fire Phone."


Operating system
Fire OS
Processor
2.2 GHz
Screen Size
4.7"
Camera
13+ MP


What the Critics Are Saying...


Beta News

Should you buy the Fire phone? If you are dependent on Google's services, no. However, you probably already knew that. The other potential deal-breaker is that the phone is an AT&T exclusive. If you do not want to leave Verizon, Sprint or T-mobile, this is also not the phone for you.Who is this...

- Brian Fagioli, Beta News
Notebookcheck

All things considered, you get a lot of average performances and the Fire Phone only has a few real positive aspects. It might be worth a look if you are a big Amazon fan or if you just want a fast smartphone for a small price and can live with the software. All others should better wait for the suc...

- Florian Wimmer, Notebookcheck
The Inquirer

Should you buy the Amazon Fire Phone? If you haven't already guessed, probably not.While Amazon's debut smartphone has some redeeming features - such as its above-average 13MP camera and decent battery life - it's let down by the clunky design, disappointing screen and, in particular, Amazon's custo...

- Carly Page, The Inquirer
The Inquirer

So, should you buy the Amazon Fire Phone? If you haven't already guessed, probably not.While Amazon's debut smartphone has some redeeming features - such as its above-average 13MP camera and decent battery life - it's let down by the clunky design, disappointing screen and, in particular, Amazon's c...

- Carly Page, The Inquirer
iTechTriad

The Fire Phone is Amazon’s first attempt at a smartphone, and that’s clear right off the bat. It delivers in some areas, but drops the ball in other very important ones. The lack of some apps, functionality, and the ecosystem really played a huge role on my thoughts in this review. Frank...

- Alex Garcia, iTechTriad


Prices (Where to Buy)




Common Questions


Amazon Fire prices will vary depending on retailer, age, special offers and whether or not it's purchased with a service plan. If purchased with a 2 year service contract for example, you would likely pay much less for the phone itself up front. Amazon's suggested retail price is $199.00. You can compare Fire prices from around the web here on The Informr.


We've got you covered! Download a free PDF copy of the Amazon Fire user manual here.


Amazon backs up the Fire with a 1 Year parts & labour warranty.


If your Fire has problems and is still within its warranty period, you could contact Amazon support or the retailer you purchased the phone from. You'll find Amazon's contact information here. If your phone is off warranty and needs repair for a physical problem such as a broken screen or bad battery, you should visit an authorized service centre or a local phone repair shop. You can also connect with others in The Informr Community Forum to find and share answers to questions.



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Quick view

Screen Size
4.7"

The %phone_name%'s screen size is 4.7 inches with 720 x 1280 pixels resolution.

Processor
2.2 GHz

There is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 Quad core 2.2 GHz processor (CPU).

OS

The phone runs on the Fire OS 3.5 (Based on Android) operating system (OS).

Camera
13+ MP

You can take photos with the phone's onboard 13+ megapixel camera.

There is also a secondary front facing camera with 2+ megapixels resolution.

Storage
32/64 GB

Internal memory is 32/64 GB. No external card slot is available for expansion.

Battery
2400mAh

The phone is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 2400 mAh battery. Amazon's performance ratings are 1320 minutes, 419 minutes Wi-Fi surfing.

Amazon Fire Specs

Overview
Release date July 26, 2014
Regions available USA, United Kingdom
Mobile / Cellular Data
4G/LTE
Networks
GSM:
850/900/1800/1900 MHz
UMTS:
850/900/1700/1900 /2100 MHz
LTE:
1700/1900/700/2100 /800/850/900/1800/2600 MHz
Data:
GPRS, EDGE, HSUPA, HSPA+, LTE
SIM card size
Nano-SIM
Dual SIM No
Operating System Fire OS 3.5 (Based on Android)

Compare Fire OS Smartphones

Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 Quad core 2.2 GHz
Internal Storage 32/64 GB
RAM 2 GB
ROM No
GPS Type A-GPS
Hearing Aid Compatible Yes
TTY/TDD Yes
Noise Cancellation Yes
SAR Head: 1.59 W/kg
Body: 0.71 W/kg
Languages English
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included USB Power Adapter, Manual, Standard Battery, Headphones, Data Cable
Power & battery
Battery Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity 2400 mAh
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Video Playback Time Up to: 660 minutes
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Up to: 419 minutes
Internet Use (Celluar) Unknown
Talk Time Up to: 1320 minutes
Standby Time Up to: 11.8 days
Physical Characteristics
Design type Bar
Multi-Use Smart Phone / PDA Yes
Material Plastic
Colors Black
Dimensions [H x W x D] 14 x 6.6 x 0.9 cm (5.5 x 2.6 x 0.4 in)
Weight 160 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Unknown
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology LCD (IPS)
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution 720 x 1280 pixels
Pixel density 315 pixels
Size 4.7 inches
Secondary Display No
Sensors Ambient Light, Proximity, Motion / Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Digital Compass
Graphics Yes
Themes No
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock Yes
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features Capacitivee touch screen
Input / Navigation
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key Yes
Mute Key No
Input Type Touchscreen
Navigation Type Touchscreen
Predictive Text Entry Yes
Physical keyboard No
Voicemail Key No
Any Key Answer No
Voice Commands Yes
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
External Media Playback Controls No
Fingerprint Sensor No
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling Unknown
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) Unknown
Contact List Capacity Depends on system memory
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Email address, Other fields
Contact Groups Yes
Auto Answer No
Voice Activated Dialing Yes
Photo Caller ID Yes
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, SMTP, Microsoft Exchange
Additional Email Features Gmail
Messaging SMS, MMS, IM
Push-to-talk (PTT) No
Connectivity
USB Micro-USB 2.0
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth 3.0
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, OPP/FTP, HSP
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n
WiFi Encryption No
Mobile Hotspot Yes
WiMAX No
Memory Expansion Slot No
PC Synchronization Yes
TV Out No
DLNA Support No
NFC Yes
Data Tethering Compatibility Yes
Java Applications No
Brew Applications No
ECML / Digital Wallet Yes
Camera
Main Camera
Aperture
Unknown
Resolution
13+ megapixels
Multi-camera
No
Zoom
Yes
Flash
Yes (LED)
Additional Rear Camera Info
Auto focus, Geotagging, Image stabilization, Multi-shot, Panorama, HDR
Video Recording Formats
3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, AVI
Video Recording Parameters
Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels), 30 fps, up to 0 minutes
Front Camera
Resolution
2+ megapixels
Zoom
No
Additional Front Camera Info
No
Video Recording Parameters
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats AAC, AAC+, AMR-NB, AMR-WB, AMR-WB+, eAAC+, MIDI, MP3, OGG, WAV
Radio No
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, AVI, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers Stereo
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Custom Ringtones Yes
Vibration Alert Yes
Downloadable Ringtones Yes
Ringer ID Yes
Haptic Feedback Vibration Yes
Speakerphone Yes
Apps
To-Do / Task List No
Calendar Yes
World Clock Yes
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch Yes
Timer Yes
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter No
Document Viewer Yes
Viewable document types DOC, DOCX, PDF, TXT, AZW, MOBL
Weather Yes
Stocks No
Maps Yes
NotePad Yes
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable, Pre-installed
Apps Downloadable, Pre-installed (Facebook, Twitter, Skype, Pinterest, Instagram, Evernote, WhatsApp)
Included Software / Apps -
More
Additional comments
Related Links Manual (PDF)
Amazon Fire Reviews
Where to buy Amazon Fire
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