Amazon just announced a mobile phone, which they are calling Fire Phone. Should you consider switching from your iPhone or Android? Here’s the overview.
What’s it cost?
$199 with a 2-year contract from AT&T
What’s cool about it?
Here are the top 4 things that make it interesting:
- Point it at a book, movie, or other object and its Firefly image recognition will let you order it immediately (from Amazon of course).
- 3-D display, which they are calling “Dynamic perspective.” It can tell where your head is, and adjusts its display to make things look like they’re in 3D.
- There’s a “Mayday” button on the phone that instantly connects you by video to an Amazon employee who can show you how to use your phone.
- Comes with a free year of Amazon Prime.
What’s not so cool?
If you aren’t interested in buying lots of stuff regularly, there’s no burning reason to ditch your iPhone or other smartphone.
And some articles and reviews that sum everything up:
Yahoo Tech: Amazon’s Fire Phone: 5 Key Features, by Rafe Needleman
This quote says it all: “It makes the world your mall.”
TidBITS: Amazon Announces Fire Phone to Heat Up Mobile, by Josh Centers
“Amazon’s Fire Phone boasts some notable technology and will likely benefit from Amazon’s promotion, but it doesn’t break significant new ground. Like the Kindle and the Fire TV, one of the Fire Phone’s primary design objectives is to make it ever easier to buy content and products from Amazon.”
New York Times: Amazon Fire Phone’s Missed Opportunities, by Farhad Manjoo
“Amazon’s new gadget is less a phone than a pocketable cash register hooked directly into the retailer’s intelligent warehouses. And it’s not cheap….For people who aren’t looking to be hooked so intimately into Amazon’s brain, it’s hard to see what this phone offers over the iPhone…”
Ars Technica: Amazon Fire Phone hands-on: Double vision, by Sam Machkovech
“Our general takeaway was one of shrugging our shoulders and remarking on the Android features we missed. Whether the phone’s unique features, particularly head tracking and comprehensive Firefly searching, prove disruptive enough to win doubters over remains to be seen.”