Right after Amazon first showcased the Fire Phone we reported on the features and our opinion.
The phone has clearly been designed to give more people direct access to Amazon, reach consumers with their content and products at all times rather than becoming a key player in the smartphone market. Even if the features and hardware is not living up to the expectations people had prior to the launch, Amazon could still have had a much bigger impact on the smartphone market if they would have adopted the same strategy as they did with the Kindle tablet which they are basically selling at cost, the profits are made on the revenue generated by their digital content and Amazon orders.
But were we wrong to believe the Fire Phone will not be a real threat to the likes of Samsung and Apple?
The phone has now been on sale for a week and according to Amazon it is the best selling smartphone for them. But is that really the case? Amazon could easily manipulate the best selling list to give the Fire Phone more exposure and let the market believe it is more popular than what is actually the case.
We understand there are people that are heavily tied to the Amazon ecosystem and for them this phone has a lot of features that make sense. However we see a small market outside of that. Why would you switch from Android or iOS?
One thing that we can say for sure is that the user reviews aren’t exactly glowing. The device has 366 reviews so far and three stars. To compare, the Apple iPhone 5s gets a four star rating while the Samsung Galaxy S5 gets 4 – 4.5 stars depending on which version you look at.
Here is what users are saying:
- The device gets extremely hot
- Instability of certain apps
- Missing a lot of Android apps
- Issues pairing the device with vehicles
- Battery life
A lot of users want more carrier options and rate the phone negatively because they would like to see Sprint, Verizon or T-mobile.
One thing we were surprised to read about is that even when you buy the unlocked version for $649 you are not able to use any other carrier, what is the point of that? If you don’t have a relationship with AT&T the phone is useless.
- Good camera
- Easy to navigate
- 12 month Amazon Prime membership
- General integration / ease of shopping with Amazon
- Dynamic perspective
We were not convinced from the start and given the latest user reviews it seems Amazon has come out with a phone that is loved by many, especially customers closely connected to Amazon however it seems to have a number of issues which need to be addressed.
Time will tell if it is really the hit Amazon claims it to be.