What's MISSING on Amazon Fire Phone... and why it WON'T set the world alight

You fought hard and you saved and earned. But all of it's going to burn...

Review Having a headline piece of consumer tech crash and burn in the US market is every company's nightmare – and that's exactly what happened to Amazon’s Fire Phone, whose price has just PLUNGED from $449 to $199 Stateside.

Amazon Fire Phone top and bottom bezels. Pic: Alun Taylor

Hefty bezels: Amazon's Fire Phone is pretty pricey

Sales of the AT&T exclusive have been disappointing, to put it mildly, with the failure blamed on overly ambitious pricing and mediocre hardware.

Jeff Bezos’s latest toy is now available in Blighty through an exclusive deal with O2. Amazon and O2 are certainly splashing the cash on above the line advertising, but should we care?

Before we get into the technical nitty-gritty, a few words about price. On pay-as-you-go the Fire Phone will set you back £399. That’s only £20 less than a SIM-free Motorola Moto X. The cheapest contract costs £27 a month but that only gives you a measly 500MB of data. The next cheapest, with 2GB of data, costs £32 per month.

For one pound more O2 offers the rather fine Sony Xperia Z3 Compact with the same allowances. The Fire Phone, then, is most decidedly not cheap.

Amazon Fire Phone rear view. Pic: Alun Taylor

Reverse: There's no doubting who made this mobe

Initial impressions of what you get for your hard earned are not that encouraging. The Fire reminds me a little of the Nexus 4, albeit a more squared off version. It’s the all black colour scheme and Gorilla Glass front and back that does it, and the fact that at 160g and 139.2 x 66.5 x 8.9mm it's rather heavy and big for a phone with a 4.7-inch display. Like the iPhone 6, the Fire’s looks aren't helped by the amount of bezel above and below the screen.

The display is another hark back to the Nexus 4. It only packs 720 x 1280 pixels. Put another way, that's the same as the latest 5-inch Moto G, a device that’s yours for £150. Granted, the Fire’s IPS display is a fine example of the breed, bright and colourful, but there’s not much wrong with the Moto G’s screen either.

Similar topics

Broader topics

Other stories you might like

  • Alibaba Cloud challenges AWS with its own custom smartNIC
    Who'll board the custom silicon bandwagon next?

    Alibaba Cloud offered a peek at its latest homegrown silicon at its annual summit this week, which it calls Cloud Infrastructure Processing Units (CIPU).

    The data processing units (DPUs), which we're told have already been deployed in a “handful” of the Chinese giant’s datacenters, offload virtualization functions associated with storage, networking, and security from the host CPU cores onto dedicated hardware.

    “The rapid increase in data volume and scale, together with higher demand for lower latency, call for the creation of new tech infrastructure,” Alibaba Cloud Intelligence President Jeff Zhang said in a release.

    Continue reading
  • Amazon accused of obstructing probe into deadly warehouse collapse
    House Dems demand documents from CEO on facility hit by tornado – or else

    Updated The US House Oversight Committee has told Amazon CEO Andy Jassy to turn over documents pertaining to the collapse of an Amazon warehouse – and if he doesn't, the lawmakers say they will be forced to "consider alternative measures."

    Penned by Oversight Committee members Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Cori Bush (D-MO) and committee chairwoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), the letter refers to the destruction of an Edwardsville, Illinois, Amazon fulfillment center in which six people were killed when a tornado hit. It was reported that the facility received two weather warnings about 20 minutes before the tornado struck at 8.27pm on December 10; most staff had headed to a shelter, some to an area where there were no windows but was hard hit by the storm.

    In late March, the Oversight Committee sent a letter to Jassy with a mid-April deadline to hand over a variety of documents, including disaster policies and procedures, communication between managers, employees and contractors, and internal discussion of the tornado and its aftermath.

    Continue reading
  • AWS says it will cloudify your mainframe workloads
    Buyer beware, say analysts, technical debt will catch up with you eventually

    AWS is trying to help organizations migrate their mainframe-based workloads to the cloud and potentially transform them into modern cloud-native services.

    The Mainframe Modernization initiative was unveiled at the cloud giant's Re:Invent conference at the end of last year, where CEO Adam Selipsky claimed that "customers are trying to get off their mainframes as fast as they can."

    Whether this is based in reality or not, AWS concedes that such a migration will inevitably involve the customer going through a lengthy and complex process that requires multiple steps to discover, assess, test, and operate the new workload environments.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022