Amazon Fire Phone, 32GB (Unlocked GSM)
We don't know when or if this item will be back in stock.
- 2.2GHz quad-core processor and 2GB RAM for ultra-fast app launch times and smooth multi-tasking
- Bright 4.7" HD display
- 13 MP camera with optical image stabilization, HDR, and LED flash with unlimited free cloud storage for photos
- Amazon-exclusive features: Firefly, Mayday, Dynamic Perspective
- Over 33 million movies, TV shows, songs, books, apps, and more
- Mayday - free, live on-device video support, 24x7, 365 days a year
- U.S. compatibility: All GSM networks including AT&T, T-Mobile, and more. Not compatible with CDMA networks such as Verizon and Sprint
Movies, TV shows, songs, books, audiobooks and magazines, including thousands of exclusives.
Simply press the Firefly button to instantly identify and take action on...
Amazon's award-winning customer service, now on your phone.
A custom-designed sensor system that responds to how you hold, view, and move your phone.
Easily transfer your e-mail, calendar, contacts, photos, videos, and music in a few simple steps.
Experience a new class of immersive apps and games that use Dynamic Perspective, Firefly, and the enhanced Home Carousel
Exclusive Amazon features enhance your watching, listening, and reading.
Top customer reviews
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*** INTRO ***
This unlocked Fire Phone (which is the same as the AT&T version with horrible reviews, only it's unlocked), is an all around excellent phone with some pretty cool technology not found on other phones. The big thing to remember here is who the manufacturer is: Amazon. That said, it's important to realize that the phone is going to be centered around the Amazon ecosystem. Many of the 1-star reviews on the AT&T version were written by people who didn't read the description or reviews before dropping a lot of money and committing themselves to a 2-year contract.
This all started with the Kindle, and has since evolved into the Kindle Fire Tablets, and now, the Fire Phone. As is the case with Microsoft and Apple, Amazon is in direct competition with Google and Apple in terms of their "App Stores" and their music sales, hence the reason you're not going to find Google Apps or iTunes on this phone... we'll go into that in more detail below, but let's start with the display:
*** DISPLAY ***
The display is a standard 4.7" 1280x720p TFT LCD screen so its not the super high-resolution 4K or quad-HD displays that are becoming mainstream on new smartphones. The Fire phone comes in with a 315 ppi pixel density which is not bad, but it's lower than a lot of the competition. In short, you're eyes are not going to distinguish anything above 300 ppi so the Fire Phone's display is perfectly adequate. *** DETAILED TECH ALERT! *** If you're happy knowing the screen is acceptable, skip to the next section... if you want all the techy details, read on. To give you a comparison:
Samsung's Galaxy S5 LTE-A packs 576 ppi pixel density into its 4HD 1440x2560 super AMOLED display which I'm pretty sure is the highest pixel density out there at the moment. LG's G3 comes in at 538 ppi, and Apple's iPhone 6 Plus has a 401 ppi pixel density. So, you're not getting the highest pixel density display by any means, however, at 315 ppi, it's probably the best all-around pixel density for a couple reasons: First, you'd really have to strain your eyes to make out a difference above 300 ppi as the human eye has limitations with seeing anything with more saturation than this. Second, having a pixel density of more than 300 ppi can actually prove to be a problem as every pixel requires a tiny amount of power and the more pixels you have to power, the faster the battery drains.
On top of the screen sits a Synaptics S3310B touchscreen controller with 10-finger sensitivity. While I haven't verified the display manufacturer, it is interesting to mention that the pixel pattern used on the display is unlike anything seen on any other phone. Not sure how to describe it other than a sort of up and down "wavy" look but it likely has something to do with the Dynamic Perspective (3D) system.
UPDATE: 12/03/2014: Many phone and tablet displays now come with an oleophobic coating on the glass which prevents fingerprint smudges. This is NOT the case with the Fire Phone. Comparing the Fire Phone to my Galaxy Note, the Fire Phone collects fingerprint smudges so easily, there's no point in even trying to keep them off the glass as simply holding the phone will render the front and back glass completely covered in fingerprints. The Samsung Galaxy Note does not show fingerprint smudges because of this oleophobic coating.
*** CAMERA ***
Remember when DSLRs were 13 MP and were considered professional grade cameras? Remember when you needed a camera like that to get decent family photos? Well now, the Fire Phone sports a 13 MP camera that takes advantage of unique image-stabilization technology and a super-fast shutter (fastest on the market), to make beautiful quality pictures even when your hands are trembling from your eighth cup of coffee! The Samsung Galaxy phones were considered the best in terms of photo quality but I have to say, after using the Fire Phone, they have some catching up to do. While the phone's camera won't replace a professional DSLR, it is an amazing camera that will get your amazing results. (NOTE: Had to clarify the DSLR issue as one reader was literally upset that the two were "compared" to each other as if it were an insult to DSLR cameras or something! I have a ton of professional grade camera gear... doesn't mean I want to carry it around to get a photo of my dog doing something stupid... or how about trying to take a selfie with a $6,500 camera and a $2,000 lens attached, together weighing close to 10 lbs? No, that's why we have camera phones!)
The camera has digital zoom for both still photos and video. This has been a commonly asked question that is not addressed anywhere in the product description that I can see. Spread your fingers open across the screen to zoom, close your fingers across the screen to zoom out.
One of the best features of this camera, besides the incredible optics, is that it has a flash! My goodness, adding a flash is so simple that I'm surprised we still have phone manufacturers not adding a flash to the camera. The flash, combined with the exceptional quality of the optics, make for an amazing camera and you will definitely enjoy the quality of the photos you get out of this phone. Also, like the rest of your content, it is all stored in the Amazon cloud for easy access and safe storage.
*** PROCESSOR, ON-BOARD STORAGE, AND RAM ***
The Fire Phone comes with a 2.2 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor which includes 2GB of RAM and an Adreno 330 GPU. This is Qualcomm's flagship processor and it's designed to offer high performance with low power drain. Is it all that it's cracked up to be? Well, in my experience, it seemed adequate but it wasn't as snappy as other processors found in competitor's phones. *** DETAILED TECH ALERT! *** If you're happy knowing the processor is adequate but not anything breathtaking, skip to the next section. For detailed info on the processor, read on:
The Snapdragon 800 series has 4x Krait 400 cores that are capable of running as high as 2.3 GHz and includes an Adreno 330 running at 450 MHz. RAM is pretty standard at 2GB and is the LPDDR3 type at 800 MHz. Although Qualcomm claims the processor is designed to be high-performance while using low power, it actually seems more focussed on performance than power savings. It's based on TSMC's 28nm High Performance for Mobile (HPM) chipset, as opposed to the low power 28nm LP (low power) polysilicon chipset. While the Adreno 330 GPU is capable of encoding and playing back UHD (ultra high definition) 4K video at a very high 120 Mbps H.264 speed, Amazon has chosen to keep the video recording at 1080p, obviously for power savings purposes. All in all, the Snapdragon 800 is a good processor but for some reason, I just didn't get the peppy performance I was hoping for.
The on-board storage is a basic flash drive system manufactured by SanDisk (Model SDIN8DE4-32G 32 GB NAND FLASH), while the RAM is provided by Samsung (Model K3QF2F20Da-QGCE 2 GB LDDR3 SDRAM).
*** GRAPHICS ***
I won't go into detail here as the graphics quality is directly linked to the processor and its Adreno 330 GPU but suffice it to say, the graphics are what you'd expect from any other smartphone. They're high quality, responsive, and in my experience, they don't lag. There's no screen tear or other problems, at least not that I've noticed. All of your games should run smoothly and with great graphics. The same obviously applies to video recording and playback.
*** 3-D VIEWING (DYNAMIC PERSPECTIVE) ***
3D viewing, or as Amazon calls it, "Dynamic Perspective" is a cool feature that uses four cameras that you can see on the front of your phone, along with infrared technology manipulate the image. The cameras and infrared constantly monitor your head movements and the tilting of the phone and adjust the image accordingly, allowing you to look around objects, and essentially see them in 3D. I think this was primarily designed to improve shopping experience on Amazon, although it works great for games, the map service, and other graphics including some pretty cool screensavers that display in 3D as you move the phone around.
*** DETAILED TECH ALERT! *** Here you go: The Dynamic Perspective technology is pretty basic and is achieved simply by using four OmniVision brand cameras, each relying on an individual infrared (invisible) LED to monitor head movements, and controlled by the OmniVision OV680 image processor, along with an Invensense MPU-6500 Six-Axis accelerometer/gyro. Nothing too sophisticated, but what a mouthful, and it does prove that Amazon isn't cutting corners on the phone's internal components as these are the newest, top of the line components on the market.
UPDATE: 12/3/2014: The dynamic perspective is pretty cool but I have a feeling it's using a LOT of power. It can be a little jittery at times but for the most part it's nice and smooth. See the "BATTERY" section below for details on the major battery drain issue.
*** TILTING AND TURNING, AND WHERE THE HELL IS THE BACK BUTTON?! ***
While we're on the topic of dynamic perspective and moving the phone around, it's worth mentioning that this phone relies HEAVILY on tilting and turning to make things work. By this I mean accessing hidden menus, the "back button" that you'll notice is physically lacking on the phone but works by tilting the phone forward or swiping upwards on the screen, and so forth. Get ready to start twisting and turning the phone because that's how you navigate through things! It takes some getting used to and honestly, it's a little buggy at the moment, being quite unresponsive and lagging at times. Another reviewer actually mentioned that while trying to show off the phone to some co-workers, the whole twisting and turning was so buggy that it was accessing things it wasn't supposed to and not accessing the things it was supposed to... pretty embarrassing.
*** AUDIO ***
The Fire Phone uses Dolby Digital Plus so nothing exceptional in this category, although it does automatically control volume and create a "virtual surround sound" but nothing breathtaking. The Kindle Fire HDX uses Dolby Atmos which is far superior in terms of audio quality and I'm honestly not sure why it wasn't included in the Fire Phone unless there were size constraints or something. The audio is decent but after hearing the Dolby Atmos sound through the Kindle Fire HDX, I noticed a huge difference! The included headphones aren't anything special but they are good quality from what I can see.
Some people have asked me to elaborate on the sound. All I can say is, "it's average." I compared the sound to the Samsung Galaxy S5 and Note 3, and the Fire Phone doesn't even come close to the sound quality of the Samsung line. Again, it's not horrible, it's just average and may be better than many other phones out there. To me, it's just average.
*** BUILD QUALITY ***
Weighing in at about 5.6 ounces with a rubberized frame an aluminum buttons, the Fire Phone does have a nice heft to it that gives you that "this feels solid" feeling, similarly to what I experience when picking up an iPhone and the opposite I get when I pick up my Galaxy Note 3.
The Fire Phone makes use of the newest line of Gorilla glass which is good and bad. Scratch resistance wise, it's a good thing. The bad is you're going to get the usual smudges and a higher chance of the glass breaking, especially since it's glass on both the front and back. Another reviewer actually dropped the phone from a short distance of maybe a foot onto a table and a corner of the phone dented, although the glass stayed intact.
The buttons are CNC machined aluminum and feel solid... not loose and wiggly like some other phones do, and are very responsive and well laid out.
The internals (guts) of the phone are mostly Qualcomm components (no surprise there), along with a few pieces made by SanDisk (on-board storage), Samsung (RAM), OmniVision (cameras and image processor), Synaptics (touchscreen), along with several others. What's nice about this is Amazon isn't cutting corners on the internals... in fact, they're using some of the newest, top of the line components on the market right now.
*** BATTERY LIFE ***
I swear, there should be a penalty for lying about battery life! Nearly every phone, tablet, Chromebook, or other tech device I've reviewed has claimed a battery life higher than what it really is. It's annoying, but at least Amazon gives you a disclaimer of "actual results may vary." While the battery life is good, it's nowhere near 22 hours of talk time or 11 hours of video playback. While I could go a couple days of average usage before needing to recharge the battery, I certainly wasn't talking for 11 hours each of those days. Throw in app usage, game playing, web browsing, email pushing/syncing and so forth and that battery drains really fast! ***UPDATE: Turning off Dyanamic Perspective has drastically helped battery life but it is still not that great.) ***
As is the case with any tech device utilizing a battery, the longer you use the device, the shorter your battery life. For example, when I first got my Galaxy Note 3, I could go a couple days without recharging... fast forward 6 months and I'm lucky to get even a day's worth of usage before the phone starts beeping at 10% battery life. I'm expecting the same thing from the Fire Phone.
UPDATE: 12/5/2014: The battery life is now officially the biggest pitfall of the phone, in my opinion. I woke up this morning with the phone plugged in and at 100% power. After just 1 hour and 54 minutes of use, mostly browsing the web, listening to music via Bluetooth, checking a couple emails, and making a 15 minute phone call, my power was down to 69%! I took a screenshot and will post it in the "customer photos" section later today. The screenshot clearly shows how much time has elapsed since the battery was fully charged, and what it is at now. The largest majority of that power, according to the phone, was used by the Fire operating system. The next highest amount was used by the screen, which is set to auto so it's not even that bright, followed by the Silk browser, and voice calls. The biggest thing I used the phone for this morning was listening to music which only used a couple percentage points of the power! This is UNACCEPTABLE and is the worst I've experienced with any other phone I've reviewed. I emailed Amazon about it and am requesting another phone to see if perhaps mine just has a defective battery. Are you having a similar problem with your battery? Let us all know in the comments section below so we can see how wide-spread this problem is.
UPDATE: 1/22/2015: The battery on the replacement phone I was sent is, like the previous one, horrible. I continue to receive daily emails from customers complaining about the same problem and these are people who are previous users of similar high-end smartphones from the Samsung Galaxy line, Apple, and so forth. That said, after careful consideration, I docked a star from the review making it a 4-star product (7/10). Sorry Amazon.
*** APP AVAILABILITY ***
There are nearly 250,000 apps available on the Amazon App Store which is pretty impressive given how new the Amazon ecosystem is, compared to the competition. The Fire Phone comes pre-loaded with the core Amazon apps such as messaging, email, calendar, maps, weather, Silk browser, Amazon Instant Video, Amazon App Store, and of course a "shop" app that allows easy access to purchasing items from Amazon. I won't go over every app that comes installed as Amazon has provided a list in the product description. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and others are pre-loaded but you'll notice right away that the YouTube app (owned by Google) is not. More on that debacle below:
*** GOOGLE COMPATIBILITY ISSUES ***
As I mentioned at the beginning of the review, Amazon is in direct competition with Apple and Google in terms of app and music purchases so the first thing you'll notice is even though this is an "Android based phone," some of your most used Android apps are not going to be installed, nor can they be downloaded from the Amazon App Store. However, after a week or so of testing, another customer and reader of this review, Jason Singleton, has discovered a way to load the Google Play Store and the core Google apps and they run without problems! Read the update below for details:
UPDATE: 12/08/2014: Jason Singleton, one of the customers who read this review, informed me that he has found a way to easily sideload the Google Play Store and core Google apps and they function normally without problem. I tested it myself and it works! They also auto-update as normal. He was kind enough to create a webpage with detailed photos and instructions on the process and it can be found at: [...]. He also included my instructions on sideloading, so if you combine our instructions, you'll be able to get your Google Play Store and apps running on the Fire Phone in no time. *** PLEASE NOTE: Attempt this at your own risk. Since you are not rooting your phone, in a worst case scenario, you should be able to do a factory reset if there were any problems. Keep in mind, however, since this is not an Amazon recommended process, don't expect MayDay service or customer care to help you much with problems arising out of you sideloading the Google Play Store or Google apps onto the Fire phone. ***
The lack of Google apps was initially a huge deal breaker for many, but now that we've found a solution, hopefully more people will give the phone a chance. The price is constantly fluctuating so get it when the price is right. It started at $199 for Black Friday, shot up to $449 the next week, and now is back down to $229. I'd get it now before the price goes back up!
So how do you "side load" an app? Read below:
*** SIDELOADING INSTRUCTIONS ***
1. Start by launching the Settings app on your Fire Phone
2. Select the "Applications & Parental Controls" section
3. Once you're there, select "Allow non-Amazon app installation"
4. Slide the switch next to the first listing on the next page and wait for the warning!
5. You'll get a warning telling you you're putting your personal data at risk by sideloading. This is just a last ditch effort by Amazon to stop you from using apps other than theirs although the warning is legitimate as Amazon has no control of those non-Amazon apps in terms of privacy of your personal information.
6. You'll need to find your Android apps using a Chrome app that allows you to download the APK for free apps to your desktop.
7. Once you've downloaded the APK file to your desktop, you'll need to upload it to Dropbox or a similar online storage service that has an app available for Fire Phone (since Drive isn't available on the Fire Phone, forget about using that!)
8. From there, you'll install the app by opening the APK file
9. Amazon's Fire OS will recognize the app and install it. And that's basically how side-loading works. It's a pain but it's worth it if you really need that app! *UPDATE: On of the customers who participates in the comments section of this review has listed instructions on how to sideload the core Google apps. His name is Jason and his instruction are on Page 8 of the comments, or somewhere around there. He set up a webpage with photos and step-by-step instructions on how to do it.
*** MOVING DATA FROM YOUR EXISTING PHONE ***
I'm not going to give all of the instructions here as you can find them on Amazon but I will say, it was a fairly easy process moving from Google to Fire OS. I was not able to try it on Apple or Windows phones but I'm sure the process is similar. It wasn't complicated, at least not any more complicated than transferring from Apple to Google and vice versa.
Transfer of your music happens through the USB cable. Your computer should recognize the Fire Phone as a drive and you simply copy and paste your iTunes music library into the Music folder on the Fire Phone. After the music files are copied over, you're good to go. I easily paired the phone to my car via Bluetooth and all of my music was available while driving.
*** PROS AND CONS ***
It wouldn't be a review without a summary of the pros and cons so here they are... they will be updated as I test and evaluate the phone further:
* PROS *
1. THE DISPLAY: The display is a standard 1280x720 display with a 315 ppi pixel density which is more than adequate and exceeds what the human eye can distinguish in terms of individual pixels. By not pushing 500+ ppi density, the display uses less power than those screens.
2. THE PROCESSOR: Using a 2.2 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor and Adreno 330 GPU, you're getting one of the fastest processors available for mobile phones at the moment. While it wasn't quite as peppy as I was expecting, it was still pretty darn fast and responsive. It's also designed to be performance focused while using less power than previous generations.
3: THE CAMERAS: With a 13 megapixel rear camera with image stabilization and the most advanced micro optics available on any mobile phone at the moment, this is one of the best features of the phone. The camera automatically detects images that could benefit from HDR (high dynamic range) and allows you to shoot in HDR if desired.
4: DYNAMIC PERSPECTIVE: A cool feature that presents graphics in 3D, including images from the maps app, games, Amazon product images, and even phone wallpapers.
5. BUILD QUALITY: From the rubberized frame, CNC machined aluminum buttons, and front and rear Gorilla glass, durability is very good. This doesn't mean you can drop the phone and expect it to survive... it's still prone to the glass breaking, just like the iPhone but for scratches, the Gorilla glass provides great protection!
6: APP AVAILABILITY: For being such a new ecosystem, Amazon has done a nice job of adding nearly 250,000 apps to their app store, many of which are less expensive than the ones found on the iTunes store and Google Play Store.
7: SIDELOADING ABILITY: Because Amazon is in direct competition with Apple and Google in terms of app and music sales, Amazon has purposely left out any Google owned apps and services. One of my readers, Jason Singleton, has found a way to easily sideload the Google Play Store and the core Google apps. The apps also auto-update as normal and so far after a week of testing, all appears to be working fine. *** Keep in mine, you do this at your own risk. Since you're not rooting the phone, worst case scenario is you should be able to factory reset the phone, however, don't expect much help from the MayDay service or customer service if you're having problems with your Google services. *** A link to his instructions is provided in the Google App Compatibility section, above.
8. INTEGRATION WITH OTHER AMAZON PRODUCTS/SERVICES: From the benefits of Prime membership, to integration with Fire TV, and the Kindle Fire tablets, the Fire Phone does a great job of making integration with other Amazon services a breeze. You need to commit to the Amazon ecosystem to make full use of this, but when you do, it's amazing what you can do!
9. PRICE: In order to sell the Fire Phone, Amazon has had to slash the price from more than $600 without a contract, to $199 for an unlocked, contract-free version. On top of that, they're throwing in a free year of Prime membership, essentially taking the cost of the phone down to $100.
* CONS *
1. AUDIO: Unlike the Kindle Fire HDX which utilizes Dolby Atmos sound technology (which is phenomenal), the Fire Phone uses Dolby Digital Plus which is decent but nowhere near Dolby Atmos quality. Why Amazon left Atmos off of the Fire Phone is beyond me as it's so much better than Dolby Digital Plus.
2. BATTERY LIFE: Compared to other smartphones, battery life is horrible and I am absolutely shocked that Amazon is claiming it to be 22 hours of talk time. In 8.5 hours are barely touching the phone, only listening to music via Bluetooth for 30 minutes, checking email twice, and taking two photos, I was down to 76% battery life! After careful consideration and the profound number of people experiencing this problem, I have docked a star off the phone. This is a quality control issue and it's serious. Until it get's fixed, this will remain a 7/10 phone. Sorry Amazon.
3. TILTING/TURNING: I understand the concept behind the navigation using tilting and turning of the phone, it is still very buggy and could use some improvement. A simple "back button" would've been nice; instead you need to tilt forward and hope it works, or slide your finger up the screen and hope that works!
4: SIDELOADING: I have this as a pro and con because while it's a very useful feature, Amazon makes it very inconvenient to use it, further strong-arming users to stick to the Fire OS and abandon the non-Amazon Android apps.
*** CONCLUSION ***
In all honesty, I kind of miss my Android phone but like most things, you learn to adapt over time and while I'm mostly likely going back to my Galaxy Note 3, this Fire Phone is fun to play around with at the moment. Like switching from an iPad to a Kindle Fire Tablet, this is an all-in type thing... you have to commit to the Amazon ecosystem or you're not going to be satisfied. If you're already using a Kindle Fire, Fire TV, and so forth, the switch will be easy as you're just adding another device and essentially improving upon the use of your other Amazon devices in the process.
A simple flick of the finger on the Fire Phone sends the video you're watching to your Fire TV... your Kindle books from your Kindle Fire tablet are available on your phone, shopping on Amazon is even easier, as is downloading music, videos, and television shows. If you're heavily invested into the Android ecosystem and rely on Google services for your day to day activities, you're going to get frustrated with this phone... seriously... you have to be committed to this ecosystem or be a casual phone user where the ecosystem doesn't matter as long as you can make calls, text message, check your email, and browse the web.
What seals the deal right now is the price. At the time of this review, the phone is now available unlocked for $199 which includes a free year of Prime membership (which is normally $99 itself.) Essentially you're paying $100 for a smartphone with no contract, so even if you use this as a backup phone, it's worth it. It's kind of sad that Amazon has had to drop the price to this level just to sell the phone, but they probably expected this as they're essentially trying to pull customers away from the "Big 3" (Apple, Google, and Windows) and make them feel welcome in the new ecosystem.
Based on the specs of the phone, the quality of the display and internal components, the app availability, the 3D features, and the price, this phone really does earn a 5-star rating for what is IS. I would never buy this phone at $600 out of contract or even $199 in contract, but at $199 unlocked, without a contract, and a free year of Prime, you really can't pass this deal up.
*** UPDATES ***
As I continue evaluating and testing the phone, I will periodically add update information here:
*** Updates have been made to the DISPLAY section on 12/02/2014, the BATTERY section on 12/02/2014 and 12/08/2014, and the GOOGLE APP COMPATIBILITY section on 12/03/2014 and 12/08/2014. See those sections and look for the "UPDATE", which will appear under the main information.
*** Please feel free to discuss the phone in the comments section below. Thank you for taking the time to read my review! ***
I literately spent 5 minutes installing the apps. I used the firefly feature on the phone to grab the tutorial url off my pc then installed 4 apps and I was in business with Google Play Store. Shortly after I added the dodol launcher for my home screen, also downloaded "launcher switcher" which allows me to quickly open the default Amazon home screen if needed. I've add pictures of my home screen. This took all but 15 minutes. Takes care of pretty much all the complaints. I'm sad I only ordered two of these phones. Amazon has changed the ship time to 1 - 3 weeks now.
Keep in mind I didn't have to root the phone or anything, as of now the background on home screen is black but I'm sure someone will figure out a work around for that.
I've created a full tutorial on how to side load apps. Install Google Play Store and change your home screen launcher, if you want to get rid of the Fire Home Screen.
Please mark helpful if you followed the tutorial so other Fire Phone users can find it.
So a few months ago, I noticed the Fire was $179 unlocked, 32G, and the usual free year of Prime for purchasing it. basically, that made the phone itself $80 to me since I purchase Prime every year anyway. So Why not? I got one.
I'll be honest and say - I have no tech skills, and I don't know RAM from Cache - so My review has nothing technical in it at all. Just what I like and don't like.
The phone itself compared to my iphone is bigger but not heavier. I felt that even without a case it was pretty sturdy. But I don't play that way - I ordered a case same time I ordered the phone. I handed down my iphone to replace my husbands that was not working properly - and even now I sometimes will grab his for something and its almost funny at how much smaller it seems to me - Like wow - how did I ever see anything on it??
The Fire uses the tilt and finger slide left and right a lot, and some people I guess don't like that. Why not? Its a tiny skill that takes little effort to learn....and I'm an idiot, so if I can use it problem free, anyone can - just give it, oh say.... 5 minutes practice.
Since I'm a big Kindle user anyway - I was happy that my music was where I wanted it - since I use Amazon music anyway, I didn't have to transfer it etc. I LOVE not having to deal with iTunes.
The battery life? I'm getting more out of the battery on this phone than I did with my iphone. I don't have specifics, I didn't time it, but I use my phone just as much for same applications, and I feel like I'm not charging it as frequently. I have not turned off the dynamic thing - cause I like it - I think its neat - but I'm told if I turn it off, I'll get even better battery life. Maybe I'll do that if I ever feel there's an issue.
This whole Google play, apps thing - its the only thing that bothers me. I am very versed in Amazon apps. I like them, and usually find what I need. The difference I find is that the itunes app store had apps for things like Lowes, Home Depot, hobby lobby, target, kohls etc, etc - that I used very frequently. Now I do find that for a couple of those, I just use silk browser and the website is just as easy as the app was on iphone. But some store apps have a click here for coupon barcodes, etc - and I don't have that anymore. that's a bummer.
On the same subject, my 14 year old loves my Fire and wants one - but there's no Snap Chat (Heaven forbid!) but she says - Um, I guess that's OK. Then this summer she did an online PE class for school, and it required a certain fitness app. - which of course cannot be found on Amazon. So, I said - hey, use your iphone until class is over then you can switch. But still, what a pain. - so now I'm kinda (not a lot) concerned about apps they might use in school during the year - but I'm sure teachers don't require a lot of those - hopefully.
Sideloading - I'm gonna try ONE more tutorial on how to do it and see if I can figure it out. I did one before and couldn't figure it out to save my life (no tech skills here, seriously). If I can get this to work then I would say this is a perfect phone for me - so....I'll let you know.
That 32gb storage is FANTASTIC - I've barely used 10g so far. Love the storage.
In conclusion, I really really really like it. The only thing I hate, that most people hate is that darn apps thing. but I tell you - it still works just fine for me. But I love my kindle fire - and that's the only tablet I have. Now, my husband has an iPad - so he will probably stick with an iphone for quite a while because he's sort of vested in the whole "i" thing with the use of his tablet - since he can switch between the two easily.
So, unless you have a bunch of "i" stuff already - and if you are already a big fan of kindle and use it as your tablet - this is a great phone. stupid app thing....though. But definitely NOT a problem unless you just can't live without certain apps.
I'm off to buy another one for my son now......its $159 today...so I get another year of prime that I would eventually buy anyway, and a 32g unlocked phone for $60. What a deal. And he couldn't care less about SnapChat.......
UPDATE - 5 minutes after writing this review - I used instructions for sideloading on that Jason - dude's review that is mentioned - and VIOLA! Poof - my store apps and my daughters snapchat. ROCK ON -
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