Review: Amazon Fire Phone

A hands-on review of Amazon’s Fire phone

Amazon’s family of gadgets continues to expand from tablets to a set top box. Their latest offering is a smartphone called Fire that packs some neat tricks, but the question still remains: Is it pocket-worthy?

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A 3D-esque display called Dynamic Perspective changes what your seeing on the phone’s screen depending on how you’re facing it; An instant cataloging feature called Fire Fly can identify just about any product from books to music for easy purchase later in the Amazon store; And the camera on the phone is very usable with a fast focus and good photos in bright conditions.

Check out Rich’s sample pictures with the Fire phone.

Altogether, it’s a great phone for the casual user–someone who’s looking for an easy to use, dependable phone that just works. And in case you run into any problems, Amazon also offers the Mayday feature where a customer service representative walks you through your technical issues via video chats.

But, where it’s lacking is the freedom and customizability many Android users have grown fond of.

The home screen, the apps you can install and even the media you can consume are all strictly controlled by Amazon. While Google and Apple may skirt the line with their devices, the Fire, at times, feels more like a tool for Amazon to market and sell products, than it is a useful smartphone.