Re­view: Ama­zon Fire Phone

Australian T3 - - CONTENTS -

The re­tail gi­ant’s US-only mo­bile makes

it eas­ier than ever to, er, buy things…

US$649, ama­

The re­tail su­per­firm’s US-only mis­sion to grab a slice of the tele­coms mar­ket is more than a tad dis­ap­point­ing.

Ama­zon’s first Fire phone runs on its own Fire OS ver­sion of An­droid, fa­mil­iar from the Kin­dle Fire tablets. The hero fea­ture is Fire­fly, which… en­ables you to buy stuff from Ama­zon more eas­ily. Thanks, guys. Money-grab­bing aside, it’s clever: point your cam­era at a prod­uct for in­sta buy-it-now links. It can also rec­og­nize mu­sic, movies and TV shows, Shazam- style.

The spec’s fine for an up­per-mid-priced phone, although far from flag­ship qual­ity – 4.7-inch, 720p screen, okay 13-megapixel cam­era, 2.2GHz Snap­dragon quad­core pro­ces­sor with Adreno 330 GPU. The bat­tery gives over a day of gen­eral use, which is above av­er­age nowa­days.

But you will spend half of that time try­ing to find things in the hor­ri­bly un­in­tu­itive in­ter­face. With no menu or back but­ton, common ac­tions are done via ges­tures, which is a pain to pick up and an­noy­ing even once picked up.

If you’re fa­mil­iar with Ama­zon’s other de­vices you may feel at home, but the ab­sence of Google Play, hav­ing to flip through end­less apps to get the one you want, and the point­less­ness of the Fire’s other in­no­va­tion – Dy­namic Per­spec­tive, which gives the screen a 3D ef­fect you’ll turn off straight away – mean this re­ally lacks spark. love Easy Ama­zon shop­ping. De­cent bat­tery life hate Poor in­ter­face. Ex­pen­sive for what you get. Lit­tle more than one big ad­ver­tise­ment T3 says A po­ten­tially de­cent mo­bile spoiled by its "USPs"

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