Amazon is hosting a fire sale on the Amazon Fire Phone, its first foray into the world of smartphones. The enticing Amazon Fire Phone deal looks good on paper but there are more than a few reasons why you should avoid this device and spend your money on something else.
For years, rumors of an Amazon phone swirled, teasing consumers interested in a device built upon Amazon’s slew of services. Then, last year, all of those rumors stopped. Last summer, Amazon finally made good on all of the whispering and released the Amazon Fire Phone, an exclusive to AT&T and an alternative to Apple’s iPhone, Google’s Android platform and Microsoft’s array of Windows Phone powered devices.
For six months now, Amazon’s Fire Phone has been available through Amazon and through AT&T though we hadn’t heard much from it until today. Today, Amazon dropped the Fire Phone price down hundreds of dollars.
The company’s deal drops the Fire Phone price down to just $189 unlocked. That’s a difference of $260. Amazon is also offering the Fire Phone for a dollar with a new AT&T contract. That deal is not new but it’s one that consumers are probably taking a look at now that the unlocked price has dropped down to its absurd point.
It’s a tempting offer and one that those in the hunt for a new smartphone would be wise to consider. Key word, consider.
Amazon’s Fire Phone comes with some likable features: A free year of Amazon Prime. A good camera. Mostly good battery life. And Mayday support for those that need it. It also takes advantage of Amazon’s core services, services like Instant Video, Amazon Cloud Drive, Prime Music, the popular Kindle platform, and more. Now, it’s also dirt cheap. But that doesn’t mean that you should buy it. In fact, there are plenty of reasons why you shouldn’t buy the Amazon Fire Phone.
It’s Not a Good Phone
The price tag is attractive but the phone offers little incentive to make the switch from a platform like iOS or Android.
If you’re coming from the iPhone, you’re going to have to be in love with Amazon’s services to make the switch. And those of you coming from Android will need to realize that this is not an Android smartphone. Yes, it runs a skinned version of Android that Amazon calls Fire OS but it looks nothing like Android 5.0 Lollipop, won’t get Android updates and doesn’t have access to key services from Google. Once again, you’ll need to be heavily invested in Amazon’s services to get any value out of this phone.
It doesn’t help that both the hardware and software are subpar. The screen fails to impress. The design is nothing to write home about. It’s only available on AT&T’s network. And Amazon’s touted Fire OS is clunky, sluggish and miserable on the eyes. The battery life and the camera aren’t bad but we don’t know too many people that are willing to invest money, and make no mistake this phone will cost you far more than the up front cost, into a phone that only does a few things right.
There’s another problem too.
There Are Better, Inexpensive Phones Out There
The Amazon Fire Phone price is priced insanely low but there are a number of smartphones out there that come with better hardware, better software, better overall packages without too much of an investment.
Apple’s $99 iPhone 5s is a much better smartphone. The iPhone 5c is comparable and it’s free-on-contract. The LG G3, Moto X, Samsung Galaxy S5, HTC One M8, Nokia Lumia 1520, HTC One M8 for Windows. All of these are high quality former flagships. All of these are cheap. The difference between these and the Amazon Fire Phone is that they are worth your money. The Amazon Fire Phone is not.
There is just too much red tape to cross here. You’ll need to switch to AT&T. You’ll need to fall in love with a platform that simply isn’t as developed as iOS, Android or even Windows Phone. It’s too much work, too much hassle for an average smartphone that Amazon is clearly trying to offload after taking a massive write-down.
Ultimately, it’s up to you but we think most of you are going to be much better off avoiding this deal and opting for something else.