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BDFL - Memuneh
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Topic # 147431 19-Jun-2014 07:55
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The Amazon Fire Phone almost here... There's a version without contract (AT&T, is it unlocked?) 

Specs include UMTS/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100 MHz), Quad-band GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz), 9 bands of LTE (Bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 17, 20), supports carrier aggregation. Battery size: 2400mAh. Talk time: up to 22 hours; standby time: up to 285 hours. Video playback: up to 11 hours; audio playback: up to 65 hours.



Who is keen to try it?








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  Reply # 1069007 19-Jun-2014 08:16
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Yeah, nah.

Edit: Looking at the camera comparison they have, the S5 and 5s both show no OIS while the Fire has it turned on???

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  Reply # 1069021 19-Jun-2014 09:02
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It's probably mostly their way of getting you to buy more stuff on amazon.




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  Reply # 1069029 19-Jun-2014 09:19
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If I'm reading the Amazon page correctly, it's US$649 without a service plan, so about NZ$1000 if you buy here or import and add GST.  That seems really expensive for a phone with a 720p display
It might appeal to someone who is totally embedded in the Amazon ecosystem, in the same way that iphones for people who are embedded in the Apple ecosystem

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  Reply # 1069046 19-Jun-2014 09:34
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I was a little underwhelmed and then I saw the price and I became majorly underwhelmed.

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  Reply # 1069048 19-Jun-2014 09:37
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Too expensive.  I would have thought Amazon would have made it way cheaper to get people into their ecosystem.  Even people in the US are saying forget it at that price..




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  Reply # 1069077 19-Jun-2014 09:56
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That price is insane. Amazon do not have the marketshare in the cell phone business to demand a premium price on a very not premium phone.

Taking the piss

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  Reply # 1069091 19-Jun-2014 10:01
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That pricing is a bit weird really considering their tablets are competitively priced. Maybe they don't see end users buying into the Amazon economic system so much with a phone.




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  Reply # 1069099 19-Jun-2014 10:14
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I expect a big price reduction very soon. As said above, their tablet pricing is pretty sharp, why have they priced this phone higher than a Galaxy and iPhone (amongst others)??

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  Reply # 1069101 19-Jun-2014 10:30
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No Google Playstore.   - Boring!.




Voice gives context

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  Reply # 1069104 19-Jun-2014 10:34
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To quote the good Doctor 

"Good God in heaven, Newbie, there are just so very many ways for me to say this to you: Never; not in a million years; absolutely not; no way, Jose; no chance, Lance; niet; negatory; mm-mm; nuh-uh; oh-oh; and of course my own personal favorite of all time, man falling off of a cliff — “Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!…"


To clarify why I say this, I believe it will end up an Orphaned device due to poor sales.




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  Reply # 1069106 19-Jun-2014 10:35
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sdavisnz: No Google Playstore.   - Boring!.


I actually installed the Amazon Store on my devices - they have a Free App of the Day section plus bonus coins when buying from them... 




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  Reply # 1069123 19-Jun-2014 10:59
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freitasm:
sdavisnz: No Google Playstore.   - Boring!.


I actually installed the Amazon Store on my devices - they have a Free App of the Day section plus bonus coins when buying from them... 


Agreed, as someone with quite an investment in the Amazon eco system, I found their playstore pretty good, plus they are always doing promos for free apps, or free amazon coins if you try apps etc. Much more incentives than using the play store in my opinion. Last week alone I got $30 of coins to spend on apps, for doing a very small amount of stuff.

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  Reply # 1069174 19-Jun-2014 12:25

The head tracking is impressive, and the image recognition and content suggestion from Firefly looks to be genuinely useful. The Amazon smartphone has been a long time coming, and it's nice they've finally put it out there.

However, one of the biggest rumours around this product was the potential for it to shake up the US wireless industry's broken business models which devalue hardware, and it hasn't. Amazon have changed a number of industries by making e-tail more convenient and sharply priced than retail, yet they've gone with a poorly-received choice in this case. Exclusivity to a single US operator seems to me to indicate that the others didn't want it, or didn't want it at the price Amazon was asking - this isn't exactly the equivalent of the 2007 iPhone launch. The dismal failure of the HTC First, aka Facebook Phone, also an AT&T exclusive gimmicks-first device like this one, seems a likely analogue.

I do expect Amazon to pump money into this device and its inevitable successors until they have, well, some measure of success. It remains to be seen exactly how that will play out. The cleverest piece of all of this is that it is essentially a point-of-sale device, designed to crush brick & mortar stores by marrying that purchase impulse of seeing a product in person with the instant gratification of getting a better deal. Consumer sees item x on a shelf, decides it's for them after examining, scans it with their phone, sees it's less dollars on Amazon, orders then and there with a single click for swift delivery. The Fire Phone is a glorified EFTPOS terminal, and as an idea, that's sharp - if a bit evil.

As for the device itself, I'm sorry, but it's completely hideous - the design looks dated already with those cameras all over the show - the UI is inexcusably awful and inefficient, and I'm really not a fan of Amazon's app store (It does provide some measure of utility to Blackberry 10 devices, mind you, and I would take a BB10 device over this any day of the week). The dynamic perspective, while 'cool', looks even less useful than Samsung's stop-playing-video-when-you-turn-away feature (Seriously, there was a giant billboard on the Downtown mall in Auckland's CDB that advertised that feature of the S4. The Galaxy S series has some genuinely excellent features that look gimmicky at first, like Smart Stay, Multiwindow, and S Beam, so I'm puzzled as to why that feature got the limelight). That said, Samsung did pioneer the tilt-to-scroll feature, but didn't do it very well, so Amazon may help get that idea where it needs to go - could be genuinely useful if done right.

Expecting a massive price drop after initial sales disappoint.

On a side note, Microsoft are rumoured to be working on a similar head tracking setup for Windows Phone. I have much more faith in MS finding something useful to do with it - and adding depth to a UI has a lot of potential for utility in my view - due to their experience with the Kinect sensor. I mean, look at that video above. The Amazon exec explains that the device doesn't show much information on a map search if you look at it straight-on, but does if you tilt it away from you. Doesn't it strike them as fundamentally a bit silly to show more information when the device is tilted away from the user's face? Would you not want to optimise for the best viewing position? Why is any of this more useful than using a finger?

tl;dr - silly first-gen product, but money will likely be thrown at this until it catches on.




Product Manager @ PB Tech

https://pbtech.co.nz/smartphones


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