The Forgotten Amazon Fire Phone

by birtanpublished on October 3, 2020

Uh so this is a thing did you know amazon made a smartphone i sure didn't until someone on my discord brought it up link in the description to the server by the way and as soon as i found out i just had to have it hey how's it going i'm josh from 91 tech and today we're taking a look at the amazon fire phone a smartphone no one seems to remember existed let's discuss why so what you got on deck sky phone lean in then some pinterest you twitter minecraft and then some hunger games

Boom oh you guys are all set huh oh yeah my mom's on fire from it comes with amazon prime tons of cool stuff for no extra charge really it comes with amazon prime yeah there's so much to watch i've been on this earth nine years i've never seen anything like it the new amazon fire phone with a full year of prime included exclusively on at t so in this video i'm not going to be reviewing this phone per se i think i'll probably save that for a video down the line but instead i just want to take a look at it for what it is

And why amazon even made it in the first place it's a 2014 smartphone so clearly it's not going to hold up great anymore but why did amazon discontinue it so quickly there were no others after all what went wrong did anything go right with this phone well the easy answer to what went wrong is amazon using their own operating system in fire os which is basically what they're still putting out with their line of tablets and kindles but it was a bit more than that the hardware was mediocre

It was full of gimmicks and was overpriced for what it was the fire phone is about as bland as a phone gets and the sales reflected that the guardian reported that no more than 35 000 fire phones were sold in the first 20 days this really hurts uh when you take into account that apparently amazon took 107 million loss from lack of sales of this thing so what is this phone even i mean it looks pretty normal we have an all-black design with a 4.7

Inch 720p display we have a small rectangular home button below the display soft plastic sides and a glass back believe it or not it wasn't unusual to see glass phones in 2014 the iphone 4 and 4s brought it in 2010 and 2011 and so many android competitors followed suits even before wireless charging we have the smiling amazon logo there and uh look i have nothing in particular against the amazon logo but it doesn't have the most positive connotation when i see it i think of amazon basics

Which makes a lot of cheap tech products that aren't too bad some are actually quite good but they're cheap and that's the point so when i see this i think cheap i think a much better branding move would have been to put the firework mark on the back here it would be more simple and would separate itself from amazon a little bit which i think would have been the move to make this is the box it's actually pretty neat it's black with a cool design on it and the words dynamic perspective under

Fire i guess what that is and why if you haven't noticed there are literally five cameras on the front of this phone kind of ironic that an amazon phone of all things would have so many cameras given that amazon doesn't have the best rep when it comes to privacy but again it has to do with dynamic perspective so i'll come back to it i picked this phone up just a bit ago off ebay for about 85 canadian plus shipping and customs fees it was actually shipped to me from the uk and you can tell when we get into the

Box and see the power adapter this phone has basic micro usb nothing weird or proprietary so that's no issue the seller included a pretty basic case here so that's cool and inside the box we also have a pair of earbuds that definitely aren't a design stolen from apple earpods and of course a micro usb cable pretty standard for a smartphone and hey the box is cool so i'll take it 85 bucks might seem a bit expensive but that's the price it generally goes for around at least 60 to 100 usd is what you'll see on ebay this phone is

No good anymore at all but because there aren't very many we can get a decent buck for it this is a darn strange phone there's a dedicated camera button on the side and turning it on using the top power button we have a pretty wild lock screen and you can immediately see what the dynamic perspective is it's not going to be as easy to see on camera but the front-facing cameras are there to track your head and face and adjust the ui to give you a 3d perspective and it works like really works it's

Quite unique now does the phone actually look 3d not really but it's different and a lot crazier than just the perspective shifting saying an iphone would do when you tilt it even when you unlock the phone the home screen still shifts with the dynamic perspective and again it's pretty good even on like a table it still seems to track my face it's neat but completely and utterly useless and critics were right to call it a gimmick at launch the os itself is so bland looking it hurts just a dark grey background with

The most generic looking app icons possible this is fire os not quite android but amazon's own thing it's used on their own tablet still and is a fork from android so it's derived from it but it still does limit us from having access to the google play store by default you'll need to get everything from amazon you can use a backdoor method to get the google play store pretty easily but clearly the average user was never going to do this amazon does have some apps but it's always been missing a lot of big ones such as instagram snapchat you name it

Of course you can still load them but that's a pain and not something the majority of users would ever figure out again this isn't my full review so i'm not going to go too in-depth into the phone and it's hardware but more about why and how this thing even happened in the first place because it's weird this phone was a huge ginormous flop for so many reasons the limited ecosystem has mentioned the mediocre hardware and probably more than anything else the starting price

The reason amazon tablets have done fairly well is because they're cheap ultimately your device could be as crappy as possible but if it's functional and cheap people will still buy it but instead of following this trend jeff bezos and amazon decided to make a full featured flagship that had a price of 650. if you signed on with a contract the price was dropped to 200 within two months at t dropped that price to 99 cents with a contract yeah

People pretty much immediately soured on the amazon phone it brought nothing new to the table except firefly which i'll get to and the 3d effect which was more of a party trick than anything else it was a pointless device that at best could be compared to the mid-tier android phones at the time but those have the benefit of actually running android what could amazon have done differently well make an actually cheap phone take out the 3d crap and push it down to like 400 as opposed to 650. all of a sudden you would have a much larger market base

People who made the mistake of being early adopters regretted it quickly amazon touted it as being a phone for their prime customers but if you wanted it on contract you had to sign up with att at least in the us speaking of prime let's go back to firefly their second biggest headlining feature firefly was a simple function that uses the camera to scan and identify thousands of items and barcodes to find them on amazon we have this now more regularly with ai advancing but at the time this was pretty new

Kind of an interesting concept but when you think about it all it's really trying to do is get you to buy these scanned items on amazon it really wasn't more than extra advertising crammed in and a pathetic attempt for more purchases bezos looking in hindsight has defended the amazon fire phone as a bold bet i mean he's not wrong about that and he actually initially said it would take many years and models to get things right well we're six years down the road and this is the only fire phone we've seen

And one of the things one of the hard things that customers have come to expect from amazon is that we invent the project began around the time of the iphone 4 launch in 2010. bezos's plan from the start was to wow consumers why would they buy an amazon phone if they could get an iphone bezos wanted to make something big and bold to pull over customers the idea of making a phone fully for the consumer is a good one and something i wish phone makers did now but unfortunately in this case the

Consumer starts to look more and more like jeff bezos at least as time went on he came up with a ton of crazy features and funnily enough a lot of them we have in some form nowadays nfc for contactless payments well that's been a thing since the iphone 6. hands-free interactions so users could interact with the phone using air gestures hey that sounds like the pixel 4 and it's just as pointless on there as it would have been on the fire phone and then a

Force sensitive grip that could respond in different ways depending on the amount of pressure yeah that sounds like the squeeze gestures on pixel that opens google assistant clearly all these things were scrapped eventually but it gives you an impression of what bezos was wanting to do every single little decision with the phone went through bezos he apparently was the reason they went with a 13 megapixel camera instead of the more typical for the era 8 megapixels by the

Way a lot of this info i got from an article by fast company it was posted back in 2015. it's a really good read i would totally recommend it so if you want to hear more about this phone i'll have the link in the description most developers weren't particularly happy with bezos's firm grasp on things but they kept on because supposedly it paid well but time moved forward and the prototypes were hardly functional so in 2013 the company decided to trash most of the project and start over

What remained from the initial aspirations the 3d functionality which bezos forced to stick around a lot of the devs thought it was a pointless feature given that there wasn't any benefit to the consumer whatsoever but bezos was relentless and then there was the pricing they wanted to position the brand somewhere close to apple in terms of competition and levels of premiumness and so they made the fire phone one of the more expensive phones on the market which was about a mistake and a half because it

Didn't sell apparently they had a backup idea for a cheaper phone that was exclusive to prime members either given for free or for cheap this actually i think would have been a good idea and would have done well but the fire phone was such a failure i don't doubt amazon just wanted to distance themselves from it and everything to do with it ultimately the fire phone was a complete disaster and likely would be the largest mistake of any smartphone venture ever if it weren't for you know the whole

Windows phone debacle this phone is interesting but the design and software is bland and the gimmicks it brings are utterly pointless so why is this phone more or less forgotten simply because it failed to make any splash whatsoever heck i hadn't even heard of it since recently and i was pretty into tech as a kid i don't know how this will pass my radar and with that i'm pretty much done here this was the story of one of the strangest devices i've ever had the pleasure of looking at and i would say in general one of the

Strangest tech devices to hit the market i actually really enjoyed researching it this was kind of a fascinating development cycle you don't see things like this very often an attempt to usurp apple and android and come up with something completely different and the reason you don't see it very often is because it always fails i would say windows phone probably got the closest to actually getting somewhere but in the end uh well they didn't did any of you have this phone back in the day did any of you

Hear about it think about getting it let me know in the comments down below it's a weird one i'm kind of curious to hear if anybody has any experience with it if you found this video interesting maybe hit that like button and consider subscribing for more content just like this you can follow me over on twitter and instagram 91 underscore tech if you'd like to for some reason and yeah discord server link in the description come by and say hi thank you all so much for watching i really do appreciate it hit

200 000 subscribers recently and that's quite the milestone so uh thanks to everyone who's been around and uh supported my content i really appreciate it this is my dream job and i'm living it i plan to push this as far as i can but yeah i'm josh from 91 tech and i will see you all next time you

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