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Amazon Fire Phone review



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Amazon Fire Phone
  • Amazon Fire Phone
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  • Amazon Fire Phone
  • Amazon Fire Phone
  • Amazon Fire Phone
  • Amazon Fire Phone
  • Amazon Fire Phone
  • Amazon Fire Phone
  • Amazon Fire Phone
  • Amazon Fire Phone
  • Amazon Fire Phone
  • Amazon Fire Phone
  • Amazon Fire Phone
  • Amazon Fire Phone
  • Amazon Fire Phone
  • Amazon Fire Phone
  • Amazon Fire Phone
  • Amazon Fire Phone
  • Amazon Fire Phone
  • Amazon Fire Phone
  • Amazon Fire Phone
  • Amazon Fire Phone
  • Amazon Fire Phone


Our Score:



  • Innovative software
  • Dynamic Perspective works well


  • Huge Amazon lock-in
  • Overpriced
  • No Google apps

Key Features

  • 4.7-inch 1,280 x 720 display
  • Snapdragon 800 processor
  • 13-megapixel camera
  • Dynamic Perspective motion sensors
  • Amazon Fire OS
  • Manufacturer: Amazon
  • Review Price: to be confirmed

What is the Amazon Fire Phone?

It’s not often, but every now and then a smartphone arrives that shakes us out of the endless cycle of sequel devices with incremental spec upgrades and slightly bigger screens. The Amazon Fire Phone is one such device.

Unlike the Kindle readers and the early Kindle Fire tablets, this isn’t a cut-price gadget aiming to change the market and lower the point of entry, it is a fully-fledged, premium-priced smartphone aiming to go straight in and compete with the upcoming iPhones 6, Galaxy S5 and and HTC One M8.

The Fire Phone is on sale in the US for $649 and on contract via AT&T, but Amazon hasn’t announced plans for a wider release.

Fire Phone 9

Amazon Fire Phone: Design

Anyone familiar with Amazon’s popular range of Kindle Fire tablets will have a fair idea of what to expect from the Fire Phone. It has a reassuringly heft and a solid, sturdy feel to it, but falls a little short when compared to super premium build of handsets like the HTC One M8 and iPhone 5S.

Its deep black chassis is adorned by a single sheet of Corning Gorilla Glass 3 on both the front and rear. The rubberised grip on the sides the Fire Phone adds to the comfort level, but the edges have a pronounced angular feel that can be almost sharp and a little awkward to begin with.

There are five aluminium buttons, also black. The power/display button sits on the top left corner and with a one handed grip it’s a little awkward to access. The home button is the only one on the face. Finally, on the left side sits the volume rockers and the camera shutter button. Pressing the camera button takes you straight to the capture screen even when the phone is locked, so there’s less chance you’ll miss a shot.

SEE ALSO: 8 things you need to know about the Fire Phone

Fire Phone 13

Speaking of cameras, the Fire Phone has something no other phone on the market does. Five front facing cameras. One of these is the 2.1-megapixel video calling/selfie cam, while the other four lenses (one in each corner) are motion sensors that assist the Dynamic Perspective tool, the Fire Phone’s unique user interface. The rear-facing camera and LED flash sit in the top right corner, behind the Gorilla Glass.

At 160g it weighs exactly the same as the metal-clad HTC One M8 and is slightly heavier than the Samsung Galaxy S5 (145g), both of which have larger screens. In terms of thickness it sits between those two top-end Android phones. Its 8.95mm girth compares with the 8.1mm S5 and 9.35mm M8.

SEE ALSO: Best Smartphones Round-up

Fire Phone 5

Amazon Fire Phone: Screen

The Fire Phone arrives with a 4.7-inch IPS LCD display, falling slightly below the current craze for handsets that have crept north of 5-inches. It also has a 720p HD (1280 x 720) resolution, again less than the typical 1080p resolution of top phones.

This also means you won’t enjoy the Full HD 1080p movies from the Amazon Prime Instant Video service, which is bundled in with the phone, to their fullest. Video streaming performance was great and reliable over Wi-Fi and 4G data, though, and at this size you probably won’t notice the difference in quality. Indeed, the pixel density is still an over-par 312 pixels per inch (ppi), only slightly less than the 326ppi of the iPhone 5S.

Amazon does include and ambient light sensor and Dynamic Image contrast, which promises better performance in outdoor conditions. Following our tests, we can attest to the validity of this. It remained visible even on a particularly bright South Florida afternoon even with Sunglasses. Compared to the iPhone 5’s Retina Display in the same conditions, we found the Fire Phone performed considerably better.

SEE ALSO: Best Android Phones Round-up

Fire Phone 7

Colours are bright and vibrant, something immediately evidenced by the default lockscreen scene of a forest, which jumps off the display thanks to the neat Dynamic Perspective UI tool, which we’ll get into shortly. Text looks crisp and clear even at short distances, while the Gorilla Glass 3 should ensure it stays relatively free of scratches and scrapes along the way.

Overall though, despite offering adequate performance, the Fire Phone’s display is a bit of a let down. Considering the SIM-free cost is $649 and akin to the absolute best handsets on the market, there’s no reason consumers should settle for anything less than Full HD, especially with QHD displays such as the one within the LG G3 will soon become commonplace.

Carrier pricing updates & information supplied by WhistleOut

Gareth Barber

August 21, 2014, 10:29 pm

Remind me what is the iPhone resolution at that size? http://www.trustedreviews.c...
If the screen really had 1080p or 4k for that matter does the reviewer believe they could see the difference? Ludicrous, its reviews like this that caused the camera megapixel wars or going even further the bloody pointless Pentium 4, and in the near future teeny tiny screens with stupendous and absolutely pointless resolutions.


August 22, 2014, 8:52 am

The iPhone 5S is 4-inches, not 4.7. Quite a lot smaller in real terms.

Gareth Barber

August 22, 2014, 9:46 am

So an extra .7inches or 15% increase would require a doubling of the resolution to be a good modern phone?

It simply doesn't matter, you can't see the difference, and with things you look at that's the only important factor.

1080p is too high a resolution to use on a 11inch pc, (admittedly a windows one that can't do scaling at all) so what makes anyone think you need more on a screen with 1/4 of the area simply doesn't make sense. All the phone will be doing is scaling things to be effectively a much lower resolution, and eating more battery in the process.


August 22, 2014, 10:18 am

You know what, you're totally right. :)

That said, I don't think that changes the fact the Fire Phone is a bit of a miss. Some nice ideas, but it's not a complete product yet. Interesting to see if Amazon persists with it or not.


August 22, 2014, 1:07 pm

It's Amazon, so it's a no from me. Customer support,, yes the people on the phone are lovely to talk too, but when you get ripped off on the Amazon store they can't / won't do anything. At least with eBay you get buyer protection. Sorry for the rant, but anything Amazon makes my blood boil. :)

Gareth Barber

August 22, 2014, 1:30 pm

Oh I agree, I visit trusted reviews almost every day, and do generally 'trust' the reviews, so its saddening when such unimportant and irrelevant things are picked at, based on a specs war.

I won't be buying the phone ;)


September 9, 2014, 3:37 pm

Please tell me the last time you held a notebook as close to your face as your phone. Viewing distance must be taken into account.

Gareth Barber

September 9, 2014, 4:59 pm

I use a laptop at a distance so that it fills by field of view, I do a similar to a smart phone, the relative size of the pixels will be near the same.
If you can tell the difference between a 720p and a 1080p resolution on a 5 inch display at anything approaching normal usage distances then you can give yourself a medal and buy a more expensive phone with a spec that most of us simply wouldn't feel the benefit.

The so called retina display goes beyond what we can easily perceive without nose not the screen, what bonus is received by increasing pixel density yet further?


January 27, 2015, 4:12 pm

So now that the Fire Phone can be purchased for around $200 and can get Google Play Store and apps on it without rooting, how would it rate? I'm interested!

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