By now, you've probably heard a lot about Amazon's Fire Phone. I figure that most people aren't really curious about what the overall phone is like – if you've used a Kindle Fire/HD/HDX then you already know. It's about Amazon services and a weird launcher layout thing. Most people are curious about the four front-facing cameras and Dynamic Perspective. I'm with you on that – that's exactly what I was curious about before getting this phone for review.
Most of us approach Amazon as consumers. Whether it's a physical product or some digital goodie, we want to buy everything we can get our hands on. The site loves this about us, so it's made itself so compelling to use that the thought of shopping elsewhere is often proceeded by "Meh, I'll check Amazon first." The thing is, Amazon's selection wouldn't be nearly as comprehensive without the many merchants who also use the site to sell their wares.
Update: As it turns out, there's many more where that came from. Carcassonne is part of Amazon's current "Over $100 in Essential Apps FREE Thursday and Friday Only" deal. It's joined by a slew of free apps and games.
There's always a free app of the day in the Amazon Appstore, but sometimes consumers are treated to multiple giveaways on the site at the same time. Today's free app, Sorcery, is joined by Carcassonne, which just happens to be going for the glorious price of $0.00 at the same time.
There's a bitter divide in the world of Android hardware: those who love expandable storage and those who don't. (There are a few who are indifferent and level-headed, but they never seem to speak up in the comments section.) If you fall into the former category, head over to Amazon's Gold Box one-day deal page. They're selling Transcend brand MicroSD cards for dirt cheap.
You can pick up a 32GB MicroSD card for $13.99, more than $20 off of Amazon's regular price.
The Amazon Appstore is slowly expanding to become a notable addition to the Android landscape, and though the Fire Phone isn't getting much love from reviewers, it's certainly giving Amazon a reason to boost the Appstore's profile. The latest promotion makes 30 paid apps free, over a $100 value. While not all of them are must-haves, more than a few deserve your attention. This time around the focus is more on tools than games, but there should be at least one entry for everyone.
The Amazon Appstore doesn't have as many games as Google Play, but it sure knows how to give them away. In addition to the long-running free app of the day (today, Age of Zombies), the store regularly dishes out discounted games in mass. Today all but two of Disney's sixteen paid games are available for 99 cents each, with ten of them usually costing a couple dollars more.
Unfortunately Disney's $9.99 HD remake of Castle of Illusion isn't one of the ten discounted titles.
The Amazon Fire phone is interesting for a number of reasons. It's the company's first attempt at a smartphone. It crams Fire OS into a smaller form factor than it's had to accommodate before. It has five - yes, five - front-facing cameras, four of which serve as the backbone for what Amazon calls Dynamic Perspective. One thing the phone is not interesting for, however, is being a good deal (more on that below).
Amazon's Prime Music service, a free add-on for anyone who's already a Prime subscriber, launched to a resounding "meh." The app and service functions well enough, but with plenty of alternatives both free and paid, Amazon's boast of "over one million songs" rang somewhat hollow. As a Prime subscriber myself, I saw it as a nice perk, but it's no reason to stop paying for Google Play Music All Access as well.