Amazon is continuing to fiddle with the Fire Phone's software even after it became apparent that the device isn't selling terribly well. An OTA is going out right now to the AT&T and GSM unlocked devices with a ton of improvements to the camera, battery life, lock screen, and more.
Amazon was forced to concede that its much-anticipated Fire Phone was not a big seller when AT&T dropped the price mere weeks after it was released. When the retailer's quarterly results were announced, we learned the scale of the screw up. Now Amazon is washing its hands of the whole mess. It's unloading unsold 32GB Fire Phones unlocked for $199 off-contract. The off-contract price at launch was $650 and AT&T charged $199 with a 2-year agreement.
Until now, Amazon's Kindle and Fire devices have lacked one important feature that sets them far behind their Android counterparts: porn. Wait, that's not true, there's tons of porn on Amazon, you can hardly look on the bookstore without seeing self-published Harlequin-style short stories. But if you want to browse a bunch of sites on the less savory side of the Internet on your Kindle Fire without leaving a trail, you're out of luck.
The Fire Phone is reportedly selling very poorly, but surely this will get things back on track. Amazon has released two new games (sort of) that include support for Dynamic Perspective on the Fire Phone. They're both free... if only you had a Fire Phone.
The Fire Phone is a tough sell when there are so many great Android devices available with Google services, and it looks like AT&T agrees. After just a few months of (reportedly) poor sales, the Fire Phone has dropped to just $0.99 with a new 2-year contract. I'm seeing shades of the HTC First here.
Amazon's first smartphone isn't that great, but the company is already moving to improve the experience with the device's first OTA update. This bumps the FireOS version up to 3.5.1, and includes a slew of new features and improvements:
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.
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 wants you to buy its shiny new Fire Phone, and one of the biggest selling points is that fancy head-tracking camera system. So naturally, the first two games to come out of the company's home-bred Amazon Game Studios for the Fire Phone feature functionality that can only be done with that specific hardware. Unfortunately, both platformer To-Fu Fury (available now for $2) and Match 3 RPG Saber's Edge (free) exhibit classic signs of Kinect Syndrome.
Amazon is hoping the Fire Phone will be a hit with consumers despite the higher than expected price and AT&T exclusivity. To make its case, the retailer is looking to ensure there are plenty of apps and games that take advantage of the device's unique features. Developers can get up to $15,000 in Amazon coins to give away to users if they go along. There are some caveats, of course, but that's a lot of free money.