Amazon Fire Phone: Should You Buy One?

Amazon recently released the Amazon Fire Phone – their first foray into the smartphone market. The phone is built around the Amazon Prime experience and runs the same heavily modified version of Google Android found on the Kindle Fire tablet. This means that it will have access to the 240,000+ apps in the Amazon app store, but not every app available in the Google Play app store (roughly five times the size of the Amazon app store).

What’s missing? Most notably, Snapchat and YouTube.

Should You Buy the Amazon Fire Phone?

Amazon Fire PhoneThe Fire Phone is a market leader in a single category – mobile shopping at Amazon. That’s thanks to the “Firefly” feature, which is essentially an everything scanner. Once you load the Firefly app, you point the phone at just about any product, a DVD, a bottle of water, or any number of 70 million other products – and the Fire Phone will display it on Amazon.

Firefly also recognizes over 240,000 movies and TV episodes, and 160 live TV channels. Firefly uses X-Ray, powered by IMDb, to show information on actors, plot details, and related content—add titles to your Watchlist or download to watch later.

The Fire Phone also features a 13 MP camera that can shoot 1080P video.

The big bonus is a free year of Amazon Prime (normally $99) with every phone purchase. If you’re a Prime customer already, Amazon will add 12 months to your existing Prime subscription. Amazon is also including 1,000 Amazon Coins (a $10 value) for apps, games and in-app purchases with the phone. Finally, for photo fanatics, Amazon is offering free unlimited Cloud Drive storage for pictures you take with the Fire Phone.

How Much Does the Amazon Fire Phone Cost?

The Fire Phone will be an AT&T exclusive (at least to start), and is now available for pre-order (to launch on July 25). $200 for the 32GB version and $300 for the 64GB model along with the standard two-year contract.

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