Amazon Lover, Your Phone Has Landed at $0.99. Amazon Fire Phone Fire Sale!
Why now, Amazon?
Did you see the news that Amazon has dropped the price of the Fire phone to $0.99? Less than a dollar for a mid-top-tier phone one day in advance of the big iPhone event. What does this mean?
Well, let's think about the Apple event going on tomorrow. All rumors point to two different iPhones, a possible iWatch, an iPayment system, and possibly a couple other tech announcement earthquakes on top. People have been waiting in line to get a glimpse of the new devices (even though Apple typically doesn't ship devices for a couple of weeks after the event) and the iMadness is at a fever pitch.
Across the Pacific, Samsung just unveiled a handful of new handsets including the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and a phone with a cascading edge screen. LG's G3 handset has set a new bar for plastic Android phones, and HTC's One phone might be the best phone out there, period. And little old Amazon Fire phone is sitting on the shelves without much interest from consumers or corporate customers.
So maybe it's not the worst time for Amazon... but does that mean it's worth buying this phone for $0.99 with contract?
Amazon Fire Phone
The Best Amazon Device Out There
Before I dive into specs and all the geeky things you need to know about the phone, let me make an easy statement: This is the best Amazon device out there.
Here's a short list of reasons:
- It has the latest Amazon software which is easily the best device for making Amazon purchases online and watching their Prime Instant Video offerings.
- It includes a free year of Amazon Prime which nets you 1 year of free expedited shipping, streaming music and video services.
- It's got loads of neat software bits that allow you to recognize music playing, identify phone numbers in pictures, and also identify famous works of art. And it will give you a quick Wiki entry about each item.
- Mayday - the live customer service video chat available on the Kindle Fire HDX tablets is here. And let's face it, smartphones are prone to more issues than tablets because of their portable nature.
- Nobody else has one so it may also make you feel like you have a limited edition super-powered phone. Maybe only I care about this...
Fire Phone for $0.99
But how is it as a phone? Specs
So what do you get for less than a George Washington? A lot actually:
- Dynamic perspective - designed to let you better get a 3D perspective of items you can then buy on Amazon.
- Firefly - Identifies playing music, QR codes, phone numbers, works of art and other miscellaneous items. You can basically walk around a store just Firefly-ing items for fun.
- Mayday - Video call customer service, and they'll pick up within 15 seconds.
- Free year of Amazon Prime - That means free video streaming and music streaming of tons of titles. Also free 2 day shipping on a lot of items on Amazon.
- Top notch cell phone camera - I've seen competitive phone captures from the top cell phones, and the Fire phone's camera is as good as any. You definitely can't beat this at the $1 price.
- Snapdragon 800 processor - It's not the very top of the line, but it's close. Super fast and still efficient with battery life. I have no qualms about this processor.
- 4.7" screen size - The same size as the very popular HTC One M7, and the rumored iPhone 6. It's a terrific size if you don't like squinting at your phone, but don't want to look like you're holding a brick next to your head when making a call.
- 32GB of ram - Most phones for $1 give you 8GB and most $200 phones give you 16GB. So what does that say about the 32GB here? No need to micro-manage what you have on your phone.
What do you find most intriguing about the Fire Phone?
What do you find most intriguing about the Fire Phone?
But how is it as a phone? In use
As chance would have it, I was just playing with an Amazon Fire phone over the weekend and I must say, it's a premium-feeling device. There's more good than bad, but I will touch on the bad and it may be a dealbreaker for you.
The phone feels like two hundred bucks. It's more premium feeling than Samsung Galaxy devices, and a tiny notch below the latest iPhone. If the greatest phone of all time, the iPhone 4, was a 10 then this is probably a 7 or 8.
It's snappy in real usage. No pauses while swiping, surfing the internet or playing games. It's as expected because this phone has serious horsepower. This matters as much as anything to me, so I was certainly pleased.
Perfect size. HTC has been right on this one. You can't beat 4.7" for most uses, especially if you like to actually make calls and take pictures.
Apps. It's a con that comes up with every Amazon device and the biggest reason Amazon doesn't sell many of their devices. You're locked out of the Apple iTunes store and the Google Play Store, so if you love certain apps, they may not be available on the Amazon Fire phone.
Honestly, that's the only con. But it's a HUGE con.
Fire Phone vs Competition
Amazon Fire Phone Features
Buy this phone if...
So you're going to want to buy this phone if...
- You're at the end of a cell phone contract and you don't care what the new iPhone is going to look like.
- You're diametrically opposed to paying for a cell phone. Bite the bullet and pay the dollar because this is leagues better than free phones on the market.
- You love Amazon. If you shop on Amazon, watch videos on Amazon, and use or have thought of using Amazon Prime, you will be a happy camper.
- You like taking lots of photos and videos. The camera is snappy, takes good pics, and you have oodles of memory so you won't have to delete photos or videos to make room for new ones.
- You need customer service. Mayday is awesome, and if you've thought about the smartphone but stayed away, this is your chance.
Amazon Fire Phone Looks
Stay Away If...
And you'll want to stay far far away if...
- You love certain IOS or Android apps that aren't available on Amazon.
- You love Android phones. I hate to say it, but you go from the pinnacle in phone freedom to being locked in a small box with Fire OS.
- You want to pay for the best phone on the market. This phone is really good. $100 good, but it won't compete with the best phones out there.
- You like fancy cases. Not many people are buying this phone so there will not be many accessories. I will say though that the included headphones are supposed to be fantastic.
- You still don't want a smartphone.
I believe that being frugal and making smart money choices is like any other exercise. As we continue to practice good habits in saving money where possible, finding deals for what we want, and having a good time at it, then we become better at dealing for a living.
I'm committed to sharing my experiences with getting the most out of using credit cards, saving and spending tips, and I might even add a slice of perspective without trying to be a psychoanalyst like some other personal finance folks out there.
Please let me know what you think and if you'd like to hear my take on a specific topic.