Our american readers have been able to get the Amazon Fire Phone for a while now but the rest of have had to wait. That wait is now over and it’s finally coming to Europe as well, at least to the U.K. and Germany for now. While the U.S. launch failed to generate any solid figures and sales are estimated around 35.000 units, the e-commerce giant is hoping to challenge the rivals of Apple, HTC, Samsung and Sony on the European market.
The Fire phone will launch on September 30th and cost 0.99 cents on a two year contract. In the U.S. the Fire phone is limited to AT&T’s customers and it will have similar carrier exclusives here. In the U.K. it will be O2 that carries it and in Germany it will be Deutsche Telekom. It will be available to purchase both in the respective retail stores, their online shops as well as on Amazon’s own website.
Early reviews of the smartphone were very mixed, and overall it didn’t get many good ones. The ideas for design and features were praised, but said to be unfinished and confusing. Something I’m sure to change. It’s already an improved and updated version we’ll get on the European market.
One of the thing many people don’t like about Amazon’s smart devices is the use of their own Android version and App store, without access to the usual Play store from Google. The Amazon store has grown to 240.000 apps by now, but that’s still only about a fifth of the 1.3 million apps the Play store has. While it isn’t always about the pure amount of apps, but also about having the right one, it comes down to the personal usage if it can deliver to your needs.
“We don’t focus on the total number of apps, it’s about having the right apps, the apps that customers really want,” said Cameron Janes. “Since we launched the Fire phone in the US, we’ve seen the volume of app submissions to the Amazon app store double.”
As a bonus on top of the cheap price, users will get unlimited Amazon cloud storage for backups and 32 GB storage in their phone. The screen has been praised high with it’s dynamic perspective that gives it a 3D look. This is achieved with four front facing cameras that track your heads position relative to the phone.
The battery life has been improved upon as well and said to give around 10-15% more duration now. The Amazon OS will get an update to it’s speech recognition software upon launch to handle the different British accents it’ll have to deal with now.
Amazon hopes to target the users who already are living in the Amazon e-world with their Kindle Fire tablets and Kindle eBook readers. To sweeten the deal a free year of Amazon Prime subscription will be added.
Thank you TheGuardian for providing us with this information
Images courtesy of Amazon.