Amazon Fire Smartphone Pluses And Minuses

Amazon Fire Smartphone Pluses And Minuses
By Szk7788 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) launched their new Amazon Fire Smartphone a number of weeks ago, and the device offers a great deal of nifty design innovation, but it can occasionally be awkward to use and there are clearly still a few bugs to be ironed out.

A recent review of the Amazon Fire by Michelle Maisto in eWeek highlight some of the pluses and minuses of the new device. As Maisto points out in her review, not surprisingly, the Amazon Fire is all about introducing the public to the Amazon ecosphere, and that means shopping.

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Although she points out several limitations of the new device, Maisto argues that the Fire is ideal “for the people who do most of the shopping in a household and who want from their smartphone a great camera, great call quality and the everyday necessity apps like messaging, emailing, maps and social networking.”

Amazon Fire’s Dynamic Perspective

Dynamic Perspective is a key piece of new technology in the Amazon Fire. Dynamic Perspective is created using a blend of four low-power special cameras, four infrared LEDs, a dedicated processor, real-time computer-vision algorithms and a high-performing graphics-rendering engine. While Dynamic Perspective does enable some cool gaming possibilities, the overall result is decidedly a mixed bag. For example, Maisto mentions that the phone’s “lock screen images bob around rather nauseatingly.”

With Dynamic Perspective, you can control a character in a number of games by tilting the phone or your head or even jutting your chin.

Maisto did find some cool uses for the new feature. “The use case I found most compelling was in Amazon’s shopping app. Browsing through dresses, I could tip the phone slightly and a line of models in dresses moved toward me at a pace I controlled by tipping more or less. After tapping on a dress I liked, rocking the phone then worked to make the site shift through the three offered views of the dress.”

Overall, Maisto said the Dynamic Perspective feature was “fun when it worked well, but frustrating when it didn’t—when a tip or wrist flick didn’t result in the reaction I was expecting, or when I couldn’t get something to stay still long enough to tap on it.”


The Fire is clearly all about putting Amazon’s many offerings literally at your fingertips. Maisto describes this as both good and bad. “On one hand, it’s easy to feel put off by how blatantly Amazon created a phone so we can buy more things from it. On the other hand, it’s easy to feel grateful for how empowering—or at least efficient—it can feel.”

Amazon accomplishes it goal with an app that’s extremely easy to use and with Firefly, a new camera technology that can recognize thousands of household products, songs, movies and the like, and will then offer to put them in your Amazon cart. All you have to do is point the camera at the item and voila it’s in your shopping cart.

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