Amazon's Fire Phone Isn't Impressing Anyone as Release Nears

Jul 24, 2014 05:03 PM EDT | Matt Mercuro

Amazon's new "Fire" smartphone features "gimmicks," like 3D effects and object scanner, that isn't impressing most reviewers so far, according to Reuters.

Analyst from all over the globe feel Amazon is going to have a hard time enticing users away from similarly priced Apple iPhones and Samsung Galaxy devices.

"Its unique features don't provide enough utility, and come at the expense of both battery life and performance," Engadget's Brad Molen said, according to Reuters. "Amazon's debut phone isn't bad, per se, but there's little incentive for anyone to switch carriers or platforms to buy it.

Another feature Amazon has introduced includes "Dynamic Perspective," four camera that track a user's face and simulate a 3D effect on the screen.

The phone also comes with a "Firefly" scanner that allows users to point the device at an object and be directed to it on Amazon's online store to purchase it, according to Reuters.

Those features haven't impressed reviewers so far, which is bad news for Amazon as the device hits stores on July 25.

"The Fire is the grown-up equivalent of a 9-year-old riding a bike with his hands in the air. "Look, Ma, no hands!"," Wall Street Journal's Geoffrey Fowler said, according to Reuters. "It's a neat gimmick, but it won't get you very far."

Fowler added that the device fell short on delivering on key features that users look for in a modern smartphone, which includes long battery life and the availability of popular apps like Google Maps and YouTube.

"The success and potential of the Fire Phone rests on Firefly and Dynamic Perspective - cool technologies that both rely on developers finding better ways to use them," said The Verge's David Pierce, according to Reuters. "Right now, they're just fixing a problem nobody has."

Those who purchase the phone will receive a one-year membership to Amazon Prime, its two-day delivery and streaming service, according to Reuters.

The device is priced at $649 contract-free or $199.99 with a contract on AT&T.

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