Smartphone market has grown fast and so dynamic that it is difficult to find a competition in any of the smartphone category. Be it prize, configuration, battery backup, OS or anything. Earlier in the beginning of 2000, Mobile phone was a luxury. The two commonly known brands in India were Nokia and Motorola while a bit more fancy phones came from Sony ericsson. Those were the times when Mobile phones were used for calling and texting. I still remember texting with friends all night using the free night sms packs or calling everyone late night because of the cheap night calling packs. I used to use phone when Incoming calls were charged 6INR and Outgoing calls 9INR. Time changed and so is the type of use and the kind of expectations we have from a phone. Now there are no more mobile phones, all you see is Smartphones. Apart from the known smartphones there were many players who came but didn’t do well because of many reasons.Some of those phones are really monsters with exceptional features, one of the pioneer in this club is Amazon’s Fire phone.
Amazon Fire phone was supposed to be a big game changer with the special features and the big name amazon who has already started a new category in gadget world called Ebook reader with their Kindle series. This phone was launched in USA initially like Iphone, nexus etc They Launched it as an At&T exclusive on July 25, 2014. They launched the contract version close to 200$ while the Unlocked one was priced close to 600$. Over a period of time, the decline in sales made them to reduce the price and when I bough this phone in April 2015, there was a deal on Amazon.com which said 200$ for Fire phone. Now why will anyone buy a phone which is not a big hit in market ignoring the major players like Iphone, Nexus, Oneplus One or even the galaxy? Also, Fire phone runs on a FireOS which is a customized version of Android. Well the answer is simple, the hardware and the features. Eventhough Iphone and others are feature packed monsters, I got a phone with similar configuration, infact better features at a very cheap prize.
The Checklist: I was keen on buying the oneplus one, which is priced at 20-25k range in india. This is a decent price, but when I saw the Fire phone offer, I was getting a good hardware with some special features at close to half the price. Moreover, why should I spend double the price on a phone when I can get all I wanted at half the price? I ordered the Phone via Amazon.com and I had read at many places that the Fire phone doesn’t work in India. I researched a bit more on the net and I found people saying it started working. Also, the reason was due to the IMEI which is not yet registered with India operators. The device came and I was happy, well the deal is more tempting than I thought. On buying a Fire phone, I got one year Amazon Prime membership free which is worth 99$. Amazon prime is a very good deal with 2 day delivery guaranteed, watch movies, shows and listen to songs at no extra cost and even more like the Amazon Dash button etc. So the effective prize of my phone 200-99 = 101$.The only negative part, I live in India. But I travel around the world and so I use Prime.
A 2.2 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor, combined with 2GB of RAM, enables faster app launch times, quicker website load times, and smoother multi-tasking. An Adreno 330 graphics processor delivers the performance and fluidity needed for immersive gaming & visuals. Fire phone’s 4.7″ HD display features dynamic image contrast, a wide viewing angle, circular polarizer, and an ultra-bright display at 590 nits, making it easy to see in all lighting conditions, indoors and out.Fire phone features nine bands of 4G-LTE, four bands of GSM, five bands of UMTS for better voice coverage, faster data speeds, and international roaming, plus 802.11ac support, Wi-Fi channel bonding, NFC and Bluetooth LE support.Dynamic Perspective uses four ultra-low power specialized cameras, plus four infrared LEDs for invisible illumination, real-time computer vision algorithms, and a custom graphics engine rendering at 60 fps.Fire phone features a custom-tuned 13 megapixel camera system, with a fast five-element wide aperture f/2.0 lens for crisp, beautiful images. Get free, unlimited Cloud Drive storage for all photos taken with Fire phone (in full resolution).Simply press the Firefly button to instantly identify and take action on. Amazon’s award-winning customer service, now on your phone.
I will explain some of those, The heart is the processor and the Ram which makes the phone a monster with the adreno graphics and the 13MP camera adding the charm. Well, Iphone6 has the same configuration but a 8MP camera. Trust me, Amazon Fire phone Cam is one of the best I have used till date on any phone.
Dynamic Perspective is a custom-designed sensor system that responds to how you hold, view, and move your phone. This basically makes the phone easy to handle, especially with your one hand.
Accessibility Features are the best. Blind and visually impaired customers can leverage accessibility tools such as Screen Reader, Explore by Touch, and Screen Magnifier.
The phone comes with a dolby digital plus audio and an awesome pair of tangle free headsets.
These are some of the best features you get and these are better than what you think. Dynamic perspective is so awesome, especially for people who do mutiple things while on call. Also, their on call support Mayday is how I made this phone work in India.
How to make a Fire phone work in India?
As soon as you buy a Fire phone and you reach India, Call the Amazon customer service from your Fire phone (Mayday). You can connect to the wifi and do this. Once you call them, tell them you are in India and you want them to register your phone’s IMEI. They will tell, they have registered it and it will take 24hrs time atleast. After 24hrs time, restart your phone. Switch-off the phone, remove the simcard and restart. Insert the simcard and now the phone will show the operator with signal strength and your phone is ready to use.
One major drawback of Fire phone was the scarcity of apps. A solution to this is to sideload them by sideloading the play store first.
Step 1 : Go to Settings > Applications > Allow installation of apps not from the Amazon Appstore and change settings to ON.
You will see a warning, but click Ok.
Step 2: Download a file explorer like ES file explorer (this is what I uses)
Step3: Download google APK’s – The Image has the name of APK’s.
Step 4: Connect your Fire phone to your computer and copy the APK’s to a folder (create a temp folder)
Step 5: Open the file explorer you installed in Step 2 (ES file explorer) and Install the Files One by One.
Step6: Login to google play store using your google ID.
Step 7: Download and Install App from Playstore.
Some photos clicked using Fire Phone: