A new review by Consumer Reports suggests that the Amazon Fire Phone isn't as good as the devices that it is competing with, and that it traps its users within the Amazon ecosystem.
The Fire Phone was released with the intention of being the ultimate shopping app, tapping into everything that Amazon has to offer.
While the app does offer some interesting and unique features that enhance the shopping experience, things like a bad battery life and a hard-to-master user interface greatly decrease the phone's value.
Another turnoff, especially for those coming from Android devices, is that users can only use apps from the Amazon App Store, which excludes things like Gmail, Google Maps and Google Now.
This essentially "traps" the user in the Amazon ecosystem, requiring them to use Amazon apps and services. It is important to note, however, that companies like Apple essentially do the same thing with their devices and services, albeit not to the same extent.
Another issue with the device was that it's battery life was far less than its competitors. While many devices have up to 20 hours of talk time, the Fire Phone has around half that.
The report says that while the device is not "awful," by any means, it has a number of small problems, which add up. Not only that, but when test results are tallied up, the score of the phone is really not up to par with the other 100 smartphones the magazine tested.
Mike Gakas, who wrote the report, suggests that a device like the new LG G3 would be a much better choice for consumers. This is because the G3 has a sharper HD display, better battery life, and a better camera. Not only that, but the interface of the G3 is simpler and more intuitive.
"These are the things that people who use smartphones appreciate," Gikas said.
While it is true that in many respects the Fire Phone does not stack up to many other devices on the market, it does have some unique and interesting features. For example, the device incorporates the use of a number of cameras to allow it to detect movement as well as distance from the device, which can be used in a number of ways.
The Fire Phone also includes Amazon's Firefly system, which allows users to take photos of an object, after which they will be directed to the Amazon store where the item can be purchased.