Cables aren't just snapped into place; several were attached with screws. The four face-tracking cameras are glued in place and they are also built into the screen sub-assembly, making replacing the screen either an expensive or complicated undertaking. And not only is this a phone a complicated mess inside, there is also an anti-tamper tag.
For anyone thinking of buying a Fire Phone with the idea of repairing it if something goes wrong, the iFixit verdict on this is simple – don't. The Fire Phone received a repairability score of 3 out of 10, where 10 is easiest to repair and a one is kryptonite.
Inside the Fire Phone Samsung and Qualcomm are the winners, and so are consumers. iFixit found a number of components not listed on the spec sheet, including a Qualcomm chip which supports Bluetooth 4.0 . This is used to communicate with smartwatches, suggesting that the Fire Phone could get more useful after the next major update.
I sure hope that update comes soon, because the early reviews haven't inspired me to rush out and buy one. The pro reviewers have nearly universally panned the phone, and with good reason. With a 4.7" screen and a SnapDragon 800 CPU, the Fire Phone is a mid-sized mid-grade smartphone with a premium price tag. Retail is $650, and it's only available at a subsidized price via AT&T.
And oh yes, it's not available outside the US.
There are a lot of reasons not to buy the Fire Phone, and very few reasons to buy one. It's tied to Amazon and offers a few nifty 3d and interface features which reviewers say aren't actually that useful yet.
I don't plan to get one; instead I will wait for similar features to show up in the next Kindle Fire tablet. While I have no rumors or leaks to suggest that will happen, I think it would make sense for Amazon to integrate its face-tracking 3d tech into the next Kindle Fire tablet.
The idea of adding 3d tech to tablets is not new, but the earlier attempts were all described as visually unpleasant (my opinion) or simply not that fun to watch. If Amazon solved this problem then 3d on a 7" or 9" tablet could be a lot of fun.
Unlike a smartphone, a tablet is more of an entertainment device than a utility so fun toylike features like 3d might have a warmer welcome. Or at least I would want to try it, but I could be an outlier.
Would you buy a Kindle Fire 3d tablet?