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Amazon Fire Phone now just £99 SIM-free – still £99 too much

Fire sale: Amazon attempts to flog off failing smartphone, but be warned, as the phone is still locked to O2

It’s fair to say the Amazon Fire Phone hasn’t exactly been flying off the warehouse shelves. Now, it seems Amazon is cutting its losses, reducing the price of the 32GB handset to only £99 SIM-free in the UK.

The deal is for today only, so you’ll have to move fast if you want to add one to your shopping basket. Not that we’d actively recommend it. Our review of the Amazon Fire Phone concluded that it was “a cynical, overpriced phone that’s full of adverts” and “clunky and difficult to use in almost every way”.

That’s largely down to the customised version of Android that Amazon has installed on the device. We found the option to navigate the phone’s menus using gestures temperamental, and the “dynamic perspective” – a pseudo 3D effect that allows you to ‘look round corners’ in games and maps – frivoulous. That’s not to mention the constant attempts to lock Fire owners into buying content from Amazon and no access to the Google Play store. 

Tempted? Read our latest mobile reviews before you buy

While the £99 price may sound like a rather attractive, deal, be warned: the phone is still locked to the O2 network (the only network in the UK to offer the handset). That means that you’ll need to spend an additional £15 if you want to use the phone on any other network in the UK. Oh, and you’ll also have to wait for 12 months after activation, as you can read in our guide on how to unlock your mobile phone.

Still, if that doesn’t put you off, the hardware itself isn’t rotten, though. The device is powered by a 2.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor and the screen offers a 1,280 x 720 resolution, which is better than many budget Android handsets at that price. You might decide to buy the handset and attempt to install a custom version of Android, such as the CyanogenMod – although that’s quite a technical procedure and there’s no guarantee it will work. Amazon’s unlikely to accept returns for phones bricked in such a manner, either.

Expert Reviews was far from the only site to give the Fire Phone a scathing review, which partly explains why Amazon took a $170 million hit on unsold handsets at the end of last year. However, CEO Jeff Bezos has promised to keep plugging away at smartphones, despite the failure of the debut model.

In addition to the £99 32GB model, the 64GB model has had its price chopped to £149. Both models of the Fire Phone can be ordered from Amazon here.


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