Amazon has thrown its hat into the smartphone fray with its new Fire Phone and it’s touting a very interesting feature: anyone who buys a Fire Phone is guaranteed unlimited, free photo storage on Amazon’s cloud service.
Here’s what we know: Amazon will upload the original photos and videos you snap with the Fire in their full resolution, automatically to the cloud. Unlike photos, there will be a cap to how many videos you can store in Amazon’s cloud (after a certain limit, you’ll be capped although you can opt to pay for additional storage).
Existing Amazon Cloud drive customers (i.e. those paying for storage) will also enjoy unlimited photo store for any photos being uploaded from the Fire Phone.
So how good a deal is this?
That all depends on how badly you want Amazon’s phone. No one has used it yet so it’s hard to say whether it’s actually a better camera than some of the top smartphones on the market — free storage won’t amount to much if the phone takes lousy pictures.
It’s also a bit of a risky proposition: free storage is tied to phone ownership, but what if Amazon stops offering phones? If you’ve amassed hundreds of photos on their Cloud Drive and Amazon stops offering phones, you face the prospect of having to migrate those images out of Cloud Drive, keeping them there and paying for added storage (for pictures you take with your new phone or camera) or using another cloud service for any new photos you take — spreading your images out across multiple services and making it more difficult to keep track of your collection.
Still, it’s an interesting development. Phone makers are clearly waking up to the enormous challenge we all face in safe-guarding and storing our digital memories.