In this Amazon Photos review, we’ll take a look at the pricing, features, and more of this popular photo storage option to help you decide if it’s the best cloud storage for your creative needs.
If you’re getting started in photography, digital art, or graphic design, you’re probably noticing an increasing number of images taking up precious space on your hard drive. If your device is running out of storage, it might be time to consider migrating your images to the cloud.
If, like many creatives, you’re already an Amazon user, you may be interested in Amazon Photos as an easy way to store and back up your photos.
Also bear in mind that Amazon Prime Day is coming up on 21-22 June, so it's a good time to sign up to Prime if you're not already a member. Find out more on our dedicated Amazon Prime Day Apple deals post.
Amazon Photos review: Plans and pricing
If you’re an Amazon Prime user, you have access to unlimited full-resolution photo storage with Amazon Photos. Amazon Prime costs $12.99 a month, or $119 for a year. That’s a little pricier than competitors like IDrive, which offers users 5 TB of storage for only $69.50 a year. However, Amazon Prime users have access to the other benefits of Prime, like expedited shipping and Amazon Prime Video.
If you’re not an Amazon Prime user, you can still purchase cloud storage through Amazon. 100 GB of storage will cost you $1.99 a month, or $19.99 a year, whereas 1 TB of storage will cost $6.99 a month, or $59.99 a year.
Amazon Photos review: Features
Amazon Photos has all the standard features of a cloud storage program, like the ability to sync photos from your smartphone or tablet, schedule uploads from a desktop, and share between devices and users.
It’s important to note that unlike with competitors like Dropbox, your unlimited storage with Amazon Photos only includes photos. If you want to store videos, sound clips, or documents, you will need to purchase additional storage from Amazon.
Unlimited non-commercial photo storage
One important feature for creatives to consider is that while Amazon Photos does enable you to store unlimited, full-quality photos, the terms of service indicate that you can only use Amazon Photos for non-commercial purposes.
If you’re a student or hobbyist, this won’t be an issue, but if you need a cloud storage solution for your creative business, you should look elsewhere.
However, the unlimited storage is a great benefit for those who can use Amazon Photos, as it’s nice to know you won’t be forced to upgrade if you meet a storage cap.
Sync and sort photos
With the Amazon Photos app for Android or iOS, you can sync photos automatically from your smartphone or tablet, meaning you don’t have to worry about backing up your photos manually. Amazon Photos also offers a desktop app where you can schedule automatic backups.
One of the best features of Amazon Photos is the ability to search and sort your photos. You can choose to view only photos from a certain location or a particular date, or photos that include a particular person, pet, or object.
One of the benefits of cloud storage for creatives is it makes it easier to share your photos with collaborators. Amazon Photos enables you to share an album easily over text or email. Mobile users also have access to an in-app messenger feature, similar to a group text, where you can share and react to photos with other users.
Amazon Photos review: Interface
Amazon Photos is clearly designed for users of all experience levels. Both the desktop browser and the app are light on features, making them almost foolproof to navigate.
Setup is also extremely easy, especially if you’re already an Amazon user. The most difficult part of the process is finding where Amazon Photos is actually located on Amazon’s complicated home page. (The fastest way is to just type “Amazon Photos” into the search bar.)
Syncing your photos from your phone or tablet for the first time isn’t complicated, but it can be frustrating. If your device is overwhelmed with images, it might take a while to upload all the photos, and the app must be open for the upload to work. Fortunately, there is a feature that dims your screen, so you can keep the app open and sync overnight.
Amazon Photos review: Security
An important consideration for all creatives is knowing their work will be secure. Amazon’s privacy notice outlines its security policies in general but is disappointingly light on details. For example, the notice says Amazon protects your personal information with “encryption protocols and software,” but doesn’t specify exactly what those protocols are.
Amazon Photos review: Support
You have a few different options if you need help with your Amazon Photos account.
The web browser has an FAQ page and a help chat box, as well as a way to schedule a phone call with Amazon customer support. There’s also a discussion forum where your questions can be answered by other members of the Amazon Photos community.
On the mobile app, a built-in help feature will either search the FAQs for you or enable you to call or email Amazon directly.
Is Amazon Photos worth it?
We’re of the opinion that Amazon Photos is a nice benefit if you’re already a Prime member for other reasons. Unlimited full-quality photo storage is a rarity: competitors usually offer between 2 TB and 5 TB as their max storage (although, with competitors, you can store video files and documents too). If you have Prime, you might as well look into it.
However, we don’t think it’s worth it to sign up for Amazon Prime just so you can access Amazon Photos, or to sign up for Amazon Photos without Prime.
First of all, Amazon’s stipulation that Amazon Photos cannot be used for commercial purposes seriously hinders its usability for creative professionals.
Second, while Amazon Photos is a solid cloud storage option with most of the basics, there’s nothing that sets it head and shoulders above competitors like IDrive or Dropbox.
Amazon Photos is a great option for backing up pictures from your phone. As a serious cloud storage tool for creatives, it’s less useful.