It's new, not refurbished, and it satisfies my single most important criteria when buying any new phone.
It's unlocked and contract-free.
That means you can take the Fire Phone to any GSM carrier (AT&T, T-Mobile, Cricket, Rok Mobile, Ting and so on) and choose the best no-contract plan for your needs (and budget).
Of course, Amazon throws a huge value-add into the mix: a full year of Amazon Prime, which is worth $99. Assuming you were planning to get Prime anyway (or want to extend your existing subscription, which I believe is an option), the net cost of the phone is about $50.
OK, but is the Fire any good? Oh, right, that. Reviews have been pretty mixed across the board, start with CNET's , though if you check Amazon's product page, you'll see that well over 8,500 (!) buyers collectively rated it 4 stars out of 5 -- which speaks volumes.