Amazon Fire Phone Launches As AT&T ExclusiveThu, Jun 19, 2014 - 7:44 AM
Amazon has finally unveiled their worst kept secret of the year, the Amazon Fire Phone (currently an AT&T exclusive). Aside from being Amazon’s first foray into smartphone territory, the device’s most unique feature is it’s dynamic 3D perspective. Check out this video from The Verge to get an idea of how the phone utilizes 4 of it’s 5 front facing cameras to provide an interesting experience:
[youtube width=”640″ height=”480″]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgcvyS4uJ2E&list=UUddiUEpeqJcYeBxX1IVBKvQ[/youtube]
Considering that the phone is powering those 4 cameras at the unlock screen, likely also in most interfacing with the operating systems menus, as well as any apps that may support it, it begs the question of how long the battery can possibly last with such freqent and seemingly taxing processing. Amazon’s Fire Phone page alleges a range between 285 hours (standby) and 22 hours (talk time), but with the display rendering at 60fps, we might have to see it to believe it.
Software’s not all the phone has going for it though, it also launches with some pretty impressive hardware specs:
- 2.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 CPU (but perhaps in future versions, building around an in-house processor)
- Adreno 330 GPU
- 32GB or 64GB of internal storage (no micro SD slot)
- Fire OS 3.5.0 (a heavily modified Android fork)
- Service Bands: UMTS/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100 MHz), Quad-band GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz), 9 bands of LTE (Bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 17, 20)
- 802.11ac Wi-Fi
- NFC and Bluetooth
- 2400mAh Battery (non-removable)
- Dual stereo speakers backed by Dolby Digital Plus software
- 13MP rear camera (with HDR and optical image stabilization) and 2.1MP front camera, both capable of 30fps 1080p video recording
- 4.7″ 720p ultra-bright display
The Fire Phone also comes with a dedicated button for launching the camera which, if held, launches Firefly, a recognition app that helps to find products on Amazon for purchase. But searching for products isn’t the only application. Users can also use a Shazam-like function called X-Ray that allows them to show the phone videos, music, and even books to be greeted with IMDb information or Shelfari book notes. Amazon is also giving early adopters a free year of their all encompassing Amazon Prime service($99 normally).
Like the Kindles before it, the Fire Phone is launching with 24/7/365 Mayday support. Mayday is an award winning live help service, and users will be able to contact support at any time to be met by a live representative within 15 seconds or less.
Lastly, the Fire Phone offers the robust Amazon Appstore, cloud backups, and syncing capabilities we’ve come to expect from mobile operating systems. All-in-all, the Fire Phone seems to be a fitting last piece of the puzzle for the thriving Amazon ecosystem (pardon the pun). Offering some unique and somewhat niche features, the first flagship phone from Amazon seems like an excellent option for users already invested in Amazon’s services, those that are more comfortable with a Fire OS experience than Android or iOS, or really just anyone looking for a change of pace in smartphones.
The Fire Phone’s launch price is set to $199 with two year contract and $649 off contract, though for the 64GB option consumers will have to fork over an additional $100. You can pre-order now from Amazon, with the official launch set at July 25th and the possibility of release-day delivery.