Jeff Bezos and Amazon announced its Fire smartphone today. The phone stands out because of its multiple cameras, 3D motion tracking, and physical camera shutter button.
Yesterday, Amazon announced its Amazon Fire smartphone, the end to a year-long rumor about the successful online company that sells everything from coffee cups to books, clothes, and electronics.
Amazon’s new Fire phone has much (if not all) to commend the up-to-the-last-minute rumors about Amazon’s newest device. It does have a 4.7-inch IPS LCD HD screen, along with the 1280 x 720p screen resolution that the rumors stated. While a number of smartphone manufacturers have opted for the 1080p on-screen experience this year, Amazon’s Fire phone balances the on-screen experience with its battery experience nicely. A 2,400mAh battery will power the device, meaning that you will likely be able to get more than sufficient battery out of the device. This battery is slightly smaller than both LG’s G3 (2,998mAh) and Samsung’s Galaxy S5 (2,800mAh) batteries. At the same time, however, keep in mind that a backlight will power the liquid crystal display (LCD) screen and has 590 nits of brightness (the sharpest on any display to emerge yet), so we’ll have to see the Amazon Fire phone’s performance in the coming days.
There are indeed four cameras on the front of the Amazon Fire that will provide the 3D-like experience that “moves with you,” as Amazon’s Fire phone commercial alluded to. We’re told that Amazon utilized only one camera on the back, coming in at 13 megapixels with optical image stabilization (OIS). OIS is significant when it comes to blur-free photos, but OIS, in and of itself, doesn’t a better photo make. A 2.1MP front camera completes the camera experience. Amazon should be applauded for placing a respectable 13MP camera on the Amazon Fire phone. It seems as if 8MP cameras are all the “typical” these days, but we’d like to see more 13MP cameras on smartphones. The 8MP camera standard has been around for a few years; it’s never too late to put some extra effort, and Amazon’s done well in this department.
The 4.7-inch display will utilize Gorilla Glass 3, the most durable display on the market at this point (perhaps until the arrival of the iPhone 6’s sapphire display in September).
The Amazon Fire will feature Amazon Fire OS 3.5 and include Amazon’s Cloud Drive, Amazon Music, the usual Fire tablet Silk browser, and a camera shutter button doubles with the new Firefly optical recognition feature on the Fire phone. Those who purchase the Amazon Fire smartphone will also receive unlimited (yes, UNLIMITED) free cloud storage with Amazon’s Cloud Drive app – but know that the free cloud storage is for Amazon’s content only. This isn’t surprising, seeing that Amazon’s Fire OS is, in many respects, a “forked” version of Android and doesn’t include Google Play Store access.
The power under the hood consists of a 2.2Ghz, Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor with 9-band Global LTE support and 2GB RAM, 802.11ac Wi-Fi (along with the usual b/g/n), and Bluetooth 3.0.
Amazon’s Fire seems to match most of the specs and features we’ve come to expect in the smartphone experience, with the exception being the company’s 3D camera experience, physical camera shutter button, and Amazon’s trademark MayDay service. Early reactions across the Web to Amazon’s Fire smartphone show that many are displeased with the Fire phone’s lack of Google Play access but love the 3D motion tracking and free unlimited Amazon Cloud Drive cloud storage. While the Fire phone may be a “not” for some, it may prove to be one of the hottest smartphones of 2014 for those who care less about 1080p screen resolution, but are intrigued by Amazon’s 3D motion tracking – and are already avid users of Amazon’s services.
A few more reminders will do: Amazon announced the Amazon Fire smartphone as an AT&T exclusive in the US for $199 with a two-year contract. Those who still want to pick up the phone will’ve to pay $649 to get the device off-contract.
What do you think: hot or not?