Amazon Officially Announces the Fire Phone, the Company’s First Smartphone
Amazon has finally officially announced its first ever smartphone, the Amazon Fire Phone, with a slew of new and unique features; some of which are specifically targeted at Amazon’s Prime customers.
The Fire Phone features a 4.7-inch screen HD screen with a screen resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels which gives it a pixel density of 315ppi and is protected by a layer of Corning’s Gorilla Glass. It measures only 8.9mm thin and weighs only 160 grams. It’s surrounded by a rubberized frame and is equipped with a set of aluminum physical buttons including the home button, the power button, a volume rocker, and a dedicated camera button which also activates one of the Fire Phone’s unique features, Firefly.
Other exterior features include a 13-megapixel f/2.0 rear camera with optical image stabilization partnered with an LED flash and that’s capable of 1080p video capture at 30fps, a 2.1-megapixel front facing camera, dual stereo speakers with Dolby Digital Plus, a 3.5mm headphone port, a micro USB 2.0 port, and another of the Fire Phone’s unique features – the four corner-mounted, front-facing infrared cameras that combine and work to create the Fire Phone’s Dynamic Perspective feature.
Dynamic Perspective uses the Fire Phone’s four infrared sensors to track the user’s head to create the device’s 3D interface. With Dynamic Perspective, the device’s visual elements are stacked on top of each other to create depth. Users can then tilt the phone to look behind the visual elements. Users can also tilt the phone for functions like automatic scrolling.
On the inside, the Fire Phone features a 2.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor, an Adreno 330 graphics processor, 2GB of RAM, 32 or 64GB of internal storage, and a 2400mAh battery. Connectivity-wise, the Fire Phone supports nine bands of LTE, four bands of GSM, five bands of UMTS, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Wi-Fi channel bonding, NFC, and Bluetooth 3.0.
The Fire Phone runs on Fire OS 3.5.0 which is Amazon’s own Android-based operating system also found on Kindle Fire tablets. Exclusive features found on the Fire Phone and OS 3.5.0 include X-Ray for second screen functions, ASAP (Advanced Streaming and Prediction), and Miracast streaming support. The Fire Phone also comes with Amazon Music and Video, Audible, Kindle Newsstand, Comixology, and a slew of other Amazon and non-Amazon apps including Pandora, Spotify, and iHeartRadio, among others.
The other aforementioned unique feature of the Fire Phone – Firefly – lets users utilize the phone’s camera to make the device recognize everything from printed text, images, and even audio to make calls, save new contacts, send e-mails, visit websites, get information on movies and music, and lastly and most importantly help users purchase items on Amazon. A user can let Firefly take a picture of a movie poster then purchase it on Amazon.
The Fire Phone comes with Amazon’s Mayday service, a year of Prime, and unlimited photo storage on Amazon Cloud Drive. It will be available through AT&T for $199 for the 32GB variant or $299 for the larger 64GB variant with a two-year contract or purchase it unlocked directly from Amazon for $649 and $749 for the 32GB or 64GB variant, respectively.