Remember meForgot password?
    Log in with Twitter

article image5 things you need to know about the Amazon Fire Phone

By Jenna Cyprus     Aug 5, 2014 in Technology
Amazon is clearly taking things to the next level, bringing in their very own version of a smartphone into the market. What edge does their Fire Phone have against the competition?
In a June announcement, Amazon declared its intention to enter the crowded mobile phone marketplace. The phone will simply be called the Fire Phone — apparently a name extension of the existing Kindle Fire tablet.
While the announcement doesn’t come as a total shock, it will certainly be interesting to see whether Amazon can do what Facebook failed to do last year.
The announcement
The announcement of the Amazon Fire Phone didn’t come with quite the fanfare and excitement of a new Apple product launch, but it garnered a fair amount of attention. Jeff Bezos unveiled the first Amazon Fire Phone on June 18, in attempt to capitalize on the popularity of the Kindle Fire.
Essentially, Amazon is attempting to reverse the way Apple went about it: introducing the iPhone, followed by the iPad.
According to Bezos, “We (tried) to build a phone that’s better for our highly engaged customers. We know the kinds of things they like.”
What are those things? He explained: “They’re very interested in customer support, they love to watch Prime Instant video and use the Kindle owners (lending) library.”
Specs and features
A quick look at the specs and features reveals some pretty positive signs. The Fire Phone is smaller than typical Androids, but slightly larger than the iPhone.
Specifically, it measures 4.7 inches diagonally. It’s ideal for one-handed use, yet not small enough to diminish the visual experience.
The camera is one of the biggest features of this phone. It boasts technology that stabilizes and counteracts excessive shaking from the photographer.
The phone also offers an incredibly unique way to view images and photos. Instead of always viewing images flat — as is typically the case — you can now rotate the phone to get a different angle. The phone does this by redrawing the image up to 60 times per second.
Some of the more technical specs and features include a 2.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, 32 or 64 GB of storage, completely free cloud storage, 13 megapixel rear-facing camera and 2.1 megapixel front-facing camera, dual stereo speakers, Bluetooth 3.0, 2400mAh batter, and Fire OS 3.5.0.
It appears Amazon will take a similar approach to Apple’s initial release of the iPhone. According to sources, AT&T will be the exclusive carrier of the Amazon Fire Phone.
Industry observers also believe that Amazon services will be included in the data plans, which means data used to process Amazon services would not count against the phone user’s plan.
Comparing the Fire Phone to its competition
In view of the crowded mobile phone marketplace, it’s difficult to imagine a new player jumping in and experiencing much success. But after a look at some comparisons, it appears the Fire Phone may give a good account of itself.
The screen size is sandwiched in between the Samsung Galaxy S5 and iPhone 5s, which makes it an excellent compromise choice. Its quad core processor and battery life comes in slightly under the competition, but nothing too noticeable.
The price appears to be right on par with its rivals, and Amazon seems to be confident it can compete without dropping the price below $199 (32GB).
Amazon app store
While the Fire Phone doesn’t particularly blow away the competition on the basis of hardware or software specs alone, the availability to Amazon services and the incredibly rich app store may sway Android and Apple users.
According to Dialaphone, the Amazon app store has tripled in size, with more than 240,000 available apps from which users can choose. Within the store are apps specifically made for the Kindle Fire, Fire Phone, and other Android devices.
The Amazon Fire Phone
According to Bezos himself, the introduction of the Fire Phone shouldn’t cause a “major shift” in the smartphone landscape. What he means is the phone is fairly similar to other well-established phones.
The Fire is simply another alternative that is backed by superior Amazon services and support. Bezos believes his company’s product will largely appeal to existing customers: “Primarily it will be people who are highly engaged Amazon customers, people who are Amazon Prime customers, I think it will be people who already love the Amazon ecosystem.”
The success of the phone has yet to be seen, but it’s an interesting new player in the high-tech arena.
More about amazon fire, fire phone, Amazon, Smartphone
Latest News
Top News