As predicted, Amazon revealed its first smartphone, the Fire Phone, on Wednesday during a special event in Seattle. While the name isn’t all that catchy, the hardware seems to be on par with the LG G2, which was launched back in August 2013. The LG G2 has a 5.2-inch screen whereas Amazon’s first phone sports a smaller 4.7 inch display. The guts, however, are very similar.
Is Fire the phone you’ve been waiting for? Possibly. Yes, the device does have a glasses-free 3D element thanks to what the company calls Dynamic Perspective, consisting of four ultra-low power "specialized" cameras and four infrared LEDs built into the front face. Also included is a custom dedicated processor, real-time computer vision algorithms, and a "high-performing and power-efficient" rendering engine.
On the hardware front, the new Fire Phone includes a Qualcomm Snapdragon quad-core processor clocked at 2.2 GHz – more than likely the Snapdragon 800 (MSM8974VV) – an Adreno 330 GPU, 2 GB of RAM, and a choice of either 32 GB of internal storage, or 64 GB. The phone presumably has a microSD card slot for extra storage although the company doesn’t mention the port.
As previously stated, the screen measures 4.7-inches, which has 590 nits of brightness, an ambient light sensor and Dynamic Image Contrast for better viewing when outside in the sunlight. Also packed into this phone is 802.11ac support, Wi-Fi channel bonding, NFC, and Bluetooth (4.0?) connectivity.
In addition to the four cameras used for 3D, the phone also sports a 2.1MP camera on the front, and a 13MP camera on the back with backside illumination, LED flash, 5-element f/2.0 lens, high dynamic range (HDR) capabilities, and Optical Image Stabilization (OIS). Both cameras, according to Amazon, can record 1080p HD video.
Amazon reports that the new phone features a rubberized frame so it doesn’t slip out of your hand (like the iPhone 5C), CNC aluminum buttons, and polished button chamfers. There are also two stereo speakers that support virtual Dolby Digital Plus surround sound, and a set of earphones equipped with tangle-free flat cables and magnetic earbuds.
The Fire Phone will cost $199.99 on contract for the 32 GB version, and $299.99 on contract for the 64 GB version. Both will be sold exclusively at AT&T starting July 25, but customers can pre-purchase the phones now.
Ultimately the big selling point here will likely be the 3D aspect along with the Amazon Prime features. The phone has been in development for years, and now that it’s coming to AT&T in July, we’ll have to see just how excited consumers are over Amazon’s first smartphone entry. Remember the Facebook phone? That was supposed to be a big seller, but instead fell flat in sales. Let’s hope the same doesn’t happen with the Amazon Fire Phone.
Would you buy Amazon’s new phone?
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I expected industry defining hardware, at that just isn't present. For what I do on my phone - watch videos, social-media, text and even sometimes make phone calls - the 3-D element does nothing for me. Instead I get a phone at top dollar pricing with 2 year -old hardware in it.
Even the size of the internal memory (both the RAM and memory space) are terribly poor. Assuming 3D stuff is going to crush memory capacity, wouldn't it make sense to include more - especially with both RAM and flash memory coming so far down in price?
Dolby compatible speakers? Dude, it's a phone and the speakers are like an inch apart.
Reports are that it only has 3.0 Bluetooth too. 3.0?!?! Welcome to 2009 if that's true. I run (okay I more or less look like a dying animal when I do so, but this isn't about me), and I use my fitbit which cannot connect to non-4.0 bluetooth devices (my wife's android phone won't connect to it).
For this to snag a consumer base, it needed two things:
1. Rock-bottom pricing (See Kindle Fire and how they stole a large portion of the tablet industry)
2. High-end specs
Both failed. Those above would be required for most people to even consider switching and trying to transfer all their stuff over to another system (especially relevant for iOS users).
i always love when companies tout audio features such as this on a phone! i could better understand it if the phone had big stereo front facing speakers like the htc one, but with the fire's implementation, mentioning anything dolby is just a bad joke.
as is the pricing of this thing. i mean who should this appeal to, prices like high-end?
Bluetooth 3.0 is listed in the Fire phone specs on the Amazon site. It is a very strange choice; almost an oversight on their part? Considering the competition, why would they choose the older standard?
Why would you presume that? Amazon tablets don't have microSD's. They want you to use their cloud. And they make the Fire available with 32GB or 64GB to partly make up for the lack of a microSD.