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?