An Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) smartphone has been mooted for quite some time. It was a natural progression for a company which has already been extremely successful with its Kindle Fire range of tablets. Well, the worst kept secret in the mobile industry has finally been confirmed, as Amazon unveiled its new Amazon Fire Phone. Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon, revealed that the new handset will go on sale on July 25.
Amazon releases the Fire Phone into an extremely crowded smartphone market. It will be interesting to see what niche Amazon have earmarked for the Amazon Fire, as immediately taking on the big players in the market, Apple and Samsung, in direct sales would seem to be a rather unrealistic prospect. And the next few places in the list of the world’s biggest smartphone sellers are all occupied by companies that are not particularly well known in the West, that tend to sell bundles of product in the East Asian marketplace.
Amazon Fire Phone emphasizes 3D capabilities
So there was an obvious pressure for Amazon to distinctly separate its product from the existing competitors. Amazon has chosen to do this by emphasizing the 3D capabilities of its new handset. This is clearly intended to be the feature of the Amazon Fire that woes consumers, but Amazon has packed plenty more features and spec into it as well.
The four front-facing cameras – which were leaked as an included feature well ahead of the device’s imminent release – are clearly the signature feature of the phone. Amazon dubs this element of the Amazon Phone ‘Dynamic Perspective’, and the set-up enables users to manipulate the phone’s operating system and functions without needing to touch the screen. The Dynamic Perspective also enables a number of nifty functions, including auto-scrolling, tilting and navigating menus.
Amazon Fire Phone: The Firefly button
Another particularly notable element of the Amazon smartphone which Amazon did manage to keep under wraps is the so-called Firefly button. Amazon has made a number of promises regarding the capabilities of this feature, which may well not materialise in reality. One ought to be careful about such revolutionary tech; there have been many examples of supposed groundbreaking functionality in consumer electronics, where the pudding turned out to be a little less tasty than promised when it was finally served (Project Natal, I’m looking in your direction…).
Nonetheless, the Firefly button creates a kind of virtual Amazon world for users of the Fire Phone, ensuring that contacts can be saved, phone calls made, and websites visited without having to type in any details at all. Media has described Firefly as a ‘universal Shazam’, with the feature having the capability to movies, TV episodes and even live TV. Naturally, this will make it easier to purchase a variety of media from Amazon; obviously a major motivating factor behind the release of the phone in the first place.
Amazon Fire Phone decent spec list
Aside from that, the Fire Phone has more than adequate specs, with a 4.7-inch HD screen, a 2.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, 32GB or 64GB of storage, with free cloud storage for all Amazon content, and a 13-megapixel rear camera with the ability to shoot 1080p video. At a price range between $199 and $649 depending on service plan, the Fire Phone will instantly be come a serious contender in the marketplace, and it will be interesting to see how sales figures develop for Amazon once it retails next month.