An iPhone, Galaxy or HTC One M8 killer? Probably not.
Retail giants Amazon have already entered the content streaming, e-reader, tablet and remote computing markets, so it was only a matter of time before they released their own mobile handset. In fact, it was the worst kept secret in tech before the Fire was announced yesterday (June 18).
“It's time to whip the crown from Apple,” said Mr Bezos before showing off the new handset for the first time. “Fire Phone puts everything you love about Amazon in the palm of your hand—instant access to Amazon’s vast content ecosystem and exclusive features like the Mayday button, ASAP, Second Screen, X-Ray, free unlimited photo storage, and more,” said Bezos.
The phone features top end specs and a top end price-point to match, so here’s everything you need to know about the most inevitable phone in history…
‘Under the hood’ of the new Amazon Fire Phone lies a quad-core 2.2GHz processor and 2GB of RAM. The graphics are reliant on an Adreno 330. The 4.7-inch IPS LCD HD screen displays 590 nits of brightness, and has a circular polarizer so you can look at it outside with sunglasses from any angle. As expected, it runs a forked version of Android, Fire OS 3.5.0. The phone comes in two denominations: 32GB and 64GB and there is no expandable memory slot.
What’s the camera like?
You’ll get a 13MP snapper with OIS and an f/2.0 lens – the widest aperture available on any smartphone right now. What’s more: it has a dedicated camera button making easier to take pictures. And of course, the front-facing camera is there for video chatting and taking as many selfies as you like.
Dynamic Perspective and Firefly
Aside from some industry standard specs and a fairly orthodox smartphone design, The Amazon Fire Phone does have two features, which could, if they work well, set it aside from the iPhone, Galaxy S5, HTC One M8 and the LG G3.
The first of these is the Dynamic Perspective, which adjusts a 3D image on the screen to match users' head position. Lockscreens and wallpapers have a 3D effect, and it’s all based on which angle you’re eyes are fixed at. This has the potential to work particularly well with games, making
Firefly is a shopping tool. It uses the Fire Phone's built-in camera to recognize over 100 million different objects, like DVDs, phone numbers, QR codes, CDs, URLs, games and bar codes. It basically means you can buy things off Amazon really, really easily.
Price and availability
Pre-orders for the phone are already available at Amazon.com with a listed release date of July 25. The no-contract unlocked price is $649 but if you want a monthly tariff deal, The Amazon Fire Phone will launch at $199 (about £120) for the 32GB version and $299 (about £175) for the 64GB with a two-year contract on AT&T, who have the handset as an exclusive.
The experts have offered up a fairly lukewarm response to Amazon’s new phone. Most agree that Dynamic Perspective isn’t a game-changer, and the Firefly feature only really serves as a shopping app. The stats aren’t anything we haven’t seen before and the price doesn’t set it apart from the current crop of market-leading handsets. All in all, a fairly disappointing reveal.