Meet the Fire phone – Amazon’s new smartphone and all you need to know so far


After numerous rumors floating for a while, Amazon fire phone is finally here. Amazon is probably hoping that the Fire phone will battle against flagships like the Samsung S5, the iPhone, HTC and LG G3. Early analysis and reviews don’t think so but for now its too early to tell. Lets first take a look at the confirmed and official specifications and everything else the Fire phone has to offer before we make any judgement.

Fire Phone Official Specs
When you want specs you go to GSMArena and here is what they show as official specs. This isn’t all the phone has but these are the major specs after all the buzz goes down.

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Display: IPS LCD 4.7 inch display
Processor: 2.2 Ghz quad core processor, adreno 330 graphics, 2GB RAM
Connectivity: 4G, WiFi, Bluetooth, NFC, USB
Dimensions: 8.9 mm, 160g
Camera: 13 MP back and 2MP front, 4128 x 3096 pixels, optical image stabilization, auto-focus, LED flash
Memory: 32/64 GB non Expandable
Sensors: Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer
OS: Amazon Fire OS

Whats New?
Jeff is a smart man and he’s using all the ammunition in his arsenal to make the Fire Phone a good offering. To this effect, He has lined up a couple of features and benefits he hopes will lure Apple fanboys and Android die hards to try the fire in his smartphone

Unlimited Amazon Cloud Storage
Among the things that will draw users to the Fire Phone is unlimited Storage on Amazon’s cloud. My only issue with this is when you store a lot of stuff over the years and then one day Amazon wakes up and tell you to pay a handsome amount of money to access your content.

One year Amazon Prime Subscription
Amazon Prime is a service/ membership program on Amazon where clients enjoy services like Instant Video giving them access to over 15,000 movies and TV shows, free delivery of items ordered, ability to borrow books among others.

3D technology made commercial 
This is one feature I would really love to try out. Techradar reports that;

“ The Amazon phone screen has an interface called Dynamic Perspective to adjust the a 3D image on the screen to match users’ head position. Lockscreens and wallpapers have a 3D effect, and Dynamic Perspective seems acutely tuned to games, making the images you seen on screen pop out and forcing you to maneuver around them just by moving your head” What I love here is that this opens up a whole load of avenues for possibilities on how to make this tech useful

Techradar further reports that by pressing and holding a dedicated button, the Fire Phone can recognize printed phone numbers, email and web addresses, business cards and much more even works at a distance, so you can capture a phone number on a sign from across the street.

Amazon wanted to enable you send an email, make a call, save a contact or go to a website without having to type it all into your phone. Firefly can also recognize songs, TV episodes, art, magazines, movies, music, QR codes and bar codes. On whether this is enough to convert the die hards and fan-boys, I am not sure.

Price and Availability
The Fire Phone is exclusive to AT&T a mobile carrier in the US and is available to pre order. The 32GB version goes for $199 and the 64GB for $299 on contract of course. If you want the phone free of contract, then it will go for $ 649 and $749 respectively

When it comes to price and availability, I normally complain about phones being made for the West forgetting Africa. But for the Fire phone, Its clear Jeff wasn’t thinking about Africa at all not to mention that the phone is designed to work within the Amazon Ecosystem which doesn’t include Africa so Jeff can keep his Fire phone.

An Uphill Battle
I am no expert on the American market but one thing about the American market is that people have options and if you want to be on top, you have to be the best option not to mention on time. locking the Fire Phone to AT&T  with a two year contract is going to curtail conversion because many would be buyers are still locked in the some contracts elsewhere.

Another issue we can’t ignore is that Amazon is actually trying to introduce another OS here since its current OS can’t access Google Play even though its a tweaked version of Android. This is a major setback in my opinion as getting developers to build a substantial number of apps for your own app store is an uphill task – If in doubt, ask Blackberry.

I can’t claim to give a thorough analysis of the Fire Phone that I haven’t even touched or  had a chance to experience but as a Mobile and technology enthusiast, I can make my predictions based on knowledge trends and experience. My take is that except for the awesome offering that Jeff has tied to the Fire Phone which can only be enjoyed within the Amazon Ecosystem, I don’t see the Fire Phone competing against the major flagships in its current state when the likes of One Plus One and Tecno are offering phones as good for less (Not that they don’t have their own problems)

Image: CBC