It was bound to happen sooner or later. Amazon’s empire has just stretched into the mobile phone market. Amazon recently announced its new phone the company calls the “Fire.” You might think Amazon would try to compete in price with the ever-growing popularity of Android and iPhone, but that’s not the case at all.
Instead, Amazon released information claiming the phone was a premium smartphone that would be worth your $199 just to start.
In the mobile phone market, it’s all about the specs. At first glance, the phone has all the same features as Android and iPhone. You can swivel, tilt and swipe the device in the same way that you can with other devices. The screen is a 4.7″ 3-D display. It boasts 1280 x 720 with 315 ppi image resolution. You can get the phone with 32GB or 64GB of storage. The camera is on the back of the phone and gives you 13-MP snapshots. You can also take videos at 1080p and 30 fps (frames per second).
The Amazon Fire uses the open-source Android operating system, so its interface is a bit more similar to Android devices than iOS. Most of the apps you get are the same ones you get in other app stores, but Amazon has decided to release some new apps to entice buyers. Even though the Fire runs on Android, it’s not the same as a Google Android phone. Amazon customized the Android OS to create the Fire OS 3.5.0.
If you don’t want the standard black case, you can also order the Fire in red, yellow, blue and purple.
What’s So Special about This Smartphone?
All of these specs are great, but what does it do that others don’t? First, if you’re a fan of Amazon, you had to expect the company would integrate its store into the device. If that’s what you were expecting, you were right. The phone makes it easy to work with the Amazon online web store, and Amazon Prime members have some advantages.
Amazon Prime members get access to millions of products with free two-day shipping. Prime members can also watch instant videos, play music and download videos to watch later. You can also share your Kindle library with your smartphone, so you can read on-the-go without carrying both your reader and your phone.
With the smartphone software, Amazon offers a program called Mayday. This application helps you when you get lost or just can’t figure out how to use any of the smartphone’s features. The difference between this application and other software help systems is that you get a live Amazon support person instead of fumbling through confusing help prompts. Don’t worry. If you’re not looking your best, you can see the Amazon person but they can’t see you.
One issue to note is that the Fire only works with an AT&T plan. People who bought the first iPhone probably remember this problem. If you’re stuck in your current wireless contract, you might have to pay to get out of it if you decide to switch to the Fire. Incidentally, the $199 price is only if you buy into AT&T’s plan. If you decide to just buy the phone, the price jumps to $650, which is really close to the cost of an iPhone. Anyone expecting a cheaper smartphone from Amazon is in for a surprise, but if you’re an Amazon fan, this phone can do everything you need for productivity and then be there when you decide to go online shopping.
License: Creative Commons image source
Craig enjoys to write about the latest tech, and the Amazon Fire Phone is certainly an upcoming gadget that has caught his eye. He also pens articles on app reviews and sustainability.