Amazon Didn't Stint on Fire Smartphone Features, Performance

 
 
By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2014-06-19 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Amazon, as expected, unveiled its first smartphone, the Fire Phone. The Amazon Fire, introduced June 18, has a starting price of $199 with a two-year service agreement on AT&T's network. Amazon will also offer a 64GB option for $299.  The device that was widely anticipated and discussed before the official announcement comes with a design that looks awfully similar to the iPhone. Perhaps, more importantly, it's the first smartphone to come from Amazon and the first device to leverage the company's Fire OS, a proprietary version of Android. Amazon's Fire Phone is not a run-of-the-mill handset and includes a wide range of features not commonly found in a smartphone. For instance, the smartphone comes with four cameras on the front to provide 3D-like features. The smartphone also has the Mayday tech support feature built into its software to provide on-device support in just seconds. All in all, the Fire smartphone is an interesting device and one that AT&T customers should watch for when it goes on sale July 25. This slide show highlights the key features in Amazon's Fire phone.

 
 
 
  • Amazon Didn't Stint on Fire Smartphone Features, Performance

    By Don Reisinger
    Amazon Didn't Stint on Fire Smartphone Features, Performance
  • The Fire Has a Sensible 4.7-Inch Display

    Amazon didn't go too far with its Fire display size. The device comes with a 4.7-inch screen, which makes it bigger than the iPhone 5S display but smaller than many of the Android handsets on the market. At that size, the phone delivers one-finger scrolling and high-quality visuals, Amazon said.
    The Fire Has a Sensible 4.7-Inch Display
  • Mayday Instant Help Button Moves to Fire Phone

    The Mayday on-device technical support feature originally introduced on the Kindle Fire HDX was included on the Fire Phone. The feature will give Fire owners access to a tech support person within 10 seconds. As Amazon revealed recently, that support person can provide a wide range of services, including help on beating a level in Angry Birds.
    Mayday Instant Help Button Moves to Fire Phone
  • Four Cameras Support Dynamic Perspective Feature

    The Fire Phone has four cameras on the front, which allow it to perform a number of neat tricks. For instance, Amazon showed off a way in which users could scroll down a page by simply tilting the device. When accessing a mapping application, turning it to the side can reveal Yelp reviews. The four cameras allow the so-called "Dynamic Perspective" to deliver tilt, swivel and peek features.
    Four Cameras Support Dynamic Perspective Feature
  • Firefly Recognition Serves Up Diverse Info

    Firefly is an interesting app that combines the recognition of bar codes, Quick Response codes, phone numbers and much more into one feature. All users need to do is take a picture of anything from a phone number to an email address, and the Fire phone will automatically know what to do with it. In cases where it's contact information, it'll store the information in the Contacts folder. When a user scans a product, they're brought to Amazon to see the price.
    Firefly Recognition Serves Up Diverse Info
  • Amazon Giving Away Unlimited Photo Storage in the Cloud

    Amazon is giving away free, unlimited photo storage in the cloud. So, despite the fact that the smartphone comes with up to 64GB of on-board storage, Amazon is giving away free storage to all Fire Phone owners who snap photos.
    Amazon Giving Away Unlimited Photo Storage in the Cloud
  • Amazon Didn't Stint on the Hardware

    The internal specifications on the Fire smartphone are what one might expect from a flagship handset. For one thing, the device has a 2.2GHz Qualcomm quad-core Snapdragon 800 CPU and an Adreno 330 GPU. The handset also comes with 2GB of RAM and support for 802.11ac WiFi networking, and has a micro USB port for charging.
    Amazon Didn't Stint on the Hardware
  • Long Battery Life Keeps Fire Phone Running

    The battery life on the Fire smartphone is stellar. The device comes with a 2,400mAh battery, which will deliver 22 hours of talk time, 285 hours of standby time and video playback time of 11 hours. The handset can even support up to 65 hours of audio playback. That's an important distinction in a world where removable batteries are hard to come by.
    Long Battery Life Keeps Fire Phone Running
  • Advanced Streaming and Prediction Engine Limits Buffering

    Amazon announced an interesting feature in the Fire phone that won't be overlooked by entertainment junkies: ASAP. Every time owners hit the "play" button on a video, the Advanced Streaming and Prediction (ASAP) engine built into the handset will limit buffering times. It also has a learning feature built-in that guesses at what shows and movies users might want to watch and buffers them in the background in the event they're called upon.
    Advanced Streaming and Prediction Engine Limits Buffering
  • AT&T Gets First Crack at Selling Amazon Fire

    The rumors were true: AT&T is the exclusive U.S. carrier on the Fire smartphone. There had been some hope in recent days that Amazon would partner with every major U.S. carrier to deliver the Fire phone, but Amazon struck a deal with AT&T. So, for now, customers who aren't on AT&T and don't want to switch will be left out.
    AT&T Gets First Crack at Selling Amazon Fire
  • AT&T Will Sell Fire Phone on Familiar Pricing, Service Terms

    Amazon's 32GB Fire phone will sell for $199 with a two-year contract, while the 64GB option will retail for $299 with the agreement. Customers who want the handset without an agreement will have to pay $649. The smartphone will be available July 25.
    AT&T Will Sell Fire Phone on Familiar Pricing, Service Terms
 
 
 
 
 
Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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