Amazon Fire Phone Event
On June 18th, Amazon (AMZN) unveiled the Fire Phone and proved almost all of the rumors to be true. Five years in the making, Bezos calls it a “premium” phone. The Fire Phone marks Amazon’s first step into the smartphone hardware market, and they have their work cut out for them. However, according to most of the press, it isn’t about the phone itself but rather the services tied in with the phone. Basic details include a $199 price tag for the 32 GB model and $299 for the 64GB, both of which will be sold exclusively through AT&T. The Fire Phone, for a limited time, comes with a year free of Amazon Prime service (usually $99), so one could consider the real price to be $99.
The Fire Phone
The phone itself is rather unremarkable for the most part. It’s all black with Gorilla Glass 3 on the front and rear, plastic sides and some rubber features. The display is 4.7 inches large and 720p, which according to Bezos, is the sweet-spot size for one handed use. The phone is 8.9 mm thick, 5.64 ounces, and features five front-facing cameras for the new “dynamic perspective” feature. According to Bezos, Amazon put a lot of effort into the “injection-molded” connectors that will have no wobble when the charger is plugged in. Furthermore, the stereo speakers and headphones are presented as better than your average phone.
Computing Power and Insides
The insides feature a Qualcomm processor, Adreno 330 graphics, and 2GB of RAM. The rear camera is a 13 megapixel, f/2.0 lens with image stabilization. According to Bezos, the Fire phone will take better photos than the iPhone 5s and Samsung Galaxy S5 no matter the situation. In addition, Amazon is offering free unlimited cloud storage for all your photos, and 5 GB for videos. The phone will run Amazon’s android-based Fire OS 3.5 which has been optimized for the Fire phone, and it will integrate many of Amazon’s key services. The most noteworthy new features are Firefly, and Dynamic Perspective.
The phone isn’t ugly, nor is it particularly attractive. However, when compared to the iPhone 5s or the Galaxy S5, it’s much thicker and heavier. When compared to the rumored sizes of the iPhone 6 or Galaxy S6, the Fire is quite bulky, but obviously that is all still speculation. In terms of the insides, the Fire Phone is middle-of the road. The Galaxy S5 and a few other top-tier phones are more powerful. Even if the camera is better than the iPhone 5s’ or the Galaxy S5′s, that is most likely not enough of a reason to purchase the phone. In addition, Bezos really shouldn’t be comparing the Fire phone to the iPhone 5 considering that the iPhone 6 is likely to be released this fall (and it will probably include an improved camera).