Just Launched: New Amazon Fire Smartphone

Brandon Dimmel's picture

Amazon has unveiled its very first smartphone and it's bringing a whole new approach to high-tech mobile. Rather than concentrating on building a smartphone that looks better than the competition, Amazon is offering consumers a device that could potentially make shopping -- both online and off -- easier than ever before.

Amazon chief executive officer Jeff Bezos unveiled the Amazon Fire Phone in Seattle, Washington, this past Wednesday. The device is priced similarly to Apple's iPhone 5S and Samsung's S5. The 32 gigabyte version of the Amazon Fire Phone will retail for $199 with a two-year contract ($649 without), while a 64GB version will sell for $299 with a contract (and $749 without).

Amazon Fire Phone: Hardware Specs

Currently, color and carrier options are limited for the Amazon Fire Phone. Right now, the phone is only available in flat black, with Amazon releasing the device through AT&T alone.

That said, some hardware specifications include: a 2.2GHz quad-core CPU, 2GB of RAM, a 4.7" HD LCD display with 1280 x 720 resolution, 1000:1 contrast ratio, 13 MP rear-facing camera, LED flash, 2.1 MP front-facing camera, 32 GB or 64 GB of storage space, and a battery size of 2400mAh. Size-wise, the phone measures 5.5" x 2.6" x 0.35" and weighs 5.64 ounces.

Users can use the phone up to 22 hours of talk time with a standby time of up to 285 hours. Video playback yields up to 11 hours, while audio playback yields up to 65 hours. The operating system uses Amazon's proprietary Fire OS 3.5.0, which is a fork of Google's Android operating system. (Source: androidcentral.com)

Firefly Could Make Shopping Easier Than Ever Before

Arguably, the Fire Phone's most interesting feature is Firefly, which allows the device to scan and identify roughly 100 million different items.

The Fire Phone has the ability to provide users with an instantaneous price comparison of a product, showing them where they can find the same item for less money. In other words, a Fire Phone user could walk into Best Buy, pick up and scan a new set of headphones, and receive a price listing for dozens of other retailers. Given that Amazon is one of the world's largest online retailers, this feature could also spell disaster for many brick and mortar stores.

Early adopters of the Amazon Fire will be given a free year of Amazon Prime, Amazon's shipping and content membership program. Amazon Prime members get access to free two-day shipping on Amazon products and exclusive access to movies, music, and Kindle books available through the Amazon store. If Fire Phone buyers already have an Amazon Prime account, they'll get an additional twelve months for no charge. Currently, there are about 20 million Amazon Prime subscribers. (Source: cnet.com)

The Amazon Fire Phone will be available in North America on July 25, 2014.

What's Your Opinion?

Are you interested in the Amazon Fire Phone's unique features, like a 13MP camera and the ability to identify and compare products using Firefly? Would you buy this phone instead of an Apple iPhone 5S or Samsung Galaxy S5? Or, are you waiting to see what Apple and Samsung do with the next versions of their popular smartphones?

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