01.Smartphone market heats up with the Fire
US online retail giant Amazon has launched its Fire smartphone
The Fire Phone runs a customised version of Google’s Android smartphone operating
system with the backing of Amazon’s vast ecosystem of movies, TV, music and
ebook collection Prime and its online storage Amazon Cloud Drive.
Quick access features
The Fire has
some unique new features intended to make the phone a quick-response tool for
entertainment that lets users easily access content and get information.
Amazon claims it has twice as much storage capacity for the same price as other premium smartphones, such as the Apple iPhone, in the US.
The Firefly button instantly launches a program to identify
text, music, movies and even household items, as well as quickly find websites, show
movie information and find product information and order direct from Amazon.
The customisable home carousel can find photos, emails and
appointments without opening an app. The X-Ray feature displays lyric or artist details for
music, and background information on movies and books at a tap of the screen. Audio books and ebooks can be synchronised with Kindles,
and the Second Screen feature will sync video content with a TV.
A responsive sensor system in the Fire is designed to
allow the phone to be used with just one hand by bringing up menus and notifications
when the phone is on the move and has an auto-scroll feature for reading.
The Fire uses the Amazon Appstore with free, unlimited cloud
storage for photos. It also has a Mayday customer service
that gives interactive video help, which Amazon promises to provide in 15 seconds or
The Fire Phone will be available from 25 July on the American AT & T network. Amazon hasn't made any announcement as to whether the phone will be launched outside of the US at this stage.
Need to know specs:
Fire OS 3.5.0
- 32GB $US199, 64GB $US299 on two-year contract
- 2.2GHz Quad-core Snapdragon processor
- 4.7” high-definition display with 1280 x 720 resolution
- 13Mp rear-facing camera and 2.1Mp front-facing camera
- 1080p video recording
- Dual stereo speakers
- Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
- Mobile: UMTS/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100 MHz), Quad-band GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz), 9 bands of LTE (Bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 17, 20)
- Nano SIM