Amazon officially released the Fire Phone which we reported on earlier this week commenting that competitors should be afraid. We have changed that opinion slightly, we will get into why later in the article.
First some information about the phone itself:
|Size||5.5″ x 2.6″ x 0.35″ (139.2mm x 66.5mm x 8.9mm)|
|Weight||5.64 ounces (160 grams)|
|Processor||2.2GHz Quad-core Snapdragon 800 CPU, with Adreno 330 GPU and 2GB of RAM|
|Display||4.7″ HD LCD display, with 1280 x 720 resolution at 315 ppi, 590 cd/m2 brightness (typical), 1000:1 contrast ratio (typical)|
|Cameras||13 MP rear-facing camera, multi-frame HDR, auto focus, optical image stabilization, f/2.0 5-element wide aperture lens, LED flash 2.1 MP front-facing camera|
|OS||Fire OS 3.5.0|
|Storage||32 GB or 64 GB|
|Cloud Storage||Free cloud storage for all Amazon content, and photos taken with Fire phone|
|Battery||Battery size: 2400mAh. Talk time: up to 22 hours; standby time: up to 285 hours. Video playback: up to 11 hours; audio playback: up to 65 hours.|
|Video recording||1080p HD video recording at 30 fps (front- and rear-facing cameras)|
|Audio playback||Dual stereo speakers with Dolby Digital Plus audio processing|
|TV and Video||Supports screen mirroring and Second Screen|
|Content formats supported||Audio: Dolby Digital (AC-3), Dolby Digital Plus (E-AC-3), non-DRM AAC, MP3, MIDI, OGG, PCM/WAVE, AAC LC/ELD, HE-AAC (v1 & v2), AMR-NB, AMR-WB, AMR-WB+, Audible Enhanced format (AAX); Video: MPEG4, VP8, H.264/MPEG4/AVC,MPEG4 SP, H.263,AVI,HDCP2.x, PlayReady DRM; Images: JPG, GIF, PNG, BMP, GIF87a,GIF89a; Viewable docs: PDF, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively, DOC, DOCX, Kindle (AZW), KF8, TXT|
|Sensors||Dynamic Perspective sensor system with invisible infrared illumination, gyroscope, accelerometer, magnetometer, barometer, proximity sensor, ambient light sensor|
|Location||GPS, Assisted GPS, GLONASS, Wi-Fi/Cellular location, and Digital compass|
|Cellular||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), supports carrier aggregation|
|Connectivity||802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi, up to 300 Mbps with channel bonding; Bluetooth 3.0 wireless technology; NFC enabled|
|Headphones||Premium, tangle-free headphones with remote and mic|
|Rating for hearing aids||M4, T4|
|SIM Card||Pre-installed Nano SIM card|
|Ports||Micro USB 2.0 3.5mm headphone|
Unlike we wrote in our previous article where we expected the Fire phone to innovate in the space with a glass-free 3D OS where icons would float above the screen, the Fire phone uses four cameras and four infrared LEDs to track the position of the users head – Amazon calls this the Dynamic Perspective.
While Dynamic Perspective isn’t what we expected it does enable the user to do things which are unique to the Fire phone: peak around corner in games or tilt maps to see Yelp ratings for example.
Another feature which Amazon focused on during the event is the Firefly technology: By pressing the Firefly button on the left side of the device, you can identify printed text on posters, magazines, and business cards—make calls, save new contacts, send emails, and visit websites without typing long addresses.
It also recognizes over 70 million products such as books, DVDs, CDs and more and best of all for firstly Amazon and your convenience directly links it up to your Amazon wish list so you can shop away.
With the purchase of the Fire phone you also get 12 month of Prime membership and therefore access to Prime Music, Prime Instant Video, Lending Library and free two day shipping.
The phone has clearly been designed to give more people direct access to Amazon, reach consumers with their content and products at all times rather than becoming a key player in the smartphone market. Even if the features and hardware is not living up to the expectations people had prior to the launch, Amazon could still have had a much bigger impact on the smartphone market if they would have adopted the same strategy as they did with the Kindle tablet which they are basically selling at cost, the profits are made on the revenue generated by their digital content and Amazon orders.
The Fire phone on the other hand is more expensive than a Galaxy S5, selling at $649 compared to the Samsung top model at $589 (that is for the 16GB version compared to 32GB the Fire phone has but a 16GB Micro SD card doesn’t cost more than $10).
Given Amazon`s strategy here we don’t believe Samsung or Apple have anything to worry about in terms of losing a lot of market share to Amazon but we also believe it can be a success for Amazon if their loyal customer base make the switch to their smartphone which will give them yet another way to reach their customers and generate more revenue with their digital content and general products.