Will Verduzco · Jun 18, 2014 at 05:00 pm

Amazon Fire Phone Unveiled, Forums Added

For some time now, we’ve heard rumors suggesting that Amazon was planning on releasing an Android-based smartphone. After many months of rumors, leaks, and hints, we finally have Amazon’s entry into the smartphone world. Earlier today, Amazon officially unveiled the Amazon Fire Phone, which will make its way to consumer hands on July 25, starting at $199 on-contract.

From the outset, Amazon worked hard to differentiate the Fire Phone from the sea of other Android smartphones. It hopes to accomplish this goal with the help of a number of innovative technologies including Dynamic Perspective, Firefly technology, Mayday, and Amazon Prime integration.

Dynamic Perspective

Through the use of a custom-designed sensor array, the Fire Phone is able to respond to the way in which you hold, look at, and move your phone. This allows developers to create immersive games and apps that take user position into account for altered viewpoints and more. There are also various shortcuts and gestures enabled by this sensor array such as tilting to navigate through menus, swiveling to access notifications, “peek” to only show relevant data when necessary, and one-handed scrolling. This functionality is even available in absence of light due to infrared illumination designed to aid the four front-facing dynamic perspective sensors.

Firefly Technology

No, not THAT Firefly. Rather, Amazon’s Firefly technology gives you a single hardware button on the side of the phone that uses the camera and other sensors to instantly identify and perform relevant tasks on contact information, playing media, and more. At this point, Firefly seems like Amazon’s answer to a variety of Google products such as Google Goggles, Google Sound Search, the now defunct Google Shopper, and more.

Mayday

Finally, the Fire Phone brings Mayday technology for live, on-device tech support with an Amazon representative. This feature, although clearly not intended for readers of this site, will help new users obtain easy answers to a number of problems by having a live “co-pilot” on screen. As promised by Amazon, this service will result in “help in 15 seconds or less,” without an appointment or end user hassle.

Hardware Specifications

In order to power all of these ambitious features, Amazon has given the Fire Phone a fairly beefy set of hardware specifications, (mostly) in line of what we’ve come to expect from a modern flagship device. For starters, the phone is powered by a 2.2 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor, which is backed by 2 GB of RAM. This then feeds a 4.7″ 720p display that comes out to 315 ppi. The phone runs on Fire OS 3.5.0, which is a very highly skinned version of Android, and it packs plenty of connectivity options including pentaband 3G, 9-band LTE, and support for carrier aggregation for greater speed. The camera array in addition to its four perspective sensors is also formidable, thanks to its 2.1 MP front-facing camera and 13 MP rear-facing camera with optical image stabilization. All of this is then housed in a device that measures in at 8.9mm thick and weighs 160 grams.

Does the newly released Fire Phone have what it takes to be your next smartphone? Are you firmly in the Amazon ecosystem, and if not, does this make you want to partake? Let us know in the comments below and then head over to the newly created Amazon Fire Phone forums to get started.


_________
Want something on the XDA Portal? Send us a tip!

Will Verduzco

willverduzco is an editor on XDA-Developers, the largest community for Android users. Will Verduzco is the Portal Administrator for the XDA-Developers Portal. He has been addicted to mobile technology since the HTC Wizard. But starting with the Nexus One, his gadget love affair shifted to Google's little green robot. He is also a Johns Hopkins University graduate in neuroscience and is now currently studying to become a physician. View willverduzco's posts and articles here.
Mario Tomás Serrafero · Aug 1, 2015 at 01:33 pm · no comments

XDA Picks: Best Apps of the Week (July 25 – Aug 1)

Apps are at the front and center of any smartphone experience, and with over a million apps on the Google Play Store and new apps being submitted to our forums every day, staying up to date on the latest apps and games can be a hassle. At XDA we don’t discriminate apps - if it’s interesting, innovative, original or useful, we mention them. The XDA Portal Team loves apps too, and here are our top picks for this week.  ...

XDA NEWS
Mathew Brack · Aug 1, 2015 at 09:00 am · 1 comment

Voices Of XDA: Orbiting The Earth With Android

Editor’s note: This week's feature has been written by forum member RowHanSolo and takes a look at the exciting prospect of launching satellites fitted with little more than an Android phone as an onboard computer. From a university to NASA, multiple projects like this have launched!   Technology is an ever-growing industry, regardless of which corner you look at. However, each area of technology has its limitations on what it can do and how far it can expand. For satellite technology,...

XDA NEWS
Mike McCrary · Jul 31, 2015 at 03:56 pm · 1 comment

CloudPlayer: DIY HiFi Music Streaming Solution

In our Helpful Guide to Music Streaming Services, we mentioned several different services that offer ways to stream catalogs of music directly to your device. While each service has their benefits and drawbacks, the common theme among them is to give you access to a vast library of music without the need to store your own, and charge you a monthly fee for the privilege. But what if you already had access to your own catalog of music? Sure, there...

XDA NEWS