Amazon has decided to enter the fierce battle on the mobile phones market with its Amazon Fire Phone. The phone has some very qualitative components that should make it a serious competitor for other smart phones in sales in stores across the world. The Amazon Phone is a nice gadget but it can rival neither Apple nor Android. It is a good option for Amazon fans but there are few chances for Android or iOS users to leave their gadgets behind for this new comer.
The Fire Phone has the appearance of a big iPhone having back and front panels made of glass. It also has curved angles and a narrow built. The Amazon logo is very distinguishable on the back. There are two speakers one at the top and the other at the bottom, which is quite rare for a smart phone.
However, the feature that differentiates the Fire phone is its sensors of the infrared LED type, placed at the four corners of the front panel. The sensors have the function to detect if the user’s head is close to the phone. This feature is called Dynamic Perspective and it should help users control their phones better and add 3 D effects to the phone’s interface. The users can see the data of each picture or video just by moving their heads right or left while looking at the phone.
Third party developers also have the possibility to use these feature to create their applications. In a game called “Lili”, users can have a perspective of the 3D world just by moving their heads in front of the real screen. It is a nice feature but unless it has a more important usage it will be forgotten soon.
Firefly is another unique characteristic of the Fire phone. The phone’s camera and microphone are uses in order to identify products, films, television shows, texts as well as music. The Firefly can be activated by pressing the camera button located on the left side of the Fire Phone. Then the phone is pointed towards the items that need to be identified. It can be aimed towards a business card in order to add the email address or the phone number without having to type them. If the application is used while in the process of watching a film, then it will trigger out useful information from IMDB. If the user aims the phone towards a product, the Amazon web page selling that product will appear on the screen.
Unfortunately, one can see from a distance that all these new, futuristic features were added to the phone just to boost the sales on Amazon. The phone interface always recommends the user to buy something. For example if a user returns to a previously heard song, the interface will offer similar songs to buy. The same happens with Fire TV player and with the Fire tablets. However, in the case of the Fire Phone, the entire action feels more invasive because the suggestions are there on a screen that has only 4.7 inch. Fortunately, the users can turn off the purchasing suggestions from the phone settings. There is always the Mayday icon to contact the Amazon customer service in case the user does not figure out how to get rid of the annoying suggestions. When tapping the Mayday icon, a video call occurs and an Amazon representative will be there to answer the user’s questions. Amazon introduced this feature on some of its feature in 2013.
The phone functions on the Amazon version of Android. The main screen has a carouse that presents the applications and the content in a chronological way, starting with the most recently used. The most favourite applications can be pinned and brought to the front. However, this is not a very efficient way of navigating around the phone. But the users have other options as well. If the user swipes up from the bottom towards the top, the applications can be arranged as the user wants to.
The Amazon Fire has a rear facing camera of thirteen megapixels. The videos and pictures taken with this camera are very sharp. But this is not something outstanding for a smart phone. The Amazon Phone automatically backs up every photo in the cloud. This might turn out to be handy when at an important event where lots of pictures are taken and the users might run out of space. The photos can be deleted without a worry because there is a copy of them which can be accessed later on. When compared with Apple this is a plus because Apple offers its users only five gigabytes of free cloud storage. When these are used the customer has to pay if he/she wants additional space.
People purchasing the Fire Phone also get a one year membership on the Amazon Prime. This means access to Prime Music, Amazon Instant Video and free delivery for certain items. The value of this membership equals the sum of 99 US dollars. However, this does not mean that the Amazon Phone is cheap at all. Buyers who do not want to sign a contract can have the phone for 649 US dollars or for 749 US dollar. The lower price is for a phone with only thirty-two gigabytes for storage and the higher price gives users sixty-four gigabytes of storage. Those who want to sign a contract with AT&T can have the phone for 199 US dollars (but only thirty-two gigabytes of storage are included) or for 299 US dollars if the user wants to have the storage space of sixty-for gigabytes. Buyers also have the possibility to pay the gadget in monthly instalments by making use of the AT&T Next payment system.
Amazon shoppers might find the gadget extremely useful. However, Apple and Android fans cannot be seduced by features like Dynamic Perspective or Firefly. Something more is needed to defeat these powerful names on the smart phone market.