Amazon Fire Phone – Hands on Preview



Amazon has recently revealed its first flagship phone to the world. It has all the nifty cool features for which any techy would drool! Some of the unique stuff involves 3d viewing known as “Dynamic perspective”, a superfast one tap video support application known as “Mayday” and a real-time interactive extension of the Amazon store with the use of the app named “Firefly”. On the hardware side, under the hood specs are pretty decent. Mobile world is highly competitive and you have to be on top of your game if you want to make a dent on the bubble that has been created by the cell phone superiors. Does Amazon Fire stands up to the expectations? Let’s find out.


Hardware

It packs 2.2 GHz quad processor from Qualcomm and has multiple Cameras, to be specific 5 of them on the front and 1 in the back. The front four cameras exist to support facial recognition for the“Dynamic perspective” feature. There is another dot on the front near to the middle, which is another camera that can be used for taking selfies. The back side camera has the capacity of clicking the pictures of 13 Mega Pixels and the camera shots are pretty neat. It has all the standard features like Bluetooth, NFC, Wifi capable of supporting 802.11ac band, Qualcomm’s RF360 with 4G LTE global data support, battery can support 11 hours of HD video playback and many other features that are competitive to the other current flagship models from competing companies. And yes, Amazon will give unlimited cloud storage to the folks owning this phone.

Aesthetics

Phone looks simple and dull. The multiple cameras on the front side look out of the place. The sides have the rubber tapestry; backside has gorilla glass version 3.0 that gives it a glossy premium phone look.  Similar gorilla glass is used on the front screen as well. Like I said before, aesthetically the phone looks direct, dull and plain. There is nothing flashy or out of the box going on the outer build of the phone. But this could be intentional move from Amazon to present a phone that looks simple and easy to work with yet can perform complex chores, seems like they are following the footsteps on Apple.

Software

Amazon fire comes with its own operating system called as Fire 3.5. It looks like the rip off of the android 4.2.2 OS. The operating system felt smooth and appeared modern. The applications can be pinned on the front dashboard and you will be seeing the latest updates on the tiles like windows phone. Amazon has sucked up the data from the Nokia’s HERE map and built its own 3d map UI on top of it.  The buildings and other such locations look beautiful in 3D using the Dynamic Perspective functionality. Then there is, view gestures that will let you perform several task without tapping on the screen, one of such functions is tilting of the phone, causes the screen content to scroll up or down, based on how you have shaken it. On the bad note, amazon has planned to create its own ecosystem of apps and you cannot access google app store or any other store for downloading the apps. This could be a deal breaker for guys like me.

Dynamic Perspective

This is a feature that gives depth to the content you see on the screen. The 5 cameras on the front screen are used to support this feature. We were afraid that it would start to act funny once the 2 people come in front of the screen, but we were amazed to see that it intelligently identified the faces which had the closest proximity to the screen and use it for taking the feedback. There are couple of fun games already installed in the system that used Dynamic perspective, and the games worked nicely. This new feature looks quiet cool but the question is whether we need this today or not, as this doesn’t have any practical application in the real life scenario.

Mayday

This is one of the most impressive and pragmatic application that Amazon Fire depicted. This application lets you connect to the Technical support executive within 15 seconds with a video call, only thing that’s required is a single tap! Amazon’s site support is available 24x7x365.

Firefly

This is an Amazon proprietary application that is a real world interactive 3d extension of Amazon’s already established online shop. This is a well build app and clearly, amazon has poured the resources sufficiently to formulate this application, for all the obvious reasons. You just have to point the phone towards anything that you are interested in, which has an image of the company, a barcode or a QC code; it can even be a song or even a video and it will be searched in the amazon’s online shop database, making your shopping experience quick and seamless. The app looks distinctively beautiful and while using firefly animated fireflies get congregated around the points of interest like QC code or bar code of the subject.

Early Conclusion

“This is a good phone with all the decent features along with cool perks like Dynamic perspective but if we look deeper on the details, it looks like, it was designed to benefit more to Amazon than to the phone owner. It will be available in US by june, I would highly recommend you to take a chill pill till this phone gets reviewed by good folks and then think about placing the orders.”

Specs

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

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)

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

Connectivity – 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi, up to 300 Mbps with channel bonding; Bluetooth 3.0 wireless technology; NFC enabled

Ports – Micro USB 2.0, 3.5mm headphone