Amazon has officially unveiled the Fire at a special press event held in Seattle. As thought by many, Amazon’s first handset has a 4.7-inch Gorilla Glass display with a 720p HD-resolution screen. To put that in perspective that is the same size as the Moto X. The new handset also has a rubberized frame with aluminium buttons.
The phone runs a quad-core 2.2GHz processor, Adreno 330 GPU and has 2GB of RAM. The camera is an impressive 13-megapixel, that is equipped with an f/2.0 lens and optical image stabilization and it has the ability to capture 1080p video. It also has a dedicated camera key and it will come with free unlimited cloud storage for photographs.
Other features are global LTE connectivity with nine bands of LTE, quad-band GSM, five bands of UMTS, 802.11ac support, WiFi channel bonding, NFC and Bluetooth. Amazon has promised close to 285 hours of standby time, 22 hours of talk time and the phone is capable of 65 hours of audio and 11 hours of video playback too.
The Fire will be available exclusively from AT&T in the US for $199 for the 32GB version, or $299 for the 64GB. On the contract you can get the 32GB version of the phone for $27 a month or the 64GB version for $31 a month if you opt for AT&T’s Next program. Or if you prefer you can grab the phone directly from Amazon for $649 for 32GB and $749 for 64GB.
As far a sound quality goes, the Fire has dual stereo speakers along with support for virtual Dolby Digital Plus surround sound. It comes with earphones with tangle-free, flat cables plus magnetic ear-buds, which clasps together. The phone also comes with ASAP (Advanced Streaming and Prediction) support and the ability to push videos to Miracast devices like Fire TV. The phone supports all of the Prime offerings such as Music and Video, and you can get Audible, the Kindle Newsstand as well as Comixology.
CEO Jeff Bezos announced at the event, that the Mayday service would be coming to the Fire. Mayday is the no cost, 24/7, 365-days-a-year live customer service support. Apparently Mayday will take less than 15 seconds to answer and will work over 3G/4G as well as WiFi.
The Fire will also ship with the new technology, Firefly. Firefly uses the phone’s camera to recognize books, DVDs, phone numbers, QR codes, URLs, games, CD’s and bar codes. It can also use the phone’s microphone to listen to songs. If the system detects an item, you can then quickly tap a button to purchase it from Amazon. Firefly looks like it could become a really useful tech. In fact it’s going to be such a key service to the Fire, there is even a dedicated Firefly button.
The Fire runs on Fire OS 3.5, an Android-based operating system that’s customized for Amazon. You can either choose to have a carousel-style app grid similar to the Kindle tablets, or a more Android-like look.
Pre-orders have already started and if you are quick enough, you can take advantage of a limited time introductory offer, which includes a year of Prime for free. The Fire is going to ship on July 25th.
What do you think? Have Amazon hit the mark with this? As always, if you would like to leave a sensible comment, then please do so in the comments section below.
[Image via tested]