Amazon’s First Ever Smartphone: Amazon Fire

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Recently, we have been hearing a lot about this new Amazon’s smartphone. Amazon, at a special press conference which was held on 18 June 2014 in Seattle launched the Amazon Fire. This Amazon Fire has a rubber textured frame, with aluminium buttons and is powered by a 2.2GHz quad-core processor, coupled with 2GB of RAM and Adreno 330 GPU. The smartphone sports a 3D 4.7-inch display with 720p resolution screen.

“Can we build a better phone for our most engaged customers?” asked Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos at the event. “Can we build a better phone for Amazon Prime members? Well, I’m excited to tell you that the answer is yes.”


The Amazon Fire comes with a 13MP rear camera, with optical image stabilization, allowing the shutter stay open four-times longer than most cameras to prevent hand movements when taking photos. Besides this, the thing that interests most of the photographers is the Amazon’s Cloud support which comes along with this phone – it shall allow you to store unlimited photos to your Amazon Cloud! Amazing, isn’t it?

Firefly: Another amazing feature that was unveiled yesterday was Firefly. Firefly uses phone’s camera to recognize books, DVDs, phone numbers, QR codes, CDs, URLs, games, bar codes and more. Besides this, it is also capable of using phones microphone to listen to songs and detect what song is being played. Err, that’s what Shazam does?

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Whatever item Firefly detects, it’ll search the Amazon Store for the same and shall display the item and the user can purchase it there and then. It definitely makes the cumbersome process of searching for the item name and placing an order quick. Thumbs up to Amazon for this. Well, Amazon wants you to purchase items as quickly as possible, so they have even included a dedicated Firefly button on the smartphone, just like a camera button. But, was it really needed?

“Firefly recognizes over 100 million different items, and it does so under real world circumstances,” Bezos said. “Firefly is so easy to access, customers are going to love this.”


Dynamic Perspective: As we mentioned in the introduction to this article that the Amazon Fire smartphone has a 3D display, Amazon took this quite seriously. The Amazon Fire comes with five front facing cameras, one of which is mounted at the top edge of the phone and it will work as a normal front facing camera, but interestingly, the other four camera will be used to track a user’s head movements and render images accordingly, with the help of infrared lights mounted on the front face of the phone.

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With dynamic perspective, users can tilt their phone to get enable specific functions. For example during the demo of this feature, Bezos searched for a place on the map and by tilting the phone, he could see search results like nearby restaurants etc. The information displayed depends on the extent of tilt.

A major advantage of this, Dynamic Perspective will be to those who often read books on the smartphone as you can flip through pages with just a tilt. What more do you want from a smartphone?

“There’s a better way to scroll on this phone because of the dynamic perspective. It’s a very natural, easy, one-handed gesture,” Bezos said. “I think you can probably imagine what the dynamic perspective technology can enable for gamers.”

Operating System: The Fire runs Fire OS 3.5, which is a Amazon customized or forked version of Android. But that doesn’t mean that your phone will look like the Amazon Kindle. The users will have an option to choose from two themes available, one is the carousel-style app grid, which is quite similar to the Amazon Kindle and the second give more of an Android-feel. I am quite impressed by Amazon since they have added an option to switch the display to a look which gives the Android-like front.


Pricing: The 32GB of Amazon Fire is available at $649 off-contract and at $199 with an AT&T contract, while the 64GB variant is available for a $100 more. Pre-orders for the Fire has already started and you can order one from the Amazon’s website immediately and you can stand a chance to win a year of Prime for free, which is an introductory offer by Amazon?

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Have anything to add to the story? Add your comments below and let us know! Do cast your vote whether you are planning to buy an Amazon Fire or not.

Karan Uppal

Karan Uppal is the Editor-in-Chief for Virtuaniz. He is currently a bachelor student of Computer Science at Bangalore and is working with a few start-ups. Karan is a keen learner and loves to travel. He loves reviewing gadgets and claims them to hold an important part in his life. Follow him at @freezethinker to get his updates.

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