Jeff Bezoz unveiled Amazon’s very own Smartphone at Seattle this Wednesday, amidst a huge gathering of Amazon’s loyal customers and the media. Most present expect something in line of its Tablets – sturdy, good and cheap. But the Amazon Fire phone came as a surprise. It has some cool features making it really snug to use, but the device has its shortfalls too. The device is less of a phone and more of an internet shopping device.
To begin with it’s priced at US$199, which is definitely not cheap, suggesting that it won’t have the advantage of undercutting the market the way it did with its series of tablets. Another put-off is that though the Fire is powered by Android; it is not a Google accredited version and hence does not provide users access to Google Play services. Fire will instead be powered by Amazon’s App Store. So that leaves you with a Smartphone minus apps like Chrome, Drive, Hangouts, YouTube, Newsstand and even Google Maps.
But on the sunny-side the Fire is packed with plenty of amazing features that renders a user-experience like no other.
The fire sports an extremely precise sensor that responds to how you hold and move your phone. Peek your phone when on maps and it would give you Yelp ratings. Similarly, the Fire gives you the most immersive experience with apps and games. For instance, you could peek to catch a 90 degree view both to the left and right of your seat in Stubhub Stadium view. Or take on the character’s viewpoint in games like Lili.
Easy gestures and shortcuts to access menus, handy info with the swivel, tilt and peek. Swivel to get instant access to important notifications like the Flashlight, Settings, Mayday, etc. Tilt to the left to use the left panel for menu navigation and the right one to get info on shortcuts, attachments, song lyrics, etc. The peak feature keeps your display neat cancels out all the noise, revealing additional information only when you peek. The auto-scroll lets you scan long pages without having to touch the screen.
The Firefly recognizes business cards, text on posters and magazines to save contacts, make calls, check out the websites and send emails without having to type out numbers or addresses. It also recognizes songs to give you details like artist info, download songs, add them to your wish list or even play similar/related songs. You can even read radio stations based on identified artists or book tickets to their show.
The best part about Firefly is that it lets you scan almost anything and fetch you details about the same. It identifies over 70 million products including books, DVDs, household items, books and lets you order them straight from Amazon.
Hit the Mayday button on the Amazon Fire and you’ll have a live video chat with an Amazon expert. They would be able to co-pilot you through the various features by drawing on your screen or doing it for you. Plus, they don’t get to see you, only you will be able to see them!
Besides the above features, the Amazon Fire phone also flaunts an awesome camera that is said to have outdone both the Samsung galaxy S5 and the iPhone 5S. You also get to enjoy unlimited streaming and download for a whole year. The company is providing all its users with a one year free membership with Amazon Prime. So let’s wait and watch how well it does.