Yes, Amazon is debuting their own smartphone. Yes, it’s a portable shopping Mecca. Yes, it’s another headache for brick and mortar businesses.
The Fire Phone, as it’s called, will hit the market July 25th and it’s already causing competitors to sit up and take notice. The most talked about feature is a program known as Firefly, which lets you take pictures of objects (whether online or in your friend’s kitchen) and search for them on Amazon. It’s basically making your power to purchase that much easier. Or, let me clarify, making your power to purchase items from Amazon that much easier.
An Amazon app already exists, but Firefly cuts out your searching time (especially if you don’t know the name of the item you are looking for) and goes straight to the product page. It can also recognize objects and titles, so if you take a picture of a DVD cover, it will take you to the movie’s IMDB page.
Done and done.
Competitors worried that people will flock to a phone that is shiny and new can take solace in the fact that it’s only available through AT&T (as of now). The Fire will cost $199 with a two-year contract, or $649 without a contract.
The aesthetics are worthy of note. The 4.7 inch screen (slightly larger than the iPhone5S) is a great size for the phone’s 3D Dynamic Perspective that can be used for anything from gaming and shopping to reading and mapping.
- It has its own operating system. Therefore you can’t use Google at all. You’ll have to use Amazon’s own app store, maps and other services (although they didn’t specify, you will probably be able to download the Gmail app).
- A Mayday button will allow you to video chat with an Amazon customer support representative for any problems you may have with the Fire.
- There is an unlimited amount of storage for photos.
- The camera is infrared so you can take photos in dark settings.
- Fire Phone customers will get a free one-year Prime subscription (this offer will only be available for a limited time).