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What to expect from the Amazon Fire Phone

What to expect from the Amazon Fire Phone

by Salil Tembe2014/09/16

The Amazon Fire Phone which will soon be available exclusively to the UK residents has some awesome specs and features. Built on the Google’s Android operating system, it can run almost all android applications, so you do not have to worry about leaving the Google ecosystem. Amazon is planning to release this new smart phone which is loaded with powerful quad core processor, 2 Gigabyte of RAM and loads of memory. The cameras are of very high quality and support many awesome features backed by a powerful application that comes exclusively on Fire Phone. The new FireFly technology allows the user to scan any banner or photograph and instantly recognize any phone numbers, movies, and stuff like that so that the user finds ease at accessing the information which normally he would have typed manually. I can go on for the rest of the article talking about the wonderful features Fire Phone has, but we are mainly going to focus on the audio and music.

Fire Phone’s FireOS is built upon the Android OS, but Amazon has managed to get rid of the Google Playstore, so you cannot directly download your applications. You have to take an extra step by searching on Google for the .apk files for your favourite applications that you might want to install. An extra step in addition to that would be to enable “non-Amazon applications” to install on your phone which you can find in your phone settings. There are certain apps such as the Starbucks app which will not work because it relies on Playstore service. In short, any app that does not rely on the Playstore will work flawlessly on Fire Phone.

The main motive behind selling the phone is basically selling their cloud services to the users. Amazon makes their money from selling cloud services. With Fire Phone you get instant access to the Amazon Music’s 30 million records which you can buy and download or stream from the cloud. Music management becomes quite easy that way. Apart from music, they also have Kindle eBooks and audio books. With Amazon Prime membership coming free with this phone, you also get instant access to their vast collection of movies. As you can see clearly, Amazon has integrated their entire cloud in this phone just so that the users can find it easy to stream music, movies and other content. It is definitely an alternative to iTunes.

Dolby Digital Plus is definitely worth looking at for the stereo sound output. The good thing is that the Amazon Fire Phone comes with this technology integrated into the phone. One thing we are not sure of is the quality of internet connection we might have while we are outside. If you wish to stream music while outdoors, you could have your music pause just so that it can buffer a bit. Normally, the streaming music always plays at a constant bit rate, but in case of Dolby Digital plus the stream automatically adjusts the bit rate while trying to maintain the audio experience. If you are connected to a high speed Wifi connection, naturally Dolby will maximize the bit rate and play the audio in high resolution. The data rates can vary anywhere from 32 kbps to a whopping 6 Mbps. This technology also optimizes the audio quality depending on the type of content you are consuming, such as a movie, a song or a YouTube video and such. Another great feature of Dolby Digital Plus being that you can now stream content from your phone to an HDMI enabled TV with 5.1 channel surround sound.

It is quite hard to find a phone which does not come with a pair of headphones to plug into our ears. Amazon claims to provide “tangle free” headphones. I have not had a single headphone which does not end up being tangled, so we will have to see how long this one survives without tangling up. The headphones come with an inline microphone which they claim to provide crystal clear audio. The headphones at approximately 14 mm in diameter with a weird flute design to optimize the bass and provide a balance for the highs. The shape of the ear plugs often tell a lot about the frequency response. These headphones should be able to provide a very good quality sound over entire frequency range. One more thing to note; Amazon claims that the headphones support extended bass. Which means that whenever bass appears in the music, it will gradually fade away instead of disappearing instantly. This extended bass effect gives a very different, natural feel to the music. We came across extended bass in one of our previous article about Bose SoundTrue headphones which are definitely worth taking a look at.

The phone is available for £0 if you buy certain tariff plans from the service provider O2.

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About The Author
Salil Tembe
Salil is an electronics engineer who has a passion for expressing his love for technology through writing. He firmly stands for open sourcing everything that makes our lives better.

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