The Amazon Phone: What to expect
We take an in-depth look at the possibilites of an Amazon 'Kindle' Phone
Rumours continue to circulate around the idea of Amazon producing its own smartphone to sit alongside the Kindle Fire tablet. What could an Amazon smartphone bring to the table? We find out.
One of the major highlights of the Kindle Fire tablet when it launched almost a year ago was its extremely low price tag. Amazon wanted deep market penetration and that meant making a device affordable for a wider range of consumers.
The things is, any discussion of budget tablets or phones immediately raises eyebrows because, until fairly recently, we’ve been used to the idea that a budget device will make massive compromises on build quality.
However, the Kindle Fire was one of the first devices to redefine expectations for budget hardware with a very solid construction on par with the BlackBerry Playbook. Indeed, much of the form factor and styling was very similar to RIM’s own less successful tablet bid and, say what you like about that particular device but it felt pretty good in the hand.
The Kindle Fire might not have been the most original looking tablet around but it was well-made, so we’ve little doubt that any smartphone the company brings to market will have had an equally discerning eye cast over it before receiving the green light.
For the internals, again trying to keep the device economical will no doubt have an impact, but the Kindle Fire managed to keep its $199 price tag despite toting a dual core 1GHz Texas Instruments OMAP processor which, for the time, was plenty powerful.
Fast forward to today and dual core is still a perfectly viable option, however, even when keeping costs down as odd as it may sound there’s something to be said for a quad.
Nvidia’s CEO, Jen-Hsun Huang, famously said that its Tegra 3 quad core architecture should be made available cheaper sooner rather than later, thanks to the way it was developed and manufactured. This now appears to be coming to fruition with Google’s own Nexus 7 tablet hitting the market for Jen-Hsun’s quoted price of £199 and sporting a Tegra 3 chip.
When the Kindle Fire launched, Amazon made a point that the choice of a fast dual core processor was made to alleviate some of Android’s chugginess. We think if the company is aiming for the same performance goals this time around a Tegra 3 is a good option while remaining affordable.
Much of the emphasis with the Kindle Fire was around accessing content through Amazon’s online services and Cloud space, and consequently onboard storage was comparatively low at 8GB. It seems likely there’ll be a similar angle with Amazon’s phone and therefore storage will probably be somewhere around this figure.
Assuming the Amazon phone will run a Tegra 3 chip, it’ll be better served by 1GB of RAM rather than the Kindle Fire’s 512MB.