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Amazon's Fire Phone doesn't include Bluetooth LE, and that's bad news for wearables

Amazon's Fire Phone doesn't include Bluetooth LE, and that's bad news for wearables

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For its first attempt at a smartphone, Amazon's Fire Phone includes a lot of interesting features — but it also left out one surprising one: support for Bluetooth LE, the type of connectivity that's made wearables like smartwatches and fitness trackers so powerful lately. Mashable first pointed out the strange omission, noting that it'll be bad news for anyone who wants to use buy a Fire Phone and regularly use a wearable. It doesn't mean that it'll be impossible, but you're likely to see a lot more issues with battery life, which Bluetooth LE mitigates most issues with (the LE stands for "low-energy," after all).

It's bad news, but there are still options

The absence of Bluetooth LE support also means that products designed specifically for the standard won't be able to connect with the Fire Phone at all. Some wearables account for that potential absence and can fall back on earlier version of Bluetooth to work just fine, and others don't support Bluetooth LE at all and manage well enough too, such as the initial version of the Pebble smartwatch (support for it was added in later, however). It could also become an issue in cars, as more vehicles gain the ability to tap into smartphone operating systems.

Not including Bluetooth LE isn't entirely unprecedented — it wasn't included in Android up until version 4.3 Jelly Bean, released just under a year ago — but with its wide support, it's now a far more glaring omission. Engadget's Brad Molen reports that the hardware needed to support Bluetooth LE is present in the phone, however, so it's possible that it'll be included in an update.