We had been hearing stories about how Amazon has been working hard on a smartphone that is unlike any of the devices we have seen so far featuring a unique 3D UI. Most of the rumors came true, as on wednesday, Amazon announced its first smartphone, called the Fire Phone. The phone shares more than just the moniker from the Kindle Fire line of tablets. Tightly integrated with a host of Amazon services, the Amazon Fire Phone boasts very much, up to date specifications.
Hardware and Specs
The Fire Phone comes with a 4.7 inch IPS HD display which is protected by Gorilla Glass 3. It is powered by a Qualcomm made 2.2 GHz Quad Core SoC with Adreno 330 GPU and 2 GB of RAM. There is a 13 MP rear camera with f/2.0 lens with OIS which Amazon has claimed takes better pictures than even the iPhone 5s. The Fire Phone has chamfered edges, aluminum button and injection molded connectors giving it a premium feel. There are also dual speakers which give a stereo effect when listening to music or consuming multimedia in landscape mode. There is a dedicated shutter button for the shutterbugs and the phone will ship with flat cabled headphones that would not tangle. Amazon also is offering unlimited cloud service for storing your pictures. The phone will be powered by a 2400 mAh battery.
UI and Software Features
The major differentiating feature of the device is its UI which gives you a glasses free 3D effect. There are four sensors placed on the front of the device that are used to track up to 60 movements per second of your head and hand. These low energy sensors are used for depth analysis to give the UI that 3D effect. It is impossible to tell that underneath all the 3D effects, powering this phone is actually Android for OS. The Amazon skin on top is very much like what we have seen from the Kindle Fire line of tablets, though obviously a lot of improvements and refinements have gone in here. The phone recognizes your gestures as well as body movements for a lot of everyday tasks such as scrolling, opening menus, displaying informations, even looking at the products available from Amazon in a unique 3D view.
The phone will be a home to various Amazon services such as Prime Music, the latest Amazon streaming service as well as the ASAP Caching service for watching video content. Needless to say, there is Kindle in here too for all your EBooks needs. Amazon’s Mayday service, which was introduced with their Fire HD tablet is also included which allows the Amazon reps to help you solve any problem you may face via a video chat or by directly taking control of your phone.
Firefly is another interesting feature on the phone which basically allows you to scan any product using your camera and add it to your shopping basket on Amazon. You can also use Firefly to add digital content such as videos or music to your Amazon cart. There is a dedicated Firefly button to allow you to pull the feature out immediately.
Pricing and Availability
The Fire Phone is available from today for pre-order, though will go on sale on July 25th. The 32 GB variant of the device will cost $199.99 on AT&T while the 64 GB version is for $299.99 on AT&T, both on a two year contract. Unlocked, the phone will cost $650. There was no information about the international availability of the device.