Amazon on Wednesday officially introduced its own smartphone, as expected, and it offers several unique features that may help it stand out in the crowded smartphone market. The device is called the Fire Phone and it sports a 4.7-inch IPS LCD HD display with Gorilla Glass 3 for extra strength, a rubber frame, aluminum buttons and injection-molded steel connectors that Amazon says “ensures a tight and precise fit,” which the device is charging.
Under the hood, the Fire Phone is powered by a 2.2GHz quad-core processor with Adreno 330 graphics and 2GB of RAM. It also has a 13-megapixel camera with optical image stabilization, a feature that has helped phones like the original HTC One, the LG G2 and LG G3 capture amazing images. Also, another feature we love, the device has a dedicated camera button and will offer unlimited photo storage on Amazon Cloud Drive.
In terms of multimedia performance, the phone packs dual stereo speakers for audio in landscape mode and virtual surround sound provided by Dolby. It will also include “tangle-free” flat and magnetic earbuds in the box. As with the Kindle Fire devices, the Fire Phone can serve as a “second screen” to provide X-Ray data on movies and TV shows. Like the Fire TV, it offers “ASAP” caching, so it can predict what you want to watch – like a TV show – and start caching that ahead of time. Prime Music is also included, as expected, since it’s Amazon’s brand new music service. If you want to use your phone to read, you can do that with the Fire Phone also. Obviously that’s an option on all modern smartphones, too.
Another feature that will help the device stand out is support for Mayday, which is Amazon’s built-in video support system that will help you with whatever you need. This is going to be great for folks who have been worried about getting on board with smartphones in the past. Mayday offers 24/7 support in 15 seconds or less.
Yet another cool feature on the phone is called Firefly, it can recognize more than 100 million items by just using your camera viewfinder. Then, you can add those items to a shopping cart and buy them immediately. It’s also capable of recognizing movies, TV shows and music, and tapping into third party apps for allowing to you buy items like tickets to music performances for bands you’re listening to. There’s even a dedicated button to launch Firefly.
Now how about that 3D display we were hearing so much about? Bezos explained that in detail, too. The phone has a 3D interface that Amazon called “dynamic perspective,” which adds depth to the phone’s display so it doesn’t seem flat, and the perspective changes as you move your head around thanks to four cameras aligned around the face of the phone. Amazon will also use this for shopping, so you can see different perspectives of product images before you choose to buy.
The Fire Phone has a unique user interface that allows you to pin specific things into your application grid, even if it’s consumable content like a book you’re reading. Also, you can store stuff in the cloud and on your device, which is pretty cool.
The phone is heading to AT&T with 32GB of storage for $199.99 with a new two-year contract, or for $299.99 with a new two-year contract with 64GB of storage. Pre-orders begin now and the device launches July 25.
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