Fire Phone Announced by Amazon
Rumored for the last few months, with the first images appearing in April of this year, the Amazon phone has left customers patiently waiting for an official announcement. That announcement came today, as Amazon has revealed its latest technology offering that fits right in line with its current products like the Kindle Fire and the Fire TV. The Fire Phone features a quad-core 2.2GHz processor, Adreno 330 graphics, 2GB of RAM, a 4.7-inch IPS screen, and a 13MP rear-facing camera with image stabilization and an f2.0 lens. Also included in the hardware department are four infrared cameras that are mounted in the corners of the device, enabling the phone to track a user's head. This tracking enables the phone to provide 3D-like images, where users can look under various on-screen elements such as icons. Called Dynamic Perspective, the feature is meant to add depth to the mobile phone experience and is useful in situations like scrolling, where tilting the Fire Phone initiates automatic scrolling. Additionally, the popular Mayday service is available on the Fire Phone, offering free and live on-device tech support at any time with the press of a button.
The Fire Phone runs Fire OS 3.5.0, an Amazon-only operating system that is built atop Android. Fire OS offers a content-forward user interface, built-in media libraries, cloud services, and productivity applications. It seamlessly integrates digital content offered by Amazon while keeping overall performance a top priority. Another massive feature that is coming with the Fire Phone is what Amazon is calling Firefly, which can be accessed from a dedicated side button. This feature allows things such as phone numbers, games, books, movies, and more to be recognized by the phone’s camera. This enables the Fire Phone to display relevant information on detected items, and more importantly, allows users of the phone to buy items instantly that they see within their environment. Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon, notes that Firefly can detect 100 million items and that the company will release an SDK for developers sometime in the future to expand its recognition capability.
Amazon's Fire Phone is an AT&T exclusive and is currently available for pre-order, costing customers $199 for the 32GB version with a two-year service agreement. Amazon is providing owners of the phone with one free year of Amazon Prime as well, sweetening the deal even more.