For the past several years, rumors have come and gone about Amazon’s desire to enter the smartphone market. Finally, those rumors can be laid to rest, as Amazon announced earlier today its first foray into smartphones with a device called the Fire Phone.
In a press conference in Seattle, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos unveiled the phone, which has some interesting features and high-end hardware. It features a 4.7-inch IPS LCD HD display that is “optimized for one-handed use” and includes 590 nit brightness (that’s really brights) and Gorilla Glass. Powered by a quad-core 2.2GHz processor and Adreno 330 GPU, it’s got 2GB RAM and both 32 and 64GB storage options.
The 13MP f/2.0 back camera features OIS technology and an instant access button that works even when the screen is turned off. It has four – yes, four – front-facing cameras that help with dynamic perspective and providing a wider field of view for those all-important selfies. It’s worth pointing out that Amazon is also including unlimited photo storage in the cloud.
The phone also features dual stereo speakers and ships with non-tangle headphones that have a flat cable and magnetic buds. The back is made of glass, which is a positive or a negative depending on how you look at it, and the buttons are made out of aluminum. Interestingly, it has nine-band LTE, although it’s launching as an AT&T exclusive for $199 on-contract ($649-750 off contract).
It features everything you’d expect from Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablets, including X-Ray, Second Screen, Prime streaming content, Whispersync, and Mayday, but it packs a few new punches, as well. This includes a new feature called Firefly, which uses the camera and microphone to identify items, music, or movies; keep track of them; and later purchase them from Amazon. Amazon is releasing an SDK for third-party apps, as well, so it will be interesting to see what happens with Firefly in the near future. Amazon says that Firefly can currently recognize over 100 million items.
The user interface using “dynamic perspective” technology to adjust the contents on the screen, depending on how you are holding the device. Additionally, much of the navigation can accomplished through tilting, flicking, or moving the device, allowing for easier one-handed operation.
And, as an added bonus, Amazon is throwing in a full year of Prime at no additional cost if you purchase the phone now. If you are already an Amazon Prime member, then Amazon will extend your membership by another year. If this seems like something you’re interested in, check out the link below.[Amazon]