Talk about not being able to keep a secret– Amazon announced what everyone expected. A smartphone. The Fire Phone. BGR has photos and details:
The phone looks like any other full touchscreen smartphone, but the handset’s key differentiating features revolve around a unique combination of sensors and four front-facing cameras that track the user’s head in order to facilitate a variety of 3D effects and gesture controls.
There’s the gimmick part of Amazon.
Amazon’s handset is powered by a quad-core 2.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and it features a 4.7-inch 720p HD display that Amazon says is bright enough to be visible in outdoor lighting. It also includes 2GB of RAM, dual stereo speakers, a 13-megapixel rear camera and front-facing camera for video chats.
Who else is better than Amazon at blending high end tech specs and gimmicks? “Is it live or is it Memorex?” Is it 3D, or is it ‘dynamic perspective?’
Amazon’s handset features six individual camera modules in total, which is a first for any smartphone. Four of the camera modules are low-power units that track the user’s head in order to help facilitate the 3D effects and motion gestures that make up the most novel features Amazon’s phone has to offer.
Obviously, there’s the required integration with Amazon’s Prime services, Kindle app to read eBNooks, the nifty Mayday support service, and something that might catch on except that every other smartphone already has it.
Another key feature on the Fire Phone is FireFly, which uses the camera to scan barcodes on products and pull them up in Amazon’s store. FireFly can also listen to music or TV shows using technology similar to Shazam to recognize them and pull them up in Amazon’s digital shop.
Catching up, are we, Amazon?
Lots of cute little gimmicks in Fire Phone but at $199.99 for a 32GB model ($100 more for 64GB) with a two-year contract only on AT&T, the rest of the smartphone industry has little to worry about a disruption from Amazon.