Amazon Launches the Fire Phone
Update: Here’s the presentation video.
Here’s a detail to keep you entertained while we wait through the early bits of the presentation: Amazon’s smartphone, which only showed up this morning, carries the model number SD4930UR. It’s appeared on a few websites over the past few weeks, including one that tested its html5 support, but few usable details have been revealed.website
It’s called the Fire Phone (product page). Like the rumors said, it has a 4.7″ screen (with Gorilla Glass on both the front and the back). It’s running on a quad-core 2.2GHz SnapDragon CPU with 2GB RAM, a 13MP rear-facing camera (with five element lens and optical image stabilization) and dual speakers – a silly feature to talk up given the size of the device (and that a lot of smartphones have it already).
Edit: The Fire Phone will cost $199 from AT&T with 32GB internal storage. The 64GB model will cost $299. Both will require a plan for AT&T (the 32GB model will cost $649 unlocked), and they are listed on the product page as shipping on 25 July 2014. It comes with a year of Amazon Prime. That’s not a bad deal.
The Fire phone is going to be tied into Amazon services, including free cloud storage for photos taken from the phone, Amazon Instant Video, Kindle, Second Screen and X-Ray for Movies, and other features found on the Kindle Fire tablets.
And in case anyone is wondering, we can see the 4 cameras in the slideshow images of the Fire Phone (from Cnet).
The phone also features Firefly, Amazon’s next step in mobile shopping. This app combines the abilities of Amazon’s existing mobile shopping app with that of the Amazon Dash, their handheld bar code scanner. You can take a picture of a bar code or you can simply photograph the object and the app should recognize it.
It also does character recognition (and audio), so you can use it to scan business cards, phone numbers, etc. Firefly recognizes a hundred million different items in real-world situations, Bezos said.
And now, the 3d. Amazon calls it dynamic perspective, and yes it does use the 4 IR cameras to track the user and adjust the screen contents to create a faux 3d:
It sounds awesome (I called it), but we’re going to have to wait for Amazon to post the presentation video later today before we see it for ourselves.
There’s also an infinite scroll feature which uses tilting the phone as a control (Samsung did it first).
According to Amazon, the dynamic perspective requires 4 cameras because the minimum requirement is two, and by using 4 cameras the system is, redundant, robust, and offers a larger field of view (bother wider and taller).
Like the rumors suggested, the Fire Phone is launching with 3rd-party (including Zillow, Sirvo, Backflip Studios, and more) app support for the 3d dynamic perspective feature. Amazon is also launching an SDK for this feature.
The Fire Phone will cost $199 from AT&T with 32GB internal storage. The 64GB model will cost $299. Both will require a plan for AT&T, and they are listed on the product page as shipping on 25 July 2014.
The Fire Phone comes with a year of Amazon Prime. That’s not a bad deal.