Amazon has launched its first smartphone called Fire Phone with four wide angle cameras on the front. The device features a Gorilla Glass display in a rubber frame. The Fire Phone flaunts a 4.7-inch 720p display with a pixel density of 315ppi, a 2.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor, Adreno 330 GPU and 2GB of RAM. There is a 13-megapixel rear camera with f/2.0 lens and optical image stabilization, 2.1-megapixel front-facing camera, 32GB/64GB internal storage and a 2,400mAh battery.
With respect to the design, the smartphone features aluminum buttons, chamfered edges and injection-molded connectors. The phone runs on Fire OS 3.5, which is a forked version of Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and doesn’t come with Google Mobile Services suite. A press of the home button will let you switch back and forth between the app grid and the carousel. The carousel shows you frequently and recently opened apps, and each app can list off some recent notifications. It is also paired with unlimited cloud storage on Amazon Cloud Drive for photos clicked from the phone, which means that you never have to worry about your phone memory getting fulled.
One of Amazon’s unique offerings is its 3D-like Dynamic Perspective feature. The cameras take on a Kinect-like role by looking at where your face is positioned, and how far away it is from the phone. Even though it only technically requires two cameras to do this job, Amazon opted for four just in case some part of your body obstructs one or two of the lenses. The four cameras also have an infrared light to work in the dark as well. You can check out landmarks in the Maps from different perspectives or tilt your phone to open up hidden navigation menus. You can also tilt the phone to scroll web pages, among other things.
Other features of the Fire Phone include X-Ray that will provide a second screen experience, Prime Music, Amazon’s Immersion Reading, and WhisperSync for Voice. It also comes with a service called MayDay, which is a 24-hour customer service that will help you with any issues on your device. Another notable feature is the Firefly button, which is like most QR code readers that can read several types of information and give you relevant details. As Bezos claimed in his presentation, Firefly indeed does a great job of overcoming glare. It can recognize (using camera’s viewfinder) over 100 million items including objects, games, music, video and much more.
The phone also features stereo speakers with Dolby Digital plus surround sound and will come with tangle-free earphones. It has interesting lock screens as well, like a clock on a rock with moss covering it and a forest behind it. Amazon is launching the Fire Phone as an AT&T exclusive from July 25 onwards for $199 over a two-year contract. There is no word if it will come to India any time soon.