Amazon had been working on the Fire Phone for more than 4 years before it finally launched the product yesterday at an event in Seattle. Here is the complete story with the live event video shared by Amazon itself specs, features, price and date, pre-order details and more.
- 4.7″ IPS inch screen
- 2.2GHz quad-core
- 13MP back camera
- 2.1MP front camera
- 1280 x 720 resolution at 315 ppi
- f2.0 lens
- Image stablization
- Snapdragon 800 processor
- Adreno 330 graphics processor
- 2GB RAM
- Customized Android – Fire OS
- 2400mah battery
- TV out
Fire Phone will offer free, unlimited photo storage on the Amazon Cloud (videos are not included) for pictures captured by the 13-megapixel camera.
The phone has the ability to “fling” content to another devices, such as Amazon’s Fire TV, and Xbox or a PlayStation. Prime Music will have the “x-ray” feature to provide real-time lyrics for songs.
There is also the Whispersync feature that will work with voice (similar to audible) that will allow users to listen to eBooks while pursuing other activities and then continue it on your Kindle device of choice.
There are also included magnetic earphones that will (in Amazon’s opinion) prevent tangling of wires in your pockets. However wearing magnetic earphones will have a negative impact (health wise) or not is yet to be known.
The phone will come pre-loaded with music apps like Pandora, Spotify, and iHeartRadio. So you are not restricted to Amazon Music subscription only. This shows that Amazon respects individual preferences and is not trying to force anything down the user’s throat.
The lock screen will come up with 18 options including slow moving balloons, casino and jungle scenes which will give you a 3D effect. Watch the video to see how it works and look.
Gesture based Navigation
There is a physical button at the top, tapping which will allow you to switch between the typical Android grid view of the apps on the home screen or the carousel view. Carousel view allows you to access the content much faster and easily by getting rid of the UI.
You can tilt the phone to the left in order to reveal a panel that allows you to access utility features like apps, maps and more. Tilting on the right however will allow you to access personalized content such as weather, calender items, text messages and more.
This also works while using the browser. Tilting on the left and right will reveal side navigation panels on websites that support it. On social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, you can tilt the device downwards in order to activate auto scrolling. This looks cool and works seamlessly.
The smartphone has 4 front facing infrared cameras apart from the 2 regular ones, one on each corner of the front panel to determine the position of your head. This helps in creating and rendering the 3 images by adding depth. The moment you move your head in any direction, sideways or forwards/backwards, the sensors and cameras are triggered. 3D images at 60fps. They then change the image in real time giving you the impression of 3D effects. Its actually cool.
Infrared cameras allow the Fire Phone to work in the dark as well.
There is an option to turn this function off however, I dont think I will be using that option. Imagine how cool this feature will work within apps and games. A whole new experience while playingn temple run or subway surfers, angry birds or even batman arkham origins…
Here is a vine video that mashable posted. This will give you a better idea.
Amazon calls this Dynamic Perspective and it works on maps too. 3D maps anyone. I always thought it looked cool on big banner Sci-fi movies.
The feature adds depth perception to landmarks like the Empire State Building or Seattle’s Space Needle, but it also shows restaurants and other areas of interest on the map. By clicking on these points of interest, you can see Yelp ratings directly on the screen, which could be very helpful when trying to find a spot to eat nearby without doing a web search.
Incidentally, Amazon got its mapping data from Nokia HERE, but built its Maps app in-house.
Firefly is a feature that will let you identify objects in the real world and buy them in the virtual world. You can identify stuff like phone numbers, movies, books, games, CDs, food and more just by pointing your camera at them. Pretty much like the regular bar code scanner spps we already have installed on our smartphones.
There is a dedicated button for this feature which will activate it and then you can simply point your camera on the object and it will do the rest. Its all about bringing new and existing customers into the Amazon system.
You will see a live demo in the video below where CEO Jeff Bezos uses this feature to scan bar codes on an item.
There is also an audio and voice recognition app similar to SoundHound or Shazam which can identify the song you are listening to or the show you are watching and let you access the same on Amazon marketplace.
Firefly however does more than that. It can for instance be used to identify arts and pull entries from Wikipedia. Jeff Bezos claims that there are close to 100 million items Firefly can identify including 245,000 movies and TV episodes, 160 live TV channels, 35 million songs and 70 million products. I guess having a huge database at its disposal (Amazon eCommerce site) clearly helps.
The app also works on signs, posters, magazines or business cards, and it lets you send emails, save as a contact, or go to a website without typing a URL.
Firefly can be activated without unlocking the smartphone.
So we can safely conclude that the Firefly app is not just for gaining new customers and increasing sales but for a much larger goal. Maybe it will one day compete with Google Now and Siri. We will see.
Firefly has a lot to offer to the developers as well. There is an SDK which will allow developers access to all the good stuff. The health-focused MyFitnessPal, has already taken advantage of the feature to create an app that can determine the nutritional information from the food your camera sees.
There are are text, audio and image recognizers, content databases and support for custom actions allowing developers to bend Firefly to their own personal needs. Please see the video for more examples and live demos as well as more information.
Mayday – Help is on way
While a demo of this function was not given, the customer service help app on Kindle Fire HDx is coming to the Fire Phone. Fire phone won’t ship with Bluetooth LE enabled. That means it won’t work with some wearables — such as the Fitbit Flex or Fuelband SE. The good news is that the Fire phone has the hardware needed to support Bluetooth LE and Amazon says it will be adding support sometime in the future.
Price and Release Date
Amazon Fire Phone will launch on July 25th and pre-orders begins now.
The Amaozn Fire phone is exclusive to AT&T for now, which will exclude people outside of the United States. It’s available for $199.99 for a 32GB version with a two-year contract. For $299.99 and a two-year contract, you can get a 64GB Fire phone. AT&T Customers can also buy the phone contract-free via the carrier’s Next program, wt no money down and 24 monthly payments of $27. Without Next or a contract, the Fire phone is $649 for the 32GB version and $749 for the 64GB option.
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