At a press conference today, June 18, shopping giant Amazon announced that they will be releasing their own smartphone called the Amazon Fire Phone. This announcement really comes as no surprise, because Amazon themselves have been releasing teasers about the device for quite sometime.
The Fire Phone will not be a heavy hitter like the Galaxy Note 3, or the upcoming Galaxy Note 4 and iPhone 6, it will instead be a mid-range device that will try to appeal to the every day user. The Fire Phone will feature an unspecified quad-core processor which will be married to 2GB of RAM. The smartphone will feature the latest Adreno 330 graphics chip, and it will come equipped with a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera.
The Fire Phone will feature a 3D, 4.7-inch display (the same size as the popular Motorola Moto X) and will likely have a resolution of 720p. There are cameras mounted above, and around the display that will be able to track users head movements, as well as render items. The display technology has been dubbed 'Dynamic Perspective' and it will move images around on the screen as you look at the images from different angles. While the overall specifications of the device will not set the world on fire, there are certainly some unique elements to the phone.
There is much more to the Fire Phone than just its hardware specs though. Stating just how difficult he believes phones are to use, Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos announced that the popular Mayday service (live 24 hour assistance) feature from the Amazon Kindle Fire will make its way to the Fire Phone. Picture happy purchasers will also be pleased to hear that there is a dedicated camera shutter button, as well as unlimited storage for photos in Amazon's cloud.
Perhaps the most interesting feature of the phone is a service called Firefly. Firefly is a feature that will use both the devices camera, and microphone to scan the world around you. The phone will be able to recognize books, CD's, Movies and food items, as well as songs that are playing nearby. The idea is of course for you to be able to find those items easily on Amazon.com, but there are some other hidden benefits from this technology. If you area health conscious individual who tracks your meals for instance, you will be able to take a picture of the food you are eating, and the phone will churn that picture into meaningful data like calorie and carbohydrate counts that you can then upload into MyFitnessPal for example.
There is no doubt that Amazon has released this phone to inspire users to purchase more items from it's Amazon store. The Fire Phone is more of a marketing tool than a breakthrough in technology, but it will give Amazon fans a easier way to shop. The Fire Phone will be available on contract for $199 for the 32GB version, $299 for the 64GB version, but it will be exclusive to AT&T. If you want to purchase the device off contract to take advantage of its global LTE bands, Amazon will be selling the Fire Phone directly for $649 and $749 respectively