After months of speculations, American retail giant Amazon has finally pulled the wraps-off the new Fire series handset.
"Fire Phone puts everything you love about Amazon in the palm of your hand—instant access to Amazon's vast content ecosystem and exclusive features like the Mayday button, ASAP, Second Screen, X-Ray, free unlimited photo storage, and more," said Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com Founder and CEO.
As rumored prior to the launch, the new phone does offer some unique features such as Dynamic Perspective and Firefly, which the company claims to be based on ground breaking technologies in the smartphone industry.
This feature makes use of the inbuilt low-powered specialized cameras and four infrared LEDs on the phone's front side and works in tandem with the custom processor backed by power-efficient graphics engine and computer vision software to enable 3D rendering on the screen. Additionally, elements on the display turn with the user's head movement.
Users need not even wear special glasses to feel the 3D visual effect. Key applications of this Dynamic Perspective feature are auto-scroll, tilt, swivel and peek for quicker, easier navigation and a better media and entertainment experience like immersive 3D video games.
This application is an evolved form of the object recognizing technology used in popular app Shazam. While the latter can only identify music, the new Firefly application can identify not only songs but also videos, images, QR & bar codes, sign posts and even the business cards.
For instance, if the user the takes a snap of a business card, it automatically recognizes the phone number and asks the user to update the contact list. If the phone's camera is directed towards objects like book or, DVDs, CDs, videos (movies/TV episodes), games, and any other items, the advanced algorithm of the app has ability to identify the article by name/image and automatically recommends the availability of the pointed objected on the online store.
To enable easy access to the Firefly feature, the company has incorporated a dedicated button to the left side of the phone. [to view the video detailing the Amazon Fire features, click here]
Other value added features include X-Ray, which gives keynote points of a topic like if a user is reading a big novel (e-book), and forgets a character or a plot, the app lets them trace the story line, characters, places, and ideas as they go through chapters, using information from various resources. If the user is listening to a song, the app provides lyrics option and also the details of the song's artist and album. Another feature includes Second Screen, which enables the user to transfer a video (movie/TV episode) to their television (Fire TV, PlayStation or any Miracast-enabled device) set with just a tap of a button.
Hardware specifications wise, Amazon phone sports a 4.7-inch HD (1280x720p) LCD display, Custom Fire v3.5.0 OS (tweaked Android OS like we see in the Kindle tablets PCs), 2.2GHz quad-core snapdragon processor, Adreno 330 graphics engine, 2GB RAM, 32GB/64GB inbuilt storage capacity, 13.0-megapixel main camera, 2.1-megapixel snapper on the front and 2,400 mAh battery.
The new Amazon Fire smartphone will be initially available in USA exclusive to AT&T subscribers and can be pre-ordered for $199 (around ₹12,000) for 32GB, $299 (around ₹18,000) for 64GB with two-year contract today onwards, (interested buyers, click here) at Amazon website, with shipment of the device expected to begin on 25 July. However, there is no word on whether the device will be made available in the other global markets.
Key specifications of Amazon Fire:
|Display||4.7-inch HD (1280x720p) LCD screenPixel density: 315 ppi (pixels per inch)|
|OS||Fire OS v3.5.0|
|Processor||2.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 CPU|
|Camera||Main: 13.0-megapixel with multi-frame HDR, OIS (Optical Image Stabilization), F/2.0, 5-element wide apertureFront: 2.1-megapixel camera[Both the cameras can take full HD videos]Free unlimited photo cloud storage for Amazon customers|
|Special attribute||Dynamic Perspective sensor system with four low-powered Infrared illumination, supports screen mirroring, Second screen|
|Battery||2400 mAh;Talk time: up to 22 hoursStandby time: close to 285 hours|
|Network||3G & 4G-LTE|
|Add-ons||Nano-SIM slot, Bluetooth v3.0, NFC, Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac), up to 300mps with channel bonding, A-GPS, dual stereo speakers with Dolby Digital Plus audio processing , micro-USB v2.0|
|Dimensions||139.2 x 66.5 x 8.9 mm|
|Price||$199 (around ₹12,000) for 32GB model;$299 (around ₹18,000) for 64GB model;with two-year contract|
[Image Credit: Amazon]