Amazon first phone has been rumored for a few months, and yesterday Jeff Bezos finally unveiled the Fire Phone powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor @ 2.2 GHz, with 2 GB of RAM, a 4.7″ 720p display. It also supports 3G and LTE cellular connectivity, and beside a 13MP rear camera, and 2MP front camera, it also features a specialized camera array with four sensors to offer “Dynamic Perspective” and show different information depending on the position of the phone. Beside the hardware, the most notable feature is Firefly an augmented reality application that can recognize objects you may want to buy, and automatically link them to the Amazon store.
Let’s go through the hardware specifications first:
- SoC – Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad core CPU @ 2.2 GHz with Adreno 330 GPU
- System Memory – 2GB RAM
- Storage – 32 GB or 64 GB
- Display – 4.7″ HD LCD display, with 1280 x 720 resolution, 590 cd/m2 brightness (typical), 1000:1 contrast ratio (typical)
- Connectivity – 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi (up to 300 Mbps), Bluetooth 3.0 (BLE coming), NFC, and GPS/AGPS
- Cellular – UMTS/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100 MHz), Quad-band GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz), 9 bands of LTE (Bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 17, 20), supports carrier aggregation. Nano SIM card slot.
- 13 MP rear-facing camera, multi-frame HDR, auto focus, optical image stabilization, f/2.0 5-element wide aperture lens, LED flash
- 2.1 MP front-facing camera
- Audio – Dual stereo speakers with Dolby Digital Plus audio processing, 3.5mm headphone jack
- USB – 1x micro USB OTG port
- Sensors – Dynamic Perspective sensor system with invisible infrared illumination, gyroscope, accelerometer, magnetometer, barometer, proximity sensor, ambient light sensor
- Battery – 2400mAh. Talk time: up to 22 hours; standby time: up to 285 hours. Video playback: up to 11 hours; audio playback: up to 65 hours.
- Dimensions – 139.2mm x 66.5mm x 8.9mm
- Weight – 160 grams
Fire Phone runs Fire OS 3.5.0 based on Android 4.2.2 with an heavily customized user interface and experience. The device sells with “premium” headphones with remote and mic, a micro USB to USB charging cable, a USB power adapter (5W), and a Quick Start Guide.
Most of the features are pretty standard, but an mentioned in the introduction, Amazon has really innovated with two features
- Dynamic Perspective – A custom-designed sensor system that responds to how you hold, view, and move your phone. It can be used for:
- Immersive apps and games – For example: “Peek in maps to show Yelp ratings. In Stubhub stadium view, see 90 degrees to the left and right of your seat, as if you were actually there, looking around. In games, like Lili, take on the character’s viewpoint and move your head to look around corners, obstacles, and other objects. “
- One-handed short cuts – Access menus, shortcuts, and useful information with tilt, swivel, and peek.
- One-handed reading – Fire phone can auto-scroll books or web pages, and you don’t need to touch the screen.
- Firefly Technology – By pressing the Firefly button, the phone will be able to identify the following data from real-life objects:
- Phone numbers, web, and email addresses – Firefly identifies printed text on posters, magazines, and business cards, and let you take action with the results, e.g. make calls, save new contacts, send emails, and visit websites without typing.
- Movies & TV – Firefly recognizes over 240,000 movies and TV episodes, and 160 live TV channels.
- Music – In a similar fashion to Shazam, Firefly can recognize songs. It is compatible with iHeartRadio and StubHub apps.
- Over 70 million products – Recognize household items, books, DVDs, CDs, video games, etc…, and links to the Amazon Store, where you can add it to your wish list, or order it directly with your phone.
You can get a better understanding of Dynamic Perspective and Firefly in the video below, and found out why “it’s almost like the world is an hyperlink.” WARNING: Possible superlatives overuse.
Developers can access to Dynamic Perspective and Firefly APIs using Amazon’s Fire Phone SDK.
Amazon Fire Phone is available for pre-order now for $649 on Amazon US. However, if you are ready to enslave yourself with a contract with AT&T you can get it for $199 from the same link. That’s for the 32GB, the 64GB versionwill cost $100 more.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.