Amazon has entered the smartphone market with the Fire, which has a 4.7-inch 720p display, a 2.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm processor with 2GB of RAM, and a 13-megapixel camera.
But the biggest feature of the Amazon Fire smartphone is how it uses four infrared cameras pointing at the user’s face to alter the way the phone’s user interface appears, depending on how you look at it - the system is known as dynamic perspective.
More than that, the maps application reacts to your movements, panning as you move the phone and tilt your head. The phone’s menu system can also be navigated by movement, with a tilt all that’s needed to scroll through carousels of Amazon’s multimedia content.
Of course, this being an Amazon product, the Fire phone provides access to all of the retailers services, including Prime Video, Prime Music, Kindle books, and more. There’s also a system similar to Apple’s AirPlay, where video content can be streamed from the Fire phone to your TV.
A feature deeply integrated into the Fire phone experience is Firefly, a new service that uses the phone’s camera and microphone to identify almost anything the phone is shown. During the presentation, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos showed the phone a DVD, some detergent, and let it listen to a song. The phone found every item and gave Bezos the option to quickly buy the item through Amazon.
First seen on the Kindle Fire HDX range of tablets, Amazon’s Mayday feature returns to the Fire phone. If a user needs help setting up their phone, or a problem fixing, opening the Mayda app puts them through to the company's 24-hour customer support.
Unfortunately for our UK readers, the Amazon Fire phone will be available exclusively through US network AT&T initially, priced from $199 on contract.
Just like the original Kindle ebook reader, we wouldn’t be surprised if the first-generation Fire phone remains a US-exclusive; it could be at least a year before such a handset arrives in the UK.