After what seems an eternity of rumours, Amazon finally revealed its long awaited first smartphone this week, dubbing the handset the Amazon Fire Phone.
Amazon has long been expected to release a smartphone since the introduction of its Kindle e-reader line, but has bided its time to say the least, but it looks like the wait could well have been worth it.
Packing a 4.7” IPS LCD HD display, up to 64GB internal storage, 2GB RAM and a 13 megapixel camera, the Amazon Fire certainly doesn’t disappoint under the hood.
The inclusion of a Snapdragon 800 chipset and quad-core 2.2GHz processor also boosts the speed of the handset to impress further, making the Fire Phone a competitive flagship powered handset.
The main selling point though isn’t the specs; it’s the 3D dynamic perspective UI that is a brand new smartphone feature we haven’t seen before now.
Working through four corner based infrared cameras, the Amazon Fire Phone can track your eye and face movement, and then adjusts elements of the display to make it appear as if it’s 3D.
Allowing a more immersive experience through apps, games and wallpapers, the feature also allows you to make shortcuts through the phone without getting your grubby mitts on the display. For example, we will no longer have to scroll through Facebook by hand; with the technology allowing for eye based scrolling.
The feature also has a heavy input on the likes of maps and other apps, allowing users to see skyscrapers seemingly extending out from the display, whilst low lying structures sink mercifully below them.
Another surprising addition is the Firefly button, based on the edge of the handset, which displays nearly every piece of entertainment in the Amazon shop window.
By hitting the button, your Fire Phone quickly identifies whatever you’re pointing at or listening to; including songs, films, tv shows, games, cd’s and books. The item is then linked straight to the Amazon marketplace, giving you even more reason to make yet another purchase from the website (as if we didn’t need another reason eh?).
The feature also scans for phone numbers, email addresses, QR and bar codes from pretty much anything; so if you get a letter with someone’s phone number on it, simply point a press, and you can pull their contact details straight from the viewfinder.
Amazon is claiming that the handset can recognise 35 million songs and over 240,000 films and TV shows through the feature, but unfortunately we aren’t going to be testing those claims anytime soon.
The final feature worth shouting about with the Amazon Phone is the Mayday feature, which offers on device live tech support through a friendly face-to-face webcam style chat. Users are offered tech support in 15 seconds or less through the feature, but could burn quite heavily into your mobile data allowance, so you may be better off waiting for a WiFi connection.
The Amazon Fire Phone will be shipping July 25th across the pond, with details of release internationally being kept quiet for now, but a good guess would be before the end of the summer.
In terms of prices, you can expect to pick up the Amazon Phone’s cheapest version for £400 sim-free, with the contract version costing £120 up front on a two-year-deal. The bigger version of the phone will cost an extra £50 up front for either deal, meaning the handset will be making a hefty dent into your bank account without a doubt.