Amazon Intros Fire Phone
Updated: Fixed minor typos. Added Firefly SDK info. Added 3D, pricing info. Tweaked headline. Added face-tracking info. Added off-contract pricing, AT&T exclusive.
Amazon today announced the Fire Phone, the company's first phone. The Fire has a 4.7-inch display, quad-core 2.2 GHz processor, 2 Gb of RAM, a 13-megapixel camera with f/2.0 lens and OIS, and dual stereo speakers. One headline feature is Firefly, which recognizes objects, text, and audiovisual content using the camera and/or microphone, like Shazam on steroids. Firefly has a dedicated button, as does the camera. Amazon will make an SDK available to developers to let them integrate Firefly functionality with third-party apps. A camera-driven Dynamic Perspecive feature lets you view lock screens, images, and maps in 3D-like perspective. The system uses four infrared cameras to track your face, and can be used to navigate parts of the interface. The Fire naturally supports all Amazon Prime media services, such as music streaming, TV, and movies, and comes with one free year of Prime membership (worth $99.) It supports Miracast for streaming video directly from the phone to a large TV nearby. It also supports third-party music services such as Spotify and Pandora. It includes unlimited online storage via Amazon Cloud Drive. Fire also includes the Mayday 24/7 live support feature that debuted with Kindle Fire. The phone comes with premium earbuds with a flat cord and magnets to keep them from tangling. AT&T - which has the U.S. exclusive on the Fire - lists the phone for sale for $200 for the 32 GB version, and $300 for the $64 GB version, both with 2-year contract. It will be available July 25th. Amazon.com lists the phone starting at $650 without contract.
Amazon's Fire Phone has one of the more interesting user interfaces to reach consumers this year. Here's an in-depth look at how FireOS, Dynamic Perspective, and FireFly really work.
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