Amazon has finally unveiled its Fire Phone handset with a special press event in Seattle showing off the company’s first entry into the ultra-competitive global smartphone market.
Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, revealed the device to a room that was oversubscribed by the thousands and explained the smartphone comes with a number of new features such as “dynamic perspective” that uses the device’s four front cameras.
The display is a 4.7in screen with an HD resolution and under the device’s dark exterior there is a 2.2GHz quad-core processor, Adreno 330 GPU that is all supplemented by 2GB of RAM.
In the camera department there is a 13-megapixel lens on the back with OIS and f/2.0 aperture and Amazon is bundling free unlimited storage for photos using the company’s cloud service.
A feature that is sure to interest many in the tech sector is “dynamic perspective” that makes the lock screen move when your head is turned. The effect is almost holographic, according to the Wall Street Journal, with images appearing to float in front of and behind other images on the screen.
This is done by using four cameras on the front of the device that track exactly where your head is as it moves round and it boasts infrared lights that make sure the feature even works in darker rooms.
In terms of onboard services the device comes with the Mayday support service that was first introduced on the firm’s Kindle Fire range of tablets and has now narrowed down its response time to a mere 15 seconds.
A new addition to its services is Firefly, which can recognise products with the phone’s camera and then add them to your shopping cart. It also has a Shazam-esque song notification feature and can recognise TV shows with Bezos showing off how it can identify a scene from Game of Thrones, and it also works for art.
From the released images it looks as though the smartphone will run on Amazon’s forked version of Android and for a limited time those that buy the smartphone will get a free 12 month subscription to Amazon Prime.
For the time being it is only available through AT&T in the US and costs $199 [£117] on a two-year contract for the 32GB model, $299 [£176] for the 64GB incarnation and will start shipping on 25 July with a European release date to be confirmed.
That doesn’t mean that UK retailers aren’t already jumping on the new smartphone’s bandwagon with Carphone Warehouse providing the following statement.
"The 3D interface and Firefly functions of the Fire Phone are clearly intended to improve and streamline the smartphone experience for the end user,” stated a Carphone Warehouse spokesperson. “It's all about ease of use and a dynamic perspective function which monitors the position of your face relative to the screen is inspired. If executed well, this device has the potential to lead the way for the next generation of smartphones much as Amazon did with the Kindle for eReaders."