Android Carriers News

Amazon launches the Fire phone

DSC_1615The time has come and Amazon is ready to unveil its first smartphone, the one that was heavily rumored for months, and its unique feature (as shown in their teaser video) Today in Seattle, several news teams (not me, sigh D:) are there to cover it, and Welcome to the smartphone world, the Amazon Fire

DSC_1627The device has a 4.7-inch IPS LCD HD display, a 2.2 GHz quad-core SoC with Adreno 3300 Graphic, 1GB of RAM. The phone features a 13MP with hardware shutter key (nice touch), optically stabilized camera, 2.0 FFC. It supports LTE, 4 bands of GSM, 802.11ac support, NFC and Bluetooth. To save the beautiful photo you are going to take with this phone, Amazon offers free cloud storage for those photos, unlimited.

With this phone, Amazon puts in Dual Stereo Speakers with Dolby Digital Plus surround. This intends to help the Fire deliver a great media experience for Amazon Prime and Prime music services, as well as Netflix, HBO Go, Hulu PLus, and other services that support Dolbly Digital.

To accommodate the Kindle Fire HDX, Amazon is bringing Mayday service to the Fire. So now, you have 24/7 customer service right on your hand, unless, you know, you can’t turn on the phone.

Because of the fact that Amazon is based on retail experience, it’s no surprise to anyone that the company help users connect with buying products through Amazon with their phone. CEO Bezos demoed the way for the camera to identify a product using the camera on the handset using image recognition, not normal QR code or UPC. Once the product is identified, you can order it with “1-Click” (by that, it means a few taps). Similar experience with media recognition.

Get out of the shopping zone, the Fire phone connects the products, artists, etc…, with the Wikipedia page article (similar concept with Google Goggles). Also, using the advance OCR technology to semantically read text, the phone can do some tricks like to recognize a real phone number or random digits.

FirePhone-D-Right-App-GridBut hey, what about the whole 3D thing or whatever? What about all the cameras we see whenever Bezos put the phone up? Amazon and Bezos call this as “dynamic perspective.” It takes advantage of visual tricks to create illusion of a 3D space within the phone without using a 3D display. This makes the UI floats (similar concept to iOS 7 tricks, but not nearly as complicates and well-built), on the content, shifting it with your response to your interaction. This is where the cameras come in, they track your head movement in real-time, and shift the UI as your head move. Why are there 4 cameras, you asked? Well, Amazon states that there are many reasons for those cameras to be there. More camera means increasing the phone’s field of view. This allows it to do “dynamic perspective” trick without needing your line-of-sight to be in one place. Also, it’s just incase your hand block the camera(s), other will take on the job. Also, with dark environment, the 4 corner cameras, each has its own IR light source, helps recognize human head. Perspective technology and SDKs will both be available for third parties to take advantage of.

Built on the Android open project, this UI separates itself from the mother OS, Android by using its own launcher. The whole idea is that the launcher can be used not just to store apps, but also bookmarks and media. There will be separate tabs for “seeing-on” device contents. The home screen, influenced largely from the Kindle Fire tablets, lets you scroll through “carousel” of selection.

Are you buying all the tricks yet? If so, the phone will be available exclusively on AT&T (disappointed) as the rumors told us. With the contract, the phone will be sold at $200 for 32GB version; nearly $300 for the 64GB model. If you want to buy it off contract, the phone will cost you about $650-$700, as most flagships do. This will officially start selling (and shipping if you are pre-ordering) on July 25th. Also, Amazon has thrown in a free year of PRime when you purchased the phone.

Source: Amazon




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