There have been rumblings about Amazon launching a smartphone for some time now. On Wednesday, those rumblings finally materialized as the Amazon Fire Phone.
The device will be packing a turbo-charged Qualcomm processor, Adreno 330 graphics and 2GB of RAM in addition to a 4.7-inch, 720p HD display. It also occupies a small footprint, coming in at 0.35 inches thick, weighing just under 160 grams.
During the unveiling, Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos stressed the phone’s impeccable build quality, with injection-moulded connectors, aluminum buttons and chamfered edges.
Snap-happy users will love the 13-megapixel camera, which comes with an f/2.0 lens and optical image stabilisation. Bezos promised that no matter the situation, the Fire will take better shots than the most notable competition. It also comes with four front-facing cameras, four of them, which allow the device to better track head movement, as well as a fifth for the selfie-takers out there.
The Amazon Fire Phone runs Fire OS 3.5: a custom variant of Android that’s also found on the company’s line of Fire, Fire HD and Fire HDX tablets. It supports the 240,00 app-strong Amazon Appstore, but doens’t grant users access to any of Google apps or services like typical versions of Android would.
The differences between Fire OS and stock Android are more than cosmetic. The latest version coming with something called Dynamic Perspective, which allows you to change how items on the screen appear in relation to the viewing perspective of the user.
Dynamic Perspective is available in a number of core pieces of Fire OS, including the maps and navigation apps as well as a few games.
The Amazon Fire Phone also comes with a tool called Firefly which allows you to easily identify objects, books, music and movies, not to mention it’s able to translate text by taking a photo with the dedicated Firefly app.
Concerns have been raised about the privacy implications of Firefly, due to the app data processing techniques. It has to send snaps and ambient noise to Amazon to be processed, with the back end then firing a result back to the Fire Phone.
The Fire Phone will launch in the US on the 25th of July. There’s currently no word about a UK release date.
Image credit: Amazon
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