Amazon Launches the Fire Phone, Its First Smartphone
Amazon is launching its own smartphone. The new phone, called the Fire phone, will ship July 25 and cost $199 on a two-year contract. It’s available for preorder now.
The phone’s most visible feature is its 3D display, called Dynamic Perspective. The Fire phone has four user-facing infrared cameras that it uses to gauge the location of your face and eyes. As you move in relation to the phone, the image shifts on the screen to give you the convincing illusion that the interface or object you’re viewing has depth and layers.
The Amazon Fire phone. (Associated Press)
The lock screen of the new Amazon phone. (Getty Images)
In the phone’s Maps app, labels and the map itself are on different layers, so you can tilt the phone to peek underneath labels or icons that may be blocking parts of the map you want to see.
The browser and the Kindle reader on the phone can use tilting to control scrolling. It looks like a natural user experience.
And, of course, it works in games written for the phone. You can tilt the phone or move your head to see parts of the game space, like down a corridor.
It’s a Prime phone
The Fire phone is part of the Amazon media ecosystem. It’s designed to be great for video, music, and reading. It has features like dual speakers and Dolby surround sound, and tangle-resistant earbuds (with a flat cable). It has all the features of a Kindle e-reader, as well as most of the features of a Fire TV.