Amazon entered the smartphone business Wednesday — and made a big splash doing it.
At an event in Seattle, the retail giant unveiled the Fire Phone, a high-end, 3-D smartphone. It is the first smartphone Amazon has produced on its own.
“Can we build a better phone for our most engaged customers?” asked Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos at the event. “Can we build a better phone for Amazon Prime members? Well, I’m excited to tell you that the answer is yes.”
The Fire Phone has a 3-D, 4.7-inch high-definition display. It uses infrared lights and cameras mounted on the phone’s surface to track a user’s head movements and render images accordingly.
Bezos compared the Fire Phone’s 3-D feature to the introduction of geometric perspective and the vanishing point in 14th century artworks.
Bezos demonstrated the Fire Phone’s dynamic perspective feature on a 3-D map of a nearby area in Seattle. Tilting the phone to the side while looking at a map offered additional information — including search results for nearby restaurants. He then tilted the phone for Yelp reviews. When looking at products online, Bezos tilted the phone side to side to scroll.
The Fire Phone has a lightning-fast quad-core 2.2 GHz processor, 2 GB of RAM and a 13 Megapixel camera. The camera comes with an optical image-stabilization feature, letting the shutter stay open four-times longer than most cameras to counteract hand tremors when taking photos. A special button on the side launches the camera and takes photos — rather than having to go into the phone to open the camera feature.
The Fire Phone also includes unlimited photo storage on Amazon’s Cloud Drive. Apple and Google offer similar services, but they both charge storage fees.
Amazon’s Mayday customer service feature, already in use on tablets, will also be available on the Fire Phone. It includes 24/7 access to tech support in 15 seconds or less.
Amazon’s smartphone also features dual stereo speakers, with premium earbuds included. It includes aluminum buttons and steel connectors.
The Fire Phone will cost $199 with a two-year contract, available exclusively on AT&T’s network for the time being.
Read the full story at cnn.com