Well, it's official -- Amazon today introduced Fire, its first smartphone. Fire also happens to be the only smartphone with "Dynamic Perspective" and "Firefly," a couple of new technologies Amazon is excited about. Before we get to those, let's get some essentials out of the way, starting with price ($199 with a two service agreement, or $27 per month with AT&T Next) and availability (like it did with the original iPhone, AT&T inked a deal to be the exclusive carrier).
Getting back to Amazon's newfangled technologies, Dynamic Perspective uses a new sensor system to respond to the way you hold, view, and move Fire. This allows you to tilt, auto-scroll, swivel, and peek to navigate menus and access shortcuts with one hand. It also opens the door to a new level of immersion in games, as well as ties in with the Amazon Shopping app.
Firefly is Amazon's buzzword for being able to recognize things in the real world, such as web and email addresses, phone numbers, QR codes, movies, musics, and more, all with a simple press of the Firefly button.
"Fire Phone puts everything you love about Amazon in the palm of your hand—instant access to Amazon’s vast content ecosystem and exclusive features like the Mayday button, ASAP, Second Screen, X-Ray, free unlimited photo storage, and more," said Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com Founder and CEO. "The Firefly button lets you identify printed web and email addresses, phone numbers, QR and bar codes, artwork, and over 100 million items, including songs, movies, TV shows, and products—and take action in seconds. We invented a new sensor system called Dynamic Perspective that recognizes where a user’s head is relative to the device—we use it to offer customers a more immersive experience, one-handed navigation, and gestures that actually work. And this is only the beginning—the most powerful inventions are the ones that empower others to unleash their creativity—that’s why today we are launching the Dynamic Perspective SDK and the Firefly SDK—we can’t wait to see how developers surprise us."
Moving on to the hardware, the Fire sports a 4.7-inch HD display with a 1280x720 resolution, 2.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 CPU with Adreno 330 graphics, 2GB of RAM, 13MP rear-facing camera, 2.1MP front-facing camera, 32GB or 64GB of onboard storage, micro USB 2.0 port, 3.5mm headphone jack, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0, NFC support, GPS, and a few other odds and ends.
Fire comes with free cloud storage for all Amazon content, including photos taken with the handset, and one year of Amazon Prime membership. You can pre-order the Fire now; it will be available on July 25, 2014.