Amazon Fire smartphone launched, offers a 3D UI and apps

Following through on its teaser video Amazon launched the Fire smartphone yesterday evening. The new hope for Amazon has some pretty decent core specifications but it also has some key differentiating features – so Amazon hopes.

Amazon Fire smartphone launch event

Amazon Fire smartphone launch event

The headline feature of the Fire is ‘Dynamic Perspective’ which provides tilt, scroll, swivel and peek interactions with programs and the UI. The phone simply responds to its movement in relation to your view and adjusts the UI in several ways. For instance you can:

  • Tilt for panels—use the left panel to navigate menus, and the right panel to access useful information and shortcuts, like attaching photos to a text message, viewing song lyrics, and more.
  • Swivel for access to important notifications and quick actions like Mayday, Flashlight, Settings, and more.
  • Peek keeps your display uncluttered by revealing additional details and quick actions only when you need it.
  • With auto-scroll, scan long web pages or read entire books without ever having to touch the screen.

The tilting adaptable display isn’t just used in the UI though Amazon has opened up its use in apps and games – it is actually being built into several games as a quasi-3D feature which can be used to alter views or even move objects around the game area.

Amazon Fire UI showing Firefly

Amazon Fire UI showing Firefly

Another big feature Amazon wanted to herald as a killer feature is Amazon’s Firefly technology. The Fire smartphone has a dedicated Firefly button which triggers context-sensitive actions. The main purpose of this is to sense Amazon shoppable stuff in your environment and point you to its availability on Amazon. Is that good for you? Well Firefly recognises household items, books, DVDs, CDs, video games as well as text in posters, business cards, movies, TV episodes, TV channels, music, artists and so on. You therefore get the option to buy/stream lots of media based upon things you want to point Firefly at.

Amazon Fire exploded view

Amazon Fire exploded view

Fire is also a pretty decent smartphone in other respects. It’s got a camera on a par with many higher end rivals and has hardware features such as a 2.2 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor, 2GB of RAM, Adreno 330 graphics, LTE support, a 4.7-inch HD screen, stereo speakers with Dolby sound, a 13MP main camera with 1080p video recording and a 2400mAh battery. You can opt for a 32GB or 64GB storage device. It runs Amazon’s FireOS 3.5.0. In physical terms the Fire measures 139.2mm x 66.5mm x 8.9mm and weighs 160g.

The Amazon Fire unveiling begins at 14.11 in the video above.

The Amazon Fire is available to pre-order now but only with AT&T in the US. It’s priced from $199 on a 2 year AT&T contract or $649 without contract. For the 64GB version add $100 to those prices. Pre-order folk will get a full year of Amazon Prime for free (additional year if you are already a subscriber). The Fire is expected to ship on 25th July.

Kai-Li Yang

Kai-Li is a tech enthusiast with an in-depth knowledge of mobile technology, music technology and the entertainment industry. She hails from Taiwan and helps Tech Assimilate to erm... assimilate, all the latest tech news and trends from East Asia. Kai-Li Yang on Google+

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