Amazon Fire Phone is official: Mayday, Firefly, 3D, and everythi - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

Amazon Fire Phone is official: Mayday, Firefly, 3D, and everything else we know

Amazon Fire with Firefly Amazon Fire with Firefly

By Jeffrey Van Camp
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Amazon finally launched the Fire Phone at a packed event in Seattle on June 18. After months of rumors, expectations were running high. Even though we’ve already heard about most of the specs, the biggest surprise may be yet to come.

Once all the details are revealed, we’ll let you decide if the Amazon smartphone is a game changer or not.

All Good Specs

Just like the rumors said, the Fire Phone features a 4.7-inch display with an HD resolution. Bezos says the Fire Phone is optimized for one handed use, even hough it has a larger display. The display is made out of Gorilla Glass 3 and has a rubber frame around the edge. The display looks long and wide, sort of like an iPhone 4S or Google Nexus 4. The Fire Phone is powered by a quad-core 2.2GHz processor. It also has the Adreno 330 GPU and 2GB RAM onboard.

Amazon also added dual, Dolby stereo speakers to the Fire Phone for surround sound while watching videos on the device. After all, watching videos is what people love to do on smartphones and tablets. Amazon stated that ”more than 200,000 videos, including exclusives…” will be available for Fire Phone users through instant video.

In addition, Amazon is adding Second Screen and X-Ray to the device, so that you can send whatever you’re watching on your Fire Phone to your Amazon TV.


The device also has a 13-megapixel camera on the back with a f/2.0 lens with optical image stabilization. Amazon will also offer unlimited photo storage, so users can take as many pictures as they want without worrying about storage restraints.


Amazon stated that its well-loved MayDay feature will also come on the Fire Phone. For those of you who don’t know, MayDay is Amazon’s new take on customer service, which lets users call an Amazon tech expert 24/7, 365 in case of a problem. When you hit the MayDay button, a helpful tech expert will appear to solve all your problems. They can even draw on your scree to show you what you need to do.


Firefly is a great new feature that helps you find the products and objects you encounter in the real world, online. The feature uses the camera on the front of the Fire Phone to recognize books, DVDs, phone numbers, QR codes, CDs, games, and all other kinds of media. Once Firefly figures out what you’re looking for, it searches for that product in its database and finds a version that you can buy on Amazon.

If it’s not a product you’re looking for, but rather information on a painting, tourist site, or something else, Firefly will hook you up with a Wikipedia page on the subject. Amazon says that it can recognize more than 100 million items.

The Fire Phone has a dedicated button for Firefly, so you’ll be able to find and use the feature easily.

3D effects with Dynamic Perspective

Prior to the launch of the Fire Phone, everyone was talking about the brand-new 3D effects that would revolutionize how you will use Amazon’s smartphone. Bezos finally showed off the 3D effects during the June 18 event and they were much less revolutionary and terrible than we thought they would be.

Amazon is calling its 3D effects “Dynamic Perspective.” In essence, the new feature merely allows users to interact with images, web pages, and other content like maps in a different way.

With a simple tilt of the Fire Phone, you can change the point of view you have of each image, map, or 3D-endabled app you are looking at on the device.

Bezos demonstrated how the phone moves with you as your perspective changes. He also showed how a simple tilt of the phone shows a new angle of each image. In the maps app, he took a look at the Empire State building from several different angles. In the pictures, it does look as though the building is 3D. 

The effect can also work when you’re shopping. For example, when you’re looking through a rack of dresses online, you can move through to the next one by tilting your phone to the right or left.

Then, when you’re browsing the Web, you can tilt the Fire Phone back to scroll down. This effect also works with ebooks in the Kindle app.

Bezos also spent a lot of time detailing how it created the 3D effect and accurate head-tracking software.

In order to accurately track users’ head motions, Amazon added four front-facing cameras, placed at a 120-degree angle on each corner of the device. Infrared sensors and a great algorithm were also needed to make Dynamic Perspective work perfectly.

Amazon finished up its explanation of the new feature with a call to developers to convert their Android apps into better ones that work on the Fire Phone.

Small, finishing touches

Bezos highlighted a few more, smaller features for every day use. For example, if you’re late to a meeting, the calendar app will alert you and you can send a quick message telling everyone to start without you. Another feature lets you set your ringer to silent for a set amount of time, in instances when you really don’t want to take any calls. You can also send images directly from the messaging app by swiping from the right.

Preorder today from AT&T

As expected, Amazon announced that the Fire Phone will be an AT&T exclusive. The device is vailable on several different AT&T plans, inclduing the Next Plan. Anyone who wants a Fire Phone can  preorder it today.

The 32GB version of the Fire Phone will cost $199 with a two-year contract, or $27 per month if you choose a Next plan. Buyers will also get 12 months of Amazon Prime for free when they buy the phone. Even current Prime subscribers get 12 months for free, so they also get a reward for buying the Fire Phone.

This article was originally posted on Digital Trends

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