(By Mark Prigg)
Amazon has launched its first mobile phone in a bid to take on Apple and Google.
The Fire handset was unveiled by Jeff Bezos at a special event in Seattle.
The Fire will use head-tracking technology to make images on the smartphone’s display appear to be 3D with a feature called ‘dynamic perspective’.
‘There is always more to see by changing your perspective,’ Bezos said.
‘What if there were a thousand artists standing by to redraw the picture every time you moved your head?’
Apps using the new feature includes a Maps app that lets users see around buildings.
Users can also tilt the phone to ‘look around’ an on screen map.
The handset has a 4.7-inch display with 720p HD resolution, a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, 2GB of RAM, and six individual camera modules to make the 3D effect work.
It will run a highly customized version of Google’s Android operating system similar to the one seen on Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablets, and come with special tangle-free headphones.
It boasts a Gorilla Glass 3 screen with a rubber frame, and aluminum buttons.
Users will also have unlimited photo storage via the Amazon Cloud, and syncing with the company’s recently launched Fire TV set-top box so you can send media to your TV.
The phone has its own menu system, and users can even navigate by tilting the handset. They can also see different app catergies through a special ‘tray’ that appears when they swip (right)
‘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 Bezos.
‘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.’
how they compare: The new fire is up against Apple’s iPhone 5s and Samsung’s Galaxy S5
The MayDay 24-hour video help feature will also be available on Fire Phone, Amazon confirmed.
Bezos said the most important thing the firm has done was to ‘earn trust with customers’.
The handset will initially be offered in the US only by AT&T in a deal that echoes the launch of the original iPhone.
HOW THE DISPLAY WORKS
The device has a front facing camera in each corner of the screen.
These extra cameras are used to track the position of the user’s face and eyes in relation to the phone’s display.
The handset chooses the two best views, and can even work at night using infrared.
This allows Amazon’s software to make constant adjustments to the positioning of on-screen elements, altering the perspective of visuals on the screen and making them appear to be in 3D – without the need for glasses.
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