So Amazon just announced the Fire Phone, their first smartphone, but what exactly sets it apart from the pack? Aside from its pseudo-Android Fire OS, the Fire Phone will ship with a number of unique features designed to enhance the user experience by taking advantage of Amazon’s existing retail and digital ecosystem. Here are our 5 favorite features introduced along with the Fire Phone.
The Amazon Fire Phone has four additional cameras at each corner of the phone’s front display, and they’re not for capturing the perfect #selfie. These cameras, coupled with infrared lighting, are used to track your head in relation to the Fire Phone, creating an experience Amazon dubs Dynamic Perspective.
This pseudo-3D technology allows users to peer into display rather than at it, allowing for immersive functionality that varies depending on the application. In Maps you can peek around objects or reveal Yelp ratings. Images take on a whole new dimension, looking great no matter what angle you are viewing them from. Dynamic Perspective can also be used to trigger a number of functions outside of manipulating the appearance of an app or image, such as tilting the phone to scroll books and web pages.
The best part? Amazon has opened up Dynamic Perspective to developers, meaning the potential exists for many innovative and interesting ways for users to interact with the Fire Phone on a per app basis.
Amazon’s Firefly is like Google Goggles on steroids. Using the Fire Phone’s rear camera, Firefly can scan and identify barcodes, book and album covers, works of art and more, presenting the user with more info on any particular item and a relevant Amazon purchase page if available. Essentially, impulse buys start and end with Firefly.
But Firefly isn’t limited to images. No, it can detect audio as well, scanning for music, movies, and television shows as you watch, and, you guessed it, once again offering up items for purchase when possible. Firefly can even scan documents for relevant text such as names, web and email addresses, and phone numbers to quickly create a new contact, send an email, make a call, or launch a web page.
Sure, Amazon likely implemented to feature for its own economic gain, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t useful. A dedicated hardware button to launch Firefly makes it all the better.
Amazon has brought the same 24/7 support featured on its line of Kindle Fire tablets to the Fire Phone. Only a tap away, Mayday offers lost users a quick way to solve problems with their device by providing live support from real, breathing human beings around the clock, 365 days a year.
Support is provided by way of video chat with the additional benefit of allowing an Amazon customer support representative draw directly on the screen to provide detailed instructions. With a promised response time of 15 seconds or less, Mayday looks to be a big help to inexperienced smartphone users.
You can’t talk about an Amazon device without talking about the Amazon ecosystem, and an included 12-month Amazon Prime subscription makes sure users have plenty of content to take in. Amazon Prime has long offered a growing library of video content — including movies and TV shows — while a newly implemented music streaming service provides even more entertainment options.
On top of Amazon content, the Fire Phone offers new ways of interacting with media, whether it be the X-Ray feature that provides info like song lyrics and IMDb-sourced trivia. And the Fire Phone fits right in with the rest of Amazon’s product line, allowing users to pick up right where the left off on their Kindle tablet or Fire TV.
Unlimited cloud storage for photos
The Amazon Fire Phone promises a great photo experience with its advanced 13MP camera, but what to do with all those gorgeous hi-res images? All Fire Phone owners are being treated to unlimited cloud photo storage, a nice touch that will help keep users photo libraries in tact and organized while allowing internal storage space to be used for other purposes — like all those movies, songs, and games.
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While those are the features everyone will be talking about, in reality these five items only deal with a small portion of what the Amazon Fire Phone is capable of. If you are considering the Fire Phone as your next device, we recommend you check out our comparison with other top Android smartphones on the market. Be sure to check out the new Fire Phone section over at Android Forums and keep it tuned to Phandroid for more coverage.