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Amazon Fire Phone: Five things you need to know

Amazon Fire Phone: Five things you need to know

The Amazon Fire Phone is official at last.

After leaks that would have put a colander manufacturer to shame, not to mention a sustained campaign of teaser ads, the online retail giant has finally come clean about its first ever smartphone.

So, does it match up to expectations?

And can it really offer something truly different to the mainstays from Apple, Samsung and others?

Read on and we’ll tell all in our five things you need to know about the Amazon Fire Phone.

1 Firefly to help you buy

amazon fire phone angled

Unquestionably the biggest deal with Amazon’s Fire Phone is Firefly.

This app uses a dedicated button on the device, which lets you use the handset’s camera to scan pictures of products, TV shows or listen to audio.

It will then bring identify whatever it is you’re looking at, bring a product page up on your phone and let you buy it direct from Amazon.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos says it can recognise over 100 million different things.

If you’re watching a TV show, scan it and it’ll offer you the box set.

Like the look of your pal’s camera? Shoot it and buy it immediately via your Fire Phone.

2 3D tracking skills

amazon fire 3d

The big news before the launch of the Fire Phone focused on Amazon’s 3D tracking plans.

And these certainly didn’t disappoint.

Using four front–facing cameras, the Fire Phone can track head movements and offer 3D views of products, web pages and maps by simply tilting the device.

Gesture control, however, remains in its infancy on phones and hasn’t become the mainstream success many had predicted.

The Fire Phone’s power lies elsewhere. It’s camera for example.

3 A fancy camera

amazon fire phone camera

Bundling a 13 megapixel camera as part of a smartphone is nothing new. But the Fire Phone’s camera has a secret weapon, a f2.0 lens.

This offers the widest aperture of any smartphone camera out there, something which Bezos reckons will help it take far better low light photos than the competition.

That’s a bold claim and one which can’t be backed up until we’ve had a play ourselves.

Still, it should mean an end to grainy light night shots. We can’t promise it’ll make you look less boozed, though.

4 Amazon Prime push

amazon prime

Amazon Prime is clearly the reason why the Fire Phone exists.

The annual subscription service comes as part of the $199 up front cost in the US, getting free access to streaming movies and music, plus free shipping on Amazon bought products.

Bezos made a big deal of Prime during his keynote and evidently the Fire Phone is going to be used to give it a bigger push over the next few months.

5 No UK release date

stars and stripes america

US punters might soon be able to snag a Fire Phone.

But for us Brits, the wait goes on. Amazon has yet to say when the device will get an international release.

However, with its Kindle and Kindle Fire tablets now available globally, we shouldn’t have to hold on too long for a taste of the action.

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