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All Fired Up

Although I’m not going to run out and buy one – I’m happy (appy?) enough with my LG G2 (I pitched my iPhone 5 two weeks ago)  – like everyone else who loves technology, I was certainly curious about Amazon’s entry into the smartphone market.  (And, admittedly, I wouldn’t turn it away if someone left a Fire Phone on my doorstep. It looks like there are a lot of goodies in there, especially on the camera side.)

Wired has as good a write-up as any other one I’ve seen, so I’ll draw on that one here.

A key part of this allure are the four cameras tucked into the front corners of the phone’s 4.7-inch screen…Using the camera’s face-tracking input, you can look around onscreen objects, even peer behind them. It’s not about popping-out-of-the-screen 3-D, but about infusing a sense of depth and realism into a bunch of flat pixels. Your phone becomes a little diorama box, with stunning effects for 3-D maps, games, and homescreen wallpaper.

That dynamic perspective is also meant to make using the Fire Phone with one hand a lot easier. You can tilt the phone to scroll through news articles or books, as well as navigate through screens. (Source: Wired)

What seems to be the most important capability that the cameras provide is the support they provide for the phone’s Firefly scanner feature. Firefly lets you point at an object, a UPC or QR code, etc. and “create a queue of things to identify, save on the device, or buy on Amazon.”

I suspect that this convenient “buy on Amazon” attribute is the main reason that Jeff Bezos was so keen on developing a smart phone of his own. Not that anyone needs Firefly to figure out how to buy stuff on Amazon…

Naturally, I was interested in the Fire Phone’s specs.

The Fire Phone is an Android device, which uses Amazon’s heavily modified version of the Android OS. (As a recent convert from the iPhon, I have found I do appreciate Android than iOS.) The system-on-chip is a 2.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 with 2GB RAM, so this is a plenty-powerful device.

…It also has a 2,400 mAh battery that Amazon says should last “all day,” and a 13-megapixel main camera with optical stabilization and an F2.0 lens.

The question that everyone seems to be asking is whether the droves of developers who’ve created apps for the iPhone and for standard Android smartphones will be just as enthusiastic about creating apps for the Fire Phone.

The Fire Phone will be released in late July.

As I said, I won’t be trading my LG G2 phone in anytime soon, and I’m really not all that interested in a smartphone which has shopping facilitation as one of its prime selling features. But the camera aspects are very interesting, and if someone were to put a Fire Phone in my hands, I wouldn’t throw it back.