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The Bulletin

Amazon's smartphone delivers data in 3D

Posting in Technology

Amazon entered an already crowded smartphone market today with the Fire Phone, a product that CEO Jeff Bezos says is different and superior to Apple and Samsung's products.

And different, it is.

The smartphone, which was unveiled during the company's product launch event in Seattle, has a 4.7-inch screen, 13-megapixel camera, a 2.2-gigahertz processor and 2 gigabytes of ram. There will also be unlimited photo storage for Fire smartphone buyers courtesy of Amazon's cloud.

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The big wow item is a 3D feature called dynamic perspective made possible by the phone's four low-power cameras and an innovative sensor system that responds to how you hold and view the Fire.

Users can tilt the phone to click and scroll without touching the screen, control browsing, reveal map info that's normally blocked by the screen, control your music--and naturally create a better gaming experience. For instance, a user looking at Amazon Music can tilt the phone to show song lyrics.

The dynamic perspective feature will give way to a new class of apps and games that are more immersive, Amazon says. For instance, users and take on the character's point of view in certain games and move to look around corners and other objects.

The smartphone will also feature Mayday, a button that connects users to live, on-device tech support 24/7 for free. Mayday was launched late last year for Fire HDX customers and according to Amazon, the average response time is just 9.75 seconds.

Amazon also introduced Firefly, a new software image recognition feature that uses the phone's camera to recognize everyday items incluing web and email addresses, phone numbers, QR and bar codes, movies, music and products. It can even identify products that don't have a bar code. The smartphone will be equipped with a Firefly button, making it even easier for folks to identify the product and then, of course, buy it on Amazon.

AT&T will be the exclusive carrier of the Fire Phone, which customers can begin pre-ordering today. Amazon didn't say when the phone would be shipped to customers.

Photo: Amazon

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— By on June 18, 2014, 12:24 PM PST

Kirsten Korosec

Contributing Editor

Kirsten Korosec has written for Technology Review, Marketing News, The Hill, BNET and Bloomberg News. She holds a degree from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. She is based in Tucson, Arizona. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure