Amazon Unveils New 3-D Fire Phone

Why retail giant is getting into that smartphone business.

ByABC News
June 18, 2014, 11:37 AM

— -- Amazon wants to set the smartphone market ablaze.

The online retailer unveiled its entry into the crowded smartphone market today -- the aptly named Fire phone, which features what Amazon called two "new breakthrough innovations."

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos triumphantly held up the long-rumored device, which appears slightly larger than an iPhone, at an event today in Seattle.

The first differentiation from other smartphones is "dynamic perspective," a sensor system that recognizes where a user's head is relative to the Fire phone. This allows the person using the phone to auto-scroll through a book or long webpage without ever having to touch the screen or to take on a character's viewpoint in a game, creating an immersive experience.

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The Fire phone will also come equipped with a Firefly button. The new feature, which is similar to Google Glass, will allow users to identify almost any product -- from a book to a game or a container of kosher salt. The Fire phone will then be able to direct users to Amazon to make purchases. Firefly can also recognize music and television shows.

PHOTO: BGR released this image of Amazon's Fire Phone.
BGR released this image of Amazon's upcoming 3D smartphone.

Later this year, Amazon plans to teach Firefly to recognize everything from artwork and wine labels to translating foreign languages with just the click of a button.

Photography fanatics will also be interested in the Fire phone's high-end camera specs, which include optical image stabilization and tiny motors that can adjust for natural hand tremors as a way to decrease the blurriness of photos.

The Fire phone also boasts front- and rear-facing cameras that can record 1080p high-definition videos.

The phone's shutter also excels at low-light photography, Bezos said, noting that it stays open four times longer to capture more light.

When creating the devices, Bezos said he was focused on creating a product that was sleek, durable and boasted powerful hardware.

He described how the team at Amazon "obsessed over outdoor viewing" and created a device that can easily be read, even in outdoor light.

The Fire phone is built with Gorilla Glass 3, aluminum buttons and has a rubberized grip area to bolster its durability.

Previous Amazon device customers may recognize some of the other features it will come equipped with, such as a Mayday button for tech support, X-Ray, which allows users to get more from their media and ASAP, which predicts what movies and television shows a person will want to watch before they even hit play.

Fire will ship on July 25 and is available exclusively on AT&T. The 32GB phone will be available for $199 with a two-year contract. It's also available with twice the memory for $299.

Customers who purchase the Fire phone can also take advantage of a limited time introductory offer, snagging them one free year of Prime, Amazon's subscription service that gives members free two-day shipping on music, movies, TV shows, among other perks.

The announcement is just the latest in an ambitious plan from Amazon, which has expanded its business into tablets, e-readers and most recently, a television streaming device box.