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The smartphone market just got a bit more competitive after electronic commerce giant Amazon revealed its new Fire phone earlier today. The device, the first of its kind for Amazon, has an innovative feature that will aid customers of the world’s largest retailer in making purchases even easier among other bells and whistles.

Amazon’s founder and CEO Jeff Bezos held the announcement the phone from a warehouse-like space in Seattle, and it appears Fire will be a major part of the brand’s future smartphone plans. The phone is built upon the Android operating system, carrying the same sleek look of other modern devices of this era.

How Fire sets itself apart is an array of sensors and four front-facing cameras which track a person’s head a face, allowing for unique 3D and gesture control effects. Based on how one looks at the phone, the display will create a glasses-free 3D visual. There is also motion gestures that will scroll and open pages without touching the screen.

Under the hood, the Fire phone will run on a 2.2. Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, and the 4.7 inch screen features 720p in HD display power. Other specs include dual stereo speakers, a powerful 13-megapixel rear camera, and the front-facing cameras for video chatting. The device also holds 2GB of RAM. Fire users will also enjoy unlimited cloud-based storage.

In development for a reported four years, the Fire also plans to change the game with its product recognition feature known as “Firefly.” How it works is that if a user scans a product or takes an image, Firefly will take them to Amazon where they can buy the item right from their phones. Experts say that Firefly could pose a huge threat to traditional stores and the entire online retail business.

Much like Apple’s closely connected devices, Amazon appears to be building a similarly contained ecosystem with its brand and the Fire phone. However, its aims as a device are largely unknown and there hasn’t been a smartphone yet that challenges the market share Apple and chief rival Samsung currently hold.

The Fire will be available late July, and will cost $199 for a two-year contract with AT&T. In a wise move, Fire users will get a free membership of Amazon’s Prime service which will undoubtedly get others to shop with the service more


Photo:  Amazon