Amazon has gone head-to-head with Samsung and Apple by entering the smartphone market.
While the e-retail giant has already released a number of tablet computers as part of its Kindle range, the Fire Phone is its first ever smartphone. The gadget boasts a 4.7-inch high-definition display, which uses face-tracking cameras to provide users with a 3D imagery.
At present, official plans are only in place to make the device available in the US, although industry experts are expecting a full UK release before the end of 2014. The 32-gigabyte model is currently available on a 24-month contract with US service provider AT&T from July 25, but consumers will be required to part with $199 (around £117) for the handset itself.
Nice gesture or just a gimmick?
Francisco Jeronimo, a mobile expert from research firm IDC, is doubtful about whether Amazon’s decision to use 3D and gesture control technology will help its attempts to get ahead of the competition.
He said: “We’ve seen similar gesture controls on Samsung’s Galaxy range, and not many people use them. Unless the experience is extraordinary it can come across as a gimmick. I’d be surprised if Amazon has succeeded when Samsung hasn’t, but I’ll need to try it.”
Amazon is also hoping that its integrated Firefly feature will appeal to potential users. The exclusive application, which can be activated by a button on the side of the device, is designed to recognise sounds, imagery and text around the user.