Amazon’s first smartphone smiles in leaked photos, has some specs outed and 3D effects confirmed
For years, Amazon has been rumored to be working on its own smartphone, though 2014 may just be the year when it finally becomes reality.
In fact, it could be announced in June and released by the end of September. The device has been photographed for the first time, as you can see below. Though what we do see isn’t much, because Amazon’s first smartphone is secured tightly inside a protective shell that’s meant to keep its exact design from prying eyes like ours.
That said, don’t expect it to look incredibly different to any other high-end smartphone, with the screen dominating its front fascia and so on. The device will come with a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, 2 GB of RAM, and a 4.7-inch 720p HD touchscreen. It will have a 13 MP rear camera, and a secondary front-facing camera for video calls and selfies and whatnot.
Its distinctive feature will be powered by another four cameras, that are present in each of the four corners on the face of the phone. As has previously been leaked, these will be used solely to enable a number of 3D-like software effects, ones that you won’t need any special glasses to see.
The extra cameras are in fact low-power infrared units, and they’ll track the position of your face and eyes in relation to the handset, which allows the smartphone’s software to constantly adjust the perspective of the visuals it shows on its screen – thus, a 3D-like effect, sans any actual 3D.
It’s unclear how successful this will turn out to be, but it’s obvious that it will be the main differentiating feature for Amazon’s first foray into the smartphone space.
The 3D effects will be used in many places in the UI of the phone, which will once again make do with a forked version of Android, one similar to what can be found on the Kindle Fire tablets.
Expect to see special wallpapers, as well as 3D effects applied to app icons, and apps such as Maps taking advantage of the wizardry. Amazon’s product stores will use the 3D-like effects to show you 3D images of what you’re interested in buying, complete with surfaces that can’t be seen in 2D photos. Amazon will make APIs available to interested developers who will also be able to take advantage of these 3D effects in their own apps.
After this device, Amazon will launch a second smartphone at some point. This will be a low-cost offering, with entry level specs.