April 15, 2014 1:00 pm
We’ve heard through the grapevine that Amazon would be releasing a smartphone this year, and details are emerging to fill in the gaps. Last week, the Wall Street Journal posited that the device would be launched in June and go on sale some time in the fall, though it would, at first, be restricted to US users only.
Then there was the rumour that Amazon would be implementing a number of cameras — up to six — to facilitate a sort of glasses-free 3D parallax effect throughout the Android-based user interface.
Today, BGR obtained the first images of the 4.7-inch device, though the actual design is hidden behind what appears to be a thick casing. In other words, this is not what the phone will look like, but should provide enough insight to prove it exists.
First, the specs: the 4.7-inch IPS display will sport a 1280×720 pixel resolution, similar to the Moto X. It’s unclear whether the screen will be AMOLED or LCD-based, but we’re leaning towards the latter. It will also have a quad-core Snapdragon processor, likely a Snapdragon 800 or 801, and 2GB of RAM, along with 16GB of internal storage.
While the phone will be used primarily as a vehicle to push Amazon’s growing ecosystem of apps, games, movies, TV shows, music and other members-only offers, the main differentiator will be a series of front-facing cameras, likely infrared, that work with the 2MP optical front and 13MP rear sensors to create a three-dimensional field of view. Amazon is reportedly working with Android developers to create customized versions of their apps for the device, which will be sold in the company’s app store.
According to BGR, the infrared cameras will track a user’s eyes and face, making “constant adjustments to the positioning of on-screen elements, altering the perspective of visuals on the screen.” The real-time effects would be processed by the device’s powerful GPU, and are believed not to negatively affect battery life.
Amazon is also reportedly working on a second device, similar to the flagship but without the 3D cameras, which will debut later this year at a considerably lower price point.