Photos of Amazon’s 4.7-inch smartphone reveal four front infrared cameras and a 3D interface

Daniel Bader

April 15, 2014 1:00pm

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.

  • spammenotdisqus

    Oh god, my eyes are bleeding. And 3D is a dumb idea, this feels like a flashback to HTC’s terrible 2011 phones.

    • Stimulator

      I dunno, I think Nintendo is doing pretty well with the 3DS. Sure, it’s not a phone, but similar enough to compare to.

  • Matt

    A technical explanation of how powering 4 extra cameras, and doing processing for the UI will not negatively affect battery life would be very interesting to read if true.

  • KrispyInTO

    For people who don’t even read the articles that is not how the phone looks- It’s being covered by a casing to mask its design.

    • Labrat

      Thanks, I only read the comments. =)
      Such insight, very true, much wow

  • Bri Bru

    Correct me if I’m wrong.. so the 4 cameras will be tracking user’s eye balls to create 3D-like illusion on the display? That sounds cool.. only if it works right. I’m not so sure about 3D display/field of view is necessary on a 4.7 inch display phone. It sounds like a gimmick to me.

  • hp

    certified by the optometrists association for giving
    them years of patients

  • beyond

    design of the body reminds me of Nokia Lumia 920

    • alphs22

      Article says it’s a thick casing used to hide the actual phone design.

  • Rich

    Yeah but when will they have pressable holographic phones? I can’t wait to feel like Iron Man.

  • AlexanderLong

    Why it looks like Nokia, a combination of N8 and Lumia

    • Nick Bransford

      Read the article: that’s not the actual phone, but rather a case put around the phone to disguise it (which apparently worked well judging by some of the responses).

  • Jamal Alkadri

    3D seems gimmicky? i don’t see why it would be needed on a phone, saw it on the DS and it hurt my eyes..

  • jeff

    No point in an Amazon phone in Canada. The Canadian version of their online store is getting better but far from the US version. We don’t have access to their music or movie content… And no prime streaming. Being locked in that ecosystem would be worse than BB Os 7