Amazon’s first smartphone finally caught on camera?
Late last week, we brought you the latest in a long series of rumors about Amazon’s efforts towards the release of the company’s first smartphone. Over the months, there had been talk of multiple models, possible plans for subsidized sales, and a very unusual eye-tracking system using multiple cameras to allow the phone to create a pseudo-3D effect without the need for a special screen. That recent update attempted to sort things out about a possible release schedule, but did little to further our understanding about any of this hardware itself. Today, however, we’re finally ready to get up close and personal with Amazon’s handset, as the first images of the smartphone appear to have leaked.
While the model we see here is partially obscured by that big ol’ case, some of the phone’s key hardware is still visible. Most noteworthy may be the presence of those four front-facing cameras at the corners of the handset’s display. This is the same arrangement we saw in Amazon’s patent for the technology, and the same as recently described in an analyst report. By this account, these are low-power cameras sensitive to infrared light.
Sadly, we don’t really see the software in action here, but we’re told that Amazon isn’t holding back at all when it comes to showing the “3D” effect off, and it’s present across the entire platform, from the lock screen, to the home screen, to custom apps. Among those, we hear about a map app and an Amazon product browser that track eye position to give you a look around the edges of items or terrain.
Supposedly, this model will ultimately ship with a 4.7-inch 720p display, run an unspecified Snapdragon SoC, and have 2GB of RAM. This is the Amazon smartphone that might launch this summer, with a lower-end version (and probably missing a lot of this fake-3D stuff) coming out at some point further down the road.