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Amazon Fire - Future of Smartphones

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Early reviews for Amazon's first foray into the Smartphone market are mixed, with a general sense that the device is a good phone overlaid with some flashy features.

Amazon announced the Fire Phone last month, trumpeting its 3D display, which uses facial recognition and front-facing cameras to shift perspective, depending on where the user's head is; a personal assistant called "Firefly"; and Amazon's live, interactive support service, Mayday.

In terms of design, reviewers found the Fire Phone a straight forwardly built unit, with few distinctive physical flourishes. The only aspects that stood out were the very visible five cameras on the front panel and the Amazon branding on the rear, wrote David Pierce of The Verge.

Part of Amazon's ethos is to sell products like the Kindle e-readers and Fire tablets in the hope consumers will use them to purchase other goods from Amazon (e-books in the Kindle's case, for instance). The Fire Phone is guided by this philosophy too, especially with Firefly, which can recognize real-world objects through the phone's camera and find the items for sale on Amazon's store. However, the technology is not quite where it needs to be, said ZDNet's Larry Dignan.

"Firefly is basically Shazam for everything. Firefly's performance was decent, but there were multiple times where it didn't recognize the product," he wrote. "The Fire Phone's most powerful features are used only in service of The Internet Shopping Network, not in making a great Smartphone," The Verge's Pierce opined.

Source: Amazon reviews

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