After years of rumors, details about Amazon’s Android smartphone are finally coming into focus.
Leaked photos released this morning have given us our first look at the phone (albeit in a blocky case that covers its actual design), BGR reports. Additionally, TechCrunch has unearthed even more details on the phone’s unique 3D interface.
Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported that Amazon planned to announce the phone by June and that it will sport a “glasses free” 3D interface. But the latest details make Amazon’s Android phone seem less like Nintendo’s 3DS and more like a ramped up version of the parallax interface elements in Apple’s iOS 7. Think of it as pseudo-3D rather than the 3D effects you see in the theater.
What’s most interesting about the phone is how Amazon plans to achieve that 3D interface. The company is reportedly relying on four small infrared cameras on the phone’s front corners (visible in the photo above) to track your head movements. The phone’s 3D interface will be “very limited” when it launches, TechCrunch reports, but Amazon will likely make it more robust over time.
It’s unclear what Amazon will ultimately name the phone, but considering the recent launch of its Fire TV, I wouldn’t be surprised if it goes with a simple name like “Fire” or “Fire Phone.” The phone is said to sport a 4.7-inch screen (smaller than the 5-inch devices we’re seeing from others), and Amazon is reportedly working on a lower-end phone that will presumably lack the 3D interface.
The real question for Amazon: Is a snazzy 3D interface enough to pull consumers away from their current iPhones and Android phones? Given my experience with similar gimmicks on gadgets, I’d wager no. But I’m open to being surprised by Amazon.