RETAIL giant Amazon has released its first mobile, Amazon Fire Phone.
Despite the long build-up, the Fire still managed to surprise people - but not all in good ways.
Although early hands-on previews have praised its build quality and general feel in the hand, Amazon's inclusion of 3D-effects in its Dynamic Perspective feature and its focus on using the device to automatically recognise and buy products (via Amazon of course) have been met with scepticism.
Dynamic Perspective uses four infrared cameras located on the corners of the display to constantly track the user's head movements, moving the image on screen to give the illusion of depth. So if you're looking at a map and want to see what's behind a marker on the screen, you crane your head to do so.
The Fire Phone's other main feature is getting mixed reactions.
Firefly uses cameras and microphones to identify consumer goods. Anything from books to food Firefly works recognises what it is in seconds and then gives users the option to buy it.
Farhad Manjoo at the New York Times spells out the Fire Phone's difficulties by noting that "some of those features may be attractive to people who already love Amazon, but for people who aren't looking to be hooked so intimately into Amazon's brain, it's hard to see what this phone offers over any other top-of-the-line smartphone."
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