Fire Phone Heats Up The Competition

Amazon’s highly anticipated Fire Phone officially was announced last week.

Arriving in the middle of a heavy smartphone war, the Fire comes in with a design to allow you to talk on the phone, take great pictures and purchase items with extreme ease.


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Fire Phone | Photo courtesy Amazon (via Business Wire)

Fire is designed to point at anything and either learn more about it or buy it on the spot with its Dynamic Perspective and Firefly innovations.

Dynamic Perspective uses a new sensor system designed to respond to the way you hold, view and move your Fire Phone. It has four ultra-low power cameras and four infrared LEDs built into Fire’s front face.

Then Firefly quickly recognizes things in the real world, such as Web and email addresses, phone numbers, QR and barcodes, movies, music and millions of products. You then immediately can take action on what it sees (i.e., purchase items).

One of the things that people were buzzing about before the phone’s official announcement was its 3-D features, but it turns out that wasn’t a big part of the announcement.

However, it does have a 3-D-like view when viewing the map program, and you can swipe without your fingers as the cameras track your head movements. The 4.7-inch LCD screen makes that display nice and crisp, along with a 2.2GHz processor, 2GB of RAM and a 13 megapixel rear-facing camera.

Fire Phone’s Second Screen feature lets you fling TV shows and movies from your phone to your Fire TV, PlayStation or any other Miracast-enabled device. It turns your TV into the primary screen, and frees up your Fire Phone for playback controls or a customized display for X-Ray (a feature that helps you get more from books, music, movies and TV shows). By the way, it does this without you having to leave the TV show or movie you’re watching.

In addition, you’ll receive unlimited access to Amazon’s Cloud Drive for your photo storage (currently 5GB for free), and it will be backed up across all your Amazon devices. The Fire ships July 25 and is available exclusively on AT&T at $199 (32GB) or $299 (64GB). You can pre-order at or at your nearest AT&T retail store.

Click Chick’s Mobile App of the Week: Slingshot

Last week, Facebook released its new messaging app, Slingshot, for iOS and Android devices. At first, it feels like a Snapchat or WhatsApp copycat, but a closer look shows it can do so much more.

You can take a quick photo or video, mark it up with some colorful drawings, caption it with big, white text and then fire it off to a bunch of people. Then, when you receive your first message, you’ll realize something completely different.

In any other messaging app, you can view a message as soon as you receive it, but Slingshot won’t let you view an incoming “shot” until you send a shot back to the sender.

The app makes you trade a photo of yourself before you can see what your friends are up to.

Essentially, it’s not just about telling your story, but asking others for their story. It’s a very different way to send messages, seemingly building walls rather than tearing them down.