Amazon in June 2014 unveiled its long-rumored — we're talking years here — smartphone. Dubbed the Fire Phone (you'll recall that Amazon's tablet is the "Kindle Fire"), it's got glass on both sides, which we haven't seen since the LG Optimus G and Nexus 4 in late 2012. It has a metal frame with rubber trim, and most importantly a 4.7-inch (720 x 1280 resolution) IPS LCD display.
Internals include a Snapdragon 800 quad-core 2.2GHz CPU, 2GB of RAM and a 13-megapixel rear camera with optical image stabilization (OIS). And Amazon's providing free, unlimited image storing for every photo you take as well.
But Fire Phone really gets interesting when it comes to software and features. It runs Amazon's Android-based Fire OS 3.5 software, with a UI that looks similar to the company's Fire tablets but adapted for the smaller screen. As you'd expect, the Fire Phone is content-rich, with support for Amazon's streaming ecosystems, and second-screen functionality through X Ray, giving you more info on what you're watching on the big screen.
The Amazon Fire Phone also introduces Firefly, described as "visual search on steroids." Firefly can recognize barcodes, box art, QR codes, URLs and even TV audio, and is built on the Amazon Web Services platform. You can scan just about anything with Firefly and have it saved to your history to reference later, or export out to third-party apps that have integrated with the Firefly SDK.
And last but not least, Dynamic Perspective brings 3D effects to the Fire Phone, using an array of sensors (including four cameras and infrared lights) to work out where your face is and the angle at which the device is being held. This allows perspective effects to be brought into the phone's apps and UI, including (but not limited to) the built-in maps app and Kindle books app.
The Amazon Fire Phone failed to ever gain traction, and Amazon dropped the price as low a $130 before laying off hundreds of employees from their hardware division.