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First Photos of Amazon 3D Smartphone Emerge, May Launch Alongside Low-End Model

Speculation of an Amazon smartphone is nearly as old as time itself. Well, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but it seems nearly every year that rumblings suggesting the online retailer is planning to launch a phone are widely reported but never pan out. This time may be different, however; if information and snapshots obtained by BGR proves accurate, Amazon may finally look to grab a slice of the smartphone market this summer.

According to the article, Amazon has a low-end and premium handset in development. The premium model is pictured, but its design is concealed by a security cover.

The high-end device is more interesting by far. BGR sources were able to corroborate rumors of a 3D interface, confirming the presence of four front-facing infrared sensors that track the retinas of users’s eye and software that works to change the perspective of on-screen elements. The effect is like a 3D hologram without the need for glasses or parallax.


The report said every aspect of the phone’s UI will leverage the unique hardware. Backgrounds on the lock screen will shift perspective, for instance, and applications icons will move in all directions. A customized version of the Amazon Store will include 3D images, allowing users to view products at different angles.

Several preloaded apps will support 3D, including a maps application, but Amazon is apparently working with select developers to have third-party support at launch.

In terms of hardware, the premium smartphone is no slouch. It reportedly sports a 4.7-inch, 720p display and packs a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, 2GB of RAM, and a 13-megapixel rear camera.


The entry-level handset will launch after the high-end model and potentially lack 3D support.

No word on pricing or availability, but the report said the low-end model would be aggressively priced. As far as a launch windows, Amazon may intend to unveil the smartphone within  3-6 months. 

Are you bullish on Amazon’s 3D, readers, or is it just another gimmick?

Via: BGR
  • kelly1519

    According to the news by BidnessEtc, the amazon
    spokesperson denied the news report the very next day that its Fire TV is a
    threat for Netflix, he quoted “Amazon is experimenting with new things, but as
    of now there is no plans to offer a free streaming media service” http://bit.ly/1h7HNds

  • Higher_Ground

    Well, I have to say that there is still some aspects of 3D that intrigue me. I have a Nintendo 3DS and while some of the earlier games like Mario are only okay in 3D, newer games like A Legenda of Zelda make really good use of the 3D graphics. I leave it on the entire time vs. only using it occasionally on other games.
    The problem is that the 3DS uses parallax. This means that if you aren’t looking at it directly head-on, you don’t get the 3D effect and even worse you see the barrier lines and it doesn’t look good at all. The viewing angle is very poor. If amazon can create a 3D display that works by following your eye movements, maybe they can make a display that works for any angle. That would make the 3D experience more seamless and engaging and I think a lot more people would like it.

  • AndrewScottRox

    I bet they will say it’s “prime time” for a new phone. I’ll see myself out……

  • Ben Landwehr

    Nice. I can finally retire my HTC Evo 3D.

  • j

    Premium eye straining, battery destroying features coming to a smartphone near you!!!

  • let 3D die

    I thought we were done with gimmiky 3-D in consumer electronics…

  • Craig P

    So a screen similar to the 3DS or something different?

    • calculatorwatch

      Sounds like it’s totally different. Based on the article it’s just a normal screen and the software gives it a 3-D effect by tracking your eyes and changing the image so it looks like you’re viewing it at a different angle.

      So unless there’s some other trick to the screen, it’s not a true 3-D effect because both your eyes are seeing the same image. But on the plus side you don’t get that weird jumping/shifting effect when you tilt the screen like you do on the 3DS.

  • Joshua Rewerts

    I see no mention of the actual OS…I wonder if they’re still sticking with heavily forked Android, or if they’re going to create their own?

  • antinorm

    So are they finally going to release a Prime Instant Video app for Android?

    • hfoster52


    • I know, right? We need this.

    • Daistaar

      That’s not going to ever happen. It would compete with their Kindle products (and win). Who would buy a Kindle Fire or a FireTV when you can just use the app?

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  • erikiksaz

    Didn’t the iphone’s cheesy parallax effect give people headaches? I reckon this would be 100x worse.

    I don’t have issues with balance, so bring it on, haha.

  • Daeshaun Griffiths

    its going to be a first gen product, but putting that aside i think interaction will be interesting. On tablets or whatever tv product or kinect like standalone they put out. Their carousel ui is perfect for how i see it working. Maybe they have rotating amazon items in mind.

  • Guest

    Well… That’s hideous!

  • Steve B

    720p haha. Premium my ass.

    • Justin W

      Might not be “premium” when compared to other Android flagships, but out of the two rumored FireOS devices, it would be the more premium version.

  • Jason Kahn

    The BGR article said it has 6 rear facing cameras

    • Kyle Wiggers

      6 cameras *total*. One front-facing, one rear-facing, and four IR.

      • Jason Kahn

        I think the 4 additional cameras are above and beyond the infrared it’s sounds like from the bgr article they are going for some kind of hands off motion control

        • calculatorwatch

          After reading the BGR article the four extra cameras it talks about are definitely on the front. It sounds like they will be used for both retina tracking and motion gestures. It just refers to them as VGA cameras which could mean infrared with a VGA resolution or they could be just optical or a combination of both. I highly doubt they would have 10 total cameras on a smartphone.

    • calculatorwatch

      That would be hilarious if it were true. Because HTC’s dual camera setup was so good they decided to do it times 3.

      • Jason Kahn

        It sounds like it’s for some kind of motion control

      • Kyle Wiggers

        They’re for tracking your retinas! Seriously.

  • Still pissed 3Dtv has died. Not buying into it again, plus not so sure I like the eye tracking phones, just weird.

    • redbar0n11

      It’s not like these are the little ghosts in Mario… it’s not going to attack you when you look away.

  • RGiskard

    No Play Store = No Sale. I don’t need another closed ecosystem. I’ll support Google’s because they’re giving me Android for free and subsidizing the cost of my Nexus, but I don’t want to add Amazon (or Apple or anyone else’s) closed ecosystem to my world.

    • The Narrator

      Thanks for your opinion

      • RGiskard

        You’re welcome. Or was that sarcasm?

        • It’s The Narrator. Of course it’s sarcasm. He’s a douche.

  • gadget_hero

    What little I can see it looks like it might have a Nokia N9-ish look with the drilled holes on the one end.

  • callumshell1

    At least they’re doing something new unlike some manufacturers.

    im talking about samsung in case you couldnt guess

    • hfoster52

      What’s new? HTC did 3D a few years back and that bombed. Stats are all that impressive. What I think Amazon will do is push advertising content to the phone to subsidize the phone. What would be funny is that you have to watch a commercial to answer a call. 🙂

      • Pakmann2k

        3D 1-Click to Buy buttons floaing in the air. Your friend sends you a SMS photo of and the Amazon phone will have a “Buy it Now” button imbedded into the phone right by the reply button.

      • callumshell1

        it had a 3d camera not a 3d display

  • Prime7

    I kind of like the dummy case. It looks like they glued an iPhone into a Lumia shell.

    • droidify

      Exactly what I was thinking.

    • The Narrator

      It looks nothing like an iPhone.

      • calculatorwatch

        The fact that it has an extra wide almost 3:4 screen reminds me of a blown up version of the old 3.5 inch iPhone screens.

  • moelsen8

    amazon’s best third party developer is gonna be the NSA

  • Ryan N

    Let the gimmick wars commence!

    • TSY87

      Amazon may make a big splash with their “3D” interface, but we’ll see if they can topple Samsung as the champion of useless phone gimmicks *ahem* I mean features.

  • onDroid

    Before we all start commenting on how ugly this thing is take a look at the last photo. The device appears to be inside a dummy case to hide its appearance.

    • TSY87

      it also states that in the article.. “The premium model is pictured, but its design is concealed by a security cover.” That said, I doubt this phone will hit VZW, not that im really interested anyway.

      • onDroid

        Yes, but do you really expect everyone who is commenting to have actually read the article. There are already a bunch of post talking about how ugly it is.

        • TSY87

          touche, lol.

        • hfoster52

          If you peal off the edge’s (security cover) still doesn’t look all the impressive. A bunch of gimmicks and last year stats. What will sell this phone is if it’s free or close to it with some kind of hook.

          • James

            Unless you have a device yourself or have seen other pictures, how in the world could you know what it looks like underneath?

      • droidify

        Verizon does have some type of partnership with Amazon. The app store comes preloaded as bloatware on most VZW devices. Knowing Verizon they will probably launch this phone and postpone the next moto x or the G3 as to not step on its heels.

        • Cael

          You mean Amazon bought its way onto Verizon phones.
          Verizon won’t postpone the next Moto X. Verizon loves Motorola.

          • droidify

            Verizon loves Droids. They did do well with the moto x but I bet it was because Moto demanded they release the x along with the droids.

    • K

      It was pretty obvious even from the first photo

  • hfoster52


    • James

      yeah i’m pretty sure that’s a dummy case

      • hfoster52

        All I have to say is look at all the sensors…. Keep that screen clean.

  • So Nokia Lumia running Amazon’s version of Android with a load of cameras constantly staring at your face, no thank you.

    • The Narrator

      Here’s some tin foil brah