Fire and Vines: 6 videos of the Amazon Fire Phone in action
I only had about 30 minutes of hands-on time with Amazon’s Fire Phone at its unveiling event on Wednesday. And a decent chunk of that time was spent wobbling my head or twisting my hand to engage the Dynamic Perspective feature and giggling at its new-and-coolness.
Once it was time to give the phone back and give someone else a turn, I immediately thought of a hundred more things I wanted to test. Those will have to wait for the full review, but until then, I did shoot these quick-and-dirty Vine videos to give you a preview of some of the eye candy the Fire Phone has to offer, including Amazon’s custom Dynamic Perspective lock screens and the identify-everything Firefly feature.
Watch out, Mr. Astronaut! There is a tentacled creature on the other side of the moon!
The hot air balloon lock screen is particularly lovely. But for a more personal touch, you can also designate one photo album to live just one swipe past the lock screen, for quick access to your photos of your kids or your last vacation when it’s time to show a friend.
In this Vine, I was trying to make the image on screen change by just moving my head, although it was hard to keep my own phone's camera still while doing so. It’s neat how each lock screen integrates the current time and date into the Dynamic Perspective image.
Amazon’s Silk browser can scroll when you tilt the phone, great for one-handed reading.
The Fire Phone has tilt gestures to bring out menus from either side of the screen (or just pull ’em out with your finger if you prefer). Your calendar and notifications slide in from the right, and shortcuts to different kinds of media show up in the left-hand menu, with more information appearing as you change the tilt. A quick “dip” of the top-left corner brings up your quick-action menu, where you’ll find the Mayday button and controls for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Airplane Mode, Search, and so on.
And finally, Firefly. It works so quickly because the phone’s software strips just the important parts of each 2MB image, sending only about 13KB of OCR-able text up to the cloud for processing. Amazon can recognize so many items because it sells so many items, but Firefly can also ID works of fine art, to show you more info on Wikipedia; songs, to give you live-scrolling lyrics; and TV shows, to show you contextual information like which actors are in the scene you're watching.