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Unmasked: The world’s first clear look at Amazon’s smartphone

Updated Jun 18th, 2014 2:24PM EDT
Amazon Smartphone Photos

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Amazon is still more than a month away from unveiling its first own-brand smartphone, but there isn’t much mystery that remains. BGR gave the world its first look at the unannounced handset in mid-April, and we followed up with exclusive details surrounding the phone’s unique 3D interface and gesture-based controls. Then, we revealed that “Prime Data” will be one of the device’s key weapons in the crowded U.S. smartphone market.

Now, BGR has exclusively obtained a new image of Amazon’s smartphone that reveals the handset’s design for the first time ever.

From earlier: Exclusive photos of Amazon’s first smartphone, everything you need to know about the Amazon’s phone’s custom software, and details on the Amazon phone’s secret weapon, Prime Data.

When BGR published live photos of Amazon’s smartphone prototype for the first time, we noted that the device was covered by a protective housing designed to prevent unauthorized people from seeing the phone’s hardware. As a result, the phone’s physical appearance remained a mystery.

That is no longer the case.

The image above is the first to reveal the design of Amazon’s debut smartphone. Multiple trusted sources have verified the authenticity of the image, which was created for internal use by graphic designers at Amazon.

As can be seen in this new image published exclusively by BGR, Amazon’s phone will feature an overall look that is similar to many full touch smartphones currently on the market. In fact, it appears to take design cues from several existing smartphones including Apple’s iPhone, Samsung’s Galaxy S lineup and even the HTC One, which has a polished, chamfered bezel much like the one seen on Amazon’s phone.

In terms of size, we’re told that the phone is a bit large but is reasonably comfortable to use with one hand. Amazon’s unique gesture controls were designed in part to make one-handed operation of a large phone as easy as possible, and one source tells us the phone definitely succeeds in that regard.

As BGR reported earlier, the device pictured here will be the first of several smartphones Amazon is planning to release, and it will be unveiled in the late spring or early summer.

Our sources tell us the device will feature specs including a 4.7-inch display with 720p HD resolution, a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, 2GB of RAM, six individual camera modules and a highly customized version of Google’s Android operating system similar to the one seen on Amazon’s various Kindle Fire tablets.

It will rely on Amazon’s own mobile app store for third-party software distribution.

The first Amazon smartphone will also feature a novel interface with 3D effects enabled by four front-facing infrared cameras that track the position of the user’s head in relation to the device’s screen. Coupled with some additional sensors, these cameras also facilitate unique gesture-based controls used to access menus and additional information.

One of the handset’s key selling points will be a special data plan Amazon refers to as “Prime Data.”

It is unclear exactly what Prime Data will offer users, but our sources suggest that the phone could be an AT&T exclusive and Prime Data may be a monthly data package that includes a certain amount of Prime video and music streaming free of charge. These details have not been confirmed, however.

According to several of our trusted sources and a separate report from The Wall Street Journal, Amazon plans to launch its first phone sometime in the third quarter this year.

Don’t miss our earlier coverage: Exclusive photos of Amazon’s first smartphone, everything you need to know about the Amazon’s phone’s custom software, and details on the Amazon phone’s secret weapon, Prime Data.

Zach Epstein
Zach Epstein Executive Editor

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content. Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment.

His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.