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CNET Update: Amazon Fire Phone packed with 3D effects

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CNET Update: Amazon Fire Phone packed with 3D effects

2:57 /

Amazon hopes the Fire Phone will stand out in a crowded market with head-tracking 3D effects and a smart shopping tool called Firefly. And Facebook wants its new Slingshot app to catch on with the Snapchat crowd.

Amazon fires up the smartphone with 3D effects. I am Bridget Carey and this is your CNET Update. [MUSIC]. Amazon has a smartphone that can show you images with 3D effects, store unlimited photos online. And it has smart scanning to help you buy things faster. And it's all for $200 with a contract. Amazon is hoping techy tricks and loyal customers are the magic's formula to get people to leave their current smartphone for a Fire Phone. The Fire Phone comes out on July 25. And right now, AT&T is the only carrier in the US selling it. Here's a quick breakdown of the phone's features. That 3D effect is something Amazon calls dynamic perspective, where the image changes as you move your phone. Sensors on four corners track where your head is and it moves in relation to you. That 3D effect can be found in maps and also when you're browsing the web, and scrolling through text. Tilting the phone will auto scroll a page or you can even scroll through menus, now if you put your finger on the screen, it will stop the scroll effect. Its also something called Firefly, which can recognize 100 million different items. If you point the camera at a package of soap, well, you can get a link to buy that soap on Amazon. It can also recognize music to give you a link to buy a song. Firefly also identifies art, books, bar codes, and the audio from TV shows. Free, unlimited photo backups are a major perk, but the phone itself has some quality parts. It has a 4.7 inch screen and gorilla glass is on both sides so it doesn't scratch. There is a quad core processor, dual stereo speakers and the back sports a 13 megapixel camera. The $200 model gets you 32 gigs, but there's also a $300 model with double the storage and that's with a contract. So while Amazon created a new type of phone effect, Facebook has been busy launching a new type of app. It's called Slingshot, and it's for sending short-lived photos and videos with friends. But there's a catch to these messages. You can't see a photo of video right away. It's pixellated. You can only unlock it when you sling a photo back to that friend. So you're not really having a conversation. It's just friends slinging photos and videos back and forth to unlock messages. And the cycle of curiosity continues until someone just stops caring. So what's the point of all this? Facebook is hoping that it catches on with the same crowd that uses SnapChat. That's another app with disappearing messages. Facebook tried to copy SnapChat once before with an app called Poke but that's locked. That's your tech news update, but you can dive into more details on the Fire Phone at cnet.com. From our studios in New York, I'm Bridget Carey. [MUSIC]
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