About Duy Vu

Duy is the Technology Editor at Protect Your Bubble. Follow Duy on Google for more insights into the tech and digital world.

The Essential Back To School Checklist

back-to-school header

It’s that time of the year, children are starting school soon. There is always a long list of items that must be purchased in preparation regardless of age. Beat back to school stress with this essential back to school checklist for all grades!

 

1. Backpack & Bagsnorthface backpack

Younger children prefer backpacks, if your children are a bit older – particularly in junior high or high school – they usually carry very heavy loads, so it’s ideal to spend a little extra on rugged, durable, chest strapped backpacks. College bound students usually prefer sling bags and North Face backpacks for their laptops and tablets.  North Face is the preferred choice for students who want to conform to societal norms.

 

 

 

2. Clothing

Be sure to buy shirts, pants, socks, and underclothing. Don’t forget to get new shoes too because your child’s feet are getting Shaq size. There are some students that require more than one pair, either for gym or athletic programs. You also want to have athletic or gym cloths if they’re required. These could include sweat suits, shorts, and t-shirts. Sweaters and lightweight jackets are usually needed for the cool early mornings, and heavier coats will be needed within a few months of school starting. Majority of schools have dress codes, so it’s a good idea to get a copy of that for reference before you go shopping for clothes.

 

3. School Suppliesti-83

This includes notebook paper, spiral notebooks, pens, pencils, folders, dividers and binders among other things. Most kids need all of these regardless of grade. Younger children might need art paper and older children might need a graph set, so the needs vary but the basics tend to stay the same. An oversized calculator is a great addition to the school supply checklist unless your kid is required to buy a scientific calculator.  TI-83’s are a must in more advanced math classes.

 

4. Schedule Doctor and Dental Appointments

Many kids need certain immunizations before school starts. Athletes in middle and high school need a routine athletic checkup. Find out if the school would certain medical forms for your child’s doctor to sign. Your child’s school may or may not require a physical exam, but it is highly recommended that he/she gets one annually from infancy through the teen years. An updated health check is always a great way to start the school year. Don’t forget about the dentist too!

dentist back to school

bagged pizza5. Plans for Breakfast, Lunch, and Overall Nutrition

Plan meals ahead of time, and pack healthy lunches for your children to make sure that they are eating nutritious food, rather than snacks and soft drinks from the vending machine.  Cafeteria lunches can be a hit or miss so make sure you know the lunch schedule beforehand and plan accordingly. Every kid loves prepackaged bagged pizza! Try to promote an active lifestyle, rather than a sedentary one for your child, and make sure he/she is getting enough sleep. It’s also important to keep stocked up on healthy snacks for your kids to eat when school is out.

 

 

6. Family Calendar

Put up a family calendar on the fridge so everyone will see it regularly. It will help keep everyone up-to-date on each other’s appointments, classes, and events. Nobody will miss a rehearsal, baseball practice, or music lesson. Talk about “no child left behind!”

 

The school year can be a crazy time, but you can simplify the transition of going back to school by having a checklist of everything your child needs. Make this new school year awesome!

 


 

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Making The Most Of Your Late Summer Travel Plans

late summer travel

Feel like summer is slipping through your fingertips? It is not too late to salvage your summer. There is still time to plan a late summer vacation. Here are a few last minute tips to help you out.

 

Going Abroad

First and foremost, figure out if you will need a passport for your trip. Due to the recent regulation changes that have been implemented, as a traveler, you are required to have a passport to reenter the US from practically any country. This includes Canada and Mexico. Make sure you have a current updated passport. Otherwise you could end up in the hands of the Federales.

federales

I just wanted some fish n chips

 

Comfort Is King

A second issue to consider is the end of summer weather. Plan and dress appropriately for the heat. Most travelers usually equate the end of summer with cooling temperatures. In the Northern Hemisphere, this is not true. August is one of the hottest months and September can bake you like a baguette as well. It is only towards the end of September that can you expect things to cool down. If you are spending your remaining summer vacation at the beach, it is important that you bring along the appropriate clothing, sunscreen, sunglasses, and head pieces. You wouldn’t want to end up getting sunburnt and looking like a lobster.

sunburnt lobster

The coolest lobster in the Pacific NorthWest

 

If you are flying, being comfortable on the plane should be your biggest priority. Make sure you try to travel as light as possible.  Struggling to put a 50lb luggage piece in the overhead bin is asking for a strained shoulder or mild concussion.  Sitting uncomfortably on a 5 hour flight is no fun if unless you are a glutton for punishment.  It is suggested that you dress in relaxed clothing like pajamas or a snuggie.  It is no longer cool to “dress to impress” on a flight.  The more you look like a bum, the better.

 

woman immodium ad

I should've taken that Imodium AD

Discounts Over Everything

If your wallet is light, try to look for discounted airfare online. Ticket prices can get super low towards the end of summer. According to the CEO of the airfare search engine FareCompare, Rick Seaney, “As kids start to go back to school, bookings start to drop down and airlines are forced to discount.”

tainted seat discount

The tainted seat discount was not worth it

 

High Thread Counts

Consider non-hotel lodging. With summer hotel occupancy numbers up almost everywhere, many travelers are turning to vacation rentals for last-minute deals. The strategy makes perfect sense as owners of apartments and villas that still have openings may be willing to negotiate prices. Search Airbnb for some killer deals.

airbnb

Help yourself to the expired Wheaties in the cupboard

 

Whatever be the motive for your late summer travel, the very essence is the bonding among the members of the family. Never compare your destination with that of others. It does not matter if yours is a few miles away and theirs span an ocean. Make this summer travel a special one with warm memories. Good luck, and get moving – your vacation awaits!

 


 

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The Latest iPhone 6 Rumors

iphone 6 concept

Over the last few months, rumors of the new iPhone 6 have been circulating as it nears its September launch date. According to a survey of 4,109 US consumers the iPhone 6 is the most anticipated Apple smartphone ever.

 

Display

Along with a larger screen, the iPhone 6 is rumored to feature a durable sapphire display in at least some models, and may adopt slimmer bezels and a thinner chassis. The larger 5.5-inch iPhone 6 might also incorporate Optical Image Stabilization as a differentiating feature from the 4.7-inch iPhone 6.

iphone-6-concept-display

According to Business Insider, of the many iPhone 6 prototypes Apple has made, one has a giant Retina+ IGZO display and a “new form factor with no home button. Gesture control is also possibly included.” The Retina+ Sharp IGZO display would have a 1080p Full HD resolution. A Full HD display for the iPhone 6 makes perfect sense, especially if it grows to a 4.7-inch screen as discussed, and the iPhablet will push things even further to preserve the Retina experience on a larger display.

 

iphone 6 retina concept

The most recent resolution rumors claim that Apple has been testing a pixel-tripling display which would have a resolution of 1704 x 960. The 4.7-inch iPhone 6 would have a pixel density of 416 ppi while the 5.5-inch model would have a density of 356 ppi.

 
Camera & Storage

The camera could get an upgrade to 13-megapixels, although not everyone agrees, with others indicating the existing 8-megapixel camera will see improvements. Analysts from Nomura Securities are also saying that the iPhone 6 will have better image stabilization. It is also possible that the larger iPhone 6 will be the only model with a 128GB storage capacity.

camera-iPhone-6
A8 Processor

The iPhone 5s incorporates a 64-bit A7 28-nanometer chip manufactured by Samsung. Apple’s iPhone 6 will reportedly utilize a 20-nanometer A8 chip from TSMC, which will be both smaller and more energy efficient. Samsung will continue to be involved in the production, however, helping to alleviate some of TSMC’s manufacturing load.

a8_chip

Earlier in the year, rumors pointed towards a quad-core 64-bit processor for the A8, but a July report suggested the A8 processor may in fact be dual-core with a frequency of 2.0 GHz or higher per core. The A8 may also be limited to 1GB of RAM, the same as the A7.

 
iOS 8

ios_8_logo

The iPhone 6 will come with iOS 8 installed, which Apple previewed in stage during the WWDC 2014 developer conference. It has revealed only a little about the software, which includes a new HealthKit app, more sharing options, tighter integration with OS X, and the introduction of widgets and third-party keyboard support.

 

Pricing

Apple’s legacy is a long line of premium devices donning premium price tags and you can expect that trend to continue with the iPhone 6. One rumor goes as far as predicting that the because the newest smartphone is set to have a larger screen, new glass covering the front and possibly even a new, more impressive, material used in construction, Apple will hike up the price of the iPhone 6, possibly by as much as $100 (around £60, AU$110). The iPhone has never been a bloater, but rumors have spread the next generation may be much thinner than ever.

iphone 6 price

 

That’s about all we have for now. As it has done for the past two years, Apple will likely launch the iPhone 6 at an event in early September, shipping the device later in the month on a corresponding Friday approximately a week after the launch event.

 


 

 

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5 Coolest Cars You Can Rent

bugatti veyron

If you want to live the baller life, your ride should reflect your aspirations. What makes a car cool though? Is it timeless and sexy good looks, cutting edge technology, or ultra-high performance? We think it’s all of these features and then some. We think that a cool car can be defined as something that has influenced our thinking and attitude.  A car acts as a self extension of oneself and lifestyle. If you’re willing to spend a little bit more to have a cooler car than your standard Toyota Corolla, check out the top 5 coolest rental cars available.

 

Mercedes 300SL Gullwing

mercedes 300sl The Mercedes-Benz 300SL was the first iteration of the SL-Class grand tourer convertibles and fastest production car of its day. Internally numbered W198, it was introduced in 1954 as a two-seat sports car with distinctive gull-wing doors and later offered as an open roadster. Although, the SL’s poor brakes and unstable chassis earned it the unfortunate “widowmaker” nickname, it is still the sexiest coupe ever. If you are looking for style over safety, look no further.

 

 

Bugatti Veyron

i woke up in a new bugatti The Bugatti Veyron EB 16.4 is a mid-engine sports car, designed and developed by the Volkswagen Group and manufactured in Molsheim, France by Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S. The Super Sport version of the Veyron is the fastest street-legal production car in the world, it is the fastest, most powerful, most expensive production car ever built. This ultimate feat of engineering ends here with 16 cylinders, 8 liters, four turbos, and a top speed of 261mph.  I woke up in a new Bugatti!

 

Porsche Panamera

porsche panamera The Porsche Panamera is a high-performance luxury sedan that combines speed, comfort, and space that few competitors can rival. It has a front-engine and rear-wheel drive with four-wheel drive versions also available. The car rides beautifully. The body hunkers down and never floats or rolls, and the grip just keeps coming. The steering is immaculate. The suspension has self-leveling variable air springs, adaptive dampers, and adaptive anti-roll bars. This means it can work no matter how many people are on board, and can be supple on the straights but firm on bends. Dominate the road and your enemies with this bad boy.

 

Aston Martin DBS

aston martin dbs The Aston Martin DBS is a GT car produced by the British manufacturer Aston Martin Lagonda Limited. The DBS was featured in the 1969 James Bond film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Leather-trimmed gear paddles in a striking Spicy Red finish ensure the DBS Ultimate experience continues to the fingertips. Who wouldn’t want to be Pierce Brosnan for a day?

 

 

BMW 528i

bmw 528i The BMW 5-Series is an executive/mid-size luxury car manufactured by German automaker BMW since 1972. The car, now in its sixth generation, is sold in sedan and touring body styles. The BMW 528i is the go to mid-size for the wealthy for a reason. It may take the general shape of, and provide the utility of, a family car, but it still drives with that BMW sportiness. It’s living the fast life at an affordable price.

 

Regardless of what you reason you have to rent luxurious rental cars, know that life is short and you should experience all the pleasures that you can if you are financially able to. To amplify your baller life, car rental insurance is available to guarantee an exorbitant lifestyle.

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Snap Secure – Free Mobile Security App

snap secure - mobile security app

What is Snap Secure?

Protect Your Bubble has teamed up with Snap One to provide you with an all-in-one mobile data security app known as Snap SecureWhether you need to keep your personal information safe in the cloud, track a family member’s location, or protect your smartphone from harmful viruses – Snap Secure does it all.  Now it is being offered for free with the purchase of an Identity Theft Protection plan from PYB.

 

Why do I need Snap Secure?

The important things in your life require constant protection.  Your family members, personal data, and devices deserve the utmost security.  Snap Secure safeguards what matters most, around the clock, 24/7.

snap secure - mobile anti-virus app

What do I get with Snap Secure?

You get Snap Secure’s 16-Point Security Perimeter:

 

1. Family & Device Location Tracking – Get real time device and family member location tracking for immediate peace of mind.

 

2. Driver Safety – Receive instant notifications when a family member is texting, calling, or browsing the web while driving.

 

3. Footprints – View device location history with the GPS functionality.

 

4. Safety Zones – Set up virtual safety zones to receive alerts when a registered device moves in or out of a designated geographic area.

 

5. Panic Button – Set up a Panic Button on every device to automatically call 911, or alert an emergency contact of your location by e-mail, phone, or text message.

 

6. Complete Family Protection – Add up to 6 family members and an unlimited number of devices to one account.

 

7. Cloud Backup & Restoration – Get 100 GB of cloud storage under one account to keep your contacts, calendars, messages, e-mails, and more automatically safe with routine backups.  If you lose a device, your files can be easily restored to a new smartphone.

 

8. AntivirusBitdefender’s #1 ranked antivirus solution automatically scans for data-mining viruses, spyware, and malware.  Set up routine scans to run daily, weekly, or monthly.

 

9.  App Transparency – See which applications on your device are accessing your personal information.  Update permissions and manage restrictions from any of your devices.

 

10. Privacy & Spam Controls – Special filters put you in control of your personal information and blocks unwanted communication.

 

11. Call & Text Monitoring – Keep tabs on the call, text, and application download activity of every registered device on your account.

 

12. Easy Web Access – The Snap Secure platform can be accessed through any web browser, allowing you to conveniently manage all of your family’s devices from virtually any smartphone, tablet, or computer.

 

13. Device Locate – View the location of your missing device on a map, or trigger an audio ping alert to find it nearby, even if your phone is on silent.

 

14. Lock & Wipe – Remotely lock or wipe your device to make sure your files stay safe and unreadable by anyone but you.

 

15. Remote Camera Control – Remotely activate your device’s camera to get an image, of who (or what) is on the other side of your smartphone, sent to your e-mail inbox.

 

16. SIM Guardian – Automatically receive an alert and activate a device lockdown if a foreign SIM card is detected on your smartphone.

 


 

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World Cup 2014 Update

Hey Futbol fans!  Have you enjoyed the World Cup so far?  It’s been an amazing ride to this point and there’s only a few games left.  Here’s a quick recap of the important events during the World Cup and a short preview of the upcoming games.

 

Oh, what had happened?

Landon Donovan

Without America’s most recognizable soccer star Landon Donovan, the naysayers were ready to write off the US.  But Clint Dempsey dazzled the world and my heart in the first round of the tournament, rising like a phoenix from the ashes and resurrecting US hopes and dreams.

clint dempsey phoenix

Luis Suarez of Uruguay sunk his teeth into Giorgio Chiellini of Italy because he mistook him as a calzone.  I can’t blame him, calzones are bomb.com.

luis suarez calzone

It burns like Hot Pockets!

The US team played horridly against Belgium in the round of 16.  Tim Howard had a sensational game with a record-setting 16 saves.  He played his heart like a true champion.

tim howard DOD

Neymar has been spectacular all World Cup and has lived up to the hype.  Unfortunately, he took a painful tiger knee shot to his back from Columbian player Juan Zuniga.  It’s disappointing his World Cup experience has been cut short, but I am sure we will see more from this promising young star in the future.

And then there were 4. 

The World Cup semi-finals begin tomorrow with Brazil playing Germany and then Netherlands playing Argentina on Wednesday.  Brazil has been playing great but with the absence of Neymar, I don’t think they will be able to triumph over Germany.  Argentina will steamroll Netherlands solely due to the fact that Lionel Messi is a beast.  Final Prediction: Argentina will beat Germany in the championship game 2-1 and Messi will be crowned the undeniable King of Futbol.

lionel messi king

Messi has more accolades than I have facial hair.

If you’re in Brazil right now catching all the action in person, pray that you don’t run into Luis Suarez and his fangs of fury.  It’s never too late to purchase travel insurance, which covers injuries abroad like human bites!

 


 

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Last Minute Travel Checklist

Travel Insurance

Traveling is exciting, but it can also be very hectic. There are all kinds of things that you need to remember. Some of them, if you forget them, are not the end of the world. Others, however, can ruin your whole trip! The more prepared you are, the less stressed out you will be on the day of your trip. It helps to be organized, so here’s a last minute travel checklist that you can refer to every time you travel. Here are the most important things you will definitely want to check off.

 

You Don’t Need To See My Identification

travel docs

  • Passport (if traveling overseas) – make sure that your passport isn’t expired. For certain countries, your passport must be valid for six months after the date you travel so verify this before you leave for your trip.
  • Visa – if required.
  • Flight Tickets – if you don’t have a physical ticket, confirm your E-ticket with the airline before you leave.
  • Accommodation Vouchers
  • Transfer Vouchers
  • Travel Insurance – consider whether you want to purchase travel insurance to protect yourself & family from unforeseen events.
  • Phone Numbers for Home
  • Health Documentation(s)
  • Emergency Information
  • Local Currency – if you’re traveling out of the country, be sure to have the local currency on hand.
  • Credit Card(s)
  • Driver’s License – do not leave this at home and make sure it is not expired. Be mindful of the driving laws of the place you plan to visit.
  • Make copies of all documentation keep one copy with you and leave a copy of your passport, credit cards, travel insurance with a friend or family member.

 

Dress Accordingly

fashionable beach bum

Before you pack your suitcase, do your research on the kind of weather you will be getting and pack accordingly. Always remember that the weather can change quickly, so pack for unexpected changes.

 

  • Underwear
  • Socks/Hosiery
  • Belts
  • Casual Day Wear
  • Sleepwear
  • Cold weather gear (jumper, coat, warm hat, gloves, scarf)
  • Warm weather gear (swimsuit, shorts, sandals
  • Comfortable walking shoes (must be worn in)
  • Sun Hat

 

So Fresh and So Clean Clean

travel toiletries

  • Comb and/or brush
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, floss etc
  • Deodorant
  • Soap
  • Shampoo & conditioner
  • Skin-care lotion
  • Razor & shaving cream
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Make Up
  • Vitamins
  • Bath / beach towel
  • Insect repellent
  • Sunscreen
  • Aspirin
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Band-Aids
  • Upset stomach / Diarrhea medication
  • Regular medication, plus a letter from your doctor for anything unusual.

 

Okay, Just Get The Bare Essentials

travel essentials

  • Cell Phone
  • Laptop or tablet
  • Luggage (Check any weight restrictions)
  • Back pack
  • Wallet
  • Money belt
  • Ipod/MP3 Player
  • Camera & memory cards
  • Guide book and maps
  • Travel journal & pens
  • Games / playing cards
  • Small padlocks for suitcase
  • Luggage ID tags
  • Travel pillow
  • Zip lock plastic bags
  • Electrical converter / adapter if you have AC appliances
  • Earplugs / eyeshades

 

These are important things to remember when making your last minute travel checklist. Most likely you’ll come up with other things to include, depending on your specific plans.

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5 Best American 4th of July Destinations

fireworks 4th of july

Nothing says Independence Day quite like a thundering and colorful pyrotechnics display. If you’re lucky enough to be in any of the best holiday destinations this 4th of July, you’ll have a front row seat to some of the nation’s most dazzling fireworks spectacles. Whether you plan on spending the holiday in the nation’s capital, a sunny beach, or even the Big Apple, you can soak up patriotic spirit while marveling at colorful explosions that light up the night sky. There’s plenty to do for people of all ages, activities such as historic tours, parades, and concerts are all available.

If you are planning to travel for the upcoming holiday and haven’t decided where you want to go, we’ve compiled the 5 best 4th of July destinations for you.

 

1. Las Vegas

If you are partygoer who wants to live it up, Las Vegas is the city to be in. In this city, partygoers can drink all day and night anywhere they please as public consumption of alcohol is legal on the Strip. The partying doesn’t stop in Las Vegas with the multitude of casinos and clubs available. The world’s largest observations wheel recently opened up.  The 550 ft High Roller gives an unrivaled view of the Strip and is stationed at the LINQ, a new outdoor shopping and entertainment district. While in Vegas, be sure to check out the virtual fireworks show on the Viva Vision canopy at the Fremont Street Experience, or even better, witness the real thing — times nine — as nine different Stations Casinos properties display fireworks simultaneously.

las vegas fireworks

2. New York

At some point in their life, every American must make their destined trip to New York. It is home to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the widely-watched New Year’s Eve Ball Drop in Times Square.  When traveling to the city for 4th of July, you can see a Mets game and fireworks in the evening. You and the family can enjoy the Macy’s Fireworks Spectacular display over the East River, where it was previously stationed on the Hudson River. New York City delivers one of the biggest 4th of July firework displays in the nation and will be lighting up the Brooklyn Bridge this special evening.  The event will be hosted by the hilarious Nick Cannon and feature entertainers such as Lionel Richer, Ariana Grande, Enrique Iglesias, and Miranda Lambert.

NYC Fireworks

3. New Orleans

Here’s another city where the party keeps going. A reveler seeking a nonstop party must consider New Orleans as a 4th of July destination. Similar to Las Vegas, people can publicly drink while walking on the streets.  More importantly, New Orleans is known for their delicious food and good vibes music in a fun atmosphere. If you and the family would like to visit the Aquarium of the Americans on the riverfront, the Audubon is offering $4 off on any single adult or child ticket. At night, the city celebrates the Fourth of July with a “Dueling Barges” fireworks show on the banks of the Mississippi River as 2 ships fire of a spectacular display of fireworks.

new-orleans-fireworks

4. Chicago

The 4th of July is a great time to plan a summer vacation in Chicago. The city is in full swing from the painful winter and summer is the time to take full advantage of the lakefront beaches. Navy Pier combines fireworks over Lake Michigan with a festival vibe: The waterfront Pier Park includes a musical carousel and—of course—warm, delicious food. Navy Pier also has world famous DJ AfroJack playing on July 5th for an outdoor concert so get your glowsticks ready!

fireworks-chicago

5. Washington DC

There’s perhaps no better place to celebrate the 4th of July than in our nation’s capital. The National Mall, with the U. S. Capitol and Washington Monument in the background, creates a stunning backdrop to the country’s 4th of July celebrations. This all-day event in the nation’s capital kicks off with a parade along Constitution Avenue from NW 7th to 17th Streets. During the day, you can enjoy readings of the Declaration of Independence at the National Archives, dance performances and cooking demonstrations at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, and an evening concert by the National Symphony Orchestra on the West Lawn. The night ends with a spectacular display of fireworks over the Capitol Building and Washington Monument caps off an unforgettable day in history-rich D.C.

DC 4th of july

The 4th of July is a special day to Americans. This Independence Day promises to offer something for everyone. A visit to any of these top cities will result in a grand time for the whole family. With the high number of travelers expected this holiday summer, you can be proactive and protect yourself with travel insurance or rental car insurance.


 

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Amazon Fire Phone Revealed – Everything You Need To Know

Amazon revealed their first smartphone today at a live event in Seattle. The device is Amazon’s first venture into the highly competitive market dominated by Apple and Samsung. Here’s what we know about the Amazon Fire phone from their elaborate event today.

 

Availability

The Amazon Fire Phone features an HD display designed to respond to user’s eye movements and is capable of displaying 3D images. Because Amazon already has a strong partnership with AT&T, their smartphone will be initially an AT&T exclusive.  The price is set at $199.99 with a 2 year contract agreement.  Pre-orders are already being accepted and the ship date has been set for July 25th. It’s still unclear if or when Amazon will sell their first smartphone on other networks. With the success of Kindle Fire tablets, the new smartphone will continue to use the company’s Fire operating system, which is a highly customized version of Google Android.

 

Specs

Like many other high-end Android phones, the Amazon phone sports a 1280×720 pixel 4.7-inch IPS display, a 2.2 quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, an Adreno 330 graphics processor, 2GB of RAM,  and support for 4G LTE. The main rear camera is set to be 13Mp and the front-facing camera is 2.1Mp.  Battery life seems to be a priority with 285 hours of standby time, and up to 22 hours of talk time.

 

amazon fire specs
Camera

The Amazon Fire phone may look like other smartphones, but the latest news shows a front-facing camera placed at each corner of the screen. These will track your eyes to monitor exactly where you’re looking at, adjusting the image on-screen to provide the user with a “3D” experience without using special glasses. The upcoming handset will utilize a unique combination of cameras, sensors, and software to dramatically change the way users interact with a smartphone. The phone will also to be able to automatically zoom into images as it moves closer to the user’s face and can manipulate images and text as a person tilts the phone.  The rear-facing camera will be 13mp with a fast f/2 aperture lens.  Video taken with the camera will be in 1080p HD definition.

 

amazon fire camera

 

Audio

Amazon Fire uses Dolby Digital Plus creating a virtual surround sound experience.  Fire optimizes audio output depending on the media format whether it is watching a video or listening to music.  A big surprise is the inclusion of tangle-free ear buds.  That’s right folks, tangle-free ear buds!  We don’t know if this claim is 100% true, we’ll just have to wait to get our hands on it and see.  The ear buds have flat cables and magnetic buds that stick together.

 

 

Usability

Beyond 3D effects, Amazon’s new device will also enable an entirely new way for users to navigate apps and menus on the phone. The 3D screen includes a complete collection of gesture controls. By tilting the handset in different directions, without the user having to tap or touch anything, the smartphone’s interface will display additional information on the screen.

 

 

In the phone’s calendar and email apps where small icons are displayed with no labels, even a slight tilt of the device will reveal labels beneath each icon, informing the user of its function. If the user performs a tilt gesture after searching for a restaurant in the maps app, Yelp ratings will appear on top of the various results plotted on the map.

 

 

The new smartphone also includes a feature dubbed Firefly that allows its user to capture images of signs and real-life objects with text using the phone’s primary rear camera. The software automatically recognizes the text and converts it into a note using optical character recognition (OCR) and other technology. With the captured text, the software can translate text from a foreign language into English or read information on a business card and save it as a new contact entry.  With Firefly, you can basically identify real life items and search for it on Amazon.com seamlessly.  Firefly is so important; it has its own dedicated button on the phone!

 

 

Amazon definitely pulled out all the stops on their first phone. Let us know what you think of the Amazon Fire!

 


 

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