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Amazon's Fire phone comes with a free one-year membership to Amazon Prime

Today is a big day for Amazon. The company over the years has increased its stake in the hardware game first with its Kindle eReaders, and then later with Kindle Fire tablets and Fire TV streaming device. Now Amazon is entering the cutthroat smartphone market with the
  
The specs for Amazon’s new smartphone are as follows:
  • Processor: Qualcomm 2.2GHz quad-core Qualcom Snapdragon 800
  • Graphics: Adreno 330 GPU
  • Memory: 2GB
  • Display: 4.7” IPS LCD, 720p
  • Storage: 32GB or 64GB
  • Operating System: Fire OS 3.5.0
  • Rear Camera: 13MP rear-facing, f/2.0 lens with OIS, dedicated shutter button
  • Front Camera: 2.1MP
  • Wireless: 802.11ac, Bluetooth 3.0
  • Battery Size: 2400 mAh
  • Weight: 5.64 ounces
Other features include a rubber frame around the phone, Gorilla Glass 3, stereo speakers, and earbuds with flat cables (to avoid the tangled mess that you get with competitors’ earbuds).

 
However, the most talked about feature of the Fire phone has to be the four infrared cameras on the front of the device provides a 3D interface that Amazon calls “Dynamic Perspective.” The 3D effect is used to make some pretty swanky lock screen wallpaper that seem to pop out at you, but it can also be useful in, for example, mapping applications (as was shown in the demo) where you can see building pop out of your screen and pivot your head to look “around” them or tilt the phone to see objects that would normally be hidden by the top bezel of the display screen.
 
You can also use the position of your head along with tilting the phone to scroll through items while shopping on Amazon’s site, and tilt the phone back and forth to scroll through the internet browser (or eBooks).
 
Overall, it seems like a nifty feature, but nothing that’s really game changing.
 
Amazon is providing free unlimited photo storage via Amazon Cloud Drive. The Fire phone also obviously includes access to all of Amazon’s other services like Prime movies and TV shows along with the recently announced Prime Music. The Fire phone even supports Amazon’s Mayday video chat/help system that was introduced with the Kindle Fire HDX.
 
Amazon Firefly service utilizes the Fire phone’s rear camera to recognize different products (books, household objects, DVDs, etc.) so that you can find them for purchase on Amazon.com (hey, Amazon isn’t happy if it isn’t selling you stuff). Of course, the camera can also recognize URLs, and phone numbers. Firefly can even listen and identify music, TV shows, and movies. Firefly can be accessed with a dedicated hardware button.
 
The Fire phone will be available exclusively on AT&T’s network for $199 (32GB) or $299 (64GB model) with a two-year contract. Each phone will come with a free one-year subscription to Amazon Prime, and Amazon’s pre-order page says that the phone will ship by July 25. However, we doubt that John Legere will be lining up to purchase one.

Sources: Amazon [1], [2]





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I was expecting Amazon to keep on the budget end
By tayb on 6/18/2014 3:56:06 PM , Rating: 5
I was expecting Amazon to compete on the budget end like they do with their Fire tablets. At $200 with a contract this phone is no cheaper than an iPhone or Galaxy S. The specs aren't bad but they aren't amazing either.

I can't stand the Fire interface so I'll have to see this new '3D' interface in person before making a judgment on it.

In the end I really don't think I'm going to be in the market for a mid range Fire phone at $200 with a contract exclusively with AT&T. Sorry Amazon, maybe version 2 or 3.




By retrospooty on 6/18/2014 4:14:29 PM , Rating: 1
That is exactly what I was thinking... This sounds lot like Moto X did last year.

Mid range specs, new and interesting inteface tricks, expected low price, but comes out high priced... It all lines up.

Maybe version 2, or even better, when this UI tech gets into phones that arent locked into a cruddy ecosystem like Amazon's.


By Denigrate on 6/18/2014 4:16:41 PM , Rating: 2
Yep, this is really unfortunate. Hopefully Amazon will come out with more phones more aimed at the budget market.


RE: I was expecting Amazon to keep on the budget end
By Samus on 6/18/2014 6:06:03 PM , Rating: 1
It's actually only $100 when you consider it comes with 1 year Prime subscription...


By inighthawki on 6/18/2014 6:38:24 PM , Rating: 2
That's not really a good way to think about things, since not everyone cares about or wants Amazon Prime. That'd be like saying that if Google shipped Android with 1TB of google drive storage for a year they're basically paying you $120 to use Android, but they're not... It's just a nice perk.


By Reflex on 6/18/2014 7:24:28 PM , Rating: 2
I can't imagine this phone being a huge draw for someone who is not already a Prime customer or considering becoming one. Many of the features that were shown off were explicitly Prime benefits and would be useless without it.

Its not just a nice perk with this phone, its a necessary component.


RE: I was expecting Amazon to keep on the budget end
By tayb on 6/18/2014 9:25:22 PM , Rating: 3
I'd rather spend the $100 and not have to deal with a gimped version of Android.


By Piiman on 6/21/2014 10:47:50 AM , Rating: 2
BINGO!


By Jeffk464 on 6/19/2014 1:08:44 PM , Rating: 2
Pff, get an unlocked nexus 5 for $350.


No thanks
By zero2dash on 6/18/2014 3:30:00 PM , Rating: 3
After the Kindle Fire HD "pay $15 extra to not have ads" fiasco, you'll never see me purchasing Amazon hardware of any type.




RE: No thanks
By Reflex on 6/18/2014 4:58:58 PM , Rating: 4
Would you have simply preferred them to offer them for $15 more by default, and then let you get $15 back if you don't mind having advertising? At least with Amazon you get the option for a subsidized device, with Google all your devices are subsidized by ads and user info with no opt out price.


RE: No thanks
By TakinYourPoints on 6/19/2014 3:14:06 AM , Rating: 2
The Kindle Paperwhite is IMHO the best e-reader on the market. Nothing comes close. Their other hardware isn't good but Amazon hasn't released all duds either


RE: No thanks
By bigboxes on 6/19/2014 8:04:53 AM , Rating: 2
I read Kindle Paperweight. LOL


RE: No thanks
By marvdmartian on 6/19/2014 7:41:09 AM , Rating: 2
Don't feel bad. I just purchased a replacement Kindle reader, for a relative, and they're wanting $20 to get rid of the ads.

Screw that. Leave the WiFi off, and the ads don't get refreshed. That money was better spent, putting a 3 year SquareTrade warranty on it, with ADC (which would have replaced her old one, had she had the accidental damage coverage).


underwhelmed
By Unoid on 6/18/14, Rating: 0
RE: underwhelmed
By Rukkian on 6/18/2014 3:36:33 PM , Rating: 1
Not sure why you got downvoted, I thought the same thing. Asking $100 to go from 32 to 64GB is just trying to copy crapple. Not sure how they think that is worth it.

The processor is old (in smartphone terms) and 720 is not good enough at 4.7" imo.

I think the specs are fine for some people, but the price should be more like $50/$100 for on contract at most. This seems to be the same as the moto x last year. trying to get premium prices for a phone that, while may be good, is not the cream of the crop at this point. The MotoX was a good phone, but did not sell good at the high price point.

I am pretty sure this will probably also not have Google native apps (maps, play store, etc) which drops its value proposition even more.


RE: underwhelmed
By retrospooty on 6/18/2014 3:59:20 PM , Rating: 1
"Not sure why you got downvoted, I thought the same thing. Asking $100 to go from 32 to 64GB is just trying to copy crapple. "

NOt really, Apple is still wanting that $100 to go from 16 to 32. Big difference if you ask me. Other than that it's not a bad thing. The only show stoppers for me are AT&T and the locked down custom OS with no play store.


RE: underwhelmed
By Piiman on 6/21/2014 10:52:32 AM , Rating: 1
"The only show stoppers for me are AT&T and the locked down custom OS with no play store"

Not many phones a totally locked down.
root that bitch
XDA devolpers


RE: underwhelmed
By marvdmartian on 6/19/2014 7:46:33 AM , Rating: 2
What's worse, seems like Amazon is continuing their trend of offering free cloud storage, in lieu of putting a micro-SDHC slot on the device.

Sorry, Amazon, but that's one of the big reasons why I dumped my Kindle Fire HD tablet for an Asus tablet running Android. I can not only utilize the micro-SDHC slot for up to 64GB more storage, I can also put a micro-USB (male) to USB (female) adapter in the slot they set up for charging the battery, then plug any USB storage device I want into it, and it's recognized by the tablet OS.

The other big reason was Amazon's crippled browser, and the fact that you had to sideload any other browser, which would normally be available via the Google Play store. Worse than dealing with only having Internet Explorer available, in my opinion!


RE: underwhelmed
By lawrance on 6/19/2014 9:23:18 PM , Rating: 2
1280 x 720 Resolution at 315 ppi isn't good enough? [rolls eyes] Okay then...


Exclusive on contract
By Gunbuster on 6/18/2014 3:46:11 PM , Rating: 1
Locked to ATT and $200 on contract? What a joke.




RE: Exclusive on contract
By KC7SWH on 6/18/2014 4:56:18 PM , Rating: 2
If they are offering it for $200 on contract without requiring a data plan (yea right) then I would love to have one as it would be a great upgrade for my Galaxy S2.


AT&T :(
By Syran on 6/18/2014 3:23:06 PM , Rating: 2
AT&T is the deal breaker for me. Not because I want t-mobile, but because my choices for carrier, if I want service: Verizon or Alltel (which, while now owned by AT&T, doesn't use their towers (or more importantely, AT&T isn't using theirs yet) since Alltel is CDMA vs AT&T's GSM.) No Verizon support, no amazon phone :( And I kinda wanted to get one for my Dad, he Loves his fire, and I love Mayday! (He can ask them for help instead of me!)




By YearOfTheDingo on 6/18/2014 4:50:35 PM , Rating: 2
And the games it plays it would always win, always win.




I will make all things new
By Iantech on 6/18/2014 4:57:29 PM , Rating: 2
This era of cellular conglomerate-middlemen is a waning one. There is a new open-fi system coming that will make utterly obsolete the current one. It's called BlissNetwork. Soon.




Huh?
By StormyKnight on 6/19/2014 12:55:57 AM , Rating: 2
I don't get it. Does Amazon think that having an exclusive deal with AT&T will benefit either company? At least with Apple, the iPhone was a revolutionary product which brought AT&T scads of business. There is nothing about this phone that will replicate that magic again.




Dynamic Perspective
By lightfoot on 6/19/2014 9:39:04 AM , Rating: 2
A feature that took Amazon 4 years to develop....

Will take Apple one week to patent...

Samsung one month to copy...

And it will only be one year before Apple sues both Amazon and Samsung for copying their "iPerspective" feature.




By Chaser on 6/19/2014 1:45:09 PM , Rating: 2
Nice try Jeff. Not even close to being competitive.

This phone will be $0.00 in 2-3 months and under $300.00 retail close to then as well.




By woody1 on 6/19/2014 1:59:12 PM , Rating: 2
That's what I've read. Of course, there may be a way to get sideload apps from Google Play, but that's for more sophisticated users. My feeling is that without Google Play store, this is going to appeal to a small audience, i.e., people who live and breathe Amazon.




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