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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.


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