Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

Amazon Officially Unveils the Fire Phone Smartphone

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 23 comments


We've been hearing rumors about Amazon's plans for a smartphone for a really long time. Earlier this month, the company revealed plans for an event in Seattle, and upwards of 60,000 people registered for an invitation. The general consensus was that this would be a phone. Of course, the venue wasn't exactly big enough for everyone who wanted to attend, and so Amazon unveiled its very first smartphone in front of just 300 customers (the majority of which were probably there in some sort of media capacity).

We're still waiting for all the details on hardware specifications, but so far we know that the device itself boasts a 4.7-inch HD display powered by a 2.2 GHz quad core processor, Adreno 330 graphics and 2 GB of RAM. As far as storage is concerned, you're looking at either 32 GB or 64 GB of integrated storage. No word on whether this device will support storage expansion via MicroSD.

As with the Kindle and the Kindle Fire tablet, Amazon isn't launching the Fire Phone because it wants to make the greatest smartphone out there (though if you asked anyone at Amazon, they'd probably tell you this is the greatest smartphone out there). This is about selling content and the experience is built on Amazon shopping. The phone uses a feature called Firefly to help you identify and ultimately purchase products from Amazon. Don't know what that song is? Firefly will use the phone's microphone to identify the track (like Shazam) and then offer you a link to buy it. Not only that, but it will utilize the phone's camera to do the same thing for DVDs, books, and CDs. Amazon shopping has never been so easy.

Perhaps most important (but only because we've been talking about this rumor for months) is the fact that it will have a 3D interface. This is achieved using a head-tracking system (there's four infrared lights and front-facing cameras on the phone) that 'follows' your movements and allows you to tilt the phone this way and that way to view different aspects of the picture.

Amazon's event is still ongoing (Jeff Bezos is taking his time with this event, but there is a lot to talk about), but AT&T has let the cat out of the bag in terms of pricing. You're looking at $199 for the 32 GB and $299 for the 64 GB. We'll keep you posted on official pricing and availability as well as further information on the phone itself.

Follow Jane McEntegart @JaneMcEntegart. Follow us @tomshardware, on Facebook and on Google+.

Discuss
Ask a Category Expert

Create a new thread in the News comments forum about this subject

Example: Notebook, Android, SSD hard drive

This thread is closed for comments
  • 0 Hide
    therogerwilco , June 18, 2014 12:11 PM
    Does it run WP 8.1?
  • 0 Hide
    back_by_demand , June 18, 2014 12:17 PM
    Just like the Kindle Fire, it will be a heavily forked version of Android. That unifies the customer experience across devices. Even though WP8.1 is cool, using it would fragment the service, so no
  • 4 Hide
    kawininjazx , June 18, 2014 12:25 PM
    Is the $199 and $299 of contract? Because that is not too bad of a deal.
  • Display all 23 comments.
  • 1 Hide
    rishiswaz , June 18, 2014 12:43 PM
    Quote:
    Is the $199 and $299 of contract? Because that is not too bad of a deal.


    yeah it is on contract with ATT, unlocked its supposed to be ~650
  • -1 Hide
    stormweaver1983 , June 18, 2014 12:44 PM
    Not impressed, seems too gimicky to me.
  • 0 Hide
    kawininjazx , June 18, 2014 12:45 PM
    Holy crap, I just checked on Amazon.com, $650 full price!
  • 0 Hide
    reesemonster , June 18, 2014 12:46 PM
    well, the kindle sold very well so I think this will do fine
  • 0 Hide
    dstarr3 , June 18, 2014 12:47 PM
    The good price makes sense. Obviously by owning an AT&T phone, you're locked in to giving AT&T your money for so long. That's why it's not so difficult to get phones for free. And by owning an Amazon phone, you're pretty much volunteering to shop nearly exclusively through Amazon because of the convenience. So they get guaranteed income out of the deal, as well.

    Good on them for producing a reasonable product for a reasonable price, anyway.
  • 0 Hide
    bustapr , June 18, 2014 12:47 PM
    looks like a decent phone, but I wont be getting or consider getting one since i wont touch AT&T even with a long stick. $200-$300 on contract is also a tad high. maybe Im used to Amazons good tablet and ereader deals, but I expected amazon to do better pricing for their first phone.
  • 0 Hide
    stormweaver1983 , June 18, 2014 12:51 PM
    Quote:
    looks like a decent phone, but I wont be getting or consider getting one since i wont touch AT&T even with a long stick. $200-$300 on contract is also a tad high. maybe Im used to Amazons good tablet and ereader deals, but I expected amazon to do better pricing for their first phone.


    My thoughts exactly. Amazon is basically guaranteeing itself extra income from the buyers of the phone. Why is it selling for the same price as a full flagship phone then? It should have started at $99 at most. Also like you, I will never touch an AT&T contract.
  • 0 Hide
    Au_equus , June 18, 2014 12:52 PM
    As far as the resolution is concerned, there's HD (720p), FHD (1080p), QHD (1440p), and now UHD (2160p).

    This phone has the same resolution as my S3 (unless they mean FHD) which makes the display tech 2-3yrs old.
  • 0 Hide
    stormweaver1983 , June 18, 2014 12:54 PM
    This should have been made $200-300, unlocked nexus-style, with the compatibility for all U.S. carriers.
  • 2 Hide
    Dextron , June 18, 2014 1:04 PM
    Is seems like the advertising you do yourself!
    I don't want a phone that is design to try and constantly sell me things.
    It'd be like being followed around by an everything-salesman.
    Would like to have a look at that 3D though...
  • 0 Hide
    g-unit1111 , June 18, 2014 1:21 PM
    Quote:
    This should have been made $200-300, unlocked nexus-style, with the compatibility for all U.S. carriers.


    Totally agree, you wouldn't be able to keep these things on the shelf if that had been the case. Making this an AT&T exclusive deal will probably prove to be a colossal failure.
  • 1 Hide
    sc14s , June 18, 2014 1:28 PM
    Quote:
    Not impressed, seems too gimicky to me.

    I mean, at least its attempting to do something more innovative with the 3-D stuff.
    Good an amazon for attempting to be a competitor IMO, even if you don't get a fire phone, you will likely get the benefit of more competition in the mobile space.
  • 0 Hide
    TheAshigaru , June 18, 2014 1:52 PM
    Sounds like an impulse buyers dream--until they see their credit card statement at the end of the month.
  • 0 Hide
    Jake Hall , June 18, 2014 2:37 PM
    Yeah.... this is gonna fail
  • 2 Hide
    WithoutWeakness , June 18, 2014 2:53 PM
    I don't think anyone was over-the-top excited about this phone and I can't imagine anyone will be after seeing the specs and price. It remains to be seen how developers will use the "3D" feature but I can't imagine this will be the same kind of successful product that Kindle has been. The Kindle Fire line has been a success due to the low cost of the devices and the . $199-$299 on contract and $649-$749 off contract is nowhere near budget-device level.
  • 0 Hide
    soldier44 , June 18, 2014 3:36 PM
    Waiting for the Note 4 in September still in unlimited data on AT&T.
  • 0 Hide
    Cons29 , June 18, 2014 7:52 PM
    i wonder how the batt life on this one is? with all those infra camera, also, at least one camera should be covered while you would hold the phone normally..
Display more comments