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Amazon Officially Unveils the Fire Phone Smartphone

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.

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  • therogerwilco
    Does it run WP 8.1?
    Reply
  • back_by_demand
    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
    Reply
  • kawininjazx
    Is the $199 and $299 of contract? Because that is not too bad of a deal.
    Reply
  • rishiswaz
    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
    Reply
  • stormweaver1983
    Not impressed, seems too gimicky to me.
    Reply
  • kawininjazx
    Holy crap, I just checked on Amazon.com, $650 full price!
    Reply
  • reesemonster
    well, the kindle sold very well so I think this will do fine
    Reply
  • dstarr3
    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.
    Reply
  • bustapr
    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.
    Reply
  • stormweaver1983
    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.
    Reply