After several months of speculation, Amazon has just unveiled its own smartphone, dubbed the Fire Phone on stage at an event in Seattle, Washington. As expected, the device features the much rumored a 3D display. You can pre-order the Fire Phone for $199/299 with a contract on Amazon. Off-contract, the device runs $649/749 for 32GB and 64GB of storage respectively.
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Amazon released a video teasing the “amazing” device earlier this month, showing customers reacting to the 3D display and how it moved with them. It remains to be seen how many people want a phone with a 3D display, however, especially with previous 3D Android devices never catching on.
Following the release and announcement of the Fire TV earlier this year, Amazon’s smartphone is the company’s latest attempt in following Apple’s product lines. There’s also Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablets that are aimed as competitors to the iPad. Although, they haven’t been remarkable successes by any stretch of the imagination.
In terms of specs, the Fire Phone is rocking a quad-core 2.2GHz processor, Adreno 330 graphics, and 2GB of RAM. It’s also got a 13MP camera on the back. The screen is a 4.7-inch IPS LCD HD panel. For sound, Amazon touts that the Fire Phone has dual stereo speakers with support for virtual Dolby Digital Plus surround sound. The company is also including a pair of earbuds with tangle-free flat cables.
Amazon is also heavily touting the entertainment capabilities of the Fire Phone, preloading it with a plethora of features and apps. The phone supports the Xray second screen functionality allows you to beam content to a Miracast device, like the Fire TV. You’ll also, of course, get access to Prime Music and video, in addition to the Kindle library and Newsstand.
The latest line of Kindle Fire tablets introduced Mayday support, which Bezos says is coming to the Fire Phone, as well. It offers free, 24/7 support, 365 days a year. Mayday is entirely free and offers video support.
Amazon has also unveiled a new Firefly service for the Fire Phone that scans barcodes on products and pulls them up on Amazon. It also works like Shazam and can detect music and TV and pull information up on the phone. Bezos says that FireFly will support scanning of hundreds of millions of items, including phone numbers, barcodes, movies, TV shows, emails, URLs, songs, and books.
Finally, CEO Jeff Bezos unveiled the 3D interface that the Fire Phone will have. Unlike previous 3D phones, however, the Fire Phone will follow you around with what Bezos calls Dynamic Perspective. This appears to be a unique head-based tracking system. It allows the phone to construct 3D images at 60 frames per second. The feature relies on multiple front-facing cameras and software. Bezos demoed it by showing how the view of a picture would change as you move around. You can also tilt the device itself to scroll up and down through webpages. A small tilt will let it scroll slowly, a larger one will have it scroll faster. The same capability also works with e-books.
Navigating throughout the interface works in a smilier fashion. You can choose between either a carousel style look, similar to that of the Kindle Fire, or an interface more familiar to Android users. The carousel interface allows you to see the first few emails without launching the mail app and the most recent pictures without launching the photos app. The music app has three columns: navigation on the left, album art and controls in the middle, and lyrics on the right.
While Amazon has yet to announce any availability, the device was half-listed on AT&T’s website for $200 on contract for 32GB of storage. The 64GB was listed for $299. It appears to have been taken down now, however. The phones are listed on Amazon.com, too. The 32GB is listed for $649 off contract, while the 64GB is $749. The Amazon search page lists the Fire Phone as being available on July 25. It is an AT&T exclusive, at least for now. You can pre-order it on Amazon’s website now. With the purchase of a Fire Phone, you do get a free year of Amazon Prime, which normally runs $99.
Introducing Fire, the First Smartphone Designed by Amazon
- New breakthrough innovations—Dynamic Perspective, Firefly button, and more
- Seamless integration with Amazon’s vast ecosystem—over 33 million songs, apps, games, movies,
- TV shows, books, and more
- Only smartphone with Mayday, ASAP, X-Ray, and Second Screen
- Dynamic Perspective SDK and Firefly SDK now available
- Fire is available exclusively on AT&T, the nation’s most reliable 4G LTE network
- Limited time, introductory offer—12 months of Prime included
SEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Jun. 18, 2014– (NASDAQ: AMZN)—Amazon today unveiled Fire, the first smartphone designed by Amazon. Fire is the only smartphone with Dynamic Perspective and Firefly, two new breakthrough technologies that allow you to see and interact with the world through a whole new lens. Dynamic Perspective uses a new sensor system to respond to the way you hold, view, and move Fire, enabling experiences not possible on other smartphones. Firefly quickly recognizes things in the real world—web and email addresses, phone numbers, QR and bar codes, movies, music, and millions of products, and lets you take action in seconds—all with the simple press of the Firefly button. See what people are already saying about Fire at http://www.amazon.com/Fire-Phone-Customers.
“Fire Phone puts everything you love about Amazon in the palm of your hand—instant access to Amazon’s vast content ecosystem and exclusive features like the Mayday button, ASAP, Second Screen, X-Ray, free unlimited photo storage, and more,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com Founder and CEO. “The Firefly button lets you identify printed web and email addresses, phone numbers, QR and bar codes, artwork, and over 100 million items, including songs, movies, TV shows, and products—and take action in seconds. We invented a new sensor system called Dynamic Perspective that recognizes where a user’s head is relative to the device—we use it to offer customers a more immersive experience, one-handed navigation, and gestures that actually work. And this is only the beginning—the most powerful inventions are the ones that empower others to unleash their creativity—that’s why today we are launching the Dynamic Perspective SDK and the Firefly SDK—we can’t wait to see how developers surprise us.”
Dynamic Perspective—Immersive Smartphone Experience
Dynamic Perspective uses four ultra-low power specialized cameras and four infrared LEDs built into the front face of Fire, a dedicated custom processor, sophisticated real-time computer vision algorithms, and a new high-performing and power-efficient graphics rendering engine. Dynamic Perspective features include:
One-handed gestures: Auto-scroll, tilt, swivel and peek for quicker, easier navigation and a better media and entertainment experience. For example, with auto-scroll, customers can read a long web page or a book without ever having to touch the screen; tilt in Amazon Music shows song lyrics; swivel instantly reveals quick actions; peek in Maps shows layered information like Yelp ratings and reviews. Immersive apps and games: Dynamic Perspective enables a new class of apps and games that are more immersive, and make it quicker and easier for the user to access information. For example, peek to instantly see close-up front and back views of a dress in the new Amazon Shopping app for Fire. In games like Lili, take on the character’s viewpoint and move your head to look around corners, obstacles, and other objects. Enhanced Carousel: Stay productive with real-time updates and take action right from the home screen—triage email, find recent photos, access most visited websites, return missed calls, view appointments, and more. Developers can customize the contents of their dynamic app and how it responds to user actions. For example, Zillow’s app in the carousel shows property information based on the location, so customers can access search results on nearby homes from the carousel without having to launch the Zillow app. USA TODAY shows headlines most relevant to customer’s interest—someone who frequents football in the Sports section will see those related headlines appear in the carousel. Starting today, Amazon is introducing the Dynamic Perspective SDK that enables developers to build new experiences with this groundbreaking technology. Learn more about the SDK at http://developer.amazon.com/firephone.
Firefly Technology–Illuminate Your World
Firefly combines Amazon’s deep catalog of physical and digital content with multiple image, text and audio recognition technologies to quickly identify web and email addresses, phone numbers, QR and bar codes, plus over 100 million items, including movies, TV episodes, songs, and products. Simply press and hold the dedicated Firefly button to discover helpful information and take action in seconds.
Printed phone numbers, email, web addresses, QR, and bar codes: Firefly identifies printed text on signs, posters, magazines and business cards—make a call, send an email, save as a contact, or go to the website without typing out long URLs or email addresses. 245,000 movies and TV episodes, and 160 live TV channels: Firefly recognizes movies and TV episodes, and uses IMDb for X-Ray to show actors, plot synopses, and related content—add titles to Watch List or download and start watching immediately. 35 million songs: Firefly recognizes music and uses Amazon Music’s rich catalog to show information about the artist—play more songs, add them to your Wish List, or download instantly to your Fire. Developers, such as iHeartRadio and StubHub, used the SDK to build Firefly-enabled apps, so customers can create a new radio station based on the song or find concert tickets for the artist. 70 million products, including household items, books, DVDs, CDs, video games, and more: Access product details, add items to your Wish List, or order on Amazon.com. The Firefly SDK is available starting today so developers can invent new ways to use this advanced technology. Later this year, Firefly will include artwork recognition, foreign language translation, and wine label recognition powered by Vivino. Learn more about the SDK at http://developer.amazon.com/firephone.
Amazon Exclusive Features and Vast Digital Ecosystem—All Deeply Integrated
Fire seamlessly integrates Amazon’s vast digital ecosystem for instant access to over 33 million songs, apps, games, movies, TV shows, books, audiobooks, and magazines, including thousands of exclusives. Plus, Prime members get unlimited streaming of tens of thousands of movies and TV episodes at no additional cost with Prime Instant Video, over 500,000 books to borrow with the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, and the all-new Prime Music—unlimited streaming and download of more than a million songs and hundreds of expert-programmed playlists—all at no additional cost.
Fire deeply integrates Amazon exclusive services:
Mayday is now available over 3G and 4G, in addition to Wi-Fi—simply hit the Mayday button in quick actions and an Amazon expert will appear via live video to co-pilot you through any feature on the device. Amazon experts are able to draw on the screen, talk you through how to do a task, or do it for you—whatever works best. Mayday is available 24×7, 365 days a year, and it’s free. Amazon’s response time goal for Mayday is 15 seconds or less—since launch, the average response time has been 9.75 seconds. ASAP (Advanced Streaming and Prediction) predicts which movies and TV episodes you’ll want to watch and prepares them for instant playback before you even hit play. X-Ray helps you get more from books, music, movies, and TV shows. Explore the bones of a book, including characters, ideas and background with a single tap on the screen; bring the power of IMDb right to Fire for trivia on movies and TV shows; plus, with X-Ray for Music, see synchronized lyrics display while you listen to your favorite song. Second Screen lets you fling TV shows and movies from Fire phone to your Fire TV, PlayStation or any other Miracast-enabled device. Second Screen turns your TV into the primary screen and frees up Fire phone to provide playback controls and a customized display for X-Ray, all without leaving the TV show or movie you’re watching. Free unlimited cloud storage of photos taken with Fire, automatically backed-up wirelessly and available across Amazon devices and Cloud Drive apps so you have access anywhere. Beautiful Industrial Design & Powerful Hardware
Built using premium materials, including Gorilla Glass 3 for the rear and front, aluminum buttons, stainless steel details and a rubberized polyurethane grip area, Fire is optimized for beauty, hand comfort and powerful performance:
Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 2.2 GHz processor and 2GB RAM for excellent fluidity and image rendering. 4.7-inch HD display with an ambient light sensor and Dynamic Image Contrast that delivers better outdoor viewing. Global LTE and connectivity with nine bands of LTE, four bands of GSM, five bands of UMTS for better voice coverage and faster data speeds, 802.11ac support, Wi-Fi channel bonding, NFC, and Bluetooth. Dual stereo speakers with Dolby Digital Plus for a virtual surround sound experience. Advanced imaging system with custom-tuned 13MP rear-facing camera with backside illumination, LED flash, 5-element f/2.0 lens, Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), and high dynamic range (HDR) capabilities for beautiful, crisp photos, even in low-light conditions. Fire also includes a 2.1MP front-facing camera. Both front and rear-facing cameras record smooth 1080p HD videos. Reliable backup and restore leveraging the experience and operational excellence of Amazon Web Services and its cloud technology. Fire customers can automatically back up device settings, notes, bookmarks, messages, and installed applications—no need to manually configure or connect to a computer. Availability & Exclusive Network Partner
Fire ships on July 25 and is available exclusively on AT&T—the nation’s most reliable 4G LTE network. Starting today, customers can pre-order Fire at http://www.amazon.com/Fire-Phone, http://www.att.com and in AT&T retail locations nationwide. Fire with 32GB is available for $199 with a two-year contract—that’s an extra 16GB of memory for the same price as many other premium smartphones—or zero money down for as little as $27.09 a month from AT&T on Next 18. Fire is also available with 64GB for $299 with a two-year contract or starting at $31.25/month from AT&T on Next 18.
Limited Time, Introductory Offer
Starting today, customers can take advantage of an introductory, limited time offer—buy Fire and get 12 months of Amazon Prime included—FREE Two-Day Shipping on millions of items, unlimited streaming of movies and TV shows with Prime Instant Video, unlimited, ad-free streaming and downloading of over a million songs and hundreds of playlists, and over 500,000 books to borrow from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. Existing Prime members get an additional 12 months added to their account.
Amazon opened on the World Wide Web in July 1995. The company is guided by three principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, and long-term thinking. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Fire phone, Fire tablets, and Fire TV are some of the products and services pioneered by Amazon.