Amazon Fire Phone officially introducedAlex Wagner - Editorial Director of News and Content
This is a big day for the mobile world, with two majors events being hosted by Amazon and T-Mobile. First up is Amazon, and just as expected, Jeff Bezos and crew have officially taken the wraps off of the first Amazon smartphone.
Amazon today announced the Fire at an event in Seattle. The Fire phone features a 4.7-inch 1280x720 display with 590 nits of brightness on its face and a 13-megapixel camera with optical image stabilization on its backside. Providing fuel to Amazon’s Fire is a 2.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor, 2GB of RAM, a 2400mAh battery and the Android-based Fire OS 3.5.
Getting back to that camera, Amazon has included a button on the side of the Fire Phone for quick access to the device’s shooter, even when the screen is off. Users simply press it once to open the camera app and then press it a second time to capture the photo. Perhaps best of all is that Amazon is offering free and unlimited photo storage, meaning that you can use that dedicated camera key to shoot to your heart’s content.
Oh, and about those 3D rumors? Turns out that the interface isn’t true 3D. It’s actually something called “Dynamic Perspective,” which it uses to make the images on-screen appear to have depth. Amazon says that users can also tilt the phone to scroll through text on web pages and books.
Amazon also spent some time highlighting the earbuds that it will include with the Fire. The ‘buds will be magnetic so that they can stick together and will also include flat cables to help fight tangles.
Moving on, you can expect that since this is an Amazon device, the Fire phone will include heavy support for Amazon services. Video playback will include Second Screen for pushing content to an Amazon Fire TV and X-Ray will give you information on whatever you’re watching. Also included will be ASAP, a feature that predicts what you’ll want to stream next and cache it for a quick start-up.
Amazon is also throwing in Mayday, the customer help service that launched with its Kindle Fire HDX tablets. Mayday will work over both Wi-Fi and cellular networks, will be free of charge and will help you in 15 seconds or less.
Finally, Amazon is making it easy to purchase content from it using a feature known as Firefly. Firefly uses the Amazon Fire’ camera to recognize items, including books, DVDs, songs, TV shows and bar codes, and then allow you to easily purchase it from Amazon. Firefly will also keep a list of all the things that you’ve scanned.
So now we’ve come to perhaps the most important tidbit about the Fire phone: its pricing and availability. The Fire Phone will be an AT&T-exclusive and will be available in 32GB and 64GB configurations for $199.99 and $299.99 with a 2-year contract. AT&T Next 18 pricing for the Fire will be set at $27.09 for the 32GB model and $31.25 for the 64GB model.
Amazon’s Fire will launch on July 25, but you can pre-order one of your very own right now. For a limited time, Amazon is offering 12 months of free Amazon Prime to anyone that buys the Fire phone. There’s good news for you existing Prime subscribers, too, as Amazon will give you an additional 12 months of Prime when you buy a Fire phone.
So now that it's officially official, what do you think of the Amazon Fire phone? Will you be picking one up when it launches next month?