Amazon Debuts Amazon Fire Phone

| Product News

Amazon has released the Amazon Fire Phone, debuted by CEO Jeff Bezos at a live event in Seattle on Wednesday. As rumored, it sports four front-facing cameras to track the position of the user's head and uses that data to create "Dynamic Perspective," which means 3D views of some things. Amazon is also heavily promoting a tilt to scroll feature.

This new hardware includes a 4.7 inch display, and a 13MP camera with a hardware button for launching the camera and taking pics. Amazon is offering unlimited cloud storage to store those photos.

Not content with the usual one-speaker mono sound on mobile devices, the Fire Phone has dual stereo speakers with support for virtual Dolby Digital Plus surround. Headphones are also in the box, and the pack-ins have a flat cable for less tangling, and magnets in the earpieces to hold them together.

Also included in the new phone is the Mayday service previously seen on the Kindle Fire. This is a service that provides live support to users and gives support staff the power to access your phone and draw on your screen to explain features.

Similarly, the Fire Phone features the X-Ray feature introduced on the Kindle platform. It allows users to tap on a name or phrase in a Kindle book to see definitions and other occurrences in the text. The feature can also be used as a second screen tool for video and audio.

Amazon Fire Phone also ships with support for the new Amazon Music service, and Prime Video, plus Comixology and Audible.

Amazon demonstrated a new service called Firefly at the event, which (sadly has nothing to do with spaceships) lets the camera and microphone pick out all manner of items. Examples shown included phone numbers and email addresses that can then be called or emailed. Aside from data, Firefly can be used for products, music, art, or movies to get more information. In some cases, Firefly can be used to make immediate purchases right from the phone.

For a limited time the AT&T exclusive device is listed for US$199 for a 32GB phone ($649 off contract), and it comes with a free year of Prime membership. Users who already have Prime can add an extra year to their Prime account. If you want more space, the 64 GB phone is $299 ($749 full price). The device ships on July 25th.

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OK this does look kind of neat, but mostly in a novelty way. "Hey look, the picture changes on my lock screen as I move around!" And in a week it's been turned off. It's interesting to me that the new device is basically another purchase mechanism; either to entice you into Prime or just let you scan other stuff so you can buy that too. Honestly the most attention-getting thing to me was the headphones, I really hope they're available separately so I can try them out.

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Lee Dronick

The design of earphones with the flat cable and magnets sounds interesting.


I just don’t see this succeeding in any significant way. Gimmicky, but nothing earth-shattering.  It may prove me wrong, but I doubt it.


“Amazon demonstrated a new service called Firefly at the event, which (sadly has nothing to do with spaceships)”

Awesome - we’ll lament that cancellation forever. : )

I agree that this device does have some “neato” features, and on another note I think we’re at a time in history where we’re crossing a strange threshold: The purchase of a fairly pricey consumer device, of which one of its primary intentions is to promote more consumerism.


@Kelly Gulmont @xmattingly
{quote]“Amazon demonstrated a new service called Firefly at the event, which (sadly has nothing to do with spaceships)”

Awesome - we’ll lament that cancellation forever. : )

Agreed! Kelly, I was waiting to see what writer would be the first to make that joke. I believe you take that honor. And as with xmattingly, I will forever lament that cancellation. Best. Show. Evar.

Kelly Guimont

Aww, thanks @mrmwebmax! It was obvious to me it couldn’t go unmentioned. (:

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