Amazon Fire Phone officially announced



Amazon’s finally done it, folks — their first phone is officially here, and it’s called the Amazon Fire Phone. It’s a 4.7-inch HD smartphone that actually has quite a bit of oomph in terms of power.

Hardware and Specs

Beneath the hood is a 2.2GHz quad-core processor (Snapdragon 800, anyone?) and 2GB of RAM. Also of immediate noteworthy mention is a 13 megapixel camera that can hold its own in low-light photography situations up against phones like the iPhone 5S and the Samsung Galaxy S5.


Moving on to the build of this thing, Amazon has crafted the Fire Phone using a soft, rubberized coating atop a chassis that stays together with injection-molded steel connectors. The buttons (including a dedicated camera key) are made out of aluminum to give them that premium, lasting feel.

Amazon Prime, Software and Services

But with Amazon being Amazon, you know that hardware is just the tool for pushing software and services. You can expect the full Amazon experience from their tablets and even the Amazon Fire TV, including access to Amazon Instant Video (over 200,000 titles available for Instant Streaming if you have a Prime membership), Kindle, Whispersync, Comixology, Amazon MP3 and Music, and more.

fire phone

Something special Amazon’s added to the mix for this phone is free, unlimited photo storage (so all those great photos you’ll take won’t have to take up any space on your phone). Even the Mayday button makes its return, giving you access to live help from a technical support representative in under 15 seconds over 3G, 4G or WiFi.

Amazon Firefly

And then there’s Firefly, an app that can help you identify books, TV shows and movies, music, games, art and more at the press of a button. Think of it as SoundHound and Google Goggles mashed into one nice experience, except it’s capable of identifying a lot more multimedia than both of those services combined. Upon identifying whatever it is you are looking for, Amazon Fire Phone could load it up for you in your favorite app or suggest ways to check it out in further detail.

It even works with phone numbers and email addresses. Imagine walking up to a flier for a nearby concert and needing to get the phone number to purchase tickets. Instead of typing it in yourself, you could hit the Firefly button (the app is supposed to open up in just one second) and quickly snap a photo of the phone number. Even if the phone number isn’t complete (local businesses tend to omit the area code), Amazon’s semantics booster can figure it out by an algorithm that can automatically identify the area code and exchange number.

The most exciting part about Firefly will be its SDK. You as a user won’t care about how to use the SDK, of course, but you will care about what it allows developers to do. In just one day iHeartRadio was able to integrate Amazon Firefly into their app and make it compatible with Amazon’s database, so the next time you identify a song on the radio iHeartRadio’s app can automatically make note of it and pull up the song or related radio stations.

Dynamic Perspective (3D)

One of the big things we heard about ahead of launch was “3D.” Of course, the internet being the internet, many people went wild with what “3D” on the Amazon Fire Phone would be like.

We’re sad (or happy?) to say that it’s none of that. Dynamic Perspective is the “3D” feature we’ve been hearing about, and it doesn’t sound quite that great at first glance. Tilting your phone to the left, right, up or down will allow you to do several things. On a web page or within an app you can scroll through content simply by tilting the phone.

Fire phone sides

With a photo, you can see different perspectives (if the photo was adapted for the feature) by moving it left or right. The most impressive example was in Maps, where you can tilt the phone to see around the corner of a 3D building (you know, just in case that right turn you’re supposed to make isn’t quite as visible as it should be).

And thanks to some pretty amazing tech their engineers cooked up, it can also detect head movement without the phone moving at all. Tilting your head to the side could reveal the perspective you want just as tilting the phone would. Amazon ensures your head can always be seen by having four different front-facing cameras — one for each corner of the phone.

Not only does this prevent the camera from being blocked (unless you really, really want it to for some reason), but the infrared sensors embedded make it so all of this works quite well in low-light. It’s the perfect solution to a problem that really never needed solving (up until now, that is).

Amazon also talked about how much work and data collection went into ensuring their phones could detect actual heads. Millions of images from thousands of faces were used, apparently, and the phone’s ability to accurately detect the depth and size of a head makes it so that doing something like holding up a photo of someone’s head won’t quite trick the phone.

Just like Firefly, Amazon has built an SDK for developers to tap into this functionality and create apps that use it to its full advantage. Developers interested in learning more needn’t look much further than right here.

Pricing and Availability

In classic Amazon fashion you won’t have to wait long at all to grab this phone if you really want it — it’s sitting on their website right now available for pre-order in 32GB ($650) or 64GB ($750) options for AT&T. That’s a bit steep, but you can be sure AT&T will be offering the 32GB version for $0 down for $27 per month through AT&T Next, or $200 with a new two-year contract, once it launches July 25th.

So what are you thinking? How are you feeling? We want to know your thoughts so drop a comment below and let us know if this met, exceeded or fell short of your expectations. Don’t forget to meet us over at AndroidForums.com where we’re discussing Amazon’s first smartphone ever.

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. they should’ve called this the Fire Fone

    1. This is phandroid… You mean the phire phone.

        1. You mean Phyre Fone?

          1. Would you like Phryes with that?

  2. Yawn…

  3. lmao… snapdragon 800…lol. It must be free.

    1. Nothing to be ashamed of. All the Snapdragon 800s are a negligible difference until the new 20nm / ARMv8 comes out in around 6 months.

  4. gotta love it. All the same people who bashed the Kindle Fire will bash this, yet it will outsell the beloved Nexus 5 and Moto X for sure

    1. Not if it stays “exclusive” to AT&T.

    2. Just like the Kindle Fire outsold the Nexus 7? Oh.

      1. Did it? I wouldn’t be surprised if the Fire did outsell the Nexus 7. It’s a very high selling tablet, though not necessarily better. We have the first-gen Kindle Fire. Most effective paperweight we’ve ever owned.

        1. My point is almost no one reports sales numbers for their devices unless it’s some ungodly number to brag about. We’ve seen speculation after speculation which device sold more in the past but nothing ever concrete. The Nexus 7 did win the best tablet award two years in a row at the Global Mobile Awards though.

          1. Winning awards and sales are 2 different things. Outside your small circle of aquaintances, how often to you see a Nexus 7. I’ve never seen one. But I’ve run into plenty of Kindle Fires. I never said it’s better. I said with Amazon’s marketing prowess and Googles pitiful marketing , I have no doubt the Kindles outsell the Nexus 7 by a wide margin.

  5. Just to be clear:
    At&t exclusive.
    Limited to Amazon’s app store.
    No mention of expandable storage.

    Thanks but no thanks.

    1. $650 for all that you listed? Goodness…

  6. I wonder if towel root will work with this…

  7. So, this one will have four cameras for 3D imaging and such. Wonder if it’ll also be called a gimmick like the dual camera setup on the Evo 3D was?

  8. birds of a feather

    flock together amazon and at&t

    let us wait and see

    1. Are you a rapper? That rhyme…

      And Caffiend sounds like a decent rapper name, depending on how you say it..

  9. $199 on two year contract for the 32GB model and $299 on two year contract for 64GB model with mediocre specs. Should be a fail but folks may flock to it because it’s Amazon.

    1. Tell me how that’s mediocre specs

      1. 2013 specs in 2014 = mediocre, with the exception of the screen size. That would be 2012.

        1. The SD 800 isn’t outdated and will still be used for some time, 2gb of ram is good unless it’s a Samsung. I believe you are getting dated confused with mediocre. Mediocre is the SD 400 or the 600 they were used for flagships back a while back and now they are used for mid level phones! By all means I am a Spec junkie but the 800 is far from Mediocre

          1. Weren’t people whining about the OnePlus One not having the 801 because it is 2014 and it should have the latest and greatest? Now comes along the Amazon Fire phone and suddenly the 800 is just fine.

          2. I wasn’t one of those people , the 800 is just fine I would consider it dated. It will be mediocre once the 820 or 825

          3. No. The 800 is pretty much mediocre at this point.

          4. https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&ei=xPWhU_DaMtOgqAavvoJo&url=http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/mediocre&cd=2&ved=0CDgQFjAB&usg=AFQjCNG8R2TlTnDTIshlz7Wyt5NEoTf4nA&sig2=QIafCd22ny_paNmzpKcizQ

            It’s still relevant, the 800, and the 801 are essentially the same the 805 is a mild upgrade and then the 810 will maybe cause it to go backwards a bit but still not mediocre

          5. Why are people such spec whores these days? The 600 is still fine. Really. The hardware doesn’t need to be that powerful. You’re not playing Crysis 3 on your phone.

          6. Wouldn’t it be cool if you could? :)
            To me, specs mostly matter for future proofing.
            We don’t play Crysis now, but hey, in a few years.. Who knows? I’d run better on the 800 than the 600 (not that I’d want to do it on either)

          7. It’d be cool sure. But definitely gimmicky. Barely entertaining.

        2. You may want to correct comments on screen size.

          That’s really about preference. Everyone doesn’t want or need a big phone screen.

          Now screen quality (PPI/Resolution) is a spec you can call mediocre or dated.

          1. 4.7 is small for today’s age, unless it HTC only way I’ll go smaller screen. I have a HTC One M7 and love it, it’s a bit small but the only phone worth having a screen smaller than 5″

          2. “small” you say? LOL that’s funny!!! there are plenty of small phones out there. 3.5, 4.0, 4.3 and 4.5. so I’d hardly consider it “small”…. it’s not big, but certainly not “small”. and like I said before size is a preference not a spec in which we need to compare. hence bigger isn’t necessarily better. and where does it end?? samsung is near a 7 incher in korea now…. sorry but i don’t want to hold a tablet up to my face at anytime.

          3. What is the trend on phones over the years. The G3 is 5.5, GS5 is 5.1, M8 is 5.0, Z2 is 5.2, G2 is 5.2, Nexus is 5.0, the x+1 is rumored to be 5.0+, the OnePlus One is 5.5 and there are many more

          4. Screen size can’t be mediocre. Sure, it can be the size that was popular 2 years ago, but look at the moto x – the smaller screen is often used by it’s fans as a major selling point.
            If small screen size made a phone mediocre, does that make all phablets better than “regular” phones?

          5. Also your tv argument is invalid, because the norm used to be 32 in for a big tv, if anything it proves my point that trends are getting bigger, that bigger is better

          6. I’m sorry to randomly reply on a 2 day old comment section, but when did I mention TVs?

          7. It’s too the point that even budget mid level phones such as the Mega and HTC Desire 816 are 5.5 or bigger, and the new mega has a 7″ screen!

          8. Another thing that I see keeps ng this trend spiraling up is wearables. You not going to need to put you 7″ mega to you head to talk the future of the smart watch with wireless earpieces is going to keep that phablet in your pocket

          9. When did the conversation turn to trends??? Please focus. Besides all of the phones you mentioned are less than a year old, while the bulk of the smartphone sales right now come from less than 5 inches.

            But the magic word here is “small”. You seem to be confusing it with another word “smaller” which is what a 4.7 inch phone is to a 5 inch or higher phone screen size. The difference between 3 tenths or even a half an inch doesn’t make something small. It’s just smaller.

            My 50 inch tv is smaller than my 65 inch, right?? But no one refers to a 50 inch as a small tv. If anything it’s still big or at least a good size, not “small”.

          10. I’m sorry I can name older phones that are bigger, LG G Pro, Note 1, Note 2, Dell Streak 5, ascend mate 1and 2, z1, all the GS4 varients

      2. Mediocre specs are the Galaxy Mega

  10. Ah, so it’s that Firefly app that’s going to be their money maker. Hear or see something you like? Just pull it up in Firefly and buy it. It’s like they’re putting a 1-Click Order button in front of everything in the world.

  11. Great specs and glad they are using the 4.7″ form-factor which is perfect. Not interested with how custom the Android UI is and store lock down.

    Nothing has thrilled me in 2014 yet though, waiting for Moto X+1 and Nexus 5 this fall/winter.

  12. You guys copy and paste from Engadget… All the time. How pathetic and unprofessional

    1. yet here you are…

    2. When a company releases a new product, they release press releases and product pages like this: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00EOE0WKQ/ref=fp_dp_auto_play?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=gateway-center-column&pf_rd_r=1GDHNTP4B0WJJRY3KBGE&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=1827756642&pf_rd_i=507846#camera

      Every tech blogger in the world is pulling from the same pool of information right now. While one would hope opinions and language would vary, it’s hard to twist the cold hard facts to appear amazingly differently than any other media outlet.

      I’m sorry we can’t pretend the Amazon Fire Phone has a different set of specs, features, promotions, so our article can be unique… but we’re here to report the news, not write a fictional masterpiece.

      My guess is you were following a live blog on Engadget, came here afterwards, and thought the articles were similar. You’d be right. However, if you read the articles here first and then saw them on Engadget, you likely would have left your comment on their site.

      The earth does not revolve based on the direction your personal world wide web spins.

      1. Wait, I can make my web spin in different directions? What sorcery is this?

        1. Okay Google, do a barrel roll.

      2. Sir, I must admit… this is a stellar response.

    3. Go back to Turdgadget, hippie.

  13. lol, fail to price it at $650 for the 32GB version. It’s not even a Full HD display.

    1. But… You have 6 camerassssss!!!

  14. This phones specs are less than the phones that I already own, on a network that I do not want to be on, at a price that I do not want to pay, full of bloatware that I do not want. I think that this will be one phone to be given away that nobody will care about

  15. All of these companies trying to make there own OS seems pointless. It now appears to be the rich companies equivalent of one-upping your fellow rich friend with a new yacht.

    We have 3 times more OS’s this year than last year. Seems boring and a waste of time and money. No more originality, just copy pasta everyone.

  16. I lol’d when the guy said in the video that the “3D” feature was non-gimmicky. That was totally non-scripted, right?


  17. At least it starts with 32 GB

  18. Way too expensive and too bad for that exclusivity. If the 3D was as cool as it was rumored it’d be great, but now it’s just a gimmick, like the eye tracking crap Samsung has.

    Moto X+1 please save us all.

  19. I lived a big part of my life in a communist country, where you were forced to do things only their way, therefore this phone or the iPhone are not for me…I get claustrophobic when I see their tight ecosystem.

  20. Fire OS is the biggest let down.

  21. The display is 720p…

  22. What are these guys smoking?

  23. This phone probably won’t be popular with the kind of people who read Phandroid. It’s designed for Amazon junkies and people who aren’t interested in expandable storage or a robust app store. It’s for people who want the “it just works” philosophy in their devices, kinda like iphone fans.

  24. This will be Amazon’s biggest flop until they release their delivery drones.

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