By Alexandra Burlacu | Jun 19, 2014 07:09 AM EDT
The much-rumored Amazon Fire Phone has officially made its debut, set to launch as an AT&T exclusive in the U.S.
Rumors of an Amazon smartphone have been making rounds for a long time and now the device is finally official. As previously rumored, the Amazon Fire Phone will be exclusively available on AT&T's network, and will come in two storage options.
The smaller-capacity version comes with 32GB of internal storage capacity, while the larger one houses 64GB of storage. Both models are set to hit commercial availability on the same date next month, on July 25, but they are already up for pre-order.
3D effect with 'Dynamic Perspective'
The Amazon Fire Phone sports a 4.7-inch HD screen with 720p resolution, capable of delivering a 3D effect due to the face tracking technology Amazon calls "Dynamic Perspective."
"Experience interactions not possible on other smartphones. Tilt, auto-scroll, swivel, and peek to navigate menus and access shortcuts with one hand. Dive into a new class of immersive apps and games-peek to see detailed views of clothing, shoes, and more in the new Amazon Shopping app for Fire phone, or take on a character's viewpoint to see around corners and obstacles in games," touts Amazon.
This Dynamic Perspective is achieved through four front-facing cameras that are designed to change what you see on the display based on the angle of your view of the screen. This way, the smartphone can create the illusion of 3D depth.
Specs and features
Under the hood, the Amazon smartphone packs a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor clocked at 2.2GHz, paired with Adreno 330 graphics and 2GB of RAM. Other specs include a 13-megapixel rear camera with multi-frame HDR, auto focus, optical image stabilization (OIS), f/2.0 5-element wide aperture lens, and LED flash. A 2,400 mAh battery will provide up to 22 hours of talk time, up to 285 hours of standby, up to 11 hours of video playback, and up to 65 hours of audio playback.
On the software side, as expected, the Amazon Fire Phone runs a custom operating system called Fire OS 3.5, which is Amazon's forked version of Android.
"Fire phone is powered by the latest version of Fire OS, which starts with Android and adds cloud services, a content-forward user interface, built-in media libraries, productivity apps, and platform enhancements to integrate Amazon's digital content and improve performance," Amazon further explains.
Pricing and Availability
In terms of pricing, the off-contract handset will cost $649 for the 32GB model and $749 for the 64GB variant. Interested customers will also be able to get the smartphone on an AT&T Next plan, with $0 down followed by monthly installments until the cost of the off-contract device is equaled.
A third option will allow customers to get the new Amazon Fire Phone on-contract. The 32GB model will cost $199.99 when signing a two-year service agreement with AT&T, while the 64GB version will go up to $299.99.
Amazon is also throwing in a one-year Amazon Prime membership for free when purchasing an Amazon Fire Phone. Those who already have a subscription to Amazon Prime will simply get an additional 12 months for free.
The new Amazon Fire Phone is available for pre-order now from Amazon's website at this link, from AT&T's website here, or through physical AT&T locations. It remains unclear at this point whether any other U.S. carrier will eventually start selling the smartphone as well.
Will it make it?
The Amazon Fire Phone is the company's very first phone, marking Amazon's entry into the highly-competitive smartphone market. With big players such as Apple, Samsung, HTC, LG, and others, however, it remains to be seen whether Amazon will make it by launching its new phone at this price point. The price of the Amazon phone is pretty close to that of heavyweight flagships and the fact that it launches exclusively on AT&T may be a drawback for some. Nevertheless, its 3D effect is quite intriguing, and that's likely what Amazon is counting on to attract customers. Would you buy an Amazon Fire Phone?
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