Amazon has officially unveiled its very first smartphone, introducing the Amazon Fire Phone that will launch as an AT&T exclusive in the U.S.
The company has long been rumored to launch a handset of its own, and the new Amazon Fire Phone marks its first foray into the highly-competitive smartphone market. The smartphone is set to hit commercial availability next month, on July 25, arriving in two storage options on AT&T's network. The cheaper model will come with 32GB of internal storage capacity, while the larger-capacity version will sport 64GB of storage.
Amazon Fire Phone Specs
The new smartphone from Amazon sports a 4.7-inch display with 720p HD resolution, a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor clocked at 2.2GHz, Adreno 330 graphics, and 2GB of RAM. Other specs include a 13-megapixel camera with optical image stabilization (OIS), LED flash and other neat features, and a total of four front cameras to deliver a 3D effect. A 2,400 mAh battery will keep things up and running. In terms of software, the smartphone runs a customized version of Android called Fire OS 3.5.
"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 explains.
'Dynamic Perspective' for 3D effect
Long before it became official, Amazon's first handset was rumored to launch as a 3D handset. With the cat now out of the bag, here's the deal: the Amazon Fire Phone can deliver a 3D effect due to the face-tracking technology it uses, something Amazon calls "Dynamic Effect."
"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."
The four front-facing cameras the smartphone packs allow for this Dynamic Perspective, changing what users see on the display based on the angle from which they look at the screen. With such tricks, the Amazon Fire Phone creates the illusion of three-dimensional depth.
Free Amazon Prime membership
To further sweeten the deal, Amazon is also throwing in a free Amazon Prime membership, which will last for one year. Customers who are already subscribed to Amazon Prime, meanwhile, will benefit from an extra 12 months of service added for free to their subscription.
Pricing and Availability
Amazon offers several pricing options for its new smartphone. Those who prefer to buy their devices contract-free, for instance, will have to shell out $649 for the 32GB version of the Amazon Fire Phone, and $749 for the 64GB variant. The handset will also be available on-contract, with the 32GB model set at $199 and the 64GB version at $299 with two-year service agreements. Lastly, interested customers can also get the Amazon Fire Phone for $0 down followed by 24 monthly payments on an AT&T Next plan.
The Amazon Fire Phone has already gone up for pre-order on Amazon's own website, AT&T's website, as well as AT&T physical stores. As previously mentioned, the device will launch as an AT&T exclusive in the U.S. and it remains unclear at this point whether other carriers will start selling the smartphone after a while or it's a permanent exclusivity.