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Amazon launches Fire phone with dynamic 3D perspective and object scanning

116

As expected Amazon has today launched its first smartphone, the Fire Phone, at an event in Seattle, Washington. Amazon wants to differentiate the new device from the competition with two new and unique features.

Dynamic Perspective is a 3D-user interface that changes the screen content based on where your face is in relation to the device. The Fire uses four cameras with a 120 degree viewing angle, one in each front corner, to track your eyes. Infrared lights ensure the feature is still working in darkness. Dynamic Perspective ties in with a range of tilt gestures that allow you to control the phone by moving it. For example, you can scroll inside the browser, a book or even a game by simply tilting the device.

The Fire Phone's second unique selling proposition is the Firefly feature. Firefly uses the phone's camera to recognize objects and then finds them in a database. For most physical products Firefly will give you the immediate option to purchase them on Amazon but when you point the camera at, for example, a painting the app will open its Wikipedia article. In addition Firefly can not only see but also listen. In a Shazam-like fashion it can identify music and TV shows which, of course, you'll be able to purchase straight from the device as well. Overall Firefly is capable of identifying 100 million items and we can only assume this number is going to increase in the future. For easy access Firefly even has its own button. 

As you would expect from any Amazon device the Fire Phone integrates all the Amazon content services, such as Prime Video, Kindle reading app and the brand new Prime Music service. But Netflix, HBO Go, Hulu Plus and ESPN streaming video are all on board as well. In addition the phone can be used as a remote control for the Amazon TV streaming video box.

While those new features look exciting the hardware is, apart from the four front cameras, in line with the high-end offerings from other manufacturers. The fire is powered by a quad-core 2.2GHz processor, Adreno 330 graphics and 2GB of RAM. The 4.7-inch IPS LCD display offers a 720p resolution and displays 590 nits of brightness. It also has a circular polarizer for better outside viewing with sunglasses. 

The whole thing is wrapped up in a body with a rubber frame and Gorilla Glass 3 at front and back. Buttons are made from aluminum and, together with the other materials, give the Fire Phone a premium look and feel. 

The camera specification sounds promising, too. A 13MP sensor is combined with a fast F2.0 lens with five elements and an optical image stabilization system. No information was given on sensor size, so we have to assume the Fire Phone uses a standard 1/3-inch sensor. Mobile photographers will also appreciate the dedicated shutter button and unlimited photo storage on Amazon's cloud drive. 

We hope to get our hands on a production model soon to test the new features and see how well they work in everyday usage. The 32GB model of Amazon's Fire phone is US$199 with a two-year contract on AT&T. The 64GB model will set you back $299. In both cases that includes a 12-month subscription to Amazon Prime which is currently worth $99. The phone is also available off-contract in which case you'll have to invest $649 in the 32GB and $749 in the 64GB model. Pre-order starts today and the phones are expected to ship on July 25th.

Key Specification:

  • Quad-core 2.2GHz processor
  • Adreno 330 graphics
  • 2GB of RAM
  • Fire OS 3.5
  • 32 or 64 GB storage
  • 4.7-inch IPS LCD display, 720p 
  • 2400 mAh battery
  • 13MP camera
  • F2.0 maximum aperture
  • Five elements lens
  • Optical Image Stabilization
  • 1080p video

  

FULL DISCLOSURE: dpreview.com is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Amazon but both dpreview.com and connect.dpreview.com are editorially independent of our parent company. Lars Rehm is a freelance (external) contributor to both sites and had no pre-disclosure of the details nor existence of the Fire smartphone prior to its announcement.

Comments

Total comments: 116
tabloid
By tabloid (1 month ago)

Very niceā€¦.but does it make calls.

0 upvotes
designdef
By designdef (1 month ago)

The logical development of this is to be able to point the phone at any object including clothing that is being worn by someone else, and to buy it online. This could lead to some interesting interactions, especially in the late evenings after a few drinks. But will it stop there? Face recognition with instant purchase of 'services offered'? Maybe Google Glass would be a more discreet way of snooper purchase?

0 upvotes
utomo99
By utomo99 (1 month ago)

any picture sample taken using this ?
I think the price is too high.

0 upvotes
Wm Karoly
By Wm Karoly (1 month ago)

Fix the grammatical booboos on the lead in paragraph on the main dpreview.com site.

0 upvotes
Kazmarov
By Kazmarov (1 month ago)

Does it work as a phone as article has no comment on 3G, 4G bands? Etc.?

0 upvotes
Maverick_
By Maverick_ (1 month ago)

I am a tech junky, so found the news of a brand new phone very interesting. However, I wonder if the 4 cameras to maintain 3D effect, is a move that later on will be retracted with the actual phone's screen that can spot your face instead. Then, you'll have a 5" camera looking right at you.

The second generation of this phone should be a lot of more interesting with all the feedback they are getting.

1 upvote
Greg Henry
By Greg Henry (1 month ago)

And yet with all the bells on this phone, it's missing the one thing that all others now have - a voice assistant.

Apple has Siri, Google has Google Now, and even Microsoft is about to release their "Cortana"... all of which while a gimmick for some, will allow you to dictate texts and emails, voice command to dial or remind you of something, etc. No mention of any such thing on the Amazon phone at all.

While this feature for some is again, a toy, for others it's becoming more important as they learn to utilize it. A pretty glaring omission if you ask me.

1 upvote
Michael Piziak
By Michael Piziak (1 month ago)

Perhaps it's better it doesn't have voice assistant. Those things don't work right.

0 upvotes
Mike FL
By Mike FL (1 month ago)

FWIW:
When Amazon CEO was launching the Fire, Amazon stock was on fire too. It lost more than $7 when S&P were up at closing.

Amazon is NOT a tech company liking Apple or Google from most people's eye, and it is JUST a different version of Walmart.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 14 minutes after posting
1 upvote
corkymiller46
By corkymiller46 (1 month ago)

Hardware aside, this truly is the arrival of e-capitalism. Firefly?
Really? Want it, have it. Jeez people, c'mon. See this for what it is. Will a drone deliver it?

1 upvote
Russell Evans
By Russell Evans (1 month ago)

I have to wonder about Amazon's decision to lock the Firefly app to Amazon hardware? It seems counter productive. I don't normally see Amazon as a vendor in Google Shopper, and I know when we have used the barcode apps on our phones in the past, they mostly default to using Google Shopping. Amazon has to be leaving money on the table because of this.

More and more stores are providing in store wifi as well, so the need to be using a cellular data device for showrooming is getting less and less. People most likely to want to be using the Firefly app, are probably going to want to be doing so with wifi only devices.

3d on a phone also seems a step in the wrong direction. Battery life is much more a priority for me than eye candy in making a buying decision. I can't imagine how much power gets sucked when using four cameras just for the interface.

The decision not to have a microSD card is also a puzzle considering Amazon's service of providing mp3s for CDs bought on Amazon.

0 upvotes
Michael Ma
By Michael Ma (1 month ago)

I get the sense that everything cool that this device does, you can get the newer Androids to do it when the apps become available.

0 upvotes
chaking
By chaking (1 month ago)

I doubt all the newer androids will have 4 cameras on the front with infrared to be able to tell where you're looking even in the dark.

0 upvotes
LaFonte
By LaFonte (1 month ago)

All devices have gravitational sensors so tilting is already possible and used in applications. I am not sure where amazon is going with this but with fire 4 cams you are able to tilt your head while having the device stay still. I am not sure why is that better unless you want to look like a monkey nodding your head to the phone because you want it to scroll. And if you tilt the device then why was the gravitational sensors not the better option?

0 upvotes
Maverick_
By Maverick_ (1 month ago)

After watching the entire presentation video, I found it very interesting to see the thought process behind their engineering solutions.

This phone is geared toward current AT&T iPhone users who are serious users of Amazon Prime. And I am going to guess that it will do OK with that crowd, specially after the price drops to $149 and then to $99 in the next few weeks.

As a VZW Samsung user on a 5.5" phone I would never consider this phone, no matter how many cameras it has. I am going to guess and Galaxy S5 users will also not consider it, unless they are addicted to Amazon Prime.

We don't go smaller on our phone screens only bigger or more high res. I am looking forward to swap my Note 2 to the next gen Note 4 later on this year with Quad HD screen (2,560 x 1,440) at possibly 5.7 or 5.8".

1 upvote
grasscatcher
By grasscatcher (1 month ago)

Do the cameras/tilt perspective/3D, etc. work if you are wearing sunglasses? Or polarized sunglasses?

Also, my wife gets nauseous from 3D, so it may not be for her.

0 upvotes
wetsleet
By wetsleet (1 month ago)

"my wife gets nauseous from 3D, so it may not be for her"
Good job this phone isn't 3D then ;)
But then there are no actual 3D systems out there that I know of, only stereoscopic, which may well make a person nauseous since the eye is hunting for a depth of field which isn't actually there.
Good job this phone isn't stereoscopic either then ;)

Comment edited 26 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
grasscatcher
By grasscatcher (1 month ago)

3D was probably the wrong term. She actually gets nauseous from things moving oddly, like shaky video, stereoscopic effects, etc. Unless the eye-tracking movements are VERY smooth, it will make her sick.

As an aside, there is ongoing research studying why women tend to get motion sickness much more than men when playing 3D video games, particularly with the A/V headsets. Some researchers think it may be linked to changing hormone levels.

0 upvotes
Black Box
By Black Box (1 month ago)

Bad news for Amazon. I already have a "feature enabling me to skan and identify multiple objects". It's called... an EYE!

2 upvotes
Tilted Plane
By Tilted Plane (1 month ago)

I cry foul in principle. You're an Amazon company, no matter how you butter it. Recuse yourself.

1 upvote
Everlast66
By Everlast66 (1 month ago)

The dynamic perspective tech seems interesting, but other companies manage to do 2/3 of the benefits with only gyro and acceleration sensors, so the benefit of this new tech is a bit questionable.

3 upvotes
Jogger
By Jogger (1 month ago)

6 cameras with automatic subject detection? That just makes the NSA's job easier.

5 upvotes
Pete Mc
By Pete Mc (1 month ago)

download Soundhound and Google Goggles for FREE and you have an amazon Fire. (probably with a better screen and camera if you bought your phone in the past year)
Why 4 cameras for face-tracking? One camera and software is all you need.

3 upvotes
Greg Gebhardt
By Greg Gebhardt (1 month ago)

I am betting the "Amazon" part of the phone's software will get in the way at every chance and will pass on this hardware advertisement.

3 upvotes
Sdaniella
By Sdaniella (1 month ago)

hold phone vertically (paired dual L+R cameras set closer together)
one could have higher or lower perspectives with normal inter-pupil distanced 3D stereoscopic video/still images

hold phone horizontally (paired dual L+R cameras set farther apart)
one could have (slightly) higher or lower perspectives with unusually wider (a giant's) inter-pupil distanced 'deeper' 3D stereoscopic video/still images

:)

Comment edited 30 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
matador88
By matador88 (1 month ago)

looking exactly like other "famous" phones = boring as hell.
extremly expensive.
thank you very much :s

1 upvote
Sonyshine
By Sonyshine (1 month ago)

Why would you buy one? It's only designed to make you keep shopping at Amazon. Surely that is not chat any sane person desires?

8 upvotes
Sonyshine
By Sonyshine (1 month ago)

...that should read 'what' not 'chat'...dumb smartphone spell check.... :))

0 upvotes
tompabes2
By tompabes2 (1 month ago)

Exactly what I thought. At least, it should be heavily subsidized by Amazon, just like Google is doing with the Nexus line. But this phone, even more than the Nexus, seems just a gateway to Amazon shop and services.

1 upvote
wetsleet
By wetsleet (1 month ago)

somebody decribed it as a mobile cash register for Amazon, which I thought was a crisp summary

1 upvote
B1ackhat
By B1ackhat (1 month ago)

So Firefly is essentially going to do what the apps I have already do. Tell me why this would be appealing?

1 upvote
Sirandar
By Sirandar (1 month ago)

Interesting .... but no microSD and a 100$ whallop for 64GB

I am well and truly sick of Android and all it's battery mayhem. It seems Android has become a buggy mess. If FireOS was written from the ground up to actually manage your privacy and battery life this phone may actually survive.

Android seems totally incapable of preventing apps from constantly waking up phone even when it is locked in your pocket. Better Battery Stats helps but often doesn't because Android isn't really set up to identify what is actually waking your phone = deleted wakelocks and wakelocks you can't control

Once a month I am troubleshooting because my phone can't make it through the day in my pocket unused because of some update, issue or other. I don't even load new apps anymore because it is just too much trouble. Sometimes it is Google apps at fault, the Play Store for one. Try forgetting to manually kill that task and see what happens.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 13 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Suave
By Suave (1 month ago)

Most Android phones don't really run pure Android but rather version modified and bloated by both manufacturer and carrier. Case in point - my wife's phone is in exact condition it came from AT&T, it can never make it through the day. My phone runs CM and easily last 2 days if I don't play games.

0 upvotes
grumpycat
By grumpycat (1 month ago)

Yes stupid android start apps without our knowledge.. I am not an apple fan but if I close an app I like to be them off.

1 upvote
Lukino
By Lukino (1 month ago)

This does not happen on Iphone either.

1 upvote
badi
By badi (1 month ago)

Actually iOS is worse... I don't have an iphone, but an iPad, and guess what: it decide for you what apps it closes in background and when. For example if you run a instant messaging (like skype) it work perfectly until you switch to another app. Then in the first minutes the skype will work in background, but if for 3-4 minutes you don't get back to it, it will close on background and never get notifications. And that is only one example...

2 upvotes
Lars Rehm
By Lars Rehm (1 month ago)

not sure what Android phone you are using but I think battery life has generally massively improved with the last two generations or so. I don't have any trouble getting through the day with any of the test phones I am using. Very occasionally, when you get an app creatinghavoc (like Instagram did a while ago) the culprit is easily identified in the power settings and can be dealt with. Battery life in mobile devices is a general issue that needs improvement but in my experience there are worse platforms than Android in this respect.

3 upvotes
Sirandar
By Sirandar (1 month ago)

To Lars ..... About once a month I get a situation where some app or Android process gets stuck in some kind of loop and my S3 won't sleep, even when locked.

Yesterdays mayhem was related to fast dormancy and the wakelock ril-fd. The one before that was the play store. The one before that was related to syncing my Google account and only deleting my account from the phone fixed that.

It is like a full time job keeping Android running

0 upvotes
grasscatcher
By grasscatcher (1 month ago)

No microSD is standard for high-end phones, as they want you to invest in the cloud for storage (thus using their services, so they can use better data-tracking info for/on you for better ad-targeting). Of course, the hackers will eventually get that data, too. Big data is the future. NSA already has software that can predict your movements/behavior better than you can yourself.

1 upvote
Lars Rehm
By Lars Rehm (1 month ago)

Sorr you are having those problems, Sirandar, but you should not assume it's the same on all Android phones becuase it's happening on your S3. As I say, I hardly ever have this type of problems and I use all sorts of Andorid devices all the time.

0 upvotes
G1Houston
By G1Houston (1 month ago)

" I don't have an iphone, but an iPad, and guess what: it decide for you what apps it closes in background and when."

You can use "Background app refresh" in Setting to control which app you want to run in the background -- the more you left on, the faster the battery will drain. If you want Skype to stay on, turn it on there, and in "Notification" allows it to notify you. This will use more battery power though.

Comment edited 9 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Sirandar
By Sirandar (1 month ago)

To Lars .... Many people Android using android phones have this issue .... battery management is one of Androids biggest shortcomings. Some think that location services must be disabled to get decent battery life.

How easy is it for an end user to only have Location services on when they use Maps. Except for remembering to manually toggle, there is no way.

I finally broke down and rooted my phone .... now I can use tasker to finally shut down all that crap in the background.

There is no excuse whatsoever except very sloppy OS management for a phone not to last 2 days when you don't use it. Android is doning way too much in the background that a un-rooted end user has no control of.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Sirandar
By Sirandar (1 month ago)

Post Note: After suffering through the small pain of rooting my S3 (Knox made it harder than it should have been) and installing 3 utilities Tasker, Superuser and Secure Settings ........ I can finally stop my phone from spending 50% awake.

All it took was only allowing location services ON when I wanted on.

And No I am not Factory resetting my phone every month.

What an embarrassment to Google and their Android model. When the phone is locked and in your pocket, there is no excuse for more than 10% awake time.

Comment edited 39 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Sirandar
By Sirandar (1 month ago)

Post Post note ...... 2 full days of battery life ... and the only thing I did was use Tasker to force the phone to only have Location Services "on" when I want it.

I wouldn't even dream, of complaining if Android actually allowed you to easily Identify what app or system process was waking your phone constantly ..... I would simply delete any app and blacklist the developer ....

But you can't do that because more often than not there is no way to figure our which app is the problem and often it is Google's own apps.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
springsnow
By springsnow (1 month ago)

$650 no contract may work if you are Apple or Samsung. I think Amazon is confused. They saw the ratings and they thought they are now Apple. People associates Amazon with value, ie. cheaper than the others. This is not cheaper. Yeah, you can claim 32GB or parallax on steroid, but in the end, you are competing with the established brand that people equate more with that price point (Apple, Samsung).
Example was Moto X. Its main feature, the Moto maker, was exclusive to AT&T, and it was selling for $199 with contract, same price as SGS4 and HTC One at that point. Guess what happened. Yeah.
I think by the end of this year, AT&T will discount this to $99 with contract to clear out inventory.

3 upvotes
Lars Rehm
By Lars Rehm (1 month ago)

yeah, I am surprised about the pricing, too. Given that it's designed to sell Amazon stuff I would have thought there'd be more attractive off-contract options, similar to the Kindle Fire tablets.

2 upvotes
Greg Gebhardt
By Greg Gebhardt (1 month ago)

No to worry as Amazon will be forced to drop the price very soon.

1 upvote
Richard Weisgrau
By Richard Weisgrau (1 month ago)

Born to sell Amazon services. Nothing more. Nothing less. I'll keep my iPhone, iPad, and iMac. I do not need Amazon. It is a convenience not a necessity. I think the day is approaching when I take Amazon and Amazon's DPR out of my bookmarks.

3 upvotes
Lars Rehm
By Lars Rehm (1 month ago)

you stop reading DPR because Amazon launches a phone?

7 upvotes
BelePhotography
By BelePhotography (1 month ago)

Isn't an iphone designed to sell itunes stuff? I don't hear many people complaining about that - you just proved the point. The smartphone market has long ago turned into a content and not hardware battle. As far as content goes, I believe Amazon is the only company currently able to compete with Apple. And their content is available on other platforms as well, you can even switch between platforms - my kindle books are available on all my devices (Apple, Androis and Windows), howabout yours! As for the device price - high for sure. Not sure that was a smart move.

5 upvotes
Greg Gebhardt
By Greg Gebhardt (1 month ago)

We will see who OS is more intrusive when it comes to pushing the money making aspects. I am betting that Amazon will win.

0 upvotes
Lars Rehm
By Lars Rehm (1 month ago)

Well, as you might imagine, I don't necessarily share your view on Amazon but in any case, DPR has been owned by Amazon since 2007. So I am just a little surprised that it's this smartphone launch that makes the OP want to leave DPR if the previous 7 years of Amazon ownership weren't a problem.

5 upvotes
Prairie Pal
By Prairie Pal (1 month ago)

A huge amount of human resources and money are being spent on technology that is taking the human race completely towards the wrong direction.

9 upvotes
AlexRuiz
By AlexRuiz (1 month ago)

Really? How so? As far as I know, humanity never had it so good.

0 upvotes
photo_rb
By photo_rb (1 month ago)

Yeah they said that about the Gutenberg press too.

3 upvotes
Cyrus A
By Cyrus A (1 month ago)

brilliant!

0 upvotes
Greg Henry
By Greg Henry (1 month ago)

It's going to be exclusive to AT&T - very bad move in 2014. And while all major apps are supported, just like the Windows Phone, secondary apps are going to be a problem.

0 upvotes
Lars Rehm
By Lars Rehm (1 month ago)

they offer an SDK for the 3D and Firefly functions, questions is how many developers will jump on that.

0 upvotes
DotCom Editor
By DotCom Editor (1 month ago)

How well does it work AS A TELEPHONE?

8 upvotes
Photog74
By Photog74 (1 month ago)

Why are you asking this on a photography website?

5 upvotes
reality_check
By reality_check (1 month ago)

Oh! Yes! It is a phone ... too! :) We hope people can hear you WELL and vice versa. :) I will go to a phone website to find out! And I will go to a software website to find out about the software too! :)

Comment edited 49 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Lars Rehm
By Lars Rehm (1 month ago)

Seriously, I have been testing smartphones for 3 years or so and I have not held a single one in my hands during that time that would not have worked well as a telephone. It is a very basic function that all phones do well these days. There might be minor differences in voice quality but it's certainly not something that makes me choose one device over another.

3 upvotes
Taylor14
By Taylor14 (1 month ago)

720p display on a $700 phone! WTF. What is this 2012?

1 upvote
Lars Rehm
By Lars Rehm (1 month ago)

yes, wonder if that's got to do with the 3D display. They also promise much better than usual outdoor visibility. If that's true some users might be willing to accept the lower resolution.

0 upvotes
SirSeth
By SirSeth (1 month ago)

My dream is that someone with brute force, like Amazon or Google will make a smart phone that allows a true choice against expensive cell carrier data allowing me to dispense with redundant mandatory data purchasing (I live in Wifi). I will buy that phone. True freedom = choice to not be force to pay for services I don't want. Let me choose my own network.

0 upvotes
Wesley Byrne
By Wesley Byrne (1 month ago)

Well, you can use a smartphone on T-Mobile without a data plan already, but I don't know of any other network that allows it. I wish they all would.

1 upvote
tkbslc
By tkbslc (1 month ago)

If you are in the U.S., Repuplic Wireless. Only catch is you only have the choice of two Motorola phones(MotoX and MotoG) .

Comment edited 19 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Suave
By Suave (1 month ago)

I use smartphone on AT&T and I don't have data plan. I pay more for voice though.

re: phone Nexus 5 starts from $350, and $300 OnePlus will eventually be available for straight-up purchase.

0 upvotes
Lukino
By Lukino (1 month ago)

Just buy an unlocked phone and do everything you want with it. If you buy a phone at a cheaper price because it comes with a plan, then don't whine about having to pay the plan!

3 upvotes
Lars Rehm
By Lars Rehm (1 month ago)

buy your own phone, choose your network. Can be easily done, even in the US where network carriers seem to be more powerful than the government. I used to have T-Mobile on a month-to-month agreement, so could easily just get out of it when I left the country. Generally it's much easier and cheaper in Europe though, thanks to competition laws.

1 upvote
SirSeth
By SirSeth (1 month ago)

Verizon is the only game in town. There is no easy way to get out of a data plan on CDMA. Probably the best option is PagePlus I guess, but I'm scared of their customer service if I do have a problem.

0 upvotes
Lars Rehm
By Lars Rehm (1 month ago)

I never understood how CDMA is still in use, it's not compatible with anything else in the world. You can't just stick another SIM into a CDMA phone when traveling abroad...of course when you have only one carrier to choose from that is sort of a limitation.

1 upvote
SirSeth
By SirSeth (1 month ago)

Thanks Lars. Having a GSM with sim flexibility would be nice, especially for international use. They try to make that as difficult as possible by locking as many GSM phones as they can. Yes, you can unlock some phones (often against company policy) if you know what you are doing. I just think there is a huge market for Amazon or Google to make a smartphone that has voice and text services and wifi only and very straight forward hardware data-blocking that is actually customer focused. I'm mean really---who actually likes and trusts a cell provider to be consumer oriented rather than gluttonous empires of greed and villainy? This could go a long way to win some loyalty--a provider that actually cares about saving customers money without sacrificing service.

1 upvote
Adrian Godong
By Adrian Godong (1 month ago)

@SirSeth I can turn off cellular data and use Wifi exclusively on my iPhone. Settings > Cellular > Cellular Data --> OFF. I have an unlocked GSM phone, so I can use any GSM provider with/without data plan.

0 upvotes
SirSeth
By SirSeth (1 month ago)

Thanks Adrian. That's pretty helpful. It just proves that where there is a will there is a way. With CDMA network that may be more difficult and they don't like to allow this. I'm glad Apple puts a switch for cell data and roaming into their OS. Someday I just want to go into the store and say, "Hi, I'll take that smartphone without a data plan because I have my own network thanks" then turn off data as you have shown and rock on.

0 upvotes
G1Houston
By G1Houston (1 month ago)

Sirseth: "I live in Wifi"

Besides Republic Wireless, you can also just use an iPod touch. Skype and many other texting Apps will allow you to call via Wifi with a small fee. However, unlike Republic Wireless, if you are out of the Wifi zone, you cannot call. Not sure where you are. I have Virgin Mobile, no contract, and for $30/m, I have "unlimited" data and text, plus many min of talk.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
SirSeth
By SirSeth (1 month ago)

Thanks G1Houston, Currently our cell phones are subsidized by work ($15 non-smart phone), but we are moving to Bozeman, MT where Verizon rules and will have to buy our own services. I'm looking at PagePlus which is owned by Verizon and has less expensive plans (but you have to buy phones retail). I'm considering getting a Droid 3 for me and iPhone 4 for my wife. Or just a dumb phone for me and iPhone for her.

0 upvotes
G1Houston
By G1Houston (1 month ago)

For a while, I did not have an iPhone. Since we have wifi at home and at work, I got by with just an iPod-touch. When we traveled, my wife's iPhone can connect to the internet when we were on the road. However once you have a smartphone it will be hard to go back so if you don't need it, don't get one in the first place. If you are not a heavy user of cellular data (e.g. you are covered by wifi), you need about 500MB of data monthly so do not overbuy.

0 upvotes
SirSeth
By SirSeth (1 month ago)

Excellent advice. Page plus has a $12.99 basic service with 250min/250txt that I think I could live within if I used my wife's iPhone when I really needed it.

0 upvotes
Saleen1999
By Saleen1999 (1 month ago)

Instead of competing with other smartphones, why don't someone come along and compete with cell phone companies so our bill can go down instead of keep going up, up, up. Insane what a cell phone bill is today.

0 upvotes
saralecaire
By saralecaire (1 month ago)

Cos there isn't as much profit for companies in doing that...

0 upvotes
Peiasdf
By Peiasdf (1 month ago)

Use T-Mobile. The other three big carriers are trying to kill T-Mobile because it shows what can be done for the market.

0 upvotes
Potemkin_Photo
By Potemkin_Photo (1 month ago)

Meh. One reason I never got a Kindle is because I don't need them keeping tabs on everything I read while trying to sell me more crap. It's just too invasive of my privacy, just like this Fire doohickey.

I actually only had a $3 flip phone until last year. I try to keep my current smartphone off the grid as much as possible.

Always beware of big brother.

5 upvotes
Lars Rehm
By Lars Rehm (1 month ago)

I have a Kindle. It's fantastic for reading, so much stuff on such a small device. I hardly ever use it to buy anything though. There are a lot of free books available, even on Amazon. You can get e-books from libraries etc.

2 upvotes
RichRMA
By RichRMA (1 month ago)

Amazon is also still selling a cheap Chinese smartphone loaded with unremovable spyware. Why reward them with business?

Comment edited 7 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
cinemascope
By cinemascope (1 month ago)

I was actually thinking today I'd love a tablet or phone without a camera. Not just for myself but specially for my kids. I'd even pay more for that.

2 upvotes
badi
By badi (1 month ago)

why would you pay more? You can disable it by painting it black or something...
I'm not going to ask why you don't want your kids to take photos :))

1 upvote
happy guardian
By happy guardian (1 month ago)

no 1080p in 2014? no thanks

0 upvotes
chaking
By chaking (1 month ago)

Do you think on a 4" screen it'll be that noticeable?

0 upvotes
abortabort
By abortabort (1 month ago)

I wonder if I will be allowed to use this phone's cameras to shoot something again a white background?

2 upvotes
cinemascope
By cinemascope (1 month ago)

Don't worry, it will come with a permissive EULA.

0 upvotes
joe6pack
By joe6pack (1 month ago)

I watched their intro video and frankly, I don't see why they need that 4 IR cameras. They all shown that they are flipping their phone instead of moving their eyes. Which means the existing gyro sensor on most phones can already do that.

0 upvotes
PazinBoise
By PazinBoise (1 month ago)

It sounds like the 4 camera are there to track your eyes so it can orient the 3d to your field of view. I'm sure the tilting gestures are tracked via a gyroscope/accelerometer.

0 upvotes
Lars Rehm
By Lars Rehm (1 month ago)

as we've seen on the Samsungs and other phones the Gyro-based systems aren't working well. I haven't tried the device yet but it seems Amazon uses the cameras, among other things, to make the system more snappy and responsive.

1 upvote
Richard Shih
By Richard Shih (1 month ago)

At any given time, the best 2 cameras are used for their Dynamic Perspective. In one of their promo videos they explain that hands and other objects sometimes cover the cameras if they only had two.

0 upvotes
joe6pack
By joe6pack (1 month ago)

285 hours of standby. Let's wait and see...

2 upvotes
badi
By badi (1 month ago)

most phones can do similar if you put them in airplane mode, and close all apps, and never turn the screen on to look at the clock or smth :)

3 upvotes
joe6pack
By joe6pack (1 month ago)

Nope. It is a phone. Airplane Mode is not standby. Standby means you can still receive calls. You can turn off the data but the voice must remain on.

0 upvotes
nikon power
By nikon power (1 month ago)

This Fire phone's camera technology can be greatly helpful for people with no so good vision such as myopia or even total blindness.
When they aim the phone at almost anything, up to 100,000,000 items such as door, door knob, sidewalk, light pole, dog, car, ATM keypad, etc. then the app will speak to them what they're looking at.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 53 seconds after posting
4 upvotes
dubstylz
By dubstylz (1 month ago)

All this tech watching us can't be good in the long run!

6 upvotes
Damo83
By Damo83 (1 month ago)

What would be wonderful is smart phone that has decent battery life. Then cram in all the bells and whistles afterwards.

1 upvote
Richard Shih
By Richard Shih (1 month ago)

Its rated battery life exceeds that of the iPhone 5S, while having a larger screen. However it does not list the battery life for Internet use, while Apple does.

0 upvotes
Just another Canon shooter

So this is essentially an advertising device, trying to make you buy something from Amazon?

2 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (1 month ago)

Well, it's also a phone and a gaming platform, but yeah - obviously Amazon's model seems geared around making money from letting you buy things using its hardware rather than from selling the hardware itself (opposite to Apple's traditional approach).

1 upvote
thx1138
By thx1138 (1 month ago)

So this is a US only phone? Obviously it wouldn't come to Australia, but what about the UK for example.

0 upvotes
Lars Rehm
By Lars Rehm (1 month ago)

well, there is also an off-contract version which I am sure you'll be able to buy outside the US soon. I am also sure Amazon is working on agreements with non-US carriers. They just usually announce this stuff in the US first, just like Fire TV for example.

0 upvotes
Richard Shih
By Richard Shih (1 month ago)

You'd also get the most bang for your buck in the US since a lot of the features (Prime instant video streaming, Prime music, etc.) are only available to the US market or the library is limited overseas.

0 upvotes
Maverick_
By Maverick_ (1 month ago)

The new Dynamic Perspective sounds like an excellent new gimmick to make the unit stand out from Android and iOS. Nice job there. Although seems a bit useless really, and may get boring fast, so what the images move a bit from side to side.

The Firefly is also pretty nifty. Point your camera to an item and get info on it, or buy it from Amazon.

6 cameras is setting the tone for the next generation of phones and future technologies.

However, why only AT&T and why $200? I am not complaining for myself as I use a Galaxy Note phone, which is the priciest in the lineup, but if this phone meant to be for the masses, why not a people-friendly price of $99? Specially for a 4.7" 720p screen?

Unless they want to make the phone appear as expensive initially and then drop the price down by 50% after 3 weeks and free with contract after 3 months.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 6 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
Artpt
By Artpt (1 month ago)

six cameras and not one lens caps....luckily I can get them on

.....wait for it

.....Amazon.com

5 upvotes
HaroldC3
By HaroldC3 (1 month ago)

Watch out Google, here comes Amazon!

0 upvotes
reginalddwight
By reginalddwight (1 month ago)

Brilliant. A new device that has the capability of further invading into your privacy (the little that's left these days) by tracking and recording your every movement and thought.

If I didn't know any better, this phone is almost as good as a microchip implant that sends back information to the mother ship in Seattle.

The end is really near....

15 upvotes
dubstylz
By dubstylz (1 month ago)

Amen!

4 upvotes
0MitchAG
By 0MitchAG (1 month ago)

Your phone currently does this anyway.

2 upvotes
gurmusic
By gurmusic (1 month ago)

Why?

1 upvote
tkbslc
By tkbslc (1 month ago)

Amazon devices help sell amazon media, apps and products.

The 3D is a gimmick to help it stand out in the news release.

1 upvote
SHood
By SHood (1 month ago)

They cannot compete directly in IQ against most cameras so they are trying different software gimmick to see if something sticks.

1 upvote
Total comments: 116
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