Amazon Announces "Fire Phone"

Online retail giant officially reveals its own smartphone during event today in Seattle; has 4.7-inch HD screen and new visual recognition program called Firefly.

Image credit: James Martin/CNET

[UPDATE] The Amazon Fire Phone will be sold through AT&T. A 32GB version will sell for $200, while a 64GB version will be available for $300. The phones ship July 25.

The original story is below.

Amazon's long-rumored smartphone is real. Today during a special event in Seattle, the online retail giant officially announced the "Fire Phone," joining Amazon's growing lineup of physical products that already include Kindle Fire tablets, Kindle readers, and the Fire TV set-top box.

The Fire Phone has a 4.7-inch HD display, aluminum buttons, a Qualcomm processor, Adreno 330 graphics, 2GB of RAM, and a 13-megapixel camera--which features a f/2.0 five element lens and optical image stabilization. It also includes a "Mayday" button, allowing you to tap into Amazon customer service 24x7x365 if you need help in any way.

Amazon's Fire Phone also features a new service called Firefly, which is a visual recognition program that can see objects, QR codes, URLs, and bar codes. If you walk by a sign featuring a phone number, Firefly will recognize this and automatically call the number if you want. Firefly can even recognize music and audio from TV shows and movies.

There's no word yet on pricing or carriers. Amazon's press conference is ongoing. For more, you can follow along with GameSpot sister site CNET's liveblog.

No mention of video games was made today during the event, but Amazon is making moves in the gaming space. The company acquired Killer Instinct developer Double Helix earlier this year, and has even formed its own internal game development team, hiring Portal, Halo, and Far Cry developers to work there.

The Fire Phone runs on a version of Android and confirmed apps so far include HBO, Netflix, ESPN, YouTube, and Showtime Anytime. CNET reports that Amazon Prime members will have unlimited storage for photos. The phone also sports a special 3D interface called Dynamic perspective, which changes as you move the phone and your perspective relative to it.

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Eddie Makuch

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.
77 comments
meowstan
meowstan

Another company, another phone it's getting a bit ridiculous. It seems like a good price though but I dont see it doing well? I mean what makes an amazon phone better than and iPhone or Android...

leimonides
leimonides

A phone that isn't huge? Nice. Can't stand all these mini-tablet-sized phones. Can that Firefly feature be turned off? That would get highly annoying to always be alerted to the things it picks up because it's doing it automatically. I want to be able to pick-n-choose that kind of thing. The Dynamic Perspective thing seams kinda cool, but not something really necessary and again, if its able to be turned off and on, might be okay to use every now and then. 


At the end of the day it's not something I would get, especially since it's on AT&T


While the news is nice, not sure what this has to do with video games....... to say that they were not announced seams.....well its a very poor attempt to qualify it for posting on the site. Just an observation. 

gauravbidasaria
gauravbidasaria

here is the pricing details and release dates of the amazon fire phone that is being so heavily being compared with the likes of Galaxies, iPhones and HTCs


http://tac2.in/1nltK43

80sgamerftw
80sgamerftw

Toss it in the fire with the rest of the non video game articles.

hystavito
hystavito

I think that always available live help is a great idea.  It could really help pull in some less technical people who maybe so far have been intimidated by smartphones and tablets, and although many of us around here wouldn't fall into that group, it's actually probably a pretty big market.

StonerDemon
StonerDemon

WOW!! It looks just like... all the other smartphones out there.

spikepigeo
spikepigeo

Don't know why I expected it to run a custom OS. Android is everywhere these days.

Ripper_TV
Ripper_TV

"A 32GB version will sell for $200, while a 64GB version will be available for $300. "

Such a marketing ploy... and with other products too.


For a producer, 32 gigs or flash cost about $10.

pikachudude860
pikachudude860

Fire Phone? Somehow, I don't feel comfortable using it...

Derekuda
Derekuda

Last time I checked, phones aren't videogames... which leads me to believe this is some sort of paid promotional article from Amazon. Also, mobile gaming is NOT real so don't even think of giving that excuse.

jellyman68
jellyman68

1. Mobile gaming is more popular than console gaming

2. A Playstation or Xbox isn't a game either. Should Gamespot stop talking about those too?

Zombrex
Zombrex

@jellyman68 Saying mobile gaming is more popular than console gaming is like saying walking is more popular than driving. It's not popular because people want it, it's because it's all they have and it's cheaper.

derekscorp
derekscorp

Yeah right Amazon. You can't even access the Google store for apps and such on their products. It'll be another dismally-selling flop just like the Kindle Fire.

Thorgallll
Thorgallll

Boring, 3D was a failure on Tv's and will also fail on smartphones. Oh man i am so tired of companies trying to create a hype on nothing.

kvan33
kvan33

So with this Android phone, you can have both your email and your Amazon account hacked.

Peugeot_Rocket
Peugeot_Rocket

@freedomzealot 

That is not slavery. These people choose to work there for a given wage and accept the "uncomfortable" working conditions. Back in the day I worked in a factory without air conditioning and it sucked. But guess what? It was my choice. I chose to work there so in no way could I hold the company responsible for not pampering me.

God forbid the company needs people to work long hours to fulfill orders. They are paying them to work long hours and they are getting paid extra for over time. Sounds pretty fair to me. Nothing "abusive" about that.

This entitlement attitude is getting out of control.

Btw, that article just reeks of bias. Couldn't you tell by the wording? It was just a giant attack on big business. I love how they say Amazon's "sweat shop" work environment is due to business friendly policy. It's a socialist web site for crying out loud.


As far as the deaths go, yeah that sucks. But accidents happen. I'm not trying to downplay this but it's important to keep these things in perspective. Amazon should have made sure their equipment was properly maintained. But it's easy to target these big corporations despite the fact work place accidents happen all over the country quite frequently. It's not like Amazon was intentionally not maintaining equipment because they wanted to create a dangerous work environment.



Peugeot_Rocket
Peugeot_Rocket

@freedomzealot @Peugeot_Rocket 

We can't say for certain it's a matter of working there or starving. Despite the way the economy is right now, there are other options. And even if you are compelled to make a choice out of necessity, it is still a choice.


I'm not apologizing for anything because there is nothing wrong here. So what if it's hot? So what if they have to work long hours? They are getting paid for it. Not to mention they are getting compensated extra when they work overtime. The average Amazon warehouse employee makes nearly $12 an hour. So, they are making about $18 an hour when they work overtime. That's pretty damn good for a no skill, no college, entry level job. Can you honestly say that sounds like a sweatshop? No way in hell could you find a sweatshop that pays anything close to that.

Like I said, I worked in a factory without air condition doing heavy, fast paced physical labor. When I was working there on 90+ degree days I was miserable. But it was my choice. I knew when I took the job what they were going to pay me and what the conditions were like (in this case no AC). I made the decision to take the money in exchange for working in miserable conditions. I never once blamed the company because if I didn't like it, I didn't have to take their money. So, no. I wouldn't change my tune if I worked at an Amazon Warehouse. I don't feel entitled to anything so maybe that has something to do with it..

Again, you are misusing the term "slave". If you could talk to a real slave, someone being held against their will and forced to work for no compensation and tell them about Amazon, I bet they would be thrilled to work there given the choice. Furthermore, if you told them the Amazon workers are equivalent to slaves, I bet they would slap you in the face.


gajbutler
gajbutler

lol $200 on contract...... only an id*ot would pay for their phone on top of a contract. 

returnofsoma42
returnofsoma42

Now this sounds like something I'd be interested in!  Also I kinda like the name for the new service called Firefly.  

Peugeot_Rocket
Peugeot_Rocket

@returnofsoma42 

Just curious, but what specifically makes you interested?


Firefly isn't really a new service, just a marketing term to woo people who don't know any better. All android phones can already do this provided you download the right app. I can scan qr codes and have my phone identify my music. I wouldn't be surprised if there is an app to scan numbers too.

OhSnapitz
OhSnapitz

Well I have sprint so this is a no go for me anyway.. but I'm heading towards the S5.  It expands on the features I enjoy using and it's available on my carrier.  

OhSnapitz
OhSnapitz

@fredyellowone


..phones play games.  Amazon marketplace has a plethora of gaming goodness.  ergo this phone can be used as a gaming device.  

day3002
day3002

@OhSnapitz @fredyellowone Well you both are right. But TV's also play games but we dont talk about them. Guess they got nothing else to write about. simple as that.

deth420
deth420

@day3002 @OhSnapitz @fredyellowone i could go for a nice read about some smart tv's, or the like. as long as, after the article we all meet up for the new tv wars flame bait.


Toshiba ftw

BamaGoatt
BamaGoatt

This is a contract phone $649.00 and $749.00 to get it without contract well back to looking at other phones for me.

BamaGoatt
BamaGoatt

@Ripper_TV @BamaGoatt yeah that is the no contract price on Amazon too bad because $199.00 with no contract I would have bought one.

Ripper_TV
Ripper_TV

@BamaGoatt @Ripper_TV What black sorcery technology are they packing in there, so it costs more than any iPhone? Cause the ones mentioned in the article are nothing special at all. And on top of that, Amazon always sells at a loss... I don't get it.

DrKill09
DrKill09

If I drop my Fire Phone in the toilet, do I get Steam?

Tomcat2007
Tomcat2007

"If you walk by a sign featuring a phone number, Firefly will recognize this and automatically call the number if you want".   Any guesses to what the most often disabled feature of this phone will be?  

DrKill09
DrKill09

@Tomcat2007  Man, that's stupid.  I'm sure THIS will happen a LOT:


Guy walks into a public restroom.  Writing on the stall door says "For a good time, call Hairy Bob (555) 555-5555", and the phone dials the number on its own.  :P

BamaGoatt
BamaGoatt

What would be nice is if prime members get it half price that would get me to renew my prime which ends in two or three weeks.

BamaGoatt
BamaGoatt

@BamaGoatt never mind just saw you get a full year of prime for buying the phone so it is half price technically good move Amazon.

bouchart
bouchart

It's just another smartphone in a mature, even oversaturated, smartphone market.

naryanrobinson
naryanrobinson

While I don't think it will be bad, I can't see why anyone would want one, although the price seems pretty reasonable.

Also I imagine words must have been had over the rights to call something "Firefly".

b1gt0ne
b1gt0ne

kindle fire is garbage this phone will be garbage too

BamaGoatt
BamaGoatt

@b1gt0ne kindle fire hdx is the best tablet on the market. This phone however is not for me when I can get other phones cheaper. I don't really care about features or internet on the small screen.

BamaGoatt
BamaGoatt

@b1gt0ne changed my mind if it is a go phone at that price I hate contracts.

b1gt0ne
b1gt0ne

@BamaGoatt @b1gt0ne If it's anything like the kindle fire or the kindle fire HD then there's no way it's remotely good.

TalSet_11
TalSet_11

@b1gt0ne @BamaGoatt Kindle fire HDX is a pretty solid consumable tablet if you're not intending to get work done.  For games and media, it's great, but I'd never own one.