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Amazon Announces 'Fire Phone'

Soulskill posted about 3 months ago | from the not-actually-made-from-fire dept.

Cellphones 192

Amazon has unveiled the Fire Phone. It runs a modified version of Android, and it will launch exclusively for AT&T's network. The screen is a 4.7" IPS LCD (they tested from 4.3" to 5.5", and decided 4.7" worked best for single-hand use), with an emphasis on brightness. It runs on a quad-core 2.2GHz processor with 2GB of RAM, and an Adreno 330 GPU. It has a rear-facing, 13-megapixel camera using an f/2.0 five-element lens with image stabilization. There's a dedicated physical button on the side of the phone that will turn it on and put it into camera mode when pressed. The phone comes with dual stereo speakers that produce virtual surround sound. Amazon wants the phone to be distinctive for its ability to provide video content, both from a hardware and software perspective.

The Fire Phone runs Mayday, Amazon's live tech support service for devices. They also demonstrated Firefly, software that recognizes physical objects using the phone's camera, as well as TV shows and songs it hears. It runs quickly, often identifying things in less than a second (and it pulls up an Amazon product listing, of course). It can even recognize art. Firefly has its own dedicated physical button on the phone, and Amazon is providing a Firefly SDK to third parties who want to develop with it. Another major feature of the Fire Phone is what Amazon calls "dynamic perspective." Using multiple front-facing cameras, the phone tracks the position of a user's head, and uses that to slightly adjust what's displayed on the screen so content is easier to see from the new angle. It allows for gesture control of the phone — for example, you can tilt the phone to scroll a web page or move your head slightly look around a 2-D stadium image when browsing for available seats. Putting your thumb on the screen acts like a mute button for the head tracking, so it isn't confused when you look up from the screen or turn your head to talk to somebody. It's an impressive piece of software, and they've made an SDK available for it.

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Perhaps not the best name (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47265085)

...for any device that has batteries inside it. All you need is one faulty batch, and this is quickly confirmed as the phone that burns people's hands off.

Re:Perhaps not the best name (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47265171)

Perhaps one of the buttons can be set to directly call the Fire Dept.

Re:Perhaps not the best name (4, Funny)

neilo_1701D (2765337) | about 3 months ago | (#47265485)

Perhaps one of the buttons can be set to directly call the Fire Dept.

Mayday, perhaps?

Re:Perhaps not the best name (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47265193)

Maybe they should have called it the Phire Phone

Re:Perhaps not the best name (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47265215)

this isn't an apple product....but Im sure we'll have a lawsuit soon enough http://www.siliconbeat.com/2013/08/29/local-man-burned-up-by-apples-response-to-iphone-fire/

Re:Perhaps not the best name (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 3 months ago | (#47265245)

At least it's not a new phone from Sony themselves.

Re:Perhaps not the best name (3, Funny)

tooslickvan (1061814) | about 3 months ago | (#47265367)

Actually, Fire Phone is a great name the phone because if it catches fire but with a battery defect that causes it to catch on fire it will be too difficult to write headlines like Amazon CEO fired for Fire Phone fires that no one will be fired since no one will understand what's going on.

Re:Perhaps not the best name (3, Funny)

dtmos (447842) | about 3 months ago | (#47265451)

Yeah, "halt and catch fire" has a new meaning when the device has a lithium battery.

Re:Perhaps not the best name (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47265483)

Perhaps you'd prefer the "iRe phone" as it's sure to raise Apple's ire, since it's a rectangle with rounded corners, they're gonna sue...

If they don't sue, then Samsung can get all prior cases reversed.

Anyone else think Neo900 is too little, too late? (1, Offtopic)

CRCulver (715279) | about 3 months ago | (#47265135)

I loved my Nokia N900 phone (sadly lost somewhere in the wilderness of Africa), and I was long looking forward to the Neo900 [neo900.org] project that would give me a slightly upgraded device with the same hackability and (for privacy fanatics) cell modem walled off from device RAM. But every time I read a new phone announcement, like this Amazon one, my enthusiasm wanes. Even lower-end phones have increasingly fine resolution and RAM, while the Neo900 looks antiquated with its 3.5" TFT, 800x480 screen and paltry 1GB RAM. Mass production has been pushed back to Q4 2014, and will seem even more of a dinosaur once it's finally released.

It's sad that the only real chance for a nerd-friendly, hackable phone (Jolla is not open in some key respects) missed the boat.

Re:Anyone else think Neo900 is too little, too lat (4, Interesting)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 3 months ago | (#47265197)

My enthusiasm is dead not because of the tech, but because of all the handcuffs that come with today's devices.

This stupid Amazon phone, for instance, only works on the AT&T network. WTF? AT&T is probably the worst of the bunch. That alone disqualifies it for me. The bit about it spamming me with Amazon ads doesn't help. I don't need a phone that tries to sell me stuff.

Other Android phones aren't much better; they're closed-source and don't get updates for more than a few months after they're released. CyanogenMod may be a good alternative here, but you have to select your phone carefully here since only a few select phones have good CM support.

Apple phones are the epitome of lock-in. And Windows phones are, well, Windows phones.

What I want is a well-made Android phone that runs CyanogenMod, has an easily-replaced battery and SD card, and works on T-mobile (at least until they get consumed by some shitty company like Verizon).

Re:Anyone else think Neo900 is too little, too lat (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47265253)

That shitty company will be Sprint, you're welcome.

http://www.theverge.com/2014/4/30/5669598/sprint-will-try-to-buy-tmobile-in-june-or-july

Re:Anyone else think Neo900 is too little, too lat (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 3 months ago | (#47265415)

Oh right, that's what I was thinking of.

Anyway, I can only hope the deal falls through for some reason. The state of telecom in this country is simply horrible, and another merger will only make it worse.

Re:Anyone else think Neo900 is too little, too lat (3, Interesting)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 3 months ago | (#47265373)

What I want is a well-made Android phone that runs CyanogenMod, has an easily-replaced battery and SD card, and works on T-mobile (at least until they get consumed by some shitty company like Verizon).

How about a Galaxy S4? That's what I'm running. I have a Sprint-branded model running on Verizon MVNO prepaid (only carrier around here - sounds like it's different where you live). I got mine from Amazon, as it happens - looks like they have a T-Mobile [amazon.com] model too.

Mine's running 4.4.2 CM milestone, fully encrypted. 64GB SanDisk SDHC (make sure you do an aligned format under Linux) w/ Incipio Dual Pro case. Battery pops out on demand. Make sure you get Odin for Windows if you intend to install custom ROM's.

Re:Anyone else think Neo900 is too little, too lat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47265407)

Can't speak for the OP, but I won't touch any device made by Apple or Samsung.

Re:Anyone else think Neo900 is too little, too lat (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 3 months ago | (#47265487)

Thanks, I'll check it out. I'd like to just keep my HTC Sensation 4G, but it doesn't seem to be that well supported by CM.

Re:Anyone else think Neo900 is too little, too lat (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 3 months ago | (#47265557)

Wait, the fact that it's a $200+ physical shopping app with monthly charges doesn't bother you?

Re:Anyone else think Neo900 is too little, too lat (2)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 3 months ago | (#47265603)

Did you miss this line? "I don't need a phone that tries to sell me stuff."

Besides, you're not paying to be sold stuff, you're paying for a phone and the other functionality that comes with that. But the shopping stuff is an add-on that spoils the utility of the device IMO.

Still, I wonder how good the hardware is. If the phone is being subsidized by Amazon, and if CyanogenMod can make a new firmware for it (which doesn't have any shopping stuff or other crapware), then it might be worth it. Of course, Amazon probably wouldn't like that too much.

Re:Anyone else think Neo900 is too little, too lat (4, Interesting)

SpzToid (869795) | about 3 months ago | (#47265751)

Have you considered a Fairphone to meet your specifications, which among many other redeeming qualities prides itself on its repairability, which includes being able to root your own phone whenever you want? So you can install CyanogenMod, or perhaps Jolla's Sailfish OS (that can also run Droid apps). It has a *lot* going for it, especially its designer's goal of staying out of the scrap heap as long as possible. About the only downside is the one attribute they didn't prioritize by design is being the fastest phone with the latest technology; but you must also consider the upsides when doing your own research to see if this is a good phone for you.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06... [nytimes.com]

https://www.fairphone.com/ [fairphone.com]

It uses a GSM SIM card, so it'll work on T-mobile worldwide as you require. I've held one and it's plenty classy in the hand.

Re:Anyone else think Neo900 is too little, too lat (1)

BigBunion (2578693) | about 3 months ago | (#47266393)

Amazon doesn't seem like the type of company to negotiate exclusive (restrictive) deals like this. I'd bet that they decided to use a GSM radio in the phone, which will work around the world. Verizon and Sprint use a CDMA network that pretty much only exists in the US. Sometimes we tend to forget that the US only makes up 5% of the world's population.

Re:Anyone else think Neo900 is too little, too lat (1)

jbolden (176878) | about 3 months ago | (#47265271)

What's wrong with the Google Nexus as a nerd-friendly hackable phone?

Re:Anyone else think Neo900 is too little, too lat (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 3 months ago | (#47265335)

What's wrong with the Google Nexus as a nerd-friendly hackable phone?

Lack of a card slot and battery door. Otherwise nothing.

Re:Anyone else think Neo900 is too little, too lat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47266129)

While I understand some people want the SDHC slot and a spare battery many of us use and have used Nexus 4 and Nexus 5 phones with no problems. I handed my N4 down to my daughter when her old phone bit the dust and got an N5. My wife has the N5 and my son has the N4. None of us care that it doesn't take an SDHC card (we have no reason to use one) and the battery lasts more than all day for our usage pattern so it is all good. You may well use more battery and storage than we do and need those options. I'm not about to say your usage pattern is wrong; it isn't. But many folks are just fine with the Nexus phones as they are.

Re:Anyone else think Neo900 is too little, too lat (1)

CRCulver (715279) | about 3 months ago | (#47265455)

Unless I am mistaken (and please point me to a reference if so, I can't find one), GNU/Linux can only run in a chroot environment on recent Google Nexus phones, on top of CyanogenMod. The N900 booted into the same desktop Linux environment one is used to from one's PC without almost no tweaking.

Furthermore, I assume that the Nexus talks to its cell modem through shared memory, whereas the Neo900 promised to separate the modem from the rest of the system for the sake of security.

Re:Anyone else think Neo900 is too little, too lat (1)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | about 3 months ago | (#47265301)

Estimated price is between $800 and $1150. For a phone with an 800x480 screen? Seriously?

Re:Anyone else think Neo900 is too little, too lat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47265531)

Only absolute retards will buy it, instead of any number of well supported Android phones that developers and hackers play with daily...

Re:Anyone else think Neo900 is too little, too lat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47265891)

As I post, your comment is rated 0, and it does not deserve the low score. I hope mods will read my comment and agree.

You're Fired! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47265139)

Plus $5 Microsoft patent fees per phone?

prices (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47265145)

According to AT&T's site, the phone will cost $199 with a two-year contract for a 32GB device and $299 for a 64GB device. The phone will cost $650 off-contract, which is common for high-end smartphones.

Re:prices (1)

jayveekay (735967) | about 3 months ago | (#47265475)

None of the top-100 off-contract smartphones on Amazon.com are more than $250. I'm sure there are off-contract phones that cost $650+, but not a lot of people are buying them on Amazon.

http://www.amazon.com/Best-Sel... [amazon.com]

Re:prices (1)

kamapuaa (555446) | about 3 months ago | (#47265791)

but not a lot of people are buying them on Amazon

Yup. The top two selling phones are Windows, so obviously Amazon top-100 sellers are not representative of larger trends in the marketplace.

Re:prices (1)

tooslickvan (1061814) | about 3 months ago | (#47265819)

It seems like Amazon equates off-contract with prepaid. Try searching for unlocked phones and the Galaxy S5 ($589) is number 6 on the top sellers. http://www.amazon.com/Best-Sel... [amazon.com]

Re:prices (1)

radarskiy (2874255) | about 3 months ago | (#47266345)

The off-contract Fire Phone is still locked to ATT.

Re:prices (1)

tysonedwards (969693) | about 3 months ago | (#47266435)

The phone has *the same* specs as the OnePlus One, minus the head tracking camera. The OnePlus One costs $299 *off contract* while the Fire Phone costs $649 off contract. Are the head tracking cameras on the front are worth $350 extra versus an otherwise identically specced phone from a company that is actually turning a profit? The "value add apps" on the Fire Phone would seem more like an avenue for trimming margin rather than adding it, since they exist solely to sell you more things through Amazon.

Re:prices (1)

swv3752 (187722) | about 3 months ago | (#47266587)

Yeah, but I am fairly certain one will be able to buy an Amazon Fire Phone, unless one is really lucky at begging, one cannot buy a Oneplus One.

Sounds cool except for ATT (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 3 months ago | (#47265149)

Can't wait for the phones to be available used. Well, yes, yes I can wait, especially until I hear whether there's going to be a uSD slot

VIDEO??? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47265157)

Why are we always forced to read some crappy second-hand account of the introduction.

Where's the video of the event? Why isn't there a link directly to Amazon's website?

Re:VIDEO??? (1)

Russ1642 (1087959) | about 3 months ago | (#47265447)

I'm surprised AOL doesn't have a link on their homepage for you to click on. Remember, 'clicking' means left mouse button and 'right-clicking' is the right mouse button.

Not feeling it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47265177)

The web interface for almost every Amazon service is so abhorrent that I seriously doubt Amazon's ability to make a smooth phone experience for all of their offerings. And the quality outside of the interface is pretty scattershot. Do I really want to pay Amazon Prime for this weird hodgepodge of services (with variable quality) all under a single provider's thumb? And do I want to buy a new phone to do it? Absolutely not.

Seems like the answer to a question nobody was asking.

Holy crap that's expensive (2)

timeOday (582209) | about 3 months ago | (#47265195)

According to Amazon's website, the phone will range from $649 to $749 with an AT&T contract and will be available starting July 25.

cite [go.com] . Even if that's a misprint and that's the price without a contract, that is WAY too much money!

It is amazing how much phone you can get for $100 now - GPS, decently high-res screen, MicroSD slot. If you ask me the movement is towards off-contract phones that provide a decent value, and $749 phones are going the way of the $3500 PC.

Re:Holy crap that's expensive (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 3 months ago | (#47265227)

What's funny is that for a lot of us, our first PC probably cost around 3500$ back in the day and now most people think the Mac Pro is a really expensive computer.

Re:Holy crap that's expensive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47265445)

If you're the kind of person who needs workstation-class GPUs, the Mac Pro is an absolute steal - but that's more because margins on workstation cards are insane even by Apple standards.

Re:Holy crap that's expensive (2)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 3 months ago | (#47265479)

What's funny is that for a lot of us, our first PC probably cost around 3500$ back in the day and now most people think the Mac Pro is a really expensive computer.

That's true. But when I bought my first computer, there wasn't one sitting next to it for $200.

Re:Holy crap that's expensive (3, Informative)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about 3 months ago | (#47266041)

A walk down memory lane:

  • Apple Lisa: January 19, 1983: US$9,995
    Macintosh 128k: January 24, 1984: US$2,495
    Macintosh 512k: September 10, 1984: US$2,795
    Macintosh XL: January 1, 1985: US$3,995
    Macintosh Plus: January 16, 1986: US$2,599
    Macintosh 512Ke: April 14, 1986: US$2,000
    Macintosh SE: March 2, 1987: US$2,900 (dual floppy) US$3,900 (with 20 MB hard drive)
    Macintosh II: March 2, 1987: US$5,500
    Macintosh IIx: September 19, 1988: US$7,800
    Macintosh SE/30: January 19, 1989: US$6,500
    Macintosh IIcx: March 7, 1989: US$5,369
    Macintosh IIci: September 20, 1989: US$6,269
    Macintosh IIfx: March 19, 1990: US$9,900
    Macintosh Classic: October 15, 1990: US$999
    Macintosh IIsi: October 15, 1990: US$2,999
    Macintosh LC: October 15, 1990: USUS$2,500 (plus monitor)
    Macintosh Portable: February 11, 1991: US$6,500
    Macintosh Classic II: October 21, 1991 (MCII): US$1,900
    Powerbook 100: October 21, 1991: US$2,500
    PowerBook 140: October 21, 1991: US$2,900
    PowerBook 170: October 21, 1991: US$4,600
    Macintosh Quadra 700: October 21, 1991: US$5,700
    Macintosh Quadra 900: October 21, 1991: US$8,500
    Macintosh LCII: March 1992: USUS$1,400 (plus monitor)
    Powerbook 145-180 + Duos: October 19, 1992: US$2,150 - USUS$3,870
    Macintosh IIvx: October 19, 1992: US$2,950
    Macintosh IIvi: October 19, 1992: US$3,000
    Color Classic: February 10, 1993: US$1,400
    Macintosh LCII: February 10, 1993: USUS$1,350 (plus monitor)
    Color Classic II: October 1, 1993: US$1,400
    Too many to list: 1993: US$900 - US$5,900

I figured that would provide a useful summary of how prices on Macs were trending 30-20 years ago. These prices aren't adjusting for inflation.
Notable standouts: Quadra 605 in 1993 for $900 (sans monitor) and Mac Classic in 1990 for $999 - the two dips below $1,000 for Apple.
So compare prices:
All-in-one 1994: $1200-$1700
All-in-one 2014: $1099-$2199
Laptop 1994: $1450-$5200
Laptop 2014: $899-$2799
Desktop 1994: $1280-$6700
Desktop 2014: $2999-$6999
Handheld Device 1994: $500-$600
Handheld Device 2014: $229-$929

Summary: more range/options for all-in-one, laptop and handhelds today, less for desktop.

Re:Holy crap that's expensive (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about 3 months ago | (#47266103)

Silly me; forgot the Mini. Change to this:
Desktop 1994: $1280-$6700
Destop 2014: $599-$6999 ...and desktop has more range/options now too.

Re:Holy crap that's expensive (1)

jbolden (176878) | about 3 months ago | (#47265297)

Once you have several phones the cost of an on-contract phone is $40 including $17 (though usually closer to $20+) in subsidy i.e. only really about $18-23 on contract + $5g for extra data. The off contract prices in the USA aren't close to that low.

For an individual off contract makes a lot of sense but once you are buying 2, 3, 4 the on-contract experience is just too good.

Re:Holy crap that's expensive (1)

kamapuaa (555446) | about 3 months ago | (#47265353)

A lot of people spend a lot of time on their phone. Maybe 30 minutes or more. If your phone lasts you a couple years, paying a dollar a day for a phone that is (and let's be honest) substantially better is probably worth it.

If you don't use your cell except for emergency phone calls, yeah what the hell, get whatever's cheapest.

Re:Holy crap that's expensive (1)

timeOday (582209) | about 3 months ago | (#47265547)

Well, I tossed out the figure of $100 is pretty low, but even an LG G2 is right about half that. Then again, if you're resigned to being on contract with AT&T, I guess it makes sense to go with the phone that gets the biggest subsidy.

Re:Holy crap that's expensive (1)

kamapuaa (555446) | about 3 months ago | (#47265719)

$400 LG G2s are nowhere near as good as a $650 Galaxy S5, though. I can't tell strangers how to spend their money, but personally most people I know, and myself, use their cell phone enough that it's worth spending an extra $250 spread out over the course of two years.

And whether you have a 2-year contract or not is basically not a factor, my wife and I don't, and it seems T-Mobile and AT&T have both made monthly plans the focus of their marketing. I just said 2 years because that makes it about a dollar/day and sounds like a reasonable length of time to hold on to a phone.

Re:Holy crap that's expensive (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 3 months ago | (#47265559)

A lot of people spend a lot of time on their phone. Maybe 30 minutes or more. If your phone lasts you a couple years, paying a dollar a day for a phone that is (and let's be honest) substantially better is probably worth it.

If you don't use your cell except for emergency phone calls, yeah what the hell, get whatever's cheapest.

If we're actually going to use logic on this... You're likely to drop/break that phone in the first 6 months. We either need more durable phones are cheaper phones. Less durable, more expensive phones are definitely the wrong direction. I had a Chinese phone for a while that was waterproof, shock proof, dual sims, etc... I loved that phone but it only worked on 1 US carrier and they dont have service where I live now.

Re:Holy crap that's expensive (1)

kamapuaa (555446) | about 3 months ago | (#47265757)

If we're actually going to use logic on this... You're likely to drop/break that phone in the first 6 months.

I've never broken a phone. If 6 months was the expected lifetime, I'd pay extra for some kind of insurance plan.

Chinese phones work on unlocked GSM and work fine on AT&T, TMobile, or all the various cheap monthly plan services.

Nooooo... $199 on contract. (3, Interesting)

jpellino (202698) | about 3 months ago | (#47265469)

The higher numbers are for without a contract. Dynamic perspective is Apple's current feature plus flagpole-sitting. Firefly is nice, it's their version of Delicious Library plus Shazam plus ABC, "It even tells you where to buy it!" Really? Guess where it's going to tell you to buy it... That one handed tilt feature will come in very handy while walking or being the passenger in a vehicle. Repurpose it as a speed reading app.

Are they providing an SDK for Firefly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47265203)

I wasn't able to tell from TFS.

Is it locked to the Amazon app store like... (4, Interesting)

Assmasher (456699) | about 3 months ago | (#47265229)

...the rest of their stuff?

If so, not only a "no thanks" but I would like to add a "I hope you die a flaming fiery death and nobody is stupid enough to buy you..."

Re:Is it locked to the Amazon app store like... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47265429)

Yes, it is locked to the Amazon ecosystem. There is no access to Google Play, or anything else. The operating system is Fire OS, which is an incompatible fork of Android.

The phone is packed with proprietary software and DRM. There's no possibility of flashing your own Android image, (not to mention, a Free operating system like Replicant).

Here's yet another proprietary phone I'm not interested in.

Re:Is it locked to the Amazon app store like... (1)

sexconker (1179573) | about 3 months ago | (#47265441)

Of course it is - they're running a heavily modified version of AOSP, not Android.
Even if Android and the Play store were free and open, Amazon wants you to buy shit from their own store, not Google's.

Re:Is it locked to the Amazon app store like... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47265645)

The A in AOSP stands for...

Re:Is it locked to the Amazon app store like... (3, Informative)

MindStalker (22827) | about 3 months ago | (#47265555)

That may have been true in their first release, but Fire devices have been able to incorporate Google Play for a while now. There as "Apps from unknown sources" option now. Though it still a little tricky to copy over the apx file.

http://www.gizmag.com/how-to-i... [gizmag.com]

Re:Is it locked to the Amazon app store like... (1)

GweeDo (127172) | about 3 months ago | (#47266031)

I assume the parent is actually meaning applications that use Google Play Services (http://developer.android.com/google/play-services/index.html). These will never work on any Fire product.

AT&T exclusive? (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 3 months ago | (#47265265)

So much for being free of old-tech companies. I guess the "free to use" phone will have to come from Google.

Pre-order (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47265273)

This item will be released on July 25, 2014.

"Fire Phone", "Mayday service" (1)

JoeyRox (2711699) | about 3 months ago | (#47265275)

Is it a smartphone or a boat flare?

Kindle, ... fire ... next in line is: (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 3 months ago | (#47265299)

Inferno. Unfortunately the next product in line to take that brand name happens to be a line of refrigerators.

wi-fi (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47265339)

this is the first phone that I have seen that includes 802.11/ac. I wonder if any public hotspots uses ac or a.

Re: wi-fi (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47265471)

Moto X supports wireless ac and it's been out for a while.

Re: wi-fi (2)

Russ1642 (1087959) | about 3 months ago | (#47265589)

Microsoft says you shouldn't need ac. Just roll down the window.

The Jeff Bezos BozoPhone (1)

KrazyDave (2559307) | about 3 months ago | (#47265395)

Or the JeffBezosBozoFirePhone... amazing how Amazon misjudged the stupidity of th public so badly. Or did he? What are those assholes calling themselves - "'ZonHeads" or some crap like that?

Resolution is 1280x720 (5, Insightful)

sexconker (1179573) | about 3 months ago | (#47265417)

This thing should fail and fail hard.

AT&T only.
1280x720 resolution.
$649 or ridiculous contracts.
No external sd support.
Not real Android.
No Google Play store or Google apps.
Weakly specced.
Nonstop monitoring and control by Amazon.

It's going to sell like fucking hotcakes, isn't it?

Re:Resolution is 1280x720 (4, Insightful)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 3 months ago | (#47265521)

Never underestimate the stupidity of the general public.

Re:Resolution is 1280x720 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47265761)

AT&T only.
1280x720 resolution.
$649 or ridiculous contracts.
No external sd support.
Not real Android.
No Google Play store or Google apps.
Weakly specced.
Nonstop monitoring and control by Amazon.

It's going to sell like fucking hotcakes, isn't it?

Better res and cheaper than iphone 5S (1136x640, $749 or ridiculous contracts)
No external sd support....just like the apple crap

Not real Android? I bought a Kindle Fire just to play with and it is very much android, yeah it is locked down unless you jailbreak it.

No Google Play store or Google apps. Who cares, you can still use a bunch of free sites and assuming it is like the kindle fire you can sideload *.apk files.

Weakly specced. compared to what? it beats the iphone 5s again
CPU: 2.2GHz quad-core snapdragon vs 1.3GHz dual core A7
RAM: 2GB ram vs 1GB ram
battery: 22hrs talk/ 285hrs standby vs 10hrs / 250 hrs

I'm not saying its a great phone, it certainly isn't a HTC one or galaxy S5 but it isn't horrible and if more people to switch to "Not real Android" phones from completely shit ios phone it'll be an overall win for society.

Re:Resolution is 1280x720 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47266577)

Better res and cheaper than iphone 5S (1136x640, $749 or ridiculous contracts)

Some people care more about pixel density than resolution.

Re:Resolution is 1280x720 (1)

squiggleslash (241428) | about 3 months ago | (#47265845)

Not sure all of your criticisms are fair, though I agree generally it's ridiculously expensive and locks the user into bad things, like AT&T. Other items on your list that I agree are bad are issues you and I are in a minority with - SD card support, for example.

To be fair though there are some interesting UI innovations there. I'd be interested to see if other phone companies follow suit.

And I hope they weren't stupid enough to give it a glossy screen if the UI is based on creating an optimal view based upon how the phone is tilted.

Re:Resolution is 1280x720 (1)

jellomizer (103300) | about 3 months ago | (#47265929)

I don't think it will sell to well. The Kindle Fire had the advantage that it was cheap... This isn't really that cheap.
Apple iPhone or the Samsung Galaxy looks sharp. This just looks like generic Smart phone.

The feature that is has is cool for a few seconds then you get sick of them.

How is it weakly spec'd (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about 3 months ago | (#47266033)

Specs look in line with other phones to me. The Note 3, which ran me like $700 (no contract), is 2.3Ghz quad core and an Adreno 330. So this seems pretty similar.

Only thing I see is the screen rez, but that really isn't that big a deal. The ultra high rez for phones thing is a little silly. Once you get around 300PPI or so, which this is, there really isn't any visual detail to be gained. Pixels are too small to be perceptible. So it is spec wanking to go higher and higher on small displays.

Criticizing the lock-in is very valid, but the price and specs seem in line with the other stuff out there.

Re:Resolution is 1280x720 (1)

tapi0 (2805569) | about 3 months ago | (#47266343)

Let me help you out...

**

This thing should *sell* and *sell* hard.

AT&T only. (Amazon customers know they're using the same provider that supports kindle data, so are assured that Amazon know that their partner will deliver a good service)
1280x720 resolution. (matches the films resolution that they'll get from Prime)
$649 or ridiculous contracts. (includes Prime ! Yay! ....And 24hr direct support)
No external sd support. (important to an amazon customer?)
Not real Android. (important to an amazon customer?)
No Google Play store or Google apps. (But has an app store that already provides thousands of apps for kindle and *other* phones and tablets)
Weakly specced. (important to an amazon customer? no, really - look at the video, it shows it *doing stuff* and that's all that matters, not your gigabitz and mega hurts)
Nonstop monitoring and control by Amazon. (*important* to the amazon customer - as before, it *works* and when it doesn't, or I don't know how to make it work then there's that friendly Amazon to the rescue)

It's going to sell like fucking hotcakes, isn't it?
*yes*

Don't underestimate how most of the things you or I may see as a negative, are actually welcomed by others (Oh..... "and it's 3D!!! ")

$750??? HAHAHAHAH!!! (1)

EmagGeek (574360) | about 3 months ago | (#47265425)

Fuck you, Amazon. I'm not paying $750 for your spyware-ridden piece of garbage.

Re:$750??? HAHAHAHAH!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47265561)

$649 for the base one, the same as basically all other flagship smart phones... and other Android phones aren't spyware ridden?

Re:$750??? HAHAHAHAH!!! (2)

uCallHimDrJ0NES (2546640) | about 3 months ago | (#47265587)

$649 for the base one, the same as basically all other flagship smart phones... and other Android phones aren't spyware ridden?

Jeff, is that you?

Why ex clusive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47265507)

Oh goodie. A phone that only a fraction of potential customers can buy. Yep. That makes sense.

Why not limit use of amazon.com to AT&T customers too?

So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47265515)

A telecom that bends over for the NSA, and a CIA contractor have a cellphone for you.

Niche phone on exclusive carrier (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47265539)

... expensive. ... all the features are around buying things, which I use my phone for... basically never. ... why?

Hard to see the point (5, Funny)

DrXym (126579) | about 3 months ago | (#47265551)

When shopping for phones I always look for one which runs a fork of Android, which is locked into Amazon services, which is tied to a phone provider and doesn't cost any less than a regular unencumbered phone.

Re:Hard to see the point (1)

uCallHimDrJ0NES (2546640) | about 3 months ago | (#47265613)

I agree. The AT&T exclusivity is particularly unappealing. Does Amazon think they have something desirable here? Where is the hook that makes the exclusivity worth it? It's hard to fathom what they are thinking.

This reminds me of the ROKR E1 (4, Interesting)

sirwired (27582) | about 3 months ago | (#47265701)

This phone strongly reminds me of the Motorola ROKR, a pre-iPhone device whose sole redeeming quality, vs. any other dumbphone of the time, was that it could play tracks you downloaded from iTunes and manually transferred to the phone over USB 1.0. It would only accept 100 songs and/or 1GB of files, whichever limit you hit first. It wouldn't play MP3's.

Amazon has released a phone that has nothing to distinguish itself from the competition other than the fact it is hog-tied to the Amazon ecosystem. It's does not have any particularly interesting features that could not be implemented in pure software, and the price is nothing to write home about either.

I don't see any reason why anybody would purchase this over the Moto G LTE, or any number of other smartphones that are available for a heckava lot less money. If you really don't mind being tied to a contract, there are better phones for less than the $200 they want.

Brick and Mortar stores are going to love this (1)

robstout (2873439) | about 3 months ago | (#47265709)

Thank you Amazon for making it that much easier to browse items at my local Best Buy, and then purchase from amazon. I'm wondering how many stores will be willing to carry this if/when it becomes more widely available.

Re:Brick and Mortar stores are going to love this (1)

Russ1642 (1087959) | about 3 months ago | (#47265771)

How exactly would this phone make it any easier?

Re:Brick and Mortar stores are going to love this (1)

robstout (2873439) | about 3 months ago | (#47265837)

Based on TFS, the phone is running a program that identifies devices, and then pops up amazon's part number, etc. Sounds like Shazaam, but for stuff, instead of music.

Re:Brick and Mortar stores are going to love this (1)

Russ1642 (1087959) | about 3 months ago | (#47266395)

Nothing they can't put in a normal app.

Fanboys.. (1)

sqorbit (3387991) | about 3 months ago | (#47265735)

The Kindle Fire seems to have fans just like Apple. While not nearly coming close to Apple fans numbers they are just as set in their ways. It will sell to those fans. The media/books/apps they suck down from the Amazon store and the shopping they do with Prime it should do well enough to stick around as a niche product.

Incredibly HOT product name (1)

WaffleMonster (969671) | about 3 months ago | (#47265769)

No doubt whoever came up with the name "fire phone" will continue to enjoy a long and prosperous career at amazon long after typing "fire phone" into Google and clicking image search.

Maybe this is for our parents? (3, Interesting)

Schnapple (262314) | about 3 months ago | (#47265775)

The Fire Phone runs Mayday, Amazon's live tech support service for devices.

I haven't experienced it myself but when I see the Amazon Kindle Fire commercials where they demonstrate you can talk to a live Amazon person to help you use your tablet, my first thought was "that would be great for my parents", especially since it would lessen the number of calls I would get from them on how to do something with their technology device du jour.

You would think that something locked down like an iOS device wouldn't lend itself to needing this kind of tech support help, but in certain areas - especially phone calls - there's a certain level of resistance to technology complexity with the older crowd. It sounds like I'm being mean with regards to age but I have known several older people over the last few years who went out and bought an iPhone because it was the new shiny thing and then took it back because they couldn't figure out how to use it or didn't like how complicated it made things. As much as it makes perfect sense to you and I that the phone is a more generalized computing device nowadays and wanting to make a phone call is basically launching a program, the older set knows that you used to just open the fucking thing and start dialing.

I'm not sure if the Fire Phone will make all that better (in particular I can almost guarantee my parents in particular would fucking hate the 3D screen thing) but I do think perhaps there's an untapped market out there for people who want a less-smartphone. After all, isn't that basically what "locked down" Android tablets like the Kindle Fire and the Nook are? Google, Apple and Microsoft are all trying to outdo each other on technical whiz-bang, and this entry from Amazon doesn't seem to impress the Slashdot crowd at all. Maybe this one is for our parents?

Creeeepy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47265865)

These cameras on the front look creepy.

As if the Android market needed more fragmentation (1)

Begemot (38841) | about 3 months ago | (#47266081)

I hope this thing doesn't take off, or we'll have to test our apps on yet another device running a heavily polluted Android

Why get into the phone biz? (1)

Lawrence_Bird (67278) | about 3 months ago | (#47266173)

This is really all about their extra software. Why not just license it to phone mfgs?

Re:Why get into the phone biz? (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | about 3 months ago | (#47266485)

"People who are really serious about software should make their own hardware." - Alan Kay

Facebook tried that strategy and it failed miserably.

One could argue that Windows Phone and Android are living proof that this isn't a profitable strategy.

I'm not even joking about Android not being profitable for Google, or anyone else really. [nytimes.com]

Dedicated camera button? (1)

kbahey (102895) | about 3 months ago | (#47266355)

There's a dedicated physical button on the side of the phone that will turn it on and put it into camera mode when pressed.

What?

I've had that since 2013 on my Sony Xperia ZL.
And even before that on the Sony Xperia Arc.
And even before that on the Sony Xperia X10 since 2011.

Poorly Priced (1)

brunes69 (86786) | about 3 months ago | (#47266377)

Let's see.... either you pay $199 and get locked into an AT&T contract and then have to pay even more money to get your phone unlocked at the end of it, or you pay $349 and get a Nexus 5/6 and use it with any carrier you want. Oh and did I mention it also has access to the Play store?

What's up with the bigger screen sizes in phones? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47266439)

I'm terribly disappointed that Apple doesn't offer the iPhone 5s in 4s screen size (less than 4 inches) because I can't use it easily with one hand, which I could on the iPhone 4. Same thing happens on other Android phones, you have to look for budget versions but then other components like camera or storage suffer. And here comes a phone with 4.7 inches screen? What are these guys smoking? Who the hell can operate such a monstrosity with one hand?

PS. Yes, I need it for fapping.

What are the rest of the specs? (1)

anchor_tag (2971059) | about 3 months ago | (#47266581)

I stopped reading once I hit AT&T
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