Open Thread: Your Thoughts on the Amazon Fire Phone?

Amazon has officially unveiled its first phone, the Fire Phone. The device sports decent specs (4.7-inch HD display, 2.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm processor, 2GB RAM, 13MP OIS camera, etc.) and runs $199 or $299 on-contract with AT&T (exclusively) depending on how much storage you jump at. It launches July 25 and can be pre-ordered already.

The Fire Phone relies on features like “Dynamic Perspective” to stand out from the crowd, which is a 3D-like experience that utilizes front facing cameras to follow your every head-move. There is a feature called Firefly that can take text, audio, or video and present you with results for it on the phone, in hopes that you will buy them, more than likely. It uses Mayday for live support like Amazon’s tablets do, forces you into Amazon’s ecosystem, and even includes 12 months of Prime for free should you buy one.

But is it all just one giant gimmick to get you to buy more stuff from Amazon? The phone doesn’t scream “high-end” by today’s standards if you look at the specs, unless you consider a 4-camera 3D trick to be high-end. The price is insanely high if you compare it to what true Android or iOS devices have to offer (like the HTC One (M8), Galaxy S5, or iPhone 5s). The Amazon ecosystem isn’t great by any means in terms of apps or music. So what’s the play here? Why would you want one?

It’s time to sound off in the comments.  (more…)

Pre-order the Amazon Fire Phone Right Here

If you are interested in Amazon’s new Fire Phone, you can pre-order starting right now.

You can buy the phone with 32GB or 64GB of storage. The 32GB model runs $199 on 2-year contract or $649 at full retail. The 64GB model is $299 on 2-year contract or $749 at full retail. Keep in mind that the phone is an exclusive to AT&T.

Amazon Links:  Fire Phone (32GB, $199) | Fire Phone (64GB, $299)

Amazon Announces the Fire Phone

Amazon just unveiled their first phone, the Fire Phone.

It is as expected. There is a 3D like UI thanks to a bunch of front facing cameras, with an effect that Amazon is calling “Dynamic Perspective.” The phone itself sports a 4.7-inch HD display, 2.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm processor, 2GB RAM, 13MP rear camera with OIS, and of course, runs Amazon’s custom Android interface that tries as hard as it can to hide Android.  (more…)

T-Mobile’s John Legere Isn’t Exactly Excited About a Potential AT&T Exclusive on Amazon’s Phone

When Amazon unveils their first phone tomorrow, at a press event in Seattle, don’t expect their neighbor, T-Mobile, to be in attendance. AT&T has reportedly been given an exclusive on the phone, something T-Mo CEO John Legere voiced his displeasure with this morning. In a series of Tweets sent by Legere, he made it clear that he thinks it “sucks” for both consumers and the industry, but also warns Amazon that another mega-company tried something similar with AT&T and failed miserably. Yes, he is talking about the HTC First, also known as the Facebook phone.  (more…)

AT&T Will Reportedly Be the Exclusive Carrier of Amazon’s New Smartphone

Amazon is widely expected to unveil a new smartphone tomorrow, potentially equipped with sensors that track your eyes and shift the display’s perspective in three-dimensional ways. That may sound like an out-of-the-box approach to the handset space, but the retail giant is reportedly playing it safe in other ways. According to the Wall Street Journal, the phone’s availability may be initially limited to AT&T when it launches in September. (more…)

Monday Poll: Do You Use the Amazon Appstore?

Amazon announced today that its selection of apps in the Appstore has tripled in the past year and that “developers continue to report strong monetization” thanks to the apps they sell there. Rather than simply pass along that news, we thought we would instead see if any of you care.

Because well, Amazon used to grab our attention with free apps of the day, but even that train seems to have run out of steam over the last couple of years. In other words, we rarely talk about the Amazon Appstore unless they are bundling a whole bunch of apps together for free for a special occasion. In fact, I had to install the store this morning in order to take the picture at the top of this post.

So I’m curious – do you use the Amazon Appstore to download apps?

Do You Use the Amazon Appstore?

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Amazon Launches Prime Music, Free Song Streaming Service for Amazon Prime Members

It seems Amazon’s negotiations with the recording industry have finally come to fruition. Amazon’s oft-rumored music streaming service was announced today as Prime Music, a benefit to Amazon Prime subscribers, providing unlimited and ad-free song listening.

Amazon’s music service, which has been rebranded as Amazon Music, is placing a big focus on curated playlists. The service has Prime Playlists for genres, artists, and activities, all available at launch, with more to come in the future. Alternatively, Amazon is using personalized recommendations to serve up individual songs and albums you’ll ostensibly enjoy. (more…)

Deal: Grab a Nest Thermostat on Amazon for $229, $20 Off Retail

You know what would make an awesome Father’s Day gift? A Nest thermostat. For a limited time only, you can grab a Nest smart thermostat from Amazon for $20 off of the retail price, bringing your total to $229. Not a bad deal for your tech savvy dad.

For those not familiar, Nest is a thermostat that you can install by yourself, in your home, in place of your current thermostat. The company claims to save you money throughout the calendar year by performing more efficiently than your current thermostat, since it learns your patterns and adjusts temperatures based upon them, automatically.  (more…)