Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos unveils 4.7-inch Fire smartphone

Jun 19 2014, 12:34 IST
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Bezos calls the screen, measuring 4.7 inches diagonally, ideal for one-handed use. Bezos calls the screen, measuring 4.7 inches diagonally, ideal for one-handed use.
SummaryAmazon Fire Phone is smaller than leading Android phone, but larger than Apple's iPhone.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has unveiled a new smartphone called Fire Phone. It's smaller than leading Android phone, but larger than Apple's iPhone. Bezos calls the screen, measuring 4.7 inches diagonally, ideal for one-handed use.

During an announcement event, Bezos talked about the things people can do with it. The Fire Phone will bring features found in other Amazon devices, such as X-Ray for supplemental content and Mayday for live tech support.

A Firefly feature will direct people to things people can buy on Amazon.

Here's what's coming out of the event at Seattle's Fremont Studios, about a 10-minute drive north of the company's headquarters:

SPECS AND FEATURES:

The phone has a screen that measures 4.7 inches diagonally. Bezos says the size was chosen to be ideal for one-handed use.

Bezos touts the camera on the new phone. He says it has image stabilization to counteract shaking as people take shots. Amazon is offering unlimited free storage on its Cloud Drive service.

The phone will come with earbuds that have flat cords and magnets to clasp them together, so tangled cords will be history.

The phone will have features familiar to users of other Amazon gadgets. Besides X-Ray and Mayday, there's access to e-books to borrow for members of Amazon's $99-a-year Prime program.

A new Firefly feature will let you snap bar codes, phone numbers, book titles and more with the camera. Firefly will then guide you to, say, buy a physical book or an e-book through Amazon. Firefly also has audio recognition, so it can listen to a song and direct you to buy it later.

Media reports have pointed to having multiple cameras to produce 3-D images. It wouldn't be the first 3-D phone, but it would set it apart from leading phones such as Apple's iPhone and Samsung's Galaxy S5.

Amazon's Kindle tablets run a highly modified version of Google's Android system, and it's likely an Amazon phone would do the same. That means apps for the phone would be limited to what's available through Amazon's own app store. The store has grown to include more than 240,000 apps, but there's much more for Android and Apple devices.

AVAILABILITY:

The Wall Street Journal has reported that AT&T will be the exclusive carrier for the new phone. If that's true, it would be a similar approach to what Apple took when it unveiled its first iPhone in 2007. AT&T had exclusive rights to the iPhone in the U.S. until 2011, when

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