back to article Amazon's not-actually-3D Fire: Bezos' cash register in YOUR pocket

If you like smartphones and you like shopping, then you just might like the Fire Phone, the first handset to be released by Jeff Bezos' etail juggernaut Amazon - and as you'd expect, it's all about shopping. The announcement that Bezos' e-tail titan plans to release an own-branded mobe came as no surprise, but what was …

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  1. R 11

    Comfortable?

    An adult head weighs over ten pounds. About five kilos in new money.

    Moving your head a lot is typically uncomfortable. Try tilting your head and keeping it at an angle for a minute. To me at least, this user interface sounds exhausting at best, and downright painful at worst.

    I really can't think of a worse way to navigate a phone than moving my head.

    1. Maty

      Re: Comfortable?

      Um ... I don't think you move your head. You move your hand, and the phone works out what your POV is from the relative angles of phone screen and face.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Comfortable?

      With rounded corners looks suspiciously like something from Apple.

    3. J__M__M

      Re: Comfortable?

      I agree.... whiplash cases will skyrocket from people just trying to unlock their phones. What were once simple tasks will now be absolutely exhausting for all but the most diehard Metallica and/or Megadeth fans. They should forget the free year of Prime and just include one of these ASIN: B002204ZG6

      So how much does the average human arm weigh, anyhow?

    4. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Comfortable?

      People move their head constantly when interacting with the real world or talking to people. Whereas sitting still with a fixed, unblinking stare at your screen is proven to be bad for your health.

      Agree it's pointless though.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Does it do phone calls?

    Only that wasn't covered in any of the promo videos or marketing blurb on the site.

  3. Buzzword

    Disappointingly expensive

    It's more expensive than I expected. A brand new Google Nexus 5 starts from $349 contract-free. It gives you the same vendor lock-in you'd enjoy with Amazon, plus access to a bigger App Store. Sure, the phones are technically different; but tech specs were never going to be the USP of an Amazon phone.

    The Kindle Fire tablets were competitively priced. This thing isn't.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Disappointingly expensive

      iirc, google subsidizes the nexus 5, so that $350 is closer to $450 (or $500 if you upgrade the nexus to 32GB).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Disappointingly expensive

        I very much doubt that the Nexus costs Google anything like that. The BOM cost is probably around $200, $300 with logistics. What Google spends almost nothing on is marketing and sales.

        In the same way Amazon's M&S is close to free because they own the channel. So yes, this thing is far too expensive. The Oppo Find 7a has a 1080p screen, a later generation SOC, and retails for €400, about your $450. The Find 7, with a 2k screen, is still cheaper than the Amazon thing.

  4. JDX Gold badge

    Prime service, which includes ... free two-day shipping

    Actually it includes same-day shipping, aimed at next-day delivery. Cue people whinging parcels take weeks to arrive and then the delivery driver wipes his ass on it and chucks it in your pond...

    1. TitterYeNot

      Re: Prime service, which includes ... free two-day shipping

      I think whether you get 1 or 2 day delivery with prime depends on whether you're left or right-pondian. And as the not 3D wonder thingy isn't available in the UK yet...

      1. Random Handle

        Re: Prime service, which includes ... free two-day shipping

        >I think whether you get 1 or 2 day delivery with prime depends

        I use it a lot in the NW UK - it's very fast - orders at 6PM turn up at 9AM - I've done this with RAM, cables & books.... they also deliver on Sundays here, so it really is next-day.

  5. Joe K

    Useless

    One of the main reasons that WinPho fails for most people is the lack of appstore.

    Amazon's appstore is like a random scattering of apps, some you've heard of, most you won't have, and whose only criteria is their devs who decide to give some money to Bezos.

    Locking out the Play store may work on their tablets, but it'll go down like a lead balloon on a phone, where users demand a bit more freedom.

  6. gazzton

    Wrist motions feature

    "Another feature allows you to scroll continuously through content using only wrist motions"

    How thoughtful for those with a penchant for adult sites.

    1. AbelSoul

      Re: Wrist motions feature

      How thoughtful for those with a penchant for adult sites.

      And for the darts players among us.

      "It's Jocky at the Oche - just look at that wrist action!"

  7. James Boag

    Re Prime service, which includes ... free two-day shipping

    They chuck them in your pond !, I had no idea that the post office were so helpful, I know where im ordering my fish from in future !

  8. Robert E A Harvey

    Good stuff

    I am quite impressed. It's good to see someone not following the herd, but actually thinking about what you can do with all the wizardry about.

    I don't want one, of course, as it is a temple to consumerism by a tax-evading group of shits. But it is a clever temple to consumerism by a clever tax evading group of shits.

    1. Hardcastle the ancient

      Re: Good stuff

      Presumably the single downvote was from a tax-evading shit?

  9. Mage Silver badge

    Variable perspective

    Makes far more sense than Stereoscopic, works for all, less tiring as it's not an illusion (Stereoscopic viewing has the problem that the two images are different, but all elements are at the same focus distance causing unconscious attempts to refocus and thus eye strain)

    Also unlike a lenticular Stereoscopic screen could in theory be turned off.

    Probably useful for Product Previews. Does Amazon sell much stuff then? :-)

    1. Bassey

      Re: Variable perspective

      That's what I thought. If I've understood it correctly, it works in the same was as this (by now very famous) video of the guy who hacked a Wii sensor bar to do something very similar - and boys is his effort effective.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jd3-eiid-Uw

  10. Mage Silver badge

    PMP features & battery life

    Sounds like it could replace my aged Archos 505 WiFi. I'll wait till my Sony Experia I bought S/H for €50 dies.

  11. PCS

    .... Another feature allows you to scroll continuously through content using only wrist motions.

    Nuff said :)

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Too pricey

    Taking his cue from Apple, this Bezos guy.

    Who wants an expensive piece of TAT with a walled garden system?

    And to do what? Buy stuff from Amazon? That one can still do in many ways. Why would I need an expensive phone to accomplish that?

    Dont the designers thhink about us consumers?

    Reminds me of BB tablets (tied into BBM account and all that restirctions).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Too pricey

      Who wants an expensive piece of TAT with a walled garden system?

      you're absolutely right, expensive consumer electronics permanently linked to company specific app stores have never succeeded.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Too pricey

      "Reminds me of BB tablets "

      I don't understand - I've bought stuff from Amazon using a Playbook, and I've never used BBM on one.

  13. Jason Hindle

    I suspect Hudl Phone will beat it to the market, in the UK

    I think the Hudl Phone will beat this device to the market, here in the UK. The Tesco product will not be as well specified, but it will be on the shelves of your local supermarket, be keenly priced and come with Google Play's superior app store. Last time I checked the Amazon App store, they still didn't stock 4OD, for example.

    1. Moosh

      Re: I suspect Hudl Phone will beat it to the market, in the UK

      Tesco will probably push it hard with Clubcard points, too. Like the Hudl tablet; only about £60 if you use clubcard points.

      I work in their bloody head office and I hear about this stuff after the general public.

    2. Hardcastle the ancient

      Re: I suspect Hudl Phone will beat it to the market, in the UK

      Not heard much about the Hudl. Did they make a 2nd batch?

  14. DougS Silver badge

    When do we see the eBay phone and Walmart phone then?

    If Amazon has success with a phone linked to their store, surely others will follow.

    1. Benchops
      Joke

      Re: When do we see the eBay phone and Walmart phone then?

      Why would eBay and Walmart link their phones to Amazon's store?

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  15. Tony Paulazzo

    Boring!

    and pointless, unless you're an Amazon - olic, in which case you'd already have the Kindle Fire. I don't think it'll do a Facebook phone dive - there's a lot of committed Amazonians out there, probably enough to stop it sinking like a lead balloon.

    Also, aren't AT&T like the devil or something? why only do business with the worst phone company in America?

  16. Christian Berger Silver badge

    Race to the bottom

    While in the 1990s smart phones still were like little computers you had some control over, today they are more and more becoming consumption devices. This device is just an example of this race to the bottom. A device which is only made to allow you buying things.

    Particularly in the US there is no reason why this shouldn't continue. People rent their handsets from their operators and operators are all for such devices since billing means they can have a share.

  17. Moosh

    I think they've missed a trick here. For a phone with such mid range specs they're charging about as much for it unlocked as an iPhone 5, when I'm almost certain most were expecting the phone to be a cheap affair.

    I mean, I'm sure it will sell, but Amazon could have easily subsidized a much cheaper phone that I'm sure people might have picked over price alone, never mind their brand recognition. I'm pretty sure the Kindle would be doing terribly if it was priced the same as an iPad. This is no different.

  18. James 51 Silver badge

    And still no Amazon instant video app for android never mind windows or BB10.

    1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      ...or for ChromeCast.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Really? that's quite shocking that they have it for iOS but not for any of the others, especially considering Amazon is more Androidey than Appley already.

      Doesn't really inspire confidence in Amazon.

      1. James 51 Silver badge

        The only unique selling point of a fire tablet is that single app. You can do everything else it can do with a stock android tablet and the amazon apps.

      2. D@v3

        no 'instant video' on Android

        I figured that this is because they (Amazon) know that if you are an iOS user, you are likely to stay there, but they (Amazon) still want some of your custom (charge for Prime Video).

        Where as, if you are an Android user, they might be able to tempt you away from Google, with the promise of Amazon content apps.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Image

    I think the biggest drawback is the logo on the back. For many people a phone is a social signifier, ref. the Android vs. iOS fanbois.

    I'm not sure that many people would want to identify themselves as "cheap shoppers" every time they put this thing to their ears. The brand itself is very strong, but I doubt it has the 'cool factor' . On the other hand, there are loads of people who will use an iPad for taking photos, so there's that.

    1. Youngdog

      Re: Image

      I don't know about that - plenty of people feel the need to wave their Kindles around in public

  20. Frankee Llonnygog

    Disappointing

    I was hoping that the 3D tech would allow me to pluck a physical book out of the screen

  21. Gil Grissum

    Not interested in a phone that's watching and listening to what's going on around me. I'm sure that the NSA and GHCQ would love for lines to form to buy this phone, but I won't be in any of those lines.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Amazon's Fire Phone accomplishes the facial tracking with its four corner cameras and knows where a user's head is at all times".

      So, the phone knows where your head is, and the phone is from Amazon, and Amazon has been called out for sharing data with the NSA...

      That should make drone strikes against your head a lot more accurate.

  22. jonaD

    This is Apple Corp's Game.

    Apple already has patents on VERY similar if not exactly the same technology. It has been waiting I think for another company to fund the mass marketing of a new product in order to ascertain the success potential of this use of eye tracking.

    If Amazon makes a bundle, Apple will be in there suing them, and if they fail, Apple will promote their failure to their advantage... so in the end, no matter the results, this is Apple's game, let's see how they play it out.

    1. muttley

      Re: This is Apple Corp's Game.

      It's to do with the method.

      I do think the reverse is true: Amazon have just eaten Apple's lunch here.

  23. fredphoesh

    GIANT FAIL!!!

    Amazon are misguided if they think an Android phone can have relevance WITHOUT GOOGLE APPS!!

    Seriously. It is not great, but OK to have a Kindle Fire with the retarded form of amazon's android, but a phone? Without Gmail, Google Maps, YouTube, Google Docs, Google Navigate etc etc etc???

    FAIL FAIL FAIL!!!

  24. Crazy Operations Guy Silver badge

    Odd that they'd be exclusive to AT&T

    Especially since they've already been working with Sprint to run the Kindle Whisper Network.

  25. JacobsLadder

    AT&?

    So what's the monthly cost you pay to AT&T for an individual plan? Is it the same as on AT&T's website or is it lower because it's through Amazon? Couldn't find any pricing on plans at Amazon. Also, that phone is UGLY. And with 720 resolution, that's less than what the first gen iPhone had! Just what the world needed: another fork of the already fragmented Android OS for developers and consumers. I have an Galaxy S4 phone with Android 4.2 whilst my neighbor on a different carrier has Android 4.3. These carriers, and Amazon, need to get their $hit together and have one AOS that supports the panoply of LTE phones on the market. I'd prefer an Apple phone but I don't like having to wear reading glasses just to read or text on my phone. Hopefully the rumored nextgen Apple iPhone will finally have a decent-sized screen.

  26. Korgarath

    The only thing that could possibly make me interested in this is the sort-of-3D technology. No Google Play store? Seriously, screw that. If it's not too difficult to root the device, install a custom ROM so you still get the proper Android experience WITH the play store and still keep the special functionality then I *might* get this. Though it probably won't be long until Samsung/HTC/Sony follow suit and include this tech with their phones.

  27. Gian
    Flame

    Amazon on fire !

    It just came in my mind: isn't the word FIRE really to avoid near AMAZON ?

    Not very green, even if the youngest generation, getting to know the immense forest, may think it has been named after the corp.

  28. Dr_N Silver badge

    How much?!

    Amazon.com have it on pre-order for $649 without a contract.

    No thanks.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    One day they'll get it right

    And that'll be the day Amazon ads quit telling me about stuff I have just looked at and start telling me about stuff I will want (not what the Amazon twats THINK I will want) next. That, and when Amazon quits telling me about what other people bought after seeing the same thing I have just seen. I-dont-give-a-shit about what other people looked at. Why should I, Amazon? And when Amazon quit telling me about stuff I have just bought. If I wanted TWO widgets, dont you think Id have bought them first time round? Or did you think Id have a brainstorm and forget just where I got the first widget from if I ever decided to get another one? Fuckwitted advertising like that is one reason Amazon isnt normally my first stop.

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