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Amazon Unveils the Fire Phone (Liveblog)

The Internet retailer has been laying the groundwork for a phone for years.

Liveblog highlights

  • Amazon debuted the Fire Phone, a smartphone with 4.7-inch screen, 2.2GHz quad-core processor and two gigabytes of RAM. It’s available for preorder today and ships on July 25.
  • The Fire Phone is available in 32GB and 64GB models. The first costs $199.99 with a two-year contract from AT&T. The second runs $299, also with contract.
  • Amazon is offering a year of complimentary Prime service with each Fire Phone purchase.
  • The Fire Phone is designed to work with Amazon services like Kindle, Prime Music, Prime Video and Mayday.
  • Amazon introduced “Firefly,” a new service that can identify products using the Fire Phone’s camera, and then add them to your shopping cart. It can also recognize music, TV shows and art.
  • The Fire Phone features Dynamic Perspective, which makes images appear to pop off its display.
  • Firefly and Dynamic Perspective are open to third-party apps, and Amazon is releasing SDKs for them both.

Amazon on Wednesday made its entry into the smartphone arena, announcing the $199 Fire, an Android-based device with a 3-D-like user interface and other features designed to stand out in a crowded market.

Another unique feature, dubbed Firefly, allows the phone to quickly recognize objects, barcodes, music and TV shows — making it all the easier, of course, for Amazon to sell those things. Firefly, though, also recognizes art, phone numbers and other useful information.

The device, which is exclusive to AT&T and will ship July 25, packs the usual high-resolution rear camera and speedy quad-core chip. In addition, it has four extra front-facing cameras used to provide the depth information needed for the “dynamic perspective” feature.

Dynamic perspective — the signature feature of the device — allows users to scroll and pull up menus without touching the screen, using just a flick of the wrist.

The Fire also includes the Mayday customer support feature that debuted with last year’s Kindle Fire tablets.

The 32GB model is $199 with a two-year contract, though AT&T will also sell it contract-free for $27 per month on one of its AT&T Next plans. For a limited time, Amazon is giving all Fire phone buyers 12 months of Amazon Prime service.

Here’s a recap of Re/code’s live coverage from the event:

This article originally appeared on

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