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Amazon Announces 'Fire Phone' 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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Amazon Announces 'Fire Phone'

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  • prices (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 18, 2014 @02:59PM (#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.

  • 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]

  • 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.

Help! I'm trapped in a PDP 11/70!