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Amazon unveils it's "Fire Phone"

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Three years of rumors finally came to fruition, Wednesday, when Amazon officially introduced a smartphone. Amazon Chief Executive Jeff Bezos made the announcement at company headquarters in Seattle, with just a few hundred in attendance. In all 60,000 people put their name in a lottery of sorts to attend the announcement, but Amazon chose just 300 people. They included members of the media, as well as app developers and Amazon consumers.

The Amazon “Fire” includes a number of consumer-friendly features, including something called Firefly. Bezos told the crowd Firefly has the ability to recognize 100 million items, from those that the phone hears to items it sees. They include the ability to distinguish television shows by scene, music by a few notes or even museum art. Firefly can also use product barcodes to help consumers put together a grocery shopping list.

The Fire also includes a 4.7-inch display, with Adreno 330 graphics. The phone weighs in at less than six ounces. The phone also comes with stereo speakers that are said to be better than other phones on the market. In addition, the phone comes with a 13-megapixel camera. On the side of the phone, there is even a quick-access shutter. Consumers hoping to hang on to their prized photos also get unlimited cloud storage.

The “Fire” is the latest in a string of electronics released by companies trying to encourage customers to stay on their platforms. The Amazon Fire capitalizes on already existing Amazon services. Those include Prime Video and Prime Music as well as WhisperSync for Voice. This app allows you to switch between listening and reading a book. As well, X-Ray gives you information about what you are watching.

The Fire phone will be available to the public for purchase starting July 25th. Prices start at $199, with service limited to AT&T. A two-year contract is required.

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