Apple's iPhone and Samsung's Galaxy probably aren't shaking in their boots after the much-anticipated announcement of Amazon's smartphone, dubbed the Fire Phone. The new kid on the phone block sports some high-end specs and interesting features (3D images and maps), but it faces a battle to make its mark against entrenched rivals, especially considering it isn't dirt cheap and is tied exclusively to AT&T as a carrier.
One of the Fire's more intriguing features is Firefly, a Shazam-style way to scan and tag songs, film, and TV shows combined with a barcode scanning function that lets you price-check millions upon millions of products. The idea is to encourage users to order more through Amazon. It's like having a little Amazon Prime robot with you at all times, telling you, save a few bucks and buy online. Dedicated Amazon shoppers may find this feature handy. Others may see this as just another volley in Amazon's assault on physical stores.
Amazon seems to be gearing the phone for Amazon Prime subscribers and Kindle fans who want a more integrated Amazon experience on their phone. CEO Jeff Bezos wrote in an introductory note on the Amazon home page: "Fire is the only smartphone to put everything you love about Amazon in the palm of your hand."
The Fire will be coming in late July with a price tag of $199 for 32GB and $299 for 64GB. That expense comes with a free year of Amazon Prime for a limited time. Are you ready to welcome Amazon's newest baby with open arms, or are you sticking to your current favorite smartphone? Vote in our poll and tell us why in the comments.