Amazon Fire Phone hits the UK — with one year's free Prime membership

The Amazon Fire phone, which seemed exciting but then got announced and suddenly wasn’t, is coming to the UK. Network O2 has acquired it exclusively, and will begin selling it for “free” on £33 a month contracts.

One interesting promotional carrot sees Amazon offering one year of free Amazon Prime membership to initial O2 subscribers, which is quite a handy thing if you like torturing your postie by making him carry your groceries in every day. Here it is:

amazon-fire-phone-uk

The Fire Phone is a powerful thing, right enough, with a 2.2GHz quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM, but the Amazon Fire OS and bewildering “Dynamic Perspective” home UI caused US reviewers to scratch their heads a little when it was launched over there earlier in the summer.

Check out the Amazon UK listing for more info. Weird to see it selling phone contracts. Here’s the ridiculously enormous centre-aligned press release:

Fire, the First Smartphone Designed by Amazon, Now Available in the

United Kingdom

Fire offered at a remarkable price on O2 Refresh—£0 upfront on the £33 tariff, only on O2

For a limited time, customers will receive a full year of Amazon Prime membership included—that’s Prime Instant Video, Kindle Owners’ Lending Library and unlimited one-day shipping on 7 million items

Seamless integration with Amazon’s vast ecosystem—over 33 million songs, apps, games, movies,

TV shows, books and more

Advanced, 13MP rear-facing camera with Best Shot and free unlimited cloud storage for photos

Live video tech support with a simple press of the Mayday button—24×7, 365 days a year 

New breakthrough innovations—Dynamic Perspective, Firefly button and more 

Amazon exclusives with ASAP, X-Ray and Second Screen 

LUXEMBOURG—Sept. 8, 2014—Amazon today announced that Fire, the first smartphone designed by Amazon, is now available for pre-order in the United Kingdom on O2 Refresh for £0 upfront on the £33 tariff, only on O2. Additionally, for a limited time (until 31 December 2014), Fire customers will receive a full year of Amazon Prime membership included. This is in addition to free unlimited cloud storage for photos taken on Fire and live video tech support with Mayday. Fire is the only smartphone with Dynamic Perspective and Firefly, two new breakthrough technologies that allow you to see and interact with the world through a whole new lens. Dynamic Perspective uses a new sensor system to respond to the way you hold, view, and move Fire, enabling experiences not possible on other smartphones. Firefly quickly recognises things in the real worldweb and e-mail addresses, phone numbers, QR and barcodes, text and translation, artwork, movies, music and millions of items, and lets you take action in secondsall with the simple press of the Firefly button. Fire will launch with new and enhanced features when it ships in the United Kingdom on Sept. 30, including the latest Firefly capabilities and auto-scroll in the Kindle Reader app. Customers can pre-order at http://www.o2.co.uk/fire or in O2 stores.  Learn more about Fire at www.amazon.co.uk/firephone.

“We’ve packed a lot of value into our first smartphone and we are delighted to bring Fire to customers in the United Kingdom,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon Founder and CEO. “Fire is a premium phone with breakthrough technologies Dynamic Perspective and Firefly, access to exclusive features including live video tech support with the Mayday button and free unlimited cloud photo storage, plus a full year of Prime membership—for £0 on the £33 O2 Refresh tariff only from O2.”

“We’re proud to be partnering with Amazon to bring Fire to the UK,” said Nina Bibby, Marketing and Consumer Director at O2. “Both O2 and Amazon share a passion for putting customers at the heart of everything we do, whilst driving innovation to deliver outstanding experiences. That is why, through this partnership, we’re so excited that O2 customers will be the first in the UK to get their hands on Fire. It has always been our ambition to offer the very latest devices and to unlock the possibilities offered by innovative technology, and this is further proof of that commitment.”

Dynamic Perspective—Immersive Smartphone Experience

Dynamic Perspective uses four ultra-low power specialized cameras and four infrared LEDs built into the front face of Fire, a dedicated custom processor, sophisticated real-time computer vision algorithms, and a new high-performing and power-efficient graphics rendering engine. Dynamic Perspective features include:

–          One-handed gestures: Auto-scroll, tilt, swivel and peek for quicker, easier navigation and a better media and entertainment experience. For example, with auto-scroll, customers can read a long web page or a book in Kindle Reader without ever having to touch the screen; tilt in messaging app to easily attach photos from the right panel; swivel instantly reveals quick actions; peek in Maps shows layered information like Yelp ratings and reviews of restaurants, bars and museums, and more.

–          Immersive apps and games: Dynamic Perspective enables a new class of apps and games that are more immersive, and make it quicker and easier for the user toaccess information. For example, the Met Office app lets you peek to see the percentage chance of precipitation and the UV information associated with the forecast. Tilt left panel to easily view BBC Sport categories for easy story navigation. In games like Real Boxing, block and dodge punches by moving your head closer to or further away from the screen.

–          Carousel: Stay productive with real-time updates and take action right from the home screen—triage e-mail, find recent photos, access most visited websites, return missed calls, view appointments, and more. Developers can customise the contents of their dynamic app and how it responds to user actions. For example, the JUST EAT app shows recent takeaways viewed and recent orders, and YPlan shows a curated list of local events with links to book tickets in just two taps, right from the Fire home screen.

Amazon launched the Dynamic Perspective SDK that enables developers to build new experiences with this groundbreaking technology. The Amazon Appstore has seen tremendous growth with the rate of app submissions to the Appstore more than doubling in the weeks following the Fire phone launch in the US In the UK, Fire customers will also enjoy eBay, Flixster, Groupon, TimeOut, Tube Map London Underground, Time Out, Thomas & Friends, in addition to the tens of thousands of others already available for Fire—Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, Pinterest, Skype, Spotify Music, Twitter and WhatsApp Messenger. Learn more about the SDK at http://developer.amazon.com/firephone.

Firefly Technology–Illuminate Your World

Firefly combines Amazon’s deep catalogue of physical and digital content with multiple image, text and audio recognition technologies to quickly identify a variety of items from the world around you such as web and e-mail addresses, phone numbers, QR codes and barcodes text and translation. Firefly also recognises artwork plus over 90 million items, including movies, TV episodes, songs, products and product barcodes. Simply press and hold the dedicated Firefly button to discover helpful information and take action in seconds.

–          Printed phone numbers, e-mail, web addresses, QR, and barcodes: Firefly identifies printed text on signs, posters, magazines and business cards—make a call, send an e-mail, save as a contact or go to the website without typing out long URLs or e-mail addresses.

–          Over 2,000 pieces of artwork: Firefly recognises famous paintings with information available via Wikipedia in English.

–          Over 30 million songs: Firefly recognises music and uses Amazon Music’s rich catalogue to show information about the artist – play music, add the song to your Wish List or download instantly to your Fire.

–          Tens of thousands of movies and TV episodes, and 29 live TV channels: Firefly recognises movies and TV episodes and uses IMDb X-Ray to show actors and related content.

–          55 million products, including household items, books, DVDs, CDs, video games, and more: Access product details add items to your Wish List or order on Amazon.

The Firefly SDK is available so developers can invent new ways to use this advanced technology. Learn more about the SDK athttp://developer.amazon.com/firephone.

Amazon Exclusive Features and Vast Digital Ecosystem—All Deeply Integrated

Fire seamlessly integrates Amazon’s vast digital ecosystem for instant access to over 33 million songs, apps, games, movies, TV shows, books and audiobooks, including thousands of exclusivesPlus, Prime members get unlimited streaming of more than 15,000 of popular films and TV episodes with Prime Instant Video, and over 500,000 books to borrow with the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.

Fire deeply integrates Amazon exclusive services:

–          Mayday is now available over 3G and 4G, in addition to Wi-Fi—simply hit the Mayday button in quick actions and an Amazon expert will appear via live video to co-pilot you through any feature on the device. Amazon experts are able to draw on the screen, talk you through how to do a task, or do it for you—whatever works best. Mayday is available 24×7, 365 days a year, and it’s free. Amazon’s response time goal for Mayday is 15 seconds or less.

–          ASAP (Advanced Streaming and Prediction) predicts which movies and TV episodes you’ll want to watch and prepares them for instant playback before you even hit play.

–          X-Ray helps you get more from books, movies and TV shows. Explore the bones of a book, including characters, ideas and background with a single tap on the screen; bring the power of IMDb right to Fire for movies and TV shows.

-          Second Screen lets you fling TV shows and movies from Fire phone to your TV. Second Screen turns your TV into the primary screen and frees up Fire phone to provide playback controls and a customised display for X-Ray, all without leaving the TV show or movie you’re watching. Second Screen is available for Fire TV, and coming soon on PlayStation 3, Playstation 4 and recent Samsung TVs.

-          Free unlimited cloud storage of photos taken with Fire, automatically backed-up wirelessly and available across Amazon devices and Cloud Drive apps so you have access anywhere.

Beautiful Industrial Design & Powerful Hardware

Built using premium materials, including Gorilla Glass 3 for the rear and front, aluminium buttons, stainless steel details and a rubberised polyurethane grip area, Fire is optimised for beauty, hand comfort and powerful performance:

–          Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 2.2 GHz processor and 2GB RAM for excellent fluidity and image rendering.

–          4.7-inch HD display with an ambient light sensor and Dynamic Image Contrast that delivers better outdoor viewing.

–          Global LTE and connectivity with nine bands of LTE, four bands of GSM and five bands of UMTS, customers get better voice coverage and faster data speeds; in addition to 802.11a/b/g/n/ac support, Wi-Fi channel bonding, NFC, and Bluetooth.

–          Dual stereo speakers with Dolby Digital Plus for a virtual surround sound experience.

-          Advanced imaging system with custom-tuned 13MP rear-facing camera with backside illumination, LED flash, 5-element f/2.0 lens, Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), and high dynamic range (HDR) capabilities for beautiful, crisp photos, even in low-light conditions.  Fire also includes a 2.1MP front-facing camera. Both front and rear-facing cameras take advantage of Best Shot, a helpful feature that lets the user pick the optimal photo from three options captured per shot, and records smooth 1080p HD videos. . Firefly also offers panorama and a new feature, lenticular capture mode, which combines a series of shots into a single photo that transitions the shots to “move” when the user tilts Fire. Customers can share the image as an auto-playing animated GIF for MMS, e-mail and social networking sites.

-          Reliable backup and restore leveraging the experience and operational excellence of Amazon Web Services and its cloud technology. Fire customers can automatically back up device settings, notes, bookmarks, messages and installed applications—no need to manually configure or connect to a computer.

Availability & Exclusive Network Partner

Fire ships on Sept. 30 and is available exclusively on O2. Starting today, customers can pre-order Fire at http://www.o2.co.uk/fire and in O2 retail stores. Fire is available with 32GB or 64GB on O2 Refresh and starts at £0 upfront on the £33 tariff with 2GB data.

Fire will run exclusively on O2’s superfast, multi-layered network in the UK. O2 runs 2G, 3G and 4G networks across the country and invests the equivalent of over £1.5m every day ensuring the best possible experience for its customers.

Limited Time, Introductory Offer

For a limited time (until 31 December 2014), Fire includes a full year of Prime membership. Enjoy streaming and downloads of thousands of popular movies and TV episodes with Prime Instant Video, over 500,000 books to borrow with the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, and unlimited one-day shipping on millions of items. With this offer, existing Prime members will receive an additional 12 months of membership.

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