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Amazon Fire Phone launch as it happened: Amazon launches amazing new smartphone with facial recognition and 3D features

Enjoy again our live coverage of Amazon's new smartphone launch - the Amazon Fire Phone

Amazon 3D smartphone

Enjoy again our coverage from Seattle, as Jeff Bezos launched Amazon's Fire Phone (review here). It's a 4.7in phone with access to Amazon's store and a host of facial recognition and 3D features. See also: how to get Amazon Fire Phone in the UK and Amazon Fire Phone release date, price and specs.

Tonight at 6.30pm UK time Amazon held an event in Seattle at which it announced its 3D smartphone -  the Amazon Fire Phone. We had a reporter on the ground at the event, and brought you live updates of everything that happened, as it happened. Click the Live blog frame below to enjoy the Fire Phone launch once again, as it happened.

Amazon Fire Phone launch as it happened

What is the Amazon Fire phone? Amazon Fire Phone specs and features

Amazon tonight announced a smartphone, confirming the worst-kept secret in technology. The company already makes Kindle e-readers and Kindle Fire tablets, and is now moving into the smartphone game. The Fire Phone has a 1280x720 4.7in display, a quad-core Qualcomm processor, Adreno 339 graphics and 2GB RAM. It comes in two storage sizes: 32GB and 64GB.  It has a 13Mp camera.

Amazon's hardware range is principally designed to be a conduit for sales of its content: books, movies, music and more. The Amazon Fire smartphone will be an extension of this. (See also: The Amazon phone's killer app could be shopping.)

Key features include a 3D display. A 3D interface that moves with its users as they tilt their heads. Indeed the Amazon Fire Phone can be controlled by head tilt. For this the Fire Phone has four facial-recogniton cameras.

Despite rumours Amazon is also rumoured to be considering setting up its own data service, the Fire Phone is locked to AT&T.  Amazon wants you to buy things to read, watch and listen to, and will take away all obstacles. The Fire Phone costs from $199.

Will the Amazon Fire Phone launch in the UK?

Almost certainly yes, at some stage. But not now, and probably not this iteration. The Amazon Fire Phone will launch in the US in July, and is available to pre-order now. Whether or not, or when, a UK launch occurs depends on whether Amazon can get its third-party product licences in place. This shouldn't be the issue it was with the Kindle Fire, as those issues have now been resolved. But it will take a while to work out the deals and go global.

What did Amazon say about the Amazon phone launch before it happened?

Plenty. But it is all cryptic. There is this video of people apparently reacting to the upcoming Amazon product:

And then there is the message on the invite. Amazon posted a copy of a children's book: "Mr. Pine's Purple House". On the cover is a note from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos saying: 'We're excited that you'll be joining us next week in Seattle. Enclosed is my favorite childhood book - Mr. Pine's Purple House. I think you'll agree that the world is a better place when things are a little bit different. See you soon.'

One other interesting thing about the launch: although Amazon is being super stingy with press invites to the event, and is not live streaming the Amazon phone launch, it did open up the event to a limited number of interested fans.

 See also: 28 best smartphones: The best phone you can buy in 2014

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