Rumors have long pointed to an Amazon smartphone (3D technology, AT&T exclusive, four front-facing corner cameras), so when they finally took the wraps off the Fire Phone on Wednesday little was left to the imagination. Nevertheless, it's always better when it's official, especially if you avoid reading articles based on rumors and speculation.

The Fire Phone features relatively current specs aside from the display, including a Snapdragon 800 pushing pixels to a 4.7-inch 720p display (the lower resolution was necessary for the 3D effects). The phone has a rubberized frame surrounding a chassis flanked on the front and the back with Corning Gorilla Glass (sound familiar, Nexus 4 owners?). Buttons are made of aluminum (including a dedicated camera/"Firefly" button) and the phone flaunts dual stereo speakers.

"Dynamic Perspective" gives you some interesting eye candy on your display and unique photography capabilities that far outpace HTC's failed Evo 3D. The four front-facing cameras allow for wider viewing angles for that selfie, and they take 3D photography to a level beyond the background blurring effects found in the likes of Google's camera app and HTC's M8 dual rear cameras. The display also shows you 3D imagery in supported apps such as Amazon's new map app and Stubhub (an SDK is available for third-party app developers). It also provides some rather interesting ways to control your phone in one hand (scroll by tilting, for example).

I'll go into more details of the specs, the 3D "Dynamic Perspective" feature, Mayday, the Firefly feature and other Fire OS 3.5 software features in separate articles. For now, I'd say there are enough interesting features to make you pause before trying to unlock the bootloader, root and install a custom ROM with Google Play access.

"Firefly" is a cult classic Sci-Fi Western starring Nathan Fillion, Summer Glau and Adam Baldwin like a hybrid of Google Goggles, SoundHound and the Amazon shopping app. Mayday is live 24/7/365 video-enabled tech support with an Amazon rep who'll likely be far more helpful than the reps at the AT&T store - it made its debut last year on Amazon's Kindle Fire tablet lineup.

As expected, the Fire Phone is an AT&T exclusive, available for pre-order now for $199 on a two-year contract for the 32GB version and $299 for the 64GB version. The full retail price is $649 (32GB) or a whopping $749 for the 64-GB version. To sweeten the deal Amazon is throwing in a year of free Prime membership (which would otherwise set you back $99), including free 2-day shipping for items bought from Amazon.com, smörgåsbord video streaming and the new Amazon Prime Music service.

Below you can see the full streaming video of Amazon's Fire Phone launch:


Sources: press release, Amazon product pages (32GB) (64GB)