Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) may have made a misstep with its design of the Amazon Fire phone. An embargo on talking about the phone ended today, setting the device up for a launch on Friday, and the reviews so far leave a lot to be desired. The Amazon Fire phone is fine, according to reviewers, but there’s nothing that puts it ahead of an iPhone or an Android smartphone for most people.
Amazon Fire Review Roundup:
Here’s a look at what some of the biggest tech sites out there said about the Fire phone:
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The Verge: “Smartphones are for work, for life. They’re not toys, they’re tools. Amazon doesn’t understand that, and the Fire Phone doesn’t reflect it. Amazon’s first smartphone is a series of interesting ideas in a package that is somehow much less than the sum of its parts.”
Gizmodo: “In an alternate universe, it’s possible to see how a dirt cheap Fire Phone touting Firefly as its killer feature could have filled some sort of niche need for technology averse Amazon junkies. But as it stands—a premium quality phone with decent but not great software that attempts to hang its hat on a mainly on a gimmick—the Fire Phone isn’t something you want in your pocket.”
Ars Technica: “The Fire Phone will benefit from prominent placement on Amazon’s homepage, which is one of the biggest billboards on the entire Internet. It may merit a second look from people who are generally satisfied with their Kindle Fires. But the Fire Phone’s ecosystem isn’t as large or as healthy as iOS’ or Android’s, and we hesitate to recommend new platforms like this to anyone before they’ve had time to prove their worth and staying power.”
Wired: “You’d buy this phone for the free Amazon Prime and a quick fix for shoppin’ fever. It’s not a bad phone, it just isn’t in the same league as a top-tier Android phone or iPhone. When you look past its purchasing powers and its fringe benefits—which can’t be ignored—what you have left is a relatively unexciting handset.”
Cnet: “The Fire Phone’s pioneering tracking cameras and stunning 3D lock screens make it one of the most ambitious devices this industry has seen in a long time, particularly because Amazon has tried to spread the benefits of Dynamic Perspective throughout the phone’s mapping and navigation. You can easily live without either, and the visuals do burn through battery and exact a performance toll.”
Amazon Fire phone falls at first hurdle
The Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) Fire phone has fallen at the feet of tech journalists across the globe, and it has failed them. The phone’s cool features are apparently not all that great, its design is about as boring as a smartphone gets, and its ecosystem is so undeveloped beside competitors that it’s not exactly worth considering.
Lucky for the company, however, the Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) Fire phone is going to be advertised on the front page of one of the internet’s biggest websites for the next twelve months or so. Its features, which may be little more than gimmicks at the moment, may attract enough people to justify reiterating the device. Perhaps the Fire phone 2 will have more tech journalists on its side.