Tech experts say the Amazon Fire Phone, which goes on sale today, has shown little spark.
Tech experts say the Amazon Fire Phone, which goes on sale today, has shown little spark.
ANDREW GOMBERT/EPA

Rumors had swirled for weeks. Speculation had reached its zenith. And last month, a packed audience of journalists waited to hear Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announce what many thought would be a new Amazon smartphone.

And a smartphone it was.

The Amazon Fire Phone, which goes on sale today, was the culmination of years spent honing the device. It was also the first stab by the e-commerce giant at entering the fiercely competitive phone business.

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Now, almost a month after the Fire Phone launched, the people (and by people, we mean the tech experts) have spoken—the Amazon Fire has shown little spark.

The New York Times called it “no looker. An indistinct slab of glass and plastic, the Fire Phone looks more like a minimalist prototype than a finished product.” The Wall Street Journal noted that “on the smartphone fundamentals, the Fire stumbles.”

Most complaints revolved around subpar battery life, clunky aesthetics, and a dearth of basic functions that its competitors installed long ago.

Yet Amazon has continued to hawk the bulky device, front and center, on its homepage, emblazoning advertisements for the phone throughout its interface. While perusing Amazon web pages, you can barely escape.

The reviews, we should note, were not completely abysmal. Some experts say that the phone included some innovative features and was “technologically impressive.”

But on the fundamentals, the meat and potatoes, Amazon Fire fell flat.

Amazon has taken a beating on the stock market today on the basis of a poor earnings report.