Walt Mossberg gets right to the point in his review of Amazon’s Fire Phone:
But I consider the Amazon Fire phone no more than an interesting first step. In my tests, I found its big new features less useful than I expected, and sometimes outright frustrating. And, arriving seven years after the debut of the first modern smartphone, Amazon’s new entry lacks some key functions both Apple and Samsung include.
But over at the NYTimes.com, Farhad Manjoo is more bullshitty:
Amazon’s focus on the Fire Phone’s flashier side is unfortunate, because when I dug beneath the gimmicks, I found something better than 3-D heroics. The Fire Phone is uncommonly friendly and easy to use. As a bare-bones smartphone, it should prove especially attractive to people who find themselves overwhelmed by today’s crop of do-it-all superphones. When you forget about its whiz-bang marketing, the Fire begins to stand out as something much more interesting: a phone for the rest of us.
Uncommonly friendly? How so? And what is a “do-it-all superphone”? Is he referring to Android phones? iPhones? Without specific comparisons, none of this means much.
Later on, Manjoo on the “carousel” feature:
But what the Fire Phone lacks in aesthetics and breadth of capabilities, it makes up for in ease of use. Consider the phone’s main app-launching interface, the “carousel,” which should be familiar to people who’ve used Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablets. The interface constantly sorts your apps according to how recently you’ve used them. This let me navigate my phone very efficiently, often saving me from getting lost in a sea of apps — a common occurrence on most other phones.
Call me crazy, but I do this thing where I put all my essential apps I use on a daily basis on my first home screen. On my second screen, I have lesser-used apps organized in folders by function: Look, Listen, Read, Socialize, Buy, Pay, Travel, Create and Play. If you’re getting lost in a sea of apps on your phone or tablet, maybe you’re the problem, not your device, Mister Manjoo.
All in all, I get the impression the Amazon Fire Phone is not a great phone.