Fire Phone in Amazon's Top 10 all week, but 15% of reviews feature the word "return"

Fire Phone in Amazon's Top 10 all week, but 15% of reviews feature the word
All around the internet, the Amazon Fire Phone has been getting fairly bad reviews. The general consensus is that it is great for hardcore Amazon users, but not really all that good as a smartphone. Surprisingly though, there have been customers for the device, which has appeared in Amazon's Top 10 best-selling smartphones all week. 

Quartz has been keeping track of the Amazon Fire Phone. Since its release, the 32GB model has been number one or number two in Amazon's top 10 best-selling smartphones with contracts, and the 64GB model has even popped up at the bottom of that top 10. So, there are obviously those out there who are buying the phone, but there are a couple of things to keep in mind when looking at this data. 


First of all, Amazon is not really known for selling smartphones. By far, the most contracts are sold either through the carriers directly or by Best Buy. In fact, NPD said, "Amazon is not a factor in sales of smartphones in the US." So, getting the top spot on that Amazon list isn't all that impressive, because it doesn't require selling too many devices. 

The other trouble for Amazon is in the user reviews of the Fire Phone. When Quartz looked at the reviews, there were 311 total reviews (with an average rating of 3 out of 5 stars) and 46 of them included the word "return", which is almost 15% of all reviews. Not all of those reviews can be taken as users that did return the device, one of the top ones says, "Initially I hated it and was going to return it BUT....." Although, on the other hand, there are likely more users who returned the phone but didn't leave a review. 

Either way, this is not really an impressive first foray into smartphones for Amazon. The company seems committed though, so we'd expect another Fire Phone next year. We're just hoping Amazon can make the Fire OS a bit more accessible and intuitive, and maybe get more apps in the Appstore.

source: Quartz

Related phones

Fire Phone
  • Display 4.7" 720 x 1280 pixels
  • Camera 13 MP / 2.1 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 800, Quad-core, 2200 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB
  • Battery 2400 mAh(22h talk time)

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15 Comments

1. fzacek

Posts: 2486; Member since: Jan 26, 2014

The average rating for the phone is 3.2 out of 5 on Amazon's website. Ouch!

2. kzat82

Posts: 27; Member since: Dec 26, 2013

I wonder how many of those reviews verified purchases.

3. fanboy1974

Posts: 1345; Member since: Nov 12, 2011

I personally would not trust any data on Amazon.com regarding this phone. I don't care if this phone received 5 out of 5 stars. My gut tells me that it's right up there with the Facebook phone and the Microsoft Kin disaster. There are so many negatives from the phone to the price and to the exclusive at&t deal. This phone needed to be $200 unlocked on every carrier. I give Jeff B. a few weeks to drop the on contract price to free with 2 years of prime. Better do something because iPhone 6 will occupy the news for months. Everybody knows that iPhone is right around the corner.

4. hafini_27

Posts: 948; Member since: Oct 31, 2013

It is a mediocre phone at best

5. 0xFFFF

Posts: 3806; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

Jeff Bezos -- the entire line of Kindle Fire devices is basically one big F**k You to the customers. You know it, the customers know it. There are tons and tons of real people who have posted insanely negative reviews of almost all Kindle Fire devices. Why don't you make Amazon content work well with all Android devices instead of making your own walled garden? That's the long term vision of a company that becomes an important part of peoples' lives over the long term, and this open approach will be a lot more successful than making your own private brand tablets and phones. BTW, many Kindle e-book reader customers would like to see some upgraded units. Where's the 300dpi paperwhite model? Or perhaps a really nice AMOLED e-book reader that supports inverse mode display?

12. ocilfa

Posts: 334; Member since: Aug 03, 2012

Simple, its easy to nurture a walled garden, than a wild field. Get over-complicated software and devices and you become samsung.

13. Luuthian

Posts: 332; Member since: Sep 09, 2011

That's not true in this case. Google's core Android services are easily available to any Android manufacturer. The walled garden exists in this instance because Amazon wants the control. They want 100% of the profits. And they need 100% too, because if they just opened the platform up then there's a VERY good chance everyone would just buy their apps from Google Play instead of the Amazon App Store. That would spell disaster for Amazon's business model of selling their tablets for what is nearly cost. They need the royalties from ads and apps, and they want to strongly convince the consumer that Amazon devices are the best place to keep everything they own. The Fire Phone was a debacle. They thought the phone would sell based on gimmicky tech and the hope that a consumer would want an always on shopping platform carried around with them. Problem is that the phone looks like gabage, the camera gimmick has virtually no practical use, and it turns out people don't need a super fancy online shopping mall in their hands. Oh, and it has crap specs, poor battery life, and is stupid expensive for what it offers. This will be a HUGE disaster for them. I'm shocked they even pulled the device past its planning stages. Amazon clearly had no clue what it was doing in the mobile space and now how will they recover? I'd be shocked if consumers trusted them a second time. Again, a huge disaster.

14. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

You do know the Kindle e-books are mostly targeted at daylight reading and battery life, right ? Kindle Paperwhite almost lasts 30 hours of reading time. No Amoled or IPS display can match that not to mention the immense strain you would get by starring at such a bright display for hours. 300dpi would even further battery drain as there will be stress on the processor. P.S. I own a Kindle Paperwhite and GS4.

6. promise7

Posts: 894; Member since: Jul 03, 2013

I may be reading it wrong, but I think the reason why people don't buy smartphones on contract through Amazon is because if you cancel your service before 181 days you'll have to pay Amazon a $400 fee, on top of the Early Termination Fee you're paying the carrier to get out of the contract. I believe Best Buy doesn't have such a fee, so if you bought through them and cancel you just have to pay the carrier's ETF. http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html/?nodeId=201077490#idp Amazon has good prices that are usually on par w/ Best Buy, and almost always significantly cheaper than the carrier's website, but just make sure you're happy with the phone and will definitely be keeping it for at least 181 days.

7. sprockkets

Posts: 1612; Member since: Jan 16, 2012

Oh wow, another Amazon product that reaches #1 in its category! /surprise BS. You be better off with a Lumia 630. YES, I SAID IT. I OWN ONE, and while it has some weird WTF moments, it is a good phone.

8. Berzerk000

Posts: 4275; Member since: Jun 26, 2011

Yup, I would rather have a WP than the Fire Phone. And I don't even like WP.

9. j.khan95

Posts: 51; Member since: Nov 09, 2013

I don't get it.I think it is an awesome phone with quite a few unique innovative features,

10. promise7

Posts: 894; Member since: Jul 03, 2013

Did you buy one?

15. j.khan95

Posts: 51; Member since: Nov 09, 2013

Nah, it ain't available here but I did check out some reviews,

11. Arthurhkt

Posts: 723; Member since: Apr 19, 2012

In my very own opinion, i could say that the Fire Phone is quite a decent phone, although the Dynamic Perspective were nothing but a pure gimmick for now, their Software part were still have many drawback for now, especially their Fire OS. Since it is fork from original Android, i dare to says that it is still quite lack of feature compare to the Android(Original), iOS, Windows Phone and BalckBerry 10, regardless of selections of Apps or phone functions, but since it is still new, i guess that wouldn't be any big issue, i believe they will have constant update in the future. But what i think the major drawback for this phone is..... Their hardware wise, not only it is consider a Mid-Ranger specs in year of 2014, the price of it was high as hell, and it release to only one carrier and no international release is really nail in the coffin.

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