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Amazon head Jeff Bezos defends new Fire Phone after enormous backlash

Amazon this week launched its debut smartphone, and it doesn't seem to have gone down particularly well.

On the whole, experts and consumers alike have criticised the Fire Phone for being too gimmick-heavy, not cheap enough and generally just a bit of a let-down.

Read more: Amazon's new Fire Phone: It isn't an iPhone, but...

However, Amazon chief Jeff Bezos has staunchly defended his company's latest product.

In the build-up to the big reveal, Amazon's teasers suggested that the new handset would be drastically different to anything else on the market. As we have now learned, the mobile packs a fairly cool 3D effect, gesture controls and Firefly, which haven't quite delivered on the pre-launch hype.

According to Bezos though, these features are just what consumers have been crying out for.

"We don't start out by saying, 'We have to build an X.' We say, 'If we were going to build an X, how would it be different? How would it be better?'" he told the New York Times. "And it can't just be different. It has to be different constrained by customers caring. It's easy to be different if you don't constrain it that way. But it has to be useful."

He believes that Mayday support, as well as Amazon Prime, Firefly and the ability to scroll through pages without using your fingers, are what sets the device apart from its competitors.

"Guess what? One of the things people want to do with their phones is buy stuff, from Amazon and in general," he said. "The thing I've noticed is when I switch back to another phone, I'm still reaching for the gestures that work so reliably on Fire phone, like autoscroll.

"Once you get used to autoscrolling, you'll be trying to do it on another device — and that's a good sign."

Read more: Does anybody really like Amazon's new gimmicky 3D Fire Phone?

In response to suggestions that the Fire Phone is too expensive, he added, "Well, it's 32GB instead of 16, which is a big deal. So don't forget that small fact! And it has Prime — for new or existing members, you get 12 months free. But it's a really premium phone. We've packed a lot of hardware, a lot of expensive materials into the phone."

Follow the link above to find out what the ITProPortal team thinks of the Fire Phone.