From now Amazon is no longer limited to selling smartphones, but it has joined the manufacturer’s league. During a special event in Seattle, CEO Jeff Bezos unveiled the Amazon Fire Phone. With this powerful, full of services and never seen before type of product, Amazon has made stout entrance.
The Fire phone was expected to be for Amazon customers, but Bezos aimed the presentation at both Samsung and Apple, going so far as to compare the Fire phone’s 13MP camera and optical image stabilization (or OIS) with the likes of Apple’s iPhone 5s and Samsung’s Galaxy S5.
Since Bezos decided that a comparison was worth the investment, we’ll take the Amazon CEO on in this spec war between the Fire phone and Samsung’s Galaxy S5. Can the Fire phone destroy Samsung’s latest and greatest? We’re all set to find out.
The Amazon Fire phone has dimensions of 5.5 x 2.6 x 0.3 inches and weighs 5.6 ounces. In contrast, the Samsung Galaxy S5 has dimensions of 5.5 x 2.9 x 0.3 inches and weighs 5 ounces. The Fire phone and Galaxy S5 are roughly the same in terms of dimensions, with the Galaxy S5 being a little wider across than the Fire phone (2.9 vs. 2.6, respectively) and a little lighter than the Fire phone.
The Amazon Fire phone features a 4.7-inch, IPS LCD HD screen with 1280 x 720p screen resolution and a pixel density of 315 pixels per inch (ppi), while the Galaxy S5 features a 5.1-inch Super AMOLED display with full HD resolution (1920 x 1080p) and has a pixel density of 431ppi. The Galaxy S5 has a wider display than the Amazon Fire phone, not to mention an improved screen resolution over the Amazon Fire phone’s HD screen (1280 x 720 is high-definition, but 1920 x 1080 is full HD). As for display build quality, it’s up to what you, the consumer, can live with. Samsung has said that LCD screens use a backlight to power the display, which drains battery life. Still, some prefer LCDs because they provide more realistic color reproduction. However, Samsung’s Galaxy S5 wins by a landslide in the pixel density category: colors will prove more vivid on the Galaxy S5 because of the 400+ pixel density. The Amazon Fire’s pixel density is lower than even that of the iPhone 5s (315ppi vs. 326ppi, respectively).
The Amazon Fire phone has a front and rear-facing camera, but also includes other cameras. Unfortunately, spec details are only furnished for the front and back camera. With that said, the Amazon Fire has a front-facing camera of 2.1 megapixels and a 13MP rear-facing camera with optical image stabilization (OIS). In contrast, Samsung’s Galaxy S5 has a 2MP front-facing camera and a 16MP Ultra HD camera that includes picture stabilization, but doesn’t feature OIS.
Your “selfie” camera experience should be the same here, but the back camera is a different story altogether. While it’s true that you’ll likely have some reduced motion blur in your photos, OIS isn’t a filter that straightens out bad color reproduction in photos – so, even with OIS, you can still have improper lighting (or none at all) in low-light situations and still reproduce a poor shot.
Amazon’s Fire phone will arrive to the market soon enough, but one thing that can’t be denied is zoom quality. Samsung’s Galaxy S5 features a 16MP camera that’ll put you closer to any shot you take. To compare these two cameras at a distance is no different than comparing the LG G3 and GS5 at a distance. Two cameras that are this close in megapixel count will produce similar pictures at a distance that’re hard to tell apart; up close and personal, however, larger megapixel cameras will produce more attention to detail. With that said, even with OIS, Amazon’s Fire phone won’t be able to zoom in as close to the object or person as Samsung’s Galaxy S5 16MP camera.
Cameras are also equipped to provide a videography experience. The Amazon Fire phone features 1080p video and full HD, but the Samsung Galaxy S5 features 4K video with Ultra HD resolution. The Amazon Fire will fulfill your needs if you’re looking for excellent photography and videography, but the Galaxy S5 is likely to be the choice of some tech enthusiast consumers and professional photographers who want as much picture detail (if not more) than their eyes can hold.
The Amazon Fire phone comes with either 32GB or 64GB of memory storage, while Samsung’s Galaxy S5 comes with 16GB or 32GB. What gives Samsung’s Galaxy S5 the win in the memory storage category involves its microSD card slot that provides an additional 128GB of storage. When you line up Samsung’s 144GB GS5 experience with the Amazon Fire’s 32GB or 64GB memory storage, it’s no contest – the Galaxy S5 provides incredible storage for the same price as the Amazon Fire smartphone on a two-year contract.
The Amazon Fire phone has a 2,400mAh battery that provides up to 11 hours of web browsing and 12 days of battery life on standby. Samsung’s Galaxy S5 battery comes in slightly larger at 2,800mAh – but provides 27 hours of web browsing and 20 days of standby battery life. The reason behind the similarity in battery amounts but disparity in battery performance has to do with the fact that the Amazon Fire’s LCD screen needs a backlight to illuminate the display and will drain battery life. Samsung’s Galaxy S5, on the other hand, doesn’t need a backlight. If you activate Samsung’s Power Saving Modes, you could get as much as 7-10 days of battery life from a single charge. The battery category goes to the Samsung Galaxy S5.
Amazon wanted to make the Fire phone a real contender right from the start, giving its smartphone a 2.2Ghz, quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor. Samsung’s Galaxy S5, however, has an updated Qualcomm Snapdragon processor (801), and the 800 processor was Qualcomm’s chip that was introduced in 2013. Amazon’s processor is a little behind in this category, but you should get a rather even experience out of these two processors.
Samsung’s Galaxy S5 runs a little faster, with a clocked processor speed of 2.5Ghz as opposed to the 2.2Ghz clocked speed of the Amazon Fire phone. The Galaxy S5 gets the edge here for its more updated processor and processor speed – but we wouldn’t suggest that you buy the Galaxy S5 because it’s faster. Speed or wider displays aren’t everything.
The Amazon Fire phone will run Fire OS version 3.5, a forked version of Android that lacks Google Play Store access. In the other corner is Samsung’s Galaxy S5 that runs comfortably on Android and provides Google Play access.
While Fire OS does have an App Store (Amazon’s), and a web browser (Silk), it lacks in-built software features (with the exception of those revealed yesterday). There must be more to an operating system than parallax/3D motion and FireFly with a few other features.
While Amazon’s App Store has a number of favorite social media and utility apps, Amazon’s store won’t have the depth of apps that Google’s Play Store provides; and, while Amazon’s Fire phone has some pretty neat features, Samsung’s Galaxy line has its share of innovative features as well – things like Smart Scroll, Smart Pause, Air View, and Air Gesture, not to mention a camera packed with software-rich features that let you tailor each moment of life to your liking. The Amazon Fire phone will perform well, but you’ll likely get bored with the Fire phone a lot faster than Samsung’s Galaxy S5. We give the crown in the OS category to Samsung’s Galaxy S5 based on software features and Google Play Store access.
We here at Inferse believe that the Amazon Fire phone will be ideal for Amazon customers who are locked into Amazon services (Prime, Kindle) and are avid users of Amazon’s App Store.
It seems that Amazon wants a piece of the mobile hardware market (or to dominate it altogether), but it takes more than a camera with OIS, four cameras that provide a parallax motion experience, an App Store, and a few neat software features to produce a successful brand. Amazon’s been a successful online retailer in just about everything you can think of, but consumers have come to identify Amazon with online retail sales – not smartphones.
The Amazon Fire Phone will be released on July 25, 2014, while Samsung Galaxy is already in the market. For the rest of the world, there’re still other smartphones such as the Galaxy S5, iPhone 5s, Sony Xperia Z2, and LG G3 that provide number of features that make these better options than the Amazon Fire phone.
||Samsung Galaxy S5
||Amazon Fire Phone
||5.1-inch 1920x1080p Super AMOLED, 432ppi
||4.7-inch HD LCD display, with 1280 x 720 resolution at 315 ppi
||2.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon quad-core
||2.2GHz Quad-core Snapdragon 800
||Fire OS 3.5.0
||2GB of RAM, 16/32GB internal storage
||2GB of RAM 32/64 GB internal storage
|Micro SD support
||Yes, upto 128GB
||142.0 x 72.5 x 8.1mm, 145 grams
||139.2 x 66.5 x 8.9mm, 160 grams
||16MP rear, 2.1MP front
||13 MP rear, 2.1 MP front
||2160p@30fps, 1080p@60fps, 720p@120fps
||1080p HD video recording at 30 fps (front- and rear-facing cameras)
||Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, 4G, IR Blaster, USB 3.0
||Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0, NFC, Micro USB 2.0
||Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer, gesture, heart rate
||Dynamic Perspective sensor system with invisible infrared illumination, gyroscope, accelerometer, magnetometer, barometer, proximity sensor, ambient light sensor
|Water and dust resistance
||IP67 dust and water resistance