After the announcement of Amazon’s Fire Phone, it is frequently compared to top shots. We’re back to provide another spec comparison between Amazon’s new Fire phone and the HTC One M8. We’ve already seen that the Fire phone doesn’t compare to the richly-packed software features, full HD resolution, and the Ultra HD camera and video.
Now, we’ll put the Fire phone head-to-head against HTC’s One M8 – a smartphone that many consider to be one of the sexiest smartphones in the tech world right now. Will Amazon’s Fire phone have what it takes? Let’s get to it.
The HTC One M8 has dimensions of 146mm tall x 71mm wide x 9.4mm thick and weighs 160 grams. In contrast, the Amazon Fire phone is 139mm tall x 66mm wide x 8.9mm thick and, like the HTC One M8, weighs 160 grams. Both phones weigh the same, but the HTC One M8 will feel slightly heavier than the Amazon Fire phone. The difference in these devices can be found in that the HTC One M8 is crafted with a brushed aluminum metal while the Amazon Fire phone has a glass back. Weight is the same here, but the HTC One M8 is taller, wider, and thicker than the Amazon Fire. If size matters, then we’d suggest the Amazon Fire phone. If you prefer metal to glass because of its durability, and find these small size differences to be miniscule, then the HTC One M8 is sure to please.
Amazon’s Fire phone features a 4.7-inch LCD display with a 1280 x 720p screen resolution and 315 pixel density (ppi), while the HTC One M8 has a 5-inch display with a 1920 x 1080p screen resolution and a pixel density of 441ppi. While we could say that both display size and resolution are a matter of taste, there’s no denying that 5-inch screens are the norm in the world of Android these days and that screen size enhances the amount of on-screen content users can see in their viewing experience. According to reliable estimates, the HTC One M8 provides 12-13% more screen real estate than the Amazon Fire phone. As for the HD (1280 x 720) vs. Full HD (1920 x 1080) resolution, one can see the difference between these two screen resolutions, in the same way that the difference between the 2012 Nexus 7 and 2013 Nexus 7 displays is visible also.
One can never get too much of a good thing, so we’re giving the win in the display category to the HTC One M8.
Processor and Battery
The HTC One M8 features a 2.3Ghz, quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor with 2GB of RAM and a 2,600mAh battery. The Amazon Fire phone, on the other hand, features a 2.2.Ghz, quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor with 2GB of RAM and a 2,400mAh battery. The HTC One M8 gets the win here because its processor operates slightly faster than the Amazon Fire phone (2.3Ghz vs. 2.2Ghz), and its battery is slightly larger than the Amazon Fire phone (2,600mAh vs. 2,400mAh). When it comes to multitasking, both smartphones should do so easily, although we expect Amazon’s Fire phone to be somewhat slower in operational speed than the HTC One M8.
The Amazon Fire phone features a 2.1MP front-facing camera and a 13MP rear-facing camera, while the HTC One M8 features a 5MP front-facing camera with a 4MP rear-facing camera. While the HTC One M8 front-facing camera is excellent for “selfie” photographers with a Twitter, Facebook, or other social media addiction, HTC’s rear-facing camera in the One M8 will disappoint. While the One M7’s camera proved excellent in low-light (and may still prove the same), the One M8 has been guilty of overexposed lighting in low-light photos. Whatever can be said about the Amazon Fire phone, its 13MP rear-facing camera with optical image stabilization (OIS) will prove victorious against HTC’s rear-facing camera.
If you want the most reliable rear-facing camera between these two smartphone cameras, we’d give the win in the camera category to the Amazon Fire phone. While we’ve seen the 5MP front-facing camera up-close and tried it out for ourselves, your 2.1MP front-facing camera on the Amazon Fire phone should do just fine.
The Amazon Fire phone runs Fire OS, Amazon’s new operating system that “piggybacks” off Android OS. What this means is that, while Amazon does have its own App Store and few software features, you won’t get access to the Google Play Store, nor will you receive Android software updates. This weekend’s Android 4.4.4 KitKat update is passed from Google to Motorola, then other Android manufacturers; unfortunately, Amazon’s Fire phone won’t receive regular Android updates because Amazon’s chosen to go its own route and operate independently from Android OS head Google.
As for the HTC One M8, it is indeed a smartphone that’s “powered by Android” and will receive updates for the life of the device. Since the HTC One M8 was announced in February, you’ll have another 20 months of updates before the HTC One M8 gets denied web support by HTC. If you purchase the Amazon Fire phone on a two-year contract, you will’ve to go the entire two-year period without any updates from Android. Amazon may choose to provide its own updates, but we’ve not been told anything of the sort from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. In fact, Amazon’s only response regarding updates has been that the company’s opening up its Fire OS to third-party developers – which doesn’t mean much, considering that the Fire phone is just a few days old.
In the operating system department, you’ll be better off with the HTC One M8 as well as other Android smartphones that are “powered by Android” and will provide 2 years of updates.
We didn’t have to compare prices, since both will cost you $199 with a two-year contract. The Amazon Fire Phone will be released on July 25, 2014, while HTC One M8 is already in the market. One other thing that separates both smartphones concerns carrier exclusivity. The HTC One M8 is present at all major carriers worldwide, and present on all four national carriers in the US (AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile).
The Amazon Fire phone, however, is only available at AT&T. The Amazon Fire phone will be hard to find in the US, and many consumers selecting between these two phones will choose the HTC One M8 to avoid the trouble of switching to AT&T to have an “initial experiment” phone that could be scrapped next year (if Amazon’s sales aren’t hot enough).
Amazon’s Fire phone may be a good effort by Amazon, but it’s got a lot of catching up to do if it wants to compete head-to-head with one of Android’s finest. HTC’s rear-facing camera isn’t the best, but it’s screen resolution, build quality, processor and battery (with an extreme power saving mode), not to mention its carrier availability makes the HTC One M8 the clear winner here in the contest between the Amazon Fire phone and HTC’s 2014 darling.
|Phone||Amazon Fire Phone||HTC One (M8)|
|Display||4.7-inch HD LCD display, with 1280 x 720 resolution at 315 ppi||5.0-inch 1920x1080p Super LCD 3, 441ppi|
|Processor||2.2GHz Quad-core Snapdragon 800||2.3GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 quad-core|
|OS||Fire OS 3.5.0||Android 4.4.2|
|Memory||2GB of RAM 32/64 GB internal storage||2GB of RAM, 16/ 32GB of internal storage|
|Micro SD support||No||Yes, upto 128GB|
|Size||139.2 x 66.5 x 8.9mm, 160 grams||146.36 x 70.60 x 9.35mm, 160 grams|
|Cameras||13 MP rear, 2.1 MP front||4 Ultra pixel camera (dual Rear camera), 5MP front, Dual LED|
|Video Recording||1080p HD video recording at 30 fps (front- and rear-facing cameras)||2160p@30fps, 1080p@60fps, 720p@120fps|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0, NFC, Micro USB 2.0||Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, 4G, USB 2.0|
|Sensors||Dynamic Perspective sensor system with invisible infrared illumination, gyroscope, accelerometer, magnetometer, barometer, proximity sensor, ambient light sensor||Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer|
|Water and dust resistance||No||None|