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Amazon Fire Phone vs iPhone 5S specs comparison

We see how the 3D handset compares with Apple's current flagship smartphone
Fri Jul 04 2014, 08:30

ONLINE RETAILER Amazon announced its first smartphone, the Fire Phone, at a press conference in Seattle on 18 June, ending months of speculation about its mobile plans.

Clearly having high hopes for the Fire Phone, Amazon has loaded it with a wealth of custom software and hardware features designed to differentiate it from existing handsets and help it find a niche in the competitive phone market.

However, even with Amazon's best efforts, if the Fire Phone is going to succeed in the top-end handset market it will have to compete for attention with Apple's iPhone 5S - a feat that has been beyond many smartphone makers.

Measurements and weight
Amazon Fire Phone: 139x67x8.9mm, 160g
Apple iPhone 5S: 124x59x7.6mm, 112g

Despite including some interesting design features, such as its four front cameras, the Amazon Fire Phone looks fairly unassuming compared with the iPhone 5S, and features a slightly chunky rubber-coated, not metal frame.

Amazon Fire Phone in hand press shot

The iPhone 5S is also significantly lighter than the Fire Phone. Amazon claims the flipside of this is that the Fire Phone will be tougher than "average" smartphones. If true this could be a saving grace differentiating it from the iPhone 5S, which is prone to scratching and chipping.

Amazon Fire Phone: 4.7in, 1280x720, 315ppi HD LCD
Apple iPhone 5S: 4in, 1136x640, 326ppi Retina display

Amazon went to great lengths with the Fire Phone's display, loading it with custom Dynamic Perspective technology that it claims will offer users glasses-free 3D viewing experiences. Amazon has also worked to ensure the display is also great when it comes to picture quality, and claims the Fire Phone screen's 590 cd/m2 brightness and 1000:1 contrast ratio will let it match if not beat competing handsets, such as the iPhone 5S.

If true this will be a seriously impressive achievement as despite being slightly old, Apple's Retina displays are still among the best currently available.

Amazon Fire Phone: 2.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800
Apple iPhone 5S: Apple A7 chip

iPhone 5S iOS 8

When Amazon unveiled the Fire Phone, one of our biggest disappointments was its use of Qualcomm's previous generation Snapdragon 800 chip. The use of the old chip, combined with the demanding software additions made by Amazon mean the Fire Phone may not match the performance of the iPhone 5S, which remains one of the fastest phones available. Still, we won't know this for sure until we've had a chance to properly benchmark and test the Fire Phone.

Amazon Fire Phone: Fire OS 3.5.0
Apple iPhone 5S: iOS 7

The Amazon Fire Phone runs a heavily-customised version of Android, which replaces almost all of Google's services with Amazon's own, and adds a wealth of custom features and applications. One of the biggest changes is the addition of Firefly.

Firefly is an information-gathering tool designed by Amazon, which lets you use the Fire Phone's camera and microphone to pull data from Amazon's database on a number of things including books, DVDs, phone numbers, QR codes, CDs, URLs, famous artwork and barcodes. If the feature works as well as Amazon claims, it could prove a key differentiator for the Fire Phone.

But even with these perks, if the Fire OS version is anything like the previous versions seen on Amazon's Kindle Fire tablets the iPhone 5S will be significantly more user friendly.

Next: Camera, battery, storage and price


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