Amazon Fire Phone vs iPhone 5S: What's the difference?

Amazon has finally debuted its much-anticipated (and rumoured) smartphone. It is called Fire Phone.

So now it's time to break out the old comparison chart and start picking out the difference between Amazon's first smartphone and other high-end devices such as Apple's iPhone 5S. However, pitching a forked-Android smartphone against an iOS smartphone is like doing the same with apples and oranges. But Pocket-lint shall try anyway. With Amazon and Apple as two of the biggest names in the technology space, it would be a crime to ignore the head-to-head.

So, does the Fire Phone's dynamic 3D perspective make it technically better than the iPhone 5S? Does the iPhone 5S's Retina display make it appear more sharp and vivid? Does either phone offer enough juice in terms of battery life and processing oomph? There's only one way to find out...

Display

The Fire Phone features a 4.7-inch HD LCD display, with 1280 x 720-pixel resolution at 315 ppi.

The iPhone 5S has a 4-inch Retina display, with a 1136 x 640-pixel resolution at 326ppi.

Although both displays are crystal clear and provide extraordinary levels of brightness and sharpness, the Fire Phone does have the larger display. But the iPhone has more pixels per inch.

It's up to you which wins this round, though we're inclined to prefer more screen real estate than less.

Processor

The Fire Phone features a 2.2 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor, combined with 2GB of RAM.

The iPhone 5S has Apple's own A7 chip with a 64-bit architecture.

If only looking at the hardware specs, it's hard to tell which phone is the fastest. The iPhone 5S should technically have the better processor - but often things aren't that simple. The main problem is that both processors use dramatically different architectures. Also, Apple doesn't expose its frequency speeds or such things. So, you'll have to wait until Pocket-lint has both phones side by side.

This round is therefore a draw, for now.

Connectivity

The Fire Phone features support for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0, 4G LTE, and NFC.

The iPhone 5S has support for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, and 4G LTE.

Without getting into a full on debate, it's safe to say there are pros and cons to NFC. Many Android devotees hate that the iPhone doesn't support near-field communication technology. But Apple fanboys will just say that it is unnecessary - because the iPhone 5S has iBeacon and Bluetooth 4.0 (aka Bluetooth Low Energy). We therefore have to wait and see which connectivity option will stand the test of time.

And that means this round is another tie, albeit one with caveats.

Storage

The Fire Phone features 32 GB or 64 GB of on-board storage and free, unlimited Amazon Cloud Storage for all photos and Amazon content.

The iPhone 5S has 16 GB, 32 GB, or 64 GB of on-board storage and 5 GB of free Apple iCloud space.

Although the iPhone 5S offers more options in terms of on-board storage, the Fire Phone wins this round because it offers much more free cloud storage space than the iPhone 5S. And everyone knows the cloud is the future.

Battery

The Fire Phone features a 2,400mAh battery that could provide 285 hours of standby time, up to 22 hours of talk time, up to 65 hours of audio playback, and up to 11 hours of video playback, it's claimed.

The iPhone 5S has a built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery that could supply up to 10 hours of talk-time on 3G, up to 10 hours of Internet use on 4G LTE, and video playback up to 10 hours.

We'd have to test Amazon's claims before we confirm that the Fire Phone actually beats the iPhone 5S in terms of battery life. But, on paper, it sure does look good. This round is therefore a win for Fire Phone, for now.

Camera

The Fire Phone has many cameras. It has a 13-megapixel rear-facing shooter with optical image stabilisation and a f/2.0 5-element wide aperture lens. There's also a 2.1-megapixel camera and four ultra-low power specialised cameras on the front. The four specialised cameras are tiny and boast infrared LEDs and a custom graphics engine for rendering at 60 frames per second. All of this allows them to power a 3D-like dynamic perspective feature.

The iPhone 5S has an 8-megapixel rear-facing iSight camera with a f2.2 aperture and Sapphire crystal lens cover. It also features a front shooter that captures 1.2-megapixel photos with 1280 x 960-pixel resolution.

It'll be interesting to examine the Fire Phone's dynamic perspective as well as its 1080p video-recording capability. The iPhone has 1080p video recording too. For now however, we'll give this round to Fire Phone...simply due to the sheer amount of cameras it is offering.

But stay tuned for real-word testing from Pocket-lint. We have to compare both smartphones out in the field when the Fire Phone becomes available.

OS

The Fire Phone features Fire OS 3.5, the latest version of Fire OS. It's a customised version of Android that includes, according to Amazon, "cloud services, a content-forward user interface, built-in media libraries, productivity apps, and platform enhancements to integrate Amazon's digital content".

The iPhone has iOS 7.

This is another tricky round that doesn't have a clear-cut winner. Apple recently debuted iOS 8, and although it is not publicly out, the new operating system does make iOS 7 feel dated at just eight or nine months old. On the other hand, Fire OS isn't pure Android. That's a downside for some people.

We also can't say the Fire Phone loses to the iPhone 5S, because we all know there are both Android devotees and iOS devotees. And let's not forget about all the different software features between each phone. While Fire Phone has Firefly and MayDay, the iPhone 5S has Touch-ID and slow-mo video.

At the end of the day this isn't an operating system comparison; this is a smartphone comparison. That means - for this round - they are tied.

Build

The Fire Phone is black and covered in a rubber frame. It also features steel connectors.

The iPhone 5S has an aluminium construction and is available in the colours space gray, gold, and silver.

This round is a win for iPhone 5S. While we prefer metal-type bodies on smartphones, that's not why the Fire Phone lost. It lost because it only has one colour option. Not everybody wants to tote around a black phone.

Conclusion

The Fire Phone technically beats the iPhone 5S because it won three rounds. The iPhone 5S only won one round, and that was for having more colour options. The Fire Phone offers more cloud storage at no cost, a better battery life, and multiple cameras for a fancy features called dynamic 3D perspective.

The jury is out however as to whether three winning rounds makes the Fire Phone the best smartphone to buy. And then of course there's the age-old battle between iOS 7 and Android. But that's a whole other story.

The Fire Phone is also cheaper, by a lot. And Amazon's $199 asking price includes 12 months of Amazon Prime. You must be living in the US and an AT&T customer to get your hands on it at the moment however, while the iPhone 5S is available anywhere.

To be honest, the Fire Phone and iPhone 5S are both powerful and sleek devices with plentiful feature sets and numerous technological advances. Your money would be well-spent on either device.