Amazon Fire Phone vs Google Nexus 5: What's the difference?

Amazon has announced in the US its first smartphone, called the Amazon Fire Phone. It is initially exclusive to AT&T.

The new device brings with it some exciting specifications and features but has stuck to a very familiar design. Still, you're likely wondering if it compares to the other great handsets already available on the market. So we put it against the Google Nexus 5, the pure Android handset, to see which comes out on top.

Does the Fire Phone's dynamic 3D perspective feature make it more advanced than the Nexus 5? Does the Nexus 5's wireless charging feature make it more unique? Keep reading 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 Nexus 5 has a 4.95-inch True HD IPS+ display, with 1920 x 1080-pixel resolution at 445 ppi.

The Nexus 5 has more screen real estate than the Fire Phone, better resolution, and more pixels per inch, meaning it clearly wins this round.

Processor

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

And the Nexus 5 has an identical 2.2 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor, combined with 2GB of RAM - even though it's listed as 2.26 GHz, it's the same.

Of course, speed in usage comes down to many different factors, not just the processor so you'll have to wait until Pocket-lint has both phones side by side before judging which phone is faster. 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 Nexus 5 has support for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, 4G LTE, and NFC.

Both phones offer similar connectivity options. But the Nexus 5 does have the newer Bluetooth 4.0 (aka Bluetooth Low Energy) so it technically wins this round.

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 Nexus 5 has 16 GB or 32 GB of on-board storage and 15 GB of free storage space through Google Drive.

The Fire Phone wins this round because it offers greater on-board storage options and more free cloud storage space than the Nexus 5. 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 Nexus 5 has a Li-Po 2300 mAh battery that could supply talk time up to 17 hours, standby time up to 300 hours, and internet use time up to 8.5 hours on Wi-Fi or up to 7 hours on LTE. It also features built-in wireless charging.

We'd have to test Amazon's claims before we confirm that the Fire Phone actually beats the Nexus 5 in terms of battery life. But, on paper, it sure does look good. However the Fire Phone doesn't feature wireless charging, whereas the Nexus 5 does feature wireless charging. And that's a huge draw for some people.

This round is therefore a tie.

Camera

The Fire Phone 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. But that's not all: the Fire Phone has four ultra-low power specialised cameras on the front. They boast infrared LEDs and a custom graphics engine for rendering at 60 frames per second, allowing the Fire Phone to offer a 3D-like dynamic perspective feature in almost any lighting condition.

The Nexus 5 has an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera with optical image stabilisation. In terms of the front-facing camera, the Nexus 5 has a 1.3-megapixel shooter.

Although it is hard to compare the cameras on these devices by looking at numbers, we want to initially give this round to Fire Phone...mostly 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 Nexus 5 has Android KitKat.

This is another tricky round that doesn't have a clear-cut winner. The Fire OS isn't pure Android, and that's a major downside for some people. On the other hand, the Nexus 5 is all about pure Android. We still can't claim the Fire Phone loses to the Nexus 5 just yet though, simply because of all the different software features between each phone.

That means these phones are tied in the operating system arena. At least until Pocket-lint can properly review the Fire Phone and give you our full thoughts.

Build

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

The Nexus 5 has a polycarbonate body, with a tactile matte finish. It is also available in the colours black, white, and red.

This round is a win for Nexus 5. The Fire Phone lost because it only has one colour option.

Conclusion

It's almost unfair to compare these two devices given that the Amazon Fire Phone is a full eight months newer than the Google Nexus 5 and a lot can change in that length of time.

Comparing round to round, the Nexus 5 won. While the Fire Phone won the camera and storage rounds, the Nexus 5 won the build, connectivity, and display rounds. Both phones struck even, for now, in the operating system, battery, and processor departments.

The Fire Phone is cheaper though, by $200. And Amazon's $199 on-contract 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 Nexus 5 is available anywhere.

In reality, it's up to you which one wins overall. They are almost too close to call.



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