Here we have the newest flagship from HTC, the HTC One M8, going up against the newest and first smartphone from Amazon, the Amazon Fire Phone – a combination smartphone and a means to search and shop at Amazon. At first glance these devices are light years apart – the HTC One M8 is a sleek, beautiful, all metal design with dual stereo speakers and curved back, whereas the Amazon Fire Phone is rather bland and looks like many other black, plastic smartphones on the market. However, upon a closer examination, we find that these two devices have much in common – from the display and physical size to the battery and much in between. Both devices use the Snapdragon 800 processor, clocked at 2.2/2.3GHz, although the one used in the One M8 is the newer overclocked version. Both devices use 2GB of RAM and each device has a 32GB version. The Fire Phone has a 2400mAh battery and the the One M8 sports a 2600mAh and both are approximately the same price, on or off a contract.
Please look at the specifications below and see for yourself how these two devices compare to each other, then we will take a closer look at each device on an individual basis and from this information we will try and determine a winner of this comparison.
Amazon Fire Phone
The newest device from Amazon is also their first smartphone, the Fire Phone, and it has been under the radar for quite a while and lots of wild rumors were flying all over the place, especially about having six cameras – well, it turns out that there are actually six cameras on the Fire Phone. There is a 13MP main camera with LED Flash, OIS, and Auto Focus, a 2.1pMP front-facing camera for Video chatting and selfies, and then the four remaining cameras are at each edge on the front that monitor your head movements to create a type of 3D effect or ‘Dynamic Perspective’ as Amazon calls it. Amazon chose to use a two year old display resolution at only 720p and last year’s most popular processor, the Snapdragon 800 quad-core clocked at 2.2GHz, but is not quite up to par with the HTC One M8’s overclock version. You can get a 64GB model, but with no microSD expansion slot, the One M8 still offers options for more memory. The 2400mAh battery is only slightly smaller, but we have no idea how the battery life will be on the Fire Phone, but we do know the 2600mAh battery on the HTC has been a solid performer.
A huge difference you must consider with the Fire Phone is the operating system – while it is based on Android, Amazon has heavily covered and manipulated it into their Fire OS v3.5.0. It has no Google Apps, such as Google Maps, Gmail and no YouTube and no access to the Play Store – all Apps must be downloaded from the Amazon App Store. There are a few unique applications on the Fire Phone such as Mayday – a free 24-7/365 day online video help system and Firefly, where the device will ‘look’ at an object and compare it to over 100 million items on file, pick it out, and hook you up with a means to purchase it through the Amazon Stores. But when it comes to being a smartphone, features to help you make purchases on Amazon does not help push its credibility over the HTC One M8.
HTC One M8
The HTC One M8 has been a great success for HTC, but still not the ‘savior’ that they were looking for to help overcome the company’s poor management. The HTC One M8 continues in the tradition of its predecessor, the HTC One M7 with its smooth lines and good looks – molded out of a piece of aluminum. The metal is nice looking, but does not come without its problems – denting, knicks, heat and antenna troubles – and if you put a case on it, what have you actually gained? What the HTC One M8 does offer is a beautiful phone with a gorgeous, Full HD 1080p display versus the 720p display on the Fire Phone. You get the best sound to date on any smartphone with dual, front-mounted, stereo speakers. The Snapdragon processor is the newer overclocked version found in the Fire Phone and does add better graphics for gaming. The microSD slot, not found on the Fire Phone, allows the One M8 user to add an additional 128GB of internal storage. The camera arrangement is a little strange in that HTC not only insists on using a 4MP Ultra pixel design, but that they did not improve the main camera over last year’s model, they only added a Duo Camera – a second camera, not for picture taking, but to give the pictures more depth for special effects…a nice feature, but its needs a better main camera to keep up with the competition. They did add a great 5MP front-facing camera for terrific video chatting and selfies. The 2600mAh battery should be enough to get you through the day and being available on all major U.S. carriers makes the HTC One M8 more available than the Fire Phone. The cost is the same on a two-year contract, but there are specials now for the One M8 that make it quite a bargain.
…and the Winner is…
We had to pick the HTC One M8 as our winner in this comparison – from a looks standpoint, it is stunning compared to the Fire Phone, but more importantly, it has a better display, slightly better processor, microSD card slot to increase internal storage, and runs on Android 4.4 KitKat with Sense 6.0, one of the best liked overlays with access to all Google Apps and all Apps in the Play Store. The One M8 may lose out or tie in the camera department, however, it is a certain winner in the sound department with its twin, front-mounted stereo speakers. It is priced the same on contract and it is available all over the world and on all major U.S. carriers, rather than an AT&T exclusive, like the Fire Phone. The Fire Phone has several nice features, such as Mayday, Firefly, Dynamic Perspective and Amazon Prime connections, but other than Mayday, those features are of more use if you’re an Amazon shopper than a smartphone user.
Please jump onto our Google+ Page and lets us know what you think about these two new devices – which one would you pick…as always, we would love to hear from you.