June 25, 2014, 2:36 PM — Amazon's Fire Phone looks to be an impressive piece of hardware -- but how does it stack up against the reigning Android heavyweight, the Samsung Galaxy S5? I've got the answer for you.
The S5 comes out the clear winner here. It's got a larger screen, 5.1 inches compared to the Fire's 4.7 inches. And the S5 sports a higher resolution as well, 1920 x 1,080 versus 1,280 by 720 for the Amazon Fire. Bigger is better. So is a higher resolution.
The S5 comes out slightly on top, with a 2.5 Ghz quad-core processor versus the Fire's 2.2 Ghz one. As a practical matter, you likely won't notice the difference. Still, it's nice knowing that it's there.
The S5 inches out the Fire in this category as well, with a 16 megapixel rear camera compared to the Fire's 13 megapixel one. The front-facing camera's are just about identical -- 2 megapixels for the S5 compared to 2.1 megapixels for the Fire.
Both phones are based on Android, but Amazon has done much more to the operating system's guts than has Samsung -- and not for the better. The big issue is that with the Fire, you can't use Google Play, and instead are forced to use Amazon's own app store. That's not a good thing. You'll be far better off with the S5 than the Fire, if only for that reason.
Both phones have nifty features, such as Amazon's 3D interface, and the additional apps that ship with the S5. But I'll give the nod to the Fire here, because it also comes with a year of free Amazon Prime, worth $99.
This is simple: The S5 is clearly superior to the Fire. It's got better hardware, a better screen, and it's not crippled by not letting you use Google Play. Unless you're an absolute die-hard Amazon lover, you'll be much better off with the S5.