By Rich W Woods
It would appear that it’s Nokia Lumia 830 day. Currently, I am reviewing three phones: the Amazon Fire Phone, the Microsoft Lumia 535, and the HTC Desire 820. Unfortunately, I am being forced to bump up the Nokia Lumia 830 in the comparison rotation because Microsoft wants their phone back.
Both of these phones have pretty great cameras. In fact, the Nokia Lumia 830’s Pureview camera is phenomenal. I have noticed that the Amazon Fire Phone has a little trouble focusing on smaller objects that are further away and there are no manual controls to focus, but we’ll get to all that.
Nokia Lumia 830 vs Amazon Fire Phone: Specs
|Nokia Lumia 830||Amazon Fire Phone|
|Processor||1.2 GHz Snapdragon 400||2.2 GHz Snapdragon 800|
|Display||5″, 720p, 294 ppi, LCD w/ ClearBlack||4.7″, 720p, 312 ppi, LCD|
|Body||139.4×70.7×8.5 mm, 150 g||139.2×66.5×8.9 mm, 160 g|
|Camera||10 MP, 3520×2640, 0.9 MP Front||13 MP, 4128×3096, 2.1 MP Front|
|Video||1080p – 30 fps, Front 720p – 30 fps||1080p – 30 fps, Front 1080p – 30 fps|
|Storage||16 GB, Expandable to 128 GB||32/64 GB|
|RAM||1 GB||2 GB|
|Battery||2200 mAh||2400 mAh|
- The Nokia Lumia 830 is available from Microsoft unlocked for $499; however, a carrier locked version is available from AT&T for $449 and it comes bundled with a Fitbit Flex. It makes more sense to get that one since the unlocked model doesn’t have T-Mobile’s LTE bands.
** – The Amazon Fire Phone costs $449; however, they drop the price from time to time. I wouldn’t recommend buying it for that price. Wait until they drop it to $189 for a day like I did. If you need the 64 GB model, you gotta get the AT&T locked $549 model.
Ok, let’s look at the specs. The Amazon Fire Phone has a more powerful processor and more RAM. The interesting thing about it is that they are two different operating systems and neither of them have Google services. The Amazon Fire Phone also has a larger battery.
Nokia Lumia 830 vs Amazon Fire Phone: Benchmarks
I am not a fan of benchmarks as they rarely provide any insight into real world performance. Typically, all they do is provide ammo for trolls that have created an “Apple vs Android” war in their heads. Readers have requested them so I figured it wouldn’t hurt to include a few screenshots of benchmarks.
Unfortunately, Geekbench is not available on Windows Phone and GFXBench always crashes when I try to load it, so we’re left with AnTuTu. The first column is the Nokia Lumia 830 and the second is the Amazon Fire Phone.
Obviously, the Amazon Fire Phone has higher benchmark scores. The Amazon Fire Phone uses a flagship processor while the Nokia Lumia 830 uses a processor that straddles the low end of the mid-range.
Nokia Lumia 830 vs Amazon Fire Phone: Rear Camera
Both the Nokia Lumia 830 and the Amazon Fire Phone have high resolution rear cameras. The Nokia Lumia 830 comes in at 10 MP and the Amazon Fire Phone comes in at 13 MP. Now, the difference in resolution here is trivial. Keep in mind that a 720p display is less than 1 MP, 1080p is less than 2.1 MP, 1440p is less than 3.7 MP, and 4K UHD is less than 8.3 MP. This means that the resolution of the photo will be higher than the resolution of the display, so the user won’t be able to tell the difference in resolution; however, if the Nokia Lumia 830 is set to a 16:9 aspect ratio, it might be possible on a 4K display.
Aperture literally means the opening of the lens. If you were comparing it to an eyeball, it would be the pupil. A smaller aperture means a larger depth of field, meaning the background of the image will be more focused. For example, f/8 will have a larger depth of field than f/2. The difference between the Nokia Lumia 830 and the Amazon Fire Phone – f/2.2 and f/2, respectively – are trivial; however, we’ll keep an eye out for a difference in depth of field.
Hardware is boring, isn’t it? Let’s talk software. The disappointing thing about the Amazon Fire Phone is that there is no way to change camera settings. The only options are HDR, Image Review, Best Shot, Lenticular, and Panorama. That’s it. You can’t even change the aspect ratio. I think they’re trying to be like Apple in this way, by not allowing users to change settings because you shouldn’t need to; however, in order to succeed with a locked down environment, it must be the best environment. There aren’t really any decent camera apps in the Amazon Appstore; however, it is possible to easily side load any Android app.
The Nokia Lumia 830, on the other hand, gives users every option he could imagine. It gives the option to manually focus, change white balance, brightness, ISO, and shutter speed. Of course, the user can change the aspect ratio as well.
Please note that in order to enlarge a photo, simply click or tap it. To view the full size image, there is a link in the carousel. Also, I realize that some of the images are not perfect. The idea is to provide you with an idea of what you would get if you took one of these phones out for the day and used it to snap some photos. I don’t even look at the photos in the comparison until I embed them here. They are unedited.
|Nokia Lumia 830||Amazon Fire Phone|
This one is going to go to the Nokia Lumia 830 but it was a lot closer than I thought it would be. There were some images where the Amazon Fire Phone seemed oversaturated, there were some where the lighting didn’t seem right, there was the one of the purple flower that was just out of focus (I actually tried to take the photo twice. Manual focus would have been clutch), and low light is clearly better on the Nokia, except with the flash.
On the other hand, most of the photos taken with the Amazon Fire Phone just looked good. At the least, they looked on par with the Nokia Lumia 830. If we can assume that no smart phone can live up to Nokia’s Pureview cameras, then we can declare that the Amazon Fire Phone is a pretty damn good smart phone camera.
Nokia Lumia 830 vs Amazon Fire Phone: Front Camera
Both the Nokia Lumia 830 and the Amazon Fire Phone have low resolution front cameras. While resolution is typically the least important spec on a rear camera, that is not necessarily the case with a front camera. That is because they have such a low resolution that even a minor advantage is a major advantage.
The Nokia Lumia 830 uses a 0.9 MP front camera, which is exactly 720p. The Amazon Fire Phone uses a 2.1 MP front camera, which is exactly 1080p. It’s funny because the Moto X, Amazon Fire Phone, and the Sony Xperia Z3 all have front cameras that work out to exactly 1080p but they are listed as 2 MP, 2.1 MP, and 2.2 MP, respectively. 1080p is 2.07 MP.
With the exception of a couple photos that seem a bit out of focus, the Amazon Fire Phone seems to have a really nice front camera. It has a bit of a glare but I’m still going to say it wins over the Nokia Lumia 830 because the Lumia 830 is just too low resolution. If they used the 1.2 MP front camera that they use in their flagships, it would be a winner.
Nokia Lumia 830 vs Amazon Fire Phone: Video
Both of these devices only record 1080p video at 30 fps, which I find incredibly disappointing. The Amazon Fire Phone has the resolution to do 4K. They originally priced the thing at $649. In fact, that was the problem with it. They priced it at $649 and it was missing a lot of specs that other flagships have, such as 4K video recording.
Personally, I’m not a fan of 4K video recording. I prefer 1080p at 60 fps. You seem, with a photo, there is one way to tell the quality: resolution. With video, there are two ways to tell the quality of the picture: resolution, to tell how sharp it is, and frame rate, for how smooth it is. Think of a video of a bunch of pictures in succession. 60 pictures in a second is going to be much smoother than 30. That is why I typically use an iPhone 6 or a Sony Xperia Z3 Compact to record videos.
If anyone from Microsoft is reading this, I am begging you. We need 1080p at 60 fps. They just implemented 4K in Lumia Denim and while I haven’t heard anything about it, I’m hoping that they implement 1080p at 60 fps as well.
Nokia Lumia 830 1080p 30 fps
Amazon Fire Phone 1080p 30 fps
Of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Vote in the poll and let the world know what you think. Think I’m an idiot? Let me know in the comments! Also, don’t forget to check out the For the Love of Tech Windows/Windows Phone universal app! Check out the forum as well!