By Rich W Woods
The iPhone 6 and the Amazon Fire Phone have very similar cameras. Now, before you start sending me emails, let me explain that. They do have different hardware; however, when it comes to smart phone cameras, software is much more important than hardware is.
Both the iOS Camera app and the Fire OS Camera app have very limited options. There are no manual settings. The thing about not allowing users to have manual settings is that the product has to be so good that it doesn’t need manual settings. The iPhone 6 does that. Here, we’ll find out if the Amazon Fire Phone can do as good.
iPhone 6 vs Amazon Fire Phone: Specs
|iPhone 6||Amazon Fire Phone|
|Processor||1.4 GHz Dual Core A8||2.2 GHz Quad Core Snapdragon 800|
|Display||4.7″, 750p, 326 ppi, LCD||4.7″, 720p, 312 ppi, LCD|
|Body||138.1x67x6.9 mm, 129 g||139.2×66.5×8.9 mm, 160 g|
|Camera||8 MP, 3264×2448, 1.2 MP Front||13 MP, 4128×3096, 2.1 MP Front|
|Video||1080p – 60 fps, Front 720p – 30 fps||1080p – 30 fps, Front 1080p – 30 fps|
|Storage||16/64/128 GB||32/64 GB|
|RAM||1 GB||2 GB|
|Battery||1810 mAh||2400 mAh|
There is no sense in comparing specs of an iPhone to an Android phone. For one thing, the iPhone 6 uses a 1.4 GHz dual core processor and the Amazon Fire Phone uses a 2.2 GHz quad core processor. That doesn’t necessarily mean that one is better than the other. The A8 processor uses a 20 nm process.
The iPhone 6 also uses less RAM. Now, the iPhone 6 runs just fine on 1 GB of RAM; however, my guess is that this is something that Apple will change in this year’s iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus.
Again, there is no sense in comparing specs between iOS phones and Android phones. iOS requires much less overhead than Android does, so it can get by on lower specs. Apple has never been a spec company. They would rather their customers focus on the performance of their devices than numbers on a spec sheet.
iPhone 6 vs Amazon Fire Phone: Rear Camera
As I mentioned above, the software is very similar on both of these cameras. Let’s take a moment to talk about the hardware.
Resolution is the least important spec on a rear camera. Think of it this way. A 720p display is less than 1 MP, 1080p is 2.1 MP, 1440p is 3.7 MP, and 4K UHD is less than 8.3 MP. Both of these cameras only take photos at a 4:3 aspect ratio, so the resolution of the photo is higher than the resolution of the display, even if you’re on 4K.
Aperture literally means the opening of the lens. If you were comparing it to your eyeball, it would be the pupil. A smaller aperture results in 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 iPhone 6 and the Amazon Fire Phone, f/2.2 and f/2, respectively, is negligible for depth of field; however, the larger aperture in the Amazon Fire Phone may just result in better low light performance.
The Amazon Fire Phone has a physical camera button, which is my favorite camera feature in a phone; however, it’s placed in a very awkward spot. It doesn’t make sense to use it as a shutter button. Also, the camera button serves two purposes. Tapping the button launches the camera while holding the camera button launched Firefly, Amazon’s technology to take a picture of something and find it on Amazon.
Now back to the important stuff, the software. The only options in the Amazon Fire Phone’s Camera app are HDR, Image Preview, Best Shot, Lenticular, and Panorama. While the Fire Phone forces the user to turn HDR on or off, the iPhone 6 has an Auto setting for HDR. The only actual settings for the iPhone 6 Camera is a toggle to take video at 60 fps (if it’s off it defaults to 30 fps) and to use a grid on the camera.
There is one other important aspect to consider here and that is third party apps. If, for some reason, you don’t like the stock camera app on either device, you might want a third party camera app, something that the iOS App Store is rich in. The Amazon AppStore is not.
Please note that in order to enlarge the photos, simply click or tap them. To view the full size images, there is a link in the carousel.
|iPhone 6||Amazon Fire Phone|
These two cameras are more alike than I expected them to be. In many cases, I would say that the Amazon Fire Phone takes better photos than the iPhone 6. On the other hand, the iPhone 6 does better in extreme lighting situations. You’ll notice in the ninth photo from the bottom that there is a red flower that almost looks pink in the photo taken with the Amazon Fire Phone because there is just so much of a glare. The iPhone 6 does better at night as well, although not by much.
iPhone 6 vs Amazon Fire Phone: Front Camera
Neither the iPhone 6 nor the Amazon Fire Phone have particularly high resolution front facing cameras. The iPhone 6 is 1.2 MP, which is just north of 720p. The Amazon Fire Phone is 2.1 MP, which is exactly 1080p.
The front cameras are shockingly similar as well. I would put them on the same level; however, in that second photo from the bottom, there is a glare in the photo taken with the Amazon Fire Phone. The thing is, regular lighting situations are easy. It’s tricky lighting situations that make the difference.
iPhone 6 vs Amazon Fire Phone: Video
There is one way to define the quality of a photo: resolution. Without counting audio, there are two ways to define the quality of a video: resolution and frame rate. Resolution is how sharp the picture is. Frame rate is how smooth it is. If you think of the video like a string of pictures, more pictures in a second will be smoother than less.
That being said, the iPhone 6 records 1080p video at 60 fps, which is actually a pretty rare quality in a smart phone camera. The Amazon Fire Phone records 1080p at 30 fps, so expect the iPhone 6 video to be smoother. Now, the difference in the front cameras is going to be resolution because the iPhone 6 records 720p and the Amazon Fire Phone records 1080p, both at 30 fps.
iPhone 6 1080p 60 fps
Amazon Fire Phone 1080p 30 fps
iPhone 6 Front Camera 720p 30 fps
Amazon Fire Phone Front Camera 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!