Amazon Fire Phone release date, news and features

The Amazon phone is on sale now

The Amazon Fire Phone hasn't hit store shelves yet, but that doesn't mean we can't look at how it stacks up next to the competition.

It's natural rivals are the iPhone 5S, Galaxy S5 and LG G3, so here's a look at how these handsets match up.

On the design side, Amazon didn't skimp on its first phone. The 139.2 x 66.5 x 8.9mm device with a 4.7-inch screen is heavier than the G3 and features a rubberized frame, Gorilla Glass on the front and back, CNC aluminum buttons, polished button chamfers, and injection-molded steel connectors.

The iPhone 5S has the smallest screen of the lot at four inches and a very light 112g frame. The Galaxy S5 matches more closely to the LG G3 in dimensions but also takes the distinction of being the only waterproof handset.

iPhone 5S
The iPhone 5S display is markedly different than the Amazon phone's

As for the display, the Amazon Fire Phone's 1280 x 720 resolution screen with 315 is, on paper, the weakest of the group. The iPhone 5S' packs 326ppi in its 1136 x 640 display, the Galaxy S5 houses 431ppi and 1920 x 1080 of resolution and the LG G3 has QHD going on with a 2560 x 1140 res with a staggering 538ppi.

Numbers aren't everything, however, as the Fire Phone does feature an IPS panel that should produce better than average colors. Plus, its Dynamic Perspective capabilities are certainly unique among the field.

Dynamic Perspective isn't quite 3D, but rather a depth-of-field view of the phone screen that provides a more animated view. Integrated with maps, Dynamic Perspective adds a visual layer so users can see information "tucked" underneath such as Yelp ratings and reviews. Lockscreens, wall papers and app icons will also have a Dynamic Perspective effect.

On the spec front, the Fire Phone is stuck in the past with an older-gen 2.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 CPU while its Android competitors are already rocking a 2.5GHz Qualcomm quad-core chip. All three snap up 2GB of RAM, though 3GB is available for the 32GB LG G3 variant. Graphics-wise, the Amazon phone ascends to an Adreno 330 GPU while the S5 and G3 stick with the Adreno 300.

LG G3
The LG G3 is one hefty phone

The iPhone 5S, meanwhile, is in its own, older class of hardware with Apple's own 1.3GHz dual-core A7 chip, a PowerVR G6430 GPU and 1GB RAM.

One area where the Amazon Fire Phone stands out is in the camera department. The phone technically has six in all, though four are for tracking users faces and not picture-taking. For the standard set, the handset is equipped with a 13MP rear-facing camera with an industry-leading f/2.0 lens.

It's wider than the lens found on the LG G3's 13MP rear camera and the Galaxy S5's, though that phone's snapper measures 16MP and can shoot 4K video. The iPhone 5S, meanwhile, has a 8MP camera with a f/2.2 lens. Despite lacking in mega megapixel numbers, the iPhone 5S is considered to have one of the best phone cameras available.

The Amazon phone also includes a new breed of gesture controls thanks to some beefed-up accelerometers. Tilting controls engaged while listening to music bring up extra info like song lyrics, or auto-scrolling when reading something on the web.

Galaxy S5
Are the Galaxy S5's tricks old?

Samsung has implemented similar camera-based, touch-less controls like Air Gestures and Smart Scroll, while LG lacks face tracking and any motion-based commands beyond accelerometer-controlled games. Apple has its parallax effect, but it's not quite the same as Dynamic Perspective.

Amazon's phone is full of additional bells and whistles, like the Firefly button for scanning, identifying and purchasing items, as well as songs, books, magazines and other types of media. It also has a Mayday button to connect users with customer service 24/7. None of the competition has anything close to either offering.

Users are also able to Miracast content from their Amazon Fire Phone to their Amazon Fire TV, though Apple has its AirPlay system and the Android phones have Chromecast.

Finally, as well look at the price, there's not too much difference between most of these phones on-contract. The Fire phone will sell for $199.99 through AT&T exclusively, a price that matches the Galaxy S5 and LG G3. The only exception is the LG G3 on Verizon, which is going for the low price of $99.

The iPhone 5S in similar storage configurations is a heftier $249.99.