Xiaomi Mi 4 vs. Amazon Fire Phone Price, Specs and Features: The Low-End Phone Battle Starts

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By Christine Joy Dacanay | July 25, 2014 12:50 PM EST

Two phones were recently released to the consumer electronics market. The first one released last June is Amazon Fire Phone and the second smartphone is Xiaomi Mi 4 introduced last July 22 in China.

REUTERS
Three models of China's Xiaomi Mi phones are pictured during their launch in New Delhi July 15, 2014. China's Xiaomi said it intends to invest heavily in India as the budget smartphone maker launched on Tuesday its flagship Mi phone and other products in the world's third largest smartphone market, currently dominated by Samsung Electronics Co Ltd.

With only a handful of articles and reports written about technicalities of both phones, let this article give readers a rundown of what the Fire Phone and the Mi 4 has to offer.

Pricing and Display

The 16-GB Xiaomi Mi 4 costs around U.S.$320, while the 64-GB variant is around U.S.$400. These prices are certainly a lot cheaper than Amazon's Fire Phone which sells at U.S.$649 without contract for its 32-GB model and U.S.$749 without contract for the 64-GB unit.

Both phone-makers, Xiaomi and Amazon, made use of IPS LCD technology, but the Mi 4 has an edge in terms of pixel density and resolution. The Chinese phone developer's 5-inch touchscreen display has a resolution of up to 1,080 x 1,920 pixels and pixel density of 441 ppi. Meanwhile, Amazon's 4.7-inch touchscreen display only has 720 x 1,280 pixel resolution at 312 pixels per inch density. Amazon threw in a Corning Gorilla Glass 3 for the Fire Phone's display protection.

Battery and Connectivity

These freshly released smartphones have several similarities when it comes to connectivity. They both have Wi-Fi capability, DLNA technology, 4.0 Bluetooth connectivity as well as NFC support. While the Xiaomi Mi 4 has the Google Maps app, Amazon bravely created its own maps app which, according to a hands-on report by The Wall Street Journal, "got the location wrong."

The same report attested the battery life of the Fire Phone fell below Amazon's own estimation. The e-company mentioned that for average phone users, its flagship handset will last for a day, but again it failed. On the other hand, the Mi 4's Li-Po 3,080-mah battery is said to give average phone users up to 36 hours.

Camera and Add-on Features

The Xiaomi Mi 4 boasts of a 13-MP back camera with LED flash and an 8-MP front camera. The Fire Phone shares the same specs with its back camera, but its front camera only has a 2.1-MP resolution.

The Amazon Fire Phone has Mayday service which enables users to connect easily to live technical support. The Firefly camera function can be used to scan whatever item is seen by the camera. From there, the smartphone will automatically route the user to Amazon for a price comparison of the scanned item as well as provide shopping option.

Hardware and Design

The Mi 4 and the Fire Phone have the same CPU cores and GPU, quad-core and Adreno 330, respectively. Both models have Qualcomm Snapdragon as their CPU, but the Chinese smartphone has the Snapdragon 801 variant with 2.5-GHz Krait 400 speed. Amazon's phone, on the other hand, has the Snapdragon 800 with 2.2-GHz Krait 400. RAM is 3 GB for the Mi 4, while the Fire Phone has 2 GB RAM.

As for their operating systems and user interfaces, Xiaomi's smartphone has Android 4.4.2 KitKat and MIUI user interface. The Fire Phone, meanwhile, runs Amazon Fire OS v3.5 and 3D Dynamic Perspective UI.

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(Photo: REUTERS / Anindito Mukherjee)
Three models of China's Xiaomi Mi phones are pictured during their launch in New Delhi July 15, 2014. China's Xiaomi said it intends to invest heavily in India as the budget smartphone maker launched on Tuesday its flagship Mi phone and other products in the world's third largest smartphone market, currently dominated by Samsung Electronics Co Ltd.
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