The Amazon Fire TV range allows you to access and stream a variety of content, including Amazon’s own, but also through apps such as Netflix, Apple TV+, Disney+ and BBC iPlayer.
2017’s Fire TV 4K dongle is now no more; Amazon has now moved completely towards streaming sticks, both very similar in appearance with a key difference.
Here we’ll run through the differences, but the bottom line is that one is Full HD and one is 4K with HDR video and Dolby Atmos audio.
Fire TV Stick 4K and new Alexa voice Remote
Amazon’s high-end streaming stick represents great value for money – especially when compared to devices like the Apple TV 4K.
That doesn’t mean it’s a slouch in features or abilities. Like 2017’s Fire TV 4K box it can output video up to 4K Ultra HD in resolution and at 60 frames per second. It also has high dynamic range (HDR) support. That includes HDR10, Dolby Vision, HLG and HDR10+.
Dolby Atmos surround sound support is available for when services like Netflix offer it, which goes alongside the general 5.1 and 7.1 Dolby surround audio output. Basically, it will play the best format possible, depending on the AV receiver, home cinema system, soundbar or even TV you plug it into.
A redesigned Alexa Voice Remote is included in the box. There are now power and volume controls too, so you can control audio gear like a soundbar.
With the Alexa voice remote you can access to the Alexa voice assistant in a similar way to an Amazon Echo device. That means you can find out the weather, sports results and many other facts and nuggets of information. And as well as have them spoken to you in Alexa’s dulcet tones, you can see visual cards on screen with supporting info.
Why buy? This is Amazon’s latest flagship device, and while it is small it is mighty in what it offers. There is plenty of 4K HDR content available these days, from Amazon and Netflix – also well represented here. If you have a compatible TV, this is the only option you should really consider, especially for the amazing price in comparison with similarly specified rivals.
Read more: Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K review
Amazon Fire TV Stick with new Alexa Voice Remote
Amazon’s entry-level streaming stick was updated in 2017 but Amazon now offers the new Alexa voice remote with it (the same one introduced with the 4K stick above). It offers a similar experience to the new Fire TV save for a couple of major absences: it is only capable of Full HD 1080p video rather than 4K HDR and there is no Dolby Atmos support.
Nonetheless, the second-generation device represents great value for money, especially if you don’t have a 4K HDR TV. Inside there is a quad-core processor plus 1GB of RAM, so moves speedily and smoothly. It offers 1080p output with 7.1 audio and has the latest version of the Fire TV operating system like its pricier sibling.
That means, it’s best matched with Amazon services, such as Prime Video, Amazon Music and Amazon Cloud, but still has clever Netflix integration.
All the other apps from the new Fire TV are available on the Stick too, including BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4, Demand 5 and Plex.
There’s dual-band, 802.11ac Wi-Fi on board and Amazon has made it possible for you to take the Fire TV Stick on holiday as it has found a way for you to input room and log-in details for hotel Wi-Fi. Clever.
Why buy? For those without a 4K TV but an Amazon Prime subscription, the Fire TV Stick with new Alexa Voice Remote is an inexpensive way to access a variety of content. It’s also the cheapest way to get Alexa working through a telly.
Read more: Amazon Fire TV Stick review