Fire TV Stick vs TV Stick 4K: Which Amazon streaming stick is best for you?

Amazon’s Fire TV devices are the company’s fastest selling products of all time, beating both the Kindle and Fire tablets.

The range allows you to access and stream a variety of content, including Amazon’s own, but also through apps such as Netflix and BBC iPlayer.

Last year’s Fire TV 4K dongle is now no more; Amazon has moved to having two streaming sticks, both very similar in appearance.

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.

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Fire TV Stick 4K and new Alexa voice Remote

Amazon’s new high-end streaming stick is not only cheap as chips when compared to devices like the Apple TV 4K, for example, but it’s also not even a box as such.

That doesn’t mean it’s a slouch in features or abilities. Like last year’s now outgoing Fire TV it can output video up to 4K Ultra HD 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. This is much like with the current Amazon Fire TV Stick but there’s now power and volume controls, too.

With all Alexa voice remotes you get 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.

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Amazon Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote

Amazon’s entry-level streaming stick was updated in 2017. 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 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 too is best matched with Amazon services, such as Prime Video, Amazon Music and Amazon Cloud, but still has clever Netflix integration. Search results, therefore, will offer shows from the Amazon rival as well as its own.

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.

Importantly, it also has Alexa voice assistant access with the older-style Alexa Voice Remote included.

There is 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 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 (2017) review

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