With the launch of the Fire TV Cube, Amazon now offers four different ways to use its Fire TV operating system:
If you're in the market for a streaming device (and have established that Fire TV is the best streaming device for your needs), which of the four devices should you buy?
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The Amazon Fire TV Stick is the entry level device.
If you're looking to add smart capabilities to other TVs in your home, it's a great option. However, if you're looking to upgrade the capabilities of your main TV, it's worth spending a few extra bucks on one of the more powerful models.
Your decision could also be influenced by where you live. There are two versions of Fire TV Stick currently available. “Fire Stick Gen 2” was released in late 2016 and is only available in the US, UK, Germany, Japan, and India. The “Fire Stick Basic Edition” hit stores 12 months later and is available in most of the rest of the world.
Most of the technical specifications of the two devices are identical. Both have a maximum supported resolution of 1080p at 30fps, 8GB of internal storage, 1GB of RAM, and a quad-core 1.3GHz ARM CPU.
The most important hardware difference is the remote. The Gen 2 model ships with an Alexa-enabled voice-controlled remote. The basic edition does not support Alexa or voice input. There are also some minor differences in the user interface; The basic edition does not include a recommended section for your apps, does not offer a search function, and has a simplified app queue.
If you live in a Basic Edition country and the missing features are important to you, you should look at the other options.
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The next model is the Amazon Fire TV. It is a significant step in the Fire TV stick. According to Amazon calculations, it is four times more powerful than its little brother.
Its biggest selling point is support for 4K video. It can produce 3840x2160p output at 60fps and includes HDR10 support in render pipelines. All of this translates into better contrasts and more vibrant colors, ultimately giving you a richer viewing experience.
Remember, 4K videos on Netflix are not available on the cheapest plan. How much does Netflix cost per month? How much does Netflix cost per month? How much is Netflix? What plans are available? Here's how much money Netflix can cost you each month. Read more . You will need to pay $13.99/month for the Premium package. If your cable provider or streaming provider doesn't offer 4K, don't be fooled into buying a 4K dongle unnecessarily.
Like the Fire TV Stick, the device offers 8GB of internal storage. However, it comes with 2 GB of RAM and a quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 CPU that can run up to 1.5 GHz. The extra power will come in handy for people who enjoy playing games on their device.
While the device doesn't have a native Ethernet port, you can buy Amazon's official Ethernet adapter and connect the Fire TV directly to your router. This generally leads to a faster and smoother streaming experience and is recommended for people with slow network speeds.
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Interestingly, Amazon Fire TV does not support Miracast screen mirroring technology. What is Miracast? How to use Miracast for wireless media streaming What is Miracast? How to use Miracast for wireless media streaming HDMI may be the standard for connecting media devices, but it has many drawbacks. Here's how to use Miracast instead. Read More If you plan to launch a lot of content from your computer or smartphone, the cheapest model might be the best option.
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The Amazon Fire TV Cube is Amazon's latest addition to the Fire TV family. It's like a regular Fire TV stick and an Amazon Echo Dot rolled into one unit; It steals some of the best features of both.
For example, it's the only model in the Fire TV range to include Alexa-based hardware controls, a built-in speaker, and far-field voice control. All of these features are present on the Echo Dot.
It also supports 4K Ultra HD at 60fps, HDR10, and Dolby Atmos, which are available on the aforementioned Fire TV. Ships with a free Ethernet adapter.
The Amazon Fire TV Cube uses the same 1.5GHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 CPU as the Fire TV along with 2GB of RAM. However, its specifications differ slightly from the Fire TV thanks to its 16 GB of internal memory.
The Fire TV Cube does not support Miracast.
The bottom line is if you already own a Fire TV device and one of the many different Amazon Echo models. A Comparison Guide to Amazon Echo Devices:Which is Best for You? A Comparison Guide to Amazon Echo Devices:Which is Best for You? Which Amazon Echo Device is Right for You? We compare the Plus, Dot, Tap, Show, Spot, Look and Fire TV Cube to help you decide. Read More But if you're new to lace cutting and personal assistants, the device is a great way to enter the market.
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Amazon is partnering with several electronics manufacturers to produce Amazon Fire TV Edition smart TVs. These are TVs with Fire TV built in, saving you from having to buy a separate device.
Toshiba's Amazon Fire TV Edition Smart TV is a 4K Ultra HD LED TV that comes in three different sizes and is reasonably priced considering its technical specifications.
These Fire TV Edition smart TVs are Amazon's answer to the increasingly popular Roku-enabled TVs.
Fire TV Edition televisions offer the best aspects of the 4K Fire TV dongle, including 3840x2160p resolution at 60fps, HDR10 support, 2GB of RAM, and 8GB of storage. Unfortunately, however, they do not offer Dolby Atmos or Miracast sound.
Fire TV Edition smart TVs differ slightly from Fire TV smart TVs in their sign-in process. Unlike all other Fire products, you don't need an Amazon account to use the operating system. You can still access Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, and all your other favorite apps without signing into an OS-wide account.
Fire TV Edition smart TVs are also Alexa-enabled, so you can use your voice to control the TV, your smart home devices, and more.
Clearly, you're not buying a new TV just to add smart capabilities to your living room. However, if you're already familiar with the Fire TV operating system and need a new TV, the Fire TV Edition models are high-quality, value-priced options.
Fire TV devices aren't right for everyone; They have some disadvantages. For example, Amazon's ongoing dispute with Google means there is no native YouTube app (although Amazon provides a browser-based workaround).
Also, Fire TV's reliance on the Amazon Appstore means you don't have access to the same number of Android apps that you do on Android TV devices. Again, there are workarounds that allow you to download apps on the Amazon Fire TV Stick, but it's not an ideal situation.
Check Out The Essential Amazon Fire Stick Channel List The Essential Amazon Fire Stick Channel List The Essential Amazon Fire Stick Channel List What are the best apps for watching videos and listening to music? Here's our full list of Amazon Fire Stick channels. Read More