Amazon announced a revision of its Fire TV range with the brand new Fire TV Stick and the cheaper Fire TV Lite at its September Hardware Event. Amazon says that both the Fire TV Stick and Fire TV Stick Lite are 50% more powerful than previous efforts, while also using 50% less power. Both sit below the Fire TV Stick 4K, offering a range of options at affordable prices.
The Fire TV Stick now features HD HDR support and Dolby Atmos sound (bringing it to even more affordable levels). The Fire TV Stick displays content in HDR10, HDR10+ and broadcast HLG. The Fire TV Stick can deliver faster streaming in 1080p/60fps, with its dual-band, dual-antenna Wi-Fi supporting 5 GHz networks for more stable streaming and fewer dropped connections.
The Alexa remote has dedicated volume, power and mute buttons, and like the previous version you can control your TV and other connected equipment such as a soundbar.
The Fire TV Stick Lite is propositioned as a cheaper alternative and like the Fire TV Stick, the Lite can stream in full-HD with HDR. It’s packaged with the Alexa Voice Remote Lite that allows you to use your voice to find and play content.
Another piece of news from the event is that the Fire TV interface is set for a more personalised and customisable re-design. Improvements include newer content-discovery features, a simplified main men, enhanced Alexa voice integration, and up to six user profiles.
Amazon says the “all-new” Fire TV experience is the biggest interface update they’ve ever done. You’ll get to check it out later this year.
Also announced was the Luna cloud streaming service, along with several new and redesigned Echo speakers, and a new Echo Show.
The Fire TV Stick will cost £39.99(~SGD $70.56) and the Fire TV Stick Lite £29.99(~SGD $52.92).
Fire TV Stick Lite vs Fire TV Stick: Which is right for you?
The differences between the Fire TV Stick Lite vs Fire TV Stick are a little hard to find, and feel as if you're playing one of those old Highlights For Children games where you spot the differences between two very similar photos.
Yes, the two new streaming sticks announced at Amazon's Sept. 24 event may look practically identical, but there are key differences between these two sticks, that will likely change how you stream with each. The main key difference we will argue are the remote functions and streaming quality.
Fire TV Stick Lite vs Fire TV Stick: Specs compared
I'll argue the biggest differences in the Fire TV Stick Lite and the normal Fire TV Stick are found on its remote. The Fire TV Stick Lite's Alexa Remote Lite is shy a few of the buttons that make the Fire TV's normal Alexa Remote more capable.
Specifically, the normal Alexa Remote has TV controls for power (in the top right corner) and volume (up, down and mute, below all the other buttons). The one button it lacks, that the Alexa Remote Lite has, is the Guide button, which opens the Live TV Guide.
That's potentially annoying for anyone who wants to only use one remote, and not juggle the one for their TV and the Alexa Remote Lite. But that might not matter for those who prefer to use the Amazon Fire app on their phone as a digital remote. Alexa can also perform these functions, but I don't always want to talk at my remote when I'm watching TV, and I doubt I'm the only one.
Winner: Fire TV Stick 2020
Fire TV Stick Lite vs Fire TV Stick: Streaming quality
Both the Fire TV Stick Lite and Fire TV Stick 2020 deliver one of the most important features when it comes to streaming TV: Full HD 1080p video output. Both sticks also support the HDR, HDR 10, HDR10+ and HLG video standards.
The one way they differ under the hood is on audio. The Fire TV Stick 2020 has Dolby Atmos Audio while the Fire TV Stick Lite only has Dolby Audio, and only via pass-through HDMI.
The difference between the two is based in immersive sound. With Dolby Atmos, audio is pumped out through your TV and AV equipment in specific ways to create dimensionality. In Dolby's own words, it provides "multi-dimensional sound with incredible clarity that envelopes you." We're betting that folks with their own multi-channel home stereo are more likely to see the difference.
Dolby Audio isn't as impressive, focused on providing rich and powerful sound quality. It too works with surround sound equipment, but Dolby doesn't aim for the same immersion.
Winner: Fire TV Stick 2020