Where Amazon’s digital offerings exceed most others is through the vast amount of digital content their hardware can offer up. It’s not just Prime Video or apps like Netflix with their new Fire TV box however, but also 4K content as well. Amazon is refreshing the majority of their Fire line today and with that comes a new Fire TV box as well as a new Fire TV stick. There are some changes under the hood, including Alex search and 4K support, but the price for the Fire TV will remain at $100 and $50, considering the performance enhancements that Amazon is including here, these are great upgrades.
Starting with the new Fire TV box, it now features a quad-core MediaTek 64-bit CPU with more memory than the last model, which makes this 8x faster than the Chromecast and gives it a 75% increase in speed over the previous box. For media consumption however, what this little box is all about, Amazon have included 802.11ac MIMO WiFi giving this some of the fastest WiFi on the market. For 1080p streaming, there’s now the inclusion of the High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) which should use less data, easing the impact of Full HD streaming on a number of households. With 8GB of expandable storage – via the microSD card slot up to 128GB – Amazon have improved on the hardware here quite a bit.
The new Fire TV stick features much of the same features, but it’s not quite as powerful. They have however, now included the voice remote from its bigger brother in the same package for $49.99 or $39.99 without. Speaking of voice, both products now sport the Alexa search found inside of Amazon’s Echo speaker/assistant product. This makes for more accurate and detailed searches and again, goes a long way to improving performance.
Families that have Fire TV boxes under their sets will know that for kids and casual gaming, the Fire TV could hold its own. For $139.99 there’s a new box in town that adds in the new controller, which now includes a dedicated 3.5mm audio jack a la Sony’s PlayStation 4 controllers. This controller looks slightly different and the edition also includes a 32GB microSD card and two games; Disney’s Ducktales and Yacht Club’s Shovel Knight.