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Difference between: Fire TV and Fire TV Stick

Difference between: Fire TV and Fire TV Stick.

Fire TV and Fire TV Stick are two different types of Amazon TV streaming devices. This article compares products from both categories so you have a clear idea of ​​the similarities and differences.

We’ll look at differences in physical features, specifications, price, availability, and other factors.

Fire TV vs. Fire TV Stick: Design and Form

The Fire TV is the set-top box version of Amazon’s streaming media player. 2 -  Fire TVs are square. This is a streaming device that you place on an entertainment center or on a shelf and connect to your TV with a cable.

Only the 3rd generation Amazon Fire TV has a built-in HDMI drop cable. When connected, the device hangs on the back of the TV, like a Google Chromecast.

On the other hand, the Fire TV Stick is a much smaller version of Amazon’s streaming media player. It’s a rectangular key the size of a chocolate bar. Unlike the Fire TV, you don’t need a cable to connect the Fire TV Stick to your TV. You can connect your streaming drive directly to your TV’s HDMI port.

The form factor of the Fire TV Stick makes it the best choice for a cable-free entertainment center. Unlike the Fire TV, you can power the Fire TV Stick directly from your TV’s USB port. Most Fire TV models (1st and 2nd generation) require power from a wall outlet to turn on.

Amazon Fire TV Cube Explained

Think of the Fire TV cube as a Fire TV in a cube. In addition to the difference in shape, the Fire TV Cube has four buttons at the top: microphone, action, and volume buttons.

The Fire TV cubes have built-in microphones and speakers for hands-free interaction with the Amazon Alexa voice assistant. You can interact with Alexa on the Fire TV Cube without a TV (like the Amazon Echo) or when your TV is turned off. Fire TV Cube is a combination of Fire TV and Amazon Echo.

So what do Fire TV and Fire TV Cube devices have in common? They don’t have an HDMI connector like the Fire TV Stick – you need an HDMI cable to connect your streaming devices to your TV.

Storage and Memory

All generations of Fire TV and Fire TV Stick have eight gigabytes (8 GB) of storage space. Fire TV Cubes have 16GB of storage, most likely because they serve as streaming devices and smart speakers.

In terms of memory, the Fire TV and Fire TV Cubes have 2GB of RAM, while the Fire TV Sticks’ memory ranges from 1GB to 1.5GB. Typically, Fire TV Stick Lite models and older streaming sticks have 1GB of RAM. Fire TV Stick models that support 4K streaming have higher memory configurations (max. 1.5 GB).

The 1st and 2nd-generation Fire TVs have built-in USB ports. So you can easily expand your device storage with a flash drive. There are no USB ports on the Fire TV Stick, so you’ll need a Micro USB to USB adapter to connect a USB drive.

Alexa Voice Remote

When purchasing a Fire TV, Fire TV Cube, or Fire TV Stick, make sure you select a device with an Alexa Voice Remote. With Alexa, you can find TV shows, adjust media playback, and do more with your voice.

All Amazon Fire TV devices support Alexa and come with the Alexa Voice Remote, except for the models listed below:

Amazon Fire TV – 1st Generation (2014)Amazon Fire TV Stick – 1 Generation 2014Amazon Fire TV Stick Basic Edition 2017

Note. You cannot connect the Alexa Voice Remote to these devices as they do not support Alexa.

Network Connectivity

Both Fire TV and Fire TV Stick work with wired and wireless Internet connections. However, only Fire TV (except the 3rd generation model) comes with a built-in Ethernet port. To use a wired connection with Fire TV Sticks, you need to purchase an Amazon Ethernet adapter (worth $20) separately. Fire TV cubes don’t have an Ethernet port, but they do come with an Ethernet adapter in the box. No additional investment is required to use a wired connection.

A wired connection is often faster and more stable than Wi-Fi. If you’re going to buy a 4K Fire TV device, you’ll need an Ethernet connection to stream Ultra High-Definition (UHD) content. If you are purchasing an Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max, you should consider the cost of an Ethernet adapter, unless your wireless network provider guarantees a minimum internet speed of 25 Mbps without limits.

Operating System

The Fire operating system runs on all Amazon streaming devices – flash drives and set-top boxes. Fire OS is based on Android. Therefore, you can install Android apps on Fire TV Stick and Fire TV.

Fire OS is available in three versions – Fire OS 5, Fire OS 6, and Fire OS 7. 1 – Fire OS 5 is based on Android 5.1 Lollipop, while Fire OS 6 and 7 are based on Android 7.1 Nougat and Android 9 Pie.

Fire TV Stick models released in 2020 (and newer) with the latest Fire OS 7 out of the box. Only Fire TV Stick (Basic), Fire TV Cube (1st Gen), and Fire TV (3rd Gen) run Fire OS 6. Other Fire TV and Fire TV Stick models ship with Fire OS 5.

Streaming apps like Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, HBO Max, etc. will work great on all versions of Fire OS. However, the higher the Fire OS version, the better the features and performance of the Fire TV.

Refer to this Fire OS documentation on the Amazon website to find out which Fire TV device works with which version of Fire OS.

Note. Fire OS cannot be upgraded on Fire TV and Fire TV Stick. That is, you cannot upgrade a streaming device from one version to another, such as from Fire OS 5 to Fire OS 6. However, you can upgrade your Fire TV to different builds of the same version.

Amazon guarantees software security updates for its streaming devices for four years after they are discontinued or no longer available for purchase on its website.

Fire TV vs. Fire TV Stick: Price and Availability

Amazon no longer sells Fire TV. The company released the last (3rd) generation of the Fire TV in 2017 and discontinued it the same year. All streaming models are “currently unavailable” on their respective Amazon retail pages. However, you can still purchase refurbished versions ($60-70) of discontinued Fire TVs from Amazon and third-party stores such as Best Buy.

The price of the Fire TV Stick will vary depending on the version or generation you buy – 4K editions are usually more expensive. The latest version (Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max – 1st Gen (2021)) costs $54.99. This is the most expensive Fire TV Stick.

Difference between: Fire TV and Fire TV Stick

The cheapest Fire TV Stick is the “Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite” version ($29.99). This is a simplified version of the standard Fire TV Stick without Dolby Vision support and TV controls. Without Dolby Vision, the Fire TV Stick Lite cannot optimize the display of HDR images on your TV. Similarly, Alexa Voice Remote Lite cannot control your TV, soundbar, or other devices in your entertainment system.

Fire TV Stick Lite – 1st Generation (2020) – $29.99Fire TV Stick – 2nd generation (2016-2019) – $34.99 – $39.99Fire TV Stick – 3rd generation (2020) – $39.99

Fire TV Stick – Basic (2017) – $49.99Fire TV Stick 4K – 1st Gen (2018) – $49.99 (34.99) on sale)Fire TV Stick 4K Max – 1st Generation (2021) – $54.99

Note. These are the official suggested retail prices for the products mentioned above on the Amazon website. Third-party stores and companies may sell them at higher prices.

Set-Top Box or Stick: Which Should You Buy?

Fire TV Sticks are all the rage right now. They are portable and hang behind your TV, thus providing a clutter-free and wire-free entertainment setup. 4K support is another standout difference – no Fire TV models support 4K streaming. Fire TVs are outdated, more expensive, and no longer receive software updates from Amazon.

Fire TV Cubes are a great addition to your smart home. It supports 4K Ultra HD content, works as a smart speaker, and offers more features than Fire TV Stick devices. However, it is more than $50 more expensive. For more information, see our Fire TV Stick 4K vs. Fire TV Cube article.

Difference between: Fire TV and Fire TV Stick

Difference between: Fire TV and Fire TV Stick

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