Now, Fire TV has become Amazon’s fastest selling products, beating the company’s previously released Kindle and Fire tablets, while also being one of the most popular streaming services in the market. However, if you want to buy an affordable Fire TV dongle, you may be confused between Fire TV Stick 4K vs Fire TV Stick. The price difference isn’t much.
In this article, you can find out further about:
– The size and weight of each Fire TV dongle here
– The remote control that comes with each model
– The features and connectivity of each Fire TV dongle
– The processing components of Fire TV Stick 4K vs Fire TV Stick
– The comparison of their image quality
– Which Fire TV dongle that is more recommended for you
The first difference between these two products is their dimensions. Well, they both are small dongles which are designed to plug into your TV’s HDMI port. They should be compact enough to fit into the space around your TV. Still, let’s see how they measure up so that you can tell if they will fit in your space or not. See also: Roku Ultra vs Apple TV 4K.
Fire TV Stick 4K is a bit larger and heavier. It measures 108 mm long and 30 mm wide. The thickness is 14 mm, and the weight is about 53.6 grams. It does not take much space, of course, but make sure that it can fit into the area around your TV’s HDMI port.
Fire TV Stick, on the other hand, is a little bit smaller and lighter. It measures 85.9 mm long and 30 mm wide, while the thickness is 12.6 mm. The weight is about 32 grams. It is just a thud larger than a typical flash stick drive, and it should be able to easily slid to the HDMI port of most televisions.
Keep in mind that both Fire TV Stick 4K vs Fire TV Stick don’t have any built-in ethernet port. According to Tom’s Guide, if you want to use an ethernet connection, you need to get the ethernet adapter which is sold separately. The ethernet adapter will be something of a daisy chain, and it will require some more space around your TV. Or, you can use an HDMI cable to extend the dongle away from your TV.
Most if not all people would love to get a Fire TV dongle along with its remote, so that they can easily navigate through different channels and menu screens or use voice commands just to be fancy. Interestingly, the two Fire TV versions here come with different remotes.
Fire TV Stick 4K comes with a much better remote control, which is the same as the one that comes with Fire TV Cube. This is an upgraded remote control that is capable of controlling not only the Fire TV service, but also Alexa and the whole TV set.
On this remote, there are the usual voice command button (indicated by a mic icon), the circular d-pad buttons, play/pause, home, back, rewind, and fast-forward. In addition, you can also find a power button, a light indicator, volume up and down buttons, and a mute button. These four additional controls are very useful, and actually make the remote truly usable. It can erase the need to reach your TV’s original remote.
Fire TV Stick only has a basic remote control. It can be used for controlling Alexa. Though the old model doesn’t have any mic for supporting voice commands, the new model has been updated with a built-in mic along with a dedicated button to allow voice commands.
The basic remote only has the circular d-pad buttons, home, back, play/pause rewind, and fast-forward. The addition of a voice command button is definitely a nice thing. It is possible to control the volume via voice commands, but this is not always an optimum solution. When you don’t want to voice commands, you will need to reach for the TV’s original remote in order to adjust the volume.
As mentioned above, the remotes of both Fire TV Stick 4K vs Fire TV Stick can be used to control Alexa. Both versions have been made to support Alexa fully. Since the latest remotes now come with built-in mics, you can use voice commands to interact with Alexa regardless of the type of your Fire TV device.
You can start using Alexa as soon as the set-up process of your Fire TV Stick 4K or Fire TV Stick is completed. This is a great thing, as Alexa can be very useful for a variety of things, ranging from creating a playlist, checking the weather, finding sports scores, to managing your shopping lists.
However, unlike Fire TV Cube (which can act as a stand-alone center for Alexa), Fire TV Stick 4K and Fire TV Stick can’t be used to control smart home devices like thermostats and lights, at least not right away.
You need to connect your Fire TV Stick 4K or Fire TV Stick dongle to an Amazon Echo speaker before you can control such smart home devices from their remotes. If you already have an Amazon Echo speaker, both Fire TV Stick 4K and Fire TV Stick can be an excellent addition to your smart home system.
The next difference between Fire TV Stick 4K vs Fire TV Stick is found in their connectivity. Well, the available options are still similar. But the connections on Fire TV Stick 4K a bit more upgraded than the ones on Fire TV Stick.
Fire TV Stick 4K has an HDMI output which requires your TV’s HDMI port to support HDCP 2.2 if you want to enjoy 4K Ultra HD content. The side of the dongle also has a power port; you need to keep the power adapter plugged in order to keep it on.
The wireless connectivity of Fire TV Stick 4K includes dual-band, dual-antenna Wi-Fi MIMO 802.11ac for high-speed streaming and Bluetooth 5.0 + LE for compatibility with various Bluetooth peripherals like headphones, video game controllers, and external speakers. Meanwhile, the remote has an IR light so that it can be used on IR-enabled devices.
Fire TV Stick has an HDMI output which should be compatible with any TV’s HDMI port. Just like its sibling, it also needs the power adapter to be constantly plugged so that it can remain on.
The Fire TV Stick dongle actually already has dual-band, dual-antenna Wi-Fi MIMO 802.11ac for high-speed streaming. However, the supported Bluetooth version is still 4.1. The remote doesn’t have an IR light and can’t be used for controlling other devices.
Some differences are found in the processing components of the two streaming devices. This is indeed to be expected. 4K content contains a lot more data than 1080p content or 720p content. In order to stream 4K content without increasing the processing time, you need more powerful processing elements.
Fire TV Stick 4K is fitted with a quad-core 1.7 GHz processor and IMG GE8300 GPU. Thanks to these processing elements, the dongle can stream 4K content without much difficulty. You can navigate through screens quickly and smoothly, and there isn’t much loading time or lag when opening a channel.
Fire TV Stick, on the other hand, comes with the MediaTek quad-core ARM 1.3 GHz processor and the Mali 450 MP4 GPU. The overall performance is still good. The device generally doesn’t have long loading time or lag. Sometimes, it may feel slower than its sibling, but the difference is not really significant.
The primary difference between Fire TV Stick 4K and Fire TV Stick is the image quality, but this does not immediately mean that the slightly more expensive option will give you better image quality. You need to consider your TV’s capabilities before judging whether Fire TV Stick 4K or Fire TV Stick will give you the best value.
Fire TV Stick 4K supports 4K and HDR protocols. This is why it can be much better than the regular Fire TV Stick. It can output in 4K Ultra HD, 1080p Full HD, or 720p HD. The 4K setting is indeed really impressive, offering very high sharpness and detail. In addition, it supports HDR10 and Dolby Vision, which can give you astoundingly rich color gamut.
However, you will only benefit from Fire TV Stick 4K if your TV supports the 4K resolution and HDR. Otherwise, you won’t get any real improvement in image quality.
Fire TV Stick supports 1080p and 720p output resolutions. It does not support modern HDR protocols. This is not a problem if your TV is capped at the Full HD resolution. If you are not planning to upgrade your monitor to a 4K-capable one, Fire TV Stick can still give you good image quality.
Fire TV Stick 4K vs Fire TV Stick
In general, Fire TV Stick 4K is more recommended. Of course, the main reason is that it supports 4K and HDR. However, since the price difference between the two versions isn’t much, you still want to get Fire TV Stick 4K because it comes with a better remote, upgraded connectivity features, and more powerful processing components.