The latest iPhone has been announced, which means the start of autumn launch period. The Google Pixel 8 will be unveiled on 4th October, but before then we have Amazon and its latest Fire TV devices. And there's plenty to get your teeth into.
Like two new Fire TV Sticks, and a Fire TV Soundbar. The Fire TV Sticks are powered by the Alexa smart assistant, which Amazon promises will be more helpful than ever.
The new Fire TV Stick 4K has a 1.7GHz processor that's 30 per cent more powerful than its predecessor, and it supports Wi-Fi 6. Like its predecessor, it supports the major HDR formats (Dolby Vision, HLG, HDR10 and HDR10 Plus) and Dolby Atmos.
The Fire TV 4K Max is even more powerful, upping the processor to 2GHz, and supporting Wi-Fi 6E, which will mean lower latency streaming and faster speeds (as long as you have a compatible router). It's also the first Fire TV Stick with the Fire TV Ambient Experience, which displays artwork, info from your calendar, sticky notes, and controls for your smart home devices and music streaming services, all when you're not watching TV. (Previously, this feature was only on Amazon's Fire TV Omni QLED Series of TVs.)
The Fire TV 4K Max supports the same HDR and Atmos formats as the standard 4K model, and has double the storage (16GB) of its predecessor.
The last new device is the Fire TV Soundbar – Amazon's first in the category. It's a two-channel model with a width of 24 inches, and promises room-filling sound and support for DTS Virtual:X and Dolby Audio. As well as being compatible with all Fire TV devices, you can stream audio to it from any Bluetooth-enabled device.
Both Fire TV Sticks have Alexa onboard, but the Soundbar doesn't. A software update coming soon will improve Alexa's search functionality, letting the assistant fine-tune recommendations based on your conversation with it.
The Fire TV 4K costs £59.99 / $49.99 / $79, while the 4K Max is £69.99 / $59.99 / AU$119.99. The Fire TV Soundbar costs $119.99 on its own, or $154.98 bundled with the Alexa Voice Remote Pro (UK and Australian prices for the Fire TV Soundbar aren't available yet). The Fire TV Soundbar is available now in the US, while the Fire TV Sticks are available to pre-order now and will be released in the US and Australia on 27th September, and in the UK on 18th October.
Amazon's Fire TV devices are among the best of their kind, so it'll be interesting to see how the Soundbar competes with the finest around. And with the Amazon Prime Big Deal Days sale coming next month – followed by Black Friday – we might see discounts on these new devices sooner than you would expect...
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