Amazon has introduced two next-generation Fire TV Sticks, including an all-new Fire TV Stick Lite, at its Alexa devices fall event. The firm has also been working on a reimagined Fire TV experience that is more "personal and customised" (more on this below), and Amazon has done it all just in time for its own bargain bonanza event, Amazon Prime Day.
The all-new Fire TV Stick features an enhanced 1.7 GHz quad-core processor that boasts 50 per cent more power than the previous generation Fire TV Stick. The new model delivers faster streaming in 1080p at 60fps, while the dual-band, dual-antenna WiFi supports 5GHz networks and promises more stable streaming and fewer dropped connections.
Amazon's new Fire TV Stick also supports HDR and Dolby Atmos for more immersive sound with compatible content and speakers, and it comes with an Alexa Voice Remote with dedicated power, volume, and mute buttons to control compatible TVs, soundbars, and AV receivers.
In line with Amazon's pledged commitment to tackling climate change, the all-new Fire TV Stick promises improved performance while consuming 50 per cent less power than the previous generation too. Still no 4K (that's restricted to the Fire TV 4K, which continues) but it does cost the same as the previous generation.
Fire TV Stick Lite is billed as a new, even more affordable way to begin streaming in full HD. It too is apparently 50 per cent more powerful than the previous-generation Fire TV Stick, and it also features HDR support. Fire TV Stick Lite comes with a special Alexa Voice Remote Lite, a new remote that allows you to use voice to find, launch, and control content. And it really is a budget streamer – in fact it's the most affordable Fire TV Stick that Amazon has produced.
There's also an all-new Fire TV user interface, which aims to be more intuitive and offer a more customised experience. The Main Menu is now at the centre of your screen and should make it easier to find what you’re looking for – not that we really struggled before. You can now jump into your favourite streaming service directly, or scroll over supported apps to quickly peek at what’s inside and begin playback. There's a brand new Find experience to make it easier to discover great content, with browsing capabilities that allow for specific searches based on genre (e.g. comedies, action) plus categories (e.g. Kids & Family, apps), and more.
Amazon says that the Fire TV experience now features improved Alexa voice controls that give you greater command over your entertainment. Just say “Alexa, go to Library” to browse shows, for example. With new user profiles, Fire TV now delivers a personalised experience for up to six members of a household too, including individual content recommendations, viewing history, watch lists, preferred settings and more. Change your user profile by saying “Alexa, switch to my profile” – yes, after initial set up, Alexa should remember your voice and know it's you.
The all-new Fire TV Stick costs £40 ($40) – the same RRP as the model it replaces – and begins shipping in the UK and US next week.
Fire TV Stick Lite is just £30 ($30), and also begins shipping in the UK and US next week. While an exact availability date isn't known, Fire TV Stick Lite will bring dedicated Fire TV experiences with Alexa to Australia for the first time, too.
The redesigned Fire TV experience will begin rolling out globally later this year, starting with the all-new Fire TV Stick and Fire TV Stick Lite. Exact features will vary by country, but Amazon assures us it'll be available in the UK, US and Australia.
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