Amazon Fire TV Specs Compared: 4K VS 3rd Gen VS Lite

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Earlier this week, Amazon announced two new additions to the Fire TV line: the 3rd generation Amazon Fire TV Stick (see our review) and the Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite. What are the differences between these two, and how do they compare to the top-tiered Fire TV Stick 4K? Let’s have a look.

The Amazon Fire TV streaming devices have been quite popular in the UK, dating back to the launch of the first Fire TV box, back in 2014 – and for good reason.

With most of the major UK streaming apps available for the Fire TV (with NOW TV being a notable exception), and a friendly interface, it’s an improved replacement to the often slow-and-limited “Smart TV” interfaces. (The Fire TV’s main competition at this point at the Roku streaming devices – see my reviews here).

Amazon Fire TV Stick 2020 voice remote

But there are now FOUR Amazon Fire TV devices being officially sold in the UK: The Amazon Fire TV 4K Stick (see my review), the Amazon Fire TV Stick (3rd generation, Full HD), The Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite (Full HD), and the Amazon Fire TV Cube (4K), which is a pricier product that combines the Fire TV with an Echo device.

The three sticks are all quite capable, affordable, and – somewhat surprisingly – quite similar in their specs.

In fact, the new “regular” Full HD stick is practically identical to the “Lite” stick, with the only notable difference being the remote that comes with either stick – the Lite remote doesn’t have TV volume buttons, and instead adds a “Live TV” button. That’s it. Oh – and there’s a £10 difference as well…

New Amazon Fire TV 2020
Amazon Fire TV Stick 3rd Gen

We’re hoping to have detailed reviews of the new sticks soon – but for now, here’s a full comparison of the specs:

(If you’re on a phone, you can scroll the table left and right)

Fire TV 4K StickFire TV StickFire TV Stick Lite
Video4K / 60fps1080p / 60fps1080p / 60fps
HDRHDR10/+ Dolby Vision, HLGHDR10/+, HLGHDR10/+, HLG
AudioStereo, PCM, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby AtmosStereo, PCM, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby AtmosStereo, PCM
CPUMediaTek MT8695, 1.7GHz quad-coreMediaTek MT8695D, 1.7GHz quad-coreMediaTek MT8695D, 1.7GHz quad-core
WiFi802.11 b/g/n/ac
2×2 MIMO (WiFi 5)
802.11 b/g/n/ac
2×2 MIMO (WiFi 5)
802.11 b/g/n/ac
2×2 MIMO (WiFi 5)
BluetoothBT 5BT 5BT 5
EthernetOptional AdapterOptional AdapterOptional Adapter
RemoteAlexa Voice RemoteAlexa Voice RemoteAlexa Voice Remote Lite (without volume buttons)
OSFire OS 6 (Android 7.1) – Likely to be updated soonFire OS 7 (Android 9)Fire OS 7 (Android 9)
Fire TV 4K StickFire TV StickFire TV Stick Lite

As you can see, even the Fire TV 4K stick isn’t all the different, with a slightly upgraded CPU, 1.5GB RAM (instead of 1GB), and of course – support for Ultra HD 4K streaming (and Dolby Vision HDR).

On the other hand, while the new sticks will come out of the box with the new Fire OS 7 operating system (which is based on Android 9), the Fire TV 4K stick is still running Fire OS 6 (based on Android 7.1). But we expect Amazon to update the 4K Stick’s OS at some point in the near future.

When compared to the previous generation of Fire sticks, Amazon say that the new generation is 50% more powerful than the previous generation – we’ll wait for the full review to pass judgement on how this looks in real life usage.

Which Amazon Fire TV Stick Is Best?

So, which Fire TV Stick should you buy? If this is going to be your main streaming device, for a 4K TV, then I suggest you go for the 4K stick, which offers superior video quality and possibly a faster interface.

Amazon Fire TV 4k Stick - whats in the box
Amazon Fire TV 4K Stick

If, however, this is a second stick (for your bedroom, for example), or if you’re going to use it on an older non-4K TV, then I would go straight for the Lite version, which has a very tempting price point.

You won’t be able to control the volume of your TV with the Lite Remote – but consider whether that’s worth the £10 difference.

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