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

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Earlier this year, Amazon announced a brand new Firestick – the Fire TV 4K Max, which they are calling their “best Fire TV stick ever”.

The 4K Max (see our review) joins the Fire TV line, which includes the Fire TV 4K Stick (see our review) the 3rd generation Amazon Fire TV Stick (see our review) and the Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite. What are the differences between these four? Let’s take a closer look and compare them.

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, 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 are the Roku streaming devices – see my reviews here).

Fire TV Stick New Remote with TV

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

The four sticks are all quite capable, affordable, and – somewhat surprisingly – quite similar in their specs – except for the new 4K Max, which jumps forward.

In fact, the 3rd gen 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 a detailed review of the 4K Max soon – but for now, here’s a full comparison of the specs (because the Cube costs considerably more, we only compare the Fire TV Sticks here) –

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

Fire TV 4K MaxFire TV 4K StickFire TV StickFire TV Stick Lite
Video4K / 60fps4K / 60fps1080p / 60fps1080p / 60fps
HDRHDR10/+ Dolby Vision, HLGHDR10/+ Dolby Vision, HLGHDR10/+, HLGHDR10/+, HLG
AudioStereo, PCM, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby AtmosStereo, PCM, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby AtmosStereo, PCM, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby AtmosStereo, PCM
CPUMediaTek MT8696, 1.8GHz quad-coreMediaTek MT8695, 1.7GHz quad-coreMediaTek MT8695D, 1.7GHz quad-coreMediaTek MT8695D, 1.7GHz quad-core
GPUIMG GE9215, 750 MHzIMG GE8300, 650 MHzIMG GE8300
650 MHz
IMG GE8300
650 MHz
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax
2×2 MIMO
(WiFi 6)
802.11 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 5BT 5
EthernetOptional AdapterOptional AdapterOptional AdapterOptional Adapter
RemoteAlexa Voice Remote (3rd Gen)Alexa Voice Remote (3rd Gen)Alexa Voice Remote (3rd Gen)Alexa Voice Remote Lite (without volume buttons)
OSFire OS 7 (Android 9)Fire OS 6 (Android 7.1) Fire OS 7 (Android 9)Fire OS 7 (Android 9)
Fire TV 4K MaxFire TV 4K StickFire TV StickFire TV Stick Lite

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

But the new Fire TV 4K Max has a bumped-up spec list – and Amazon says it’s 40% more powerful than the regular 4K.

Also, the newer 3rd gen HD sticks come out of the box with the Fire OS 7 operating system (which is based on Android 9), and so does the 4K Max. The Fire TV 4K stick, however, is running Fire OS 6 (based on Android 7.1).

All the sticks, however (and the Cube) now come with the Fire TV’s newer user interface.

As for the remote, most of the Firesticks (including the Max) now come with the 3rd gen Alexa Voice Remote, which includes shortcut buttons. The “Lite” stick is the only one that comes with the older remote – for now, at least – though you may find older editions of the other sticks, depending on where you buy, that still come with the older remote.

Fire TV Remotes comparison

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 new Fire TV 4K Max , which offers superior video quality AND a faster interface.

It’s only a few pounds more than the older 4K stick, so there’s really no reason not to go for the upgraded version, with the better CPU and GPU.

Keep in mind, I haven’t had the chance to review the 4K Max yes – so this recommendation is based upon its spec list, for now.

Amazon Fire TV Max side
Amazon Fire TV Max

Then again, if you’re looking to buy 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 over the 3rd Gen HD Stick.

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