One of the most popular streaming devices in the UK, the Amazon Firestick, is getting an upgrade: Today, Amazon announced the upcoming launch of the Amazon Fire TV 4K Max.
The new stick has several new features that differentiate it from the regular Fire TV 4K stick, including a more powerful processor, more memory, and support for WiFi 6 – a faster and more stable wireless internet standard.
And, unlike other launches where UK customers had to wait a while – the Fire TV 4K Max is already available for pre-order, and is expected to be released on the same day and date as the US – October 7, 2021.
The original Fire TV 4K Stick (see our review), which is still being sold today, was released way back in 2018. It’s still an excellent device, so there weren’t a lot of things Amazon could change about it – but they did manage to find a few significant upgrades.
Best Amazon Firestick Yet?
The new Fire TV Max features a quad-core 1.8GHz processer and a 750MHz graphics processor (GPU). The Previous 4K stick has a 1.7GHz CPU, and a 650MHz GPU (in fact, ALL the current Fire TV sticks, including the Lite, share the same 1.7GHz CPU).
The Fire TV Cube (see our review) is still more powerful, with a Hexa-core CPU 2.2GHz + 1.9GHz, and 800MHz GPU 800 – but it’s also considerably more expensive than the new Fire TV Max.
As for memory, the Max has 2GB of RAM, as opposed to 1.5GB on the older Fire TV 4K (and 1GB on the Non-4K streaming sticks).
These upgraded specs mean the Fire TV Max will feel quicker and swifter to use – Amazon says it’s 40% more powerful than the previous 4K model (see our full Fire TV Sticks comparison).
The new specs should also help with Amazon’s Cloud Gaming platform – Luna – which unfortunately isn’t available in the UK yet.
As for storage space (which is mainly used for installing applications) on the Max, it is identical to that of the previous Firesticks, and stands at 8GB – so the Fire Cube is the only one with more space, at 16GB.
The Fire TV Stick 4K Max supports all the modern video formats – HDR, HDR10+, Dolby Vision, HLG (the HDR format used by the BBC), and AV1, which is a codec that’s being heavily promoted by Google.
In terms of audio, the Fire 4k Max support Dolby Atmos, and also supports Alexa Home Theatre – so you can wirelessly connect Echo devices as speakers, and create an immersive experience.
The Fire TV Max will come with Amazon’s newest Fire TV remote, which includes streaming app shortcuts buttons and a “Live TV” button.
As before, the Fire TV Max’ remote will include an Alexa button, so you can “speak” to the remote and use your voice to control the device.
And, thanks to the new, more powerful processing, the Fire TV Max also supports “Live View” picture-in-picture mode.
This means you can watch video streams from smart devices you own – such as Amazon’s Ring Video Doorbell or security cameras – in a window, without interrupting your TV viewing.
As for its wireless connectivity, The Fire TV Max will be Amazon’s first streaming device to support WiFi 6 – a new, faster (and more stable) wireless standard.
The only other streaming device that currently supports WiFi 6 is the Apple TV 4K – which is considerably more expensive.
Remember, however, that if you want to use WiFi 6, you must have a router that supports the standard – and those are not very common yet – especially if you get your router from your Internet Service Provider.
The Fire TV 4K Max will come with Amazon’s new(ish) user interface built-in, and as always, will support a very large array of streaming (and other) apps, including almost all the popular ones in the UK – Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+, NOW, BBC iPlayer, BritBox and many others.
Fire TV 4K Max Pricing And Availability
The Fire TV 4K Max is already available for preorder on Amazon – but will only be released on October 7 (though, in the past, devices sometimes arrived a few days before their official release date).
The Amazon Fire TV 4K Max’ price in the UK is currently £54.99 (and $54.99 in the US).
The older Fire TV 4K normally costs £49.99 in the UK – though it’s currently unavailable on Amazon’s website.
Update: We were able to confirm with Amazon that the Fire TV 4K Max will be sold alongside the other models, including the previous 4K one.
But with the Fire TV 4K often being discounted, you will probably be able to get it for a cheaper price – with the 4K Max sticking to its £54.99 price point, at least for a while.
Amazon’s non-4K devices, the Fire TV Stick (see our review) and the Fire TV Stick Lite, cost £39.99 and £29.99, when not on sale.
We will review the Fire TV Max once it launches, to see how its new specs hold up in real life.