The new and improved voice remote for the Amazon Fire TV Stick has launched in the UK this week: it can be bought on its own, but will also replace the remote that comes with the Fire TV Stick HD (3rd generation).
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.
Late last year, Amazon launched two new models of the Fire TV stick – the Amazon Fire TV Stick 3rd Gen (see our review) which supports HD (1080p) streaming, and the Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite, which is almost identical to the other 3rd gen device.
The main difference (at least until now) between the HD and Lite versions is the remote that comes with the stick – the Lite’s remote doesn’t have TV control buttons.
These two models joined the Fire TV 4K, which – as its name suggests – supports 4K / HDR streaming. You can see our spec comparison of the three Fire TV models here.
Earlier this year, Amazon released an updated version of the ‘Alexa Voice Remote’ for Fire TV devices – only in the US and a few other countries, at first.
This week, the new remote finally crossed over to our side of the pond (as first noticed by AFTVnews).
As you can see, the main difference between the old and new remotes are the app shortcut buttons (these are quite similar to the buttons on the Roku remotes).
Each button will open the corresponding app on your Fire TV (assuming you have it installed on your device).
In the US, those buttons are currently assigned to Prime Video, Netflix, Disney+ and Hulu. Roku reportedly receives money from the streaming services that appear on the shortcut buttons – so presumably, the situation is similar with Amazon.
Another new button on the updated remote is the ‘Live TV’ button (which also exists on the Fire TV Lite’s remote).
That button sends you directly to the Fire TV’s new ‘Live’ tab, which provides a limited TV guide that’s made up of supported apps that have live broadcasts – such as Channel 5 or Amazon’s own sports broadcasts.
The Live TV guide is still quite limited in the UK – but will hopefully gain more support in the future.
And finally, the new remote’s ‘Mute’ button moved up a bit, and the ‘Voice Search’ button has a new logo – the Alexa logo which you might recognise from your mobile phone’s Alexa app.
How Can I Get The New Fire TV Remote?
The new remote now comes with the ‘2021 Release’ of the 3rd Gen Amazon Fire TV (that’s the HD-only version).
The older (2020) version, with the old remote, is still available as well – so you can decide which remote you prefer to get (the Fire TV sticks in these two versions are otherwise the same).
For now, the new remote is NOT bundled with any of the other Fire TV devices in the UK – so you won’t get it if you buy a new Fire TV 4K Stick, the Fire TV Lite, or the Fire TV Cube.
In some countries, it does come with the Fire TV 4K – so we asked Amazon whether there are plans to add the new remote to additional models in the UK, but they declined to comment at this time.
Still, if you have an existing Fire TV device, and you want to get the new remote – it’s also available as a standalone purchase.
The new remote is compatible with most (but not all) of the Fire TV models: the Fire TV Stick Lite, Fire TV Stick (2nd generation and later), Fire TV Stick 4K, Fire TV Cube (1st generation and later) and Amazon Fire TV (3rd generation, pendant design).
It’s NOT compatible with the 1st and 2nd generation Fire TV boxes, the Fire TV Stick (1st generation) or Fire TV smart television sets.