Why buy the Fire TV 4k Stick vs. Fire TV Stick 2nd-Gen?

Amazon-Fire-TV-Stick-4k-Ultra-HDThe new Amazon Fire TV Stick 4k has got a number of advantages over the 2nd-generation Stick. But the 4k Stick costs $10 more. Is it worth the extra bucks or is the cheaper Fire TV Stick sufficient enough to get by? Let’s take a look at some of the differences so you can decide for yourself.

What’s the Same?

The Amazon Fire TV Stick 4k is exactly the same height, width, and weight as its predecessor. Both have Bluetooth headphone support, Alexa voice control with the included second-generation remote, HDMI output, and micro USB for power. Memory and storage say the same at 8MB RAM and 8GB ROM, and each come with a 1-year limited warranty.

Processors

The graphics processing unit (GPU) on the Amazon Fire TV 4k runs on an IMG GE8300 processor, an improvement from the older Mali450 MP3. The device’s main processor has been upgraded to a 1.5GHz Quad-core from a 1.34GHz Quad-core, giving it a little extra power for handing the higher bandwidth 4k data.

Video Support

The biggest advantage of the Fire TV Stick 4k over the 2-gen model is that it supports 4k 2160p video and playback up to 60 frames-per-second. The non-4k model only supported up to 1080p/60fps. And, to add the video advantage the 4k Stick supports all the currently HDR standards: HDR, HDR 10, HDR10+, HLG, and Dolby Vision.

Audio Support

The new Amazon Fire TV Stick 4k can now play Dolby Atmos audio, and, even though it does not currently support Netflix titles with Atmos the update is a huge plus for the Fire TV Stick. The 2-generation Stick supports up to 7.1 channel audio, just not Atmos.

Connectivity

The Amazon Fire TV Stick updates Bluetooth connectivity to Bluetooth 5.0 + LE from Bluetooth 4.1 + LE. However, Wi-Fi dual-band has not changed from 2×2 MIMO, IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac.

Conclusion

Is the Fire TV Stick 4k worth spending a few extra bucks? Absolutely. You’ll regret it someday if you purchase a 4k HDR TV and can’t take advantage of the Ultra HD and HDR support, not to mention the potential increase in video resolution (up to 4x more pixels with 4k content) and Dolby Atmos (the immersive audio format that allows overhead effects). You’ll also get a slight boost in processing speed and graphics processing. Amazon often has sales on the Fire TV Stick 4k to make it even more of a must-have. See the Amazon cart below for current pricing on both models.

Fire TV Stick vs. Fire TV Stick 4k

Feature Fire TV Stick (2nd Gen.) Fire TV Stick 4k
Video 720p/1080p (up to 60fps) 720p/1080p/2160p (up to 60fps)
HDR Dolby Vision, HDR10, HDR10+, HLG
Audio Dolby Audio, 5.1 surround sound, 2-channel stereo, and HDMI audio pass through up to 7.1 Dolby Atmos, 7.1 surround sound, 2-channel stereo, HDMI audio pass-through up to 5.1 (Dolby Atmos not currently supported on Netflix.)
Processor Quad-core ARM 1.3 GHz Quad-core 1.5GHz
GPU Mali450 MP3 IMG GE8300
Memory 2GB 2GB
Storage 8GB 8GB
Ports HDMI output, micro USB for power only HDMI output, micro USB for power only
Remote Control Yes (Bluetooth) Yes (Bluetooth)
Far-field Fire TV / Device support
Alexa Voice Remote Yes (via 2nd Gen. remote) Yes (via 2nd Gen. remote)
Speakers
Microphones
Bluetooth Bluetooth 4.1 + LE Bluetooth 5.0 + LE
Bluetooth Headphone Support Yes Yes
Wi-Fi 2×2 MIMO, IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac 2×2 MIMO, IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
Operating System Android Android
Warranty 1-year Limited 1-year Limited
Size 38 mm x 142 mm x 16 mm 38 mm x 142 mm x 16 mm
Weight 53.6 g 53.6 g
Price $39.99 (Discounted to $24.99) $49.99 (Discounted to $34.99)

Usage: If you would like to use this chart please include credit and/or link back to HD Report.

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