Currently Amazon offers two different versions of the Fire TV product. The 2nd Generation Fire TV Stick and the Fire TV 4k Ultra HD with Alexa Voice Remote. While both are awesome streaming devices they do have some key differences. The biggest variation between these two is price. While the Fire TV 3 costs $69.99, the Stick is listed at nearly half that price, only $39.99. There are many reasons for the contrast in price and this article will explain them.
Fire TV vs. Fire TV Stick – What’s the Difference?
When Amazon unveiled it’s new Fire TV lineup in 2017 there were some obvious changes from prior versions. The new model of Amazon’s Fire Stick now offers Alexa Voice Assist which was previously unavailable for Stick users.
With the assist of Alexa Voice Remote, the Fire TV 3 and Fire Stick can sync with any Echo device to enable hands free operation. There is also an added dongle attachment for the Fire TV 3 which keeps your device hidden. Overall, both can be considered an upgrade from Amazon’s previous version of these devices.
Now let’s take a look at the differences between the 2017 models. The chart below shows the main variations between the 2nd Generation Fire TV Stick & the Fire TV 3.
Fire TV 3 with 4k Ultra HD
|Resolution||Up to 4K Ultra HD||Up to 1080p|
|Processor||Quad core ARM 1.5 GHz||Quad core ARM 1.3 GHz|
|Storage||8 GB||8 GB|
|Memory||2 GB||1 GB|
As you can see, there are some definite advantages to purchasing the enhanced version of the Fire TV. If you are looking to just watch Netflix or YouTube, the Fire Stick may be the perfect device for you. However, if you would like to download and install numerous games and applications, the Fire TV 3 is probably the better option. Below we will take a closer look at the factors that will help you determine which Fire TV fits your needs.
When viewing and streaming content most of us want the best picture quality possible. That is why we purchase High Definition television sets and upgrade as soon as something better becomes available. With both Fire TV devices, resolution quality is not an issue. The Fire TV Stick provides resolution up to 1080p which is known as High Definition (HD) and is crystal clear. But a Fire TV 3 is compatible with 4K which is labeled as Ultra High Definition (UHD).
If you use a television set that only has a resolution up to 1080p the Fire Stick is a great option. With some of the newer TV’s available in 4K UHD the Fire TV 3 pairs perfectly. Overall, this is all a matter of preference. Obviously a Fire Stick will still work just fine on a 4K resolution TV and vice versa, it is just something to consider when examining the Fire TV vs. Fire TV Stick.
Storage & Memory
For storage, both the Fire TV Stick and the Fire TV 3 offer 8 GB capacity. However when looking at the memory of these devices, Fire TV 3 offers double that of it’s counterpart. Memory is an important factor when determining which Fire TV device is best for you. The RAM or “Random Access Memory” is vital in helping your device’s speed.
When testing both of these on various functions, the Fire TV 3 was noticeably faster. Everything from powering the device on, to opening an app, to playing a video, all work significantly faster on the Fire TV 4K UHD. That doesn’t necessarily mean the Fire Stick is slow, you will just see less buffering and lag on the Fire TV 3. Especially if you are side-loading apps such as Kodi and Terrarium TV.
The Other Fire TV
To go along with the 2nd Generation Fire TV Stick and the Fire TV 3, Amazon also offer’s its Fire TV Box or Fire TV 2. You can only purchase this version of the Fire TV as a refurbished item available at the link below:
The Fire TV Box is a larger, more powerful version of the Fire TV 3 that was introduced in 2015. While the newest Fire TV has up to 8 GB of Storage, the Fire TV Box can offer up to 128 GB of External Storage to go along with its internal 8 GB. The 2nd Generation Fire TV is listed at $84.99 right now on Amazon but again, this is a refurbished model as new versions are no longer offered. Pictured below is the Fire TV 2nd Generation.
If you are looking for a device able to hold hundreds of applications and more, this is the choice for you. The Fire TV 2 has the option to add external storage through a USB flash drive or MicroSD card. With this device you will be able to load music, videos, and other personal files right to your Fire TV. However, to access these files, installing some 3rd Party add-ons from the Amazon AppStore is needed.
One reason many prefer the newer version to the Fire TV 2 is the hidden dongle HDMI attachment it offers. On the Fire TV 2, an HDMI cord must be plugged in along with the power cord. For most, 8 GB of storage without the added external option is plenty. That is why the Fire TV 3 and Fire TV Stick 2nd Generation are the most popular streaming devices available.
With the current versions of Amazon Fire TV/Stick both offered at a fairly cheap price it is easy to see why these are such popular devices. In addition to their low price point, there are some great benefits of both. With the Fire Stick, you will be able to stream all your favorite apps and save a few bucks upon purchasing. However if gaming is something you are looking to do with your Fire TV, the 3rd Generation Fire TV is the better choice.
Many Fire TV purchasers use their device to download Kodi and other streaming applications. If this is what you will be using your Fire TV for, TROYPOINT recommends installing a VPN for your protection. The Fire TV 3 is the better option for those of you that will use a VPN on your device as it has proven quicker download speeds. If you would like to learn how to install a VPN on Fire TV/Stick, follow the link below:
Overall, you cannot go wrong choosing either of these terrific streaming devices. With that in mind, select the device that what will work best for your needs. If you need a simple device to stream content, the Fire Stick is perfect. However if you’d like a little more bang for your buck, the Fire TV 3 is unbeatable. For more information and tutorials on both of these devices, see the links below:
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