Amazon’s latest weapon in its bid to take control of our TVs is the new, improved Fire TV Stick. It’s a cheap, accessible streaming device with the company’s voice-recognition system Alexa baked in. The new Amazon Fire TV Stick sells for a little more than last year’s model but offers features the pricier Amazon Fire TV box doesn’t match.
The Fire TV Stick has been highly successful for Amazon, the most popular streaming device the site has sold, the company says. It is intensely portable – you can take it to a friend’s house so they can enjoy watching the shows you’ve bought or subscribed to, just by plugging it into their HDMI and making use of a power socket. That’s all you need.
It used to cost £34.99 in the UK – or £44.99 if you splashed out on the model with the voice-capable remote control to speak your movie or TV show searches – but since Amazon has co-incidentally sold out of those Fire TV Stick models, when better to buy a new, upgraded edition?
Similar outside, different in
Now, you can snap up the updated Fire TV Stick for the in-between price of £39.99 ($39.99 in the US). The new Stick looks pretty similar to the old one – like a hefty thumb drive with an HDMI connector.
It has the updated onscreen interface which has been available since December on the most recent Amazon Fire TV box. This UI features attractive, wide-landscape displays of featured programmes or movies scrolling across the screen.
Unlike the Fire TV box, the Stick isn’t 4K-compatible, but that’s its only major downside. The rival Apple TV box also lacks 4K, of course, and it’s a much more expensive machine. The revised interface, already on the latest Fire TV boxes and presently to be deployed to older Fire TV and Fire TV Stick units, offers a more intuitive way of using the device, showing programming currently being watched in prime position, for instance.