If you head over to the Amazon website right now and type in Firestick, you will see three results - all-new Fire TV Stick 2020, Firestick Lite 2019, and Firestick 4K.
While they all look identical, they offer different features and remote capabilities that make them distinct. So, which one of these Fire TV sticks should you choose?
After watching this video, you’ll have a way better idea on which Firestick you want to buy. By the way, if it’s your first on this channel, how about you press the subscribe button and the bell icon. We publish video on Firestick, Roku, new Chromecast and much more. With that out of the way, let’s begin.
Let’s start with the design and build of all three streaming sticks.
To start with, all three Firestick (the Firestick Lite, the Firestick 2020 and Firestick 4K) come with same accessories, the Fire TV, Alexa remote, power adapter, HDMI extender in case you're having a hard time getting to the ports on the back of your TV, AAA batteries for the remote and a micro USB cable. Let’s take a look at them individually.
In terms of look, the Firestick Lite and Firestick 2020 generally have an identical design and even the same model number. Also, it’s worth mentioning that they both also feature chassis made of 100% recycled die-cast aluminum, as they're a part of Amazon's Climate Pledge Friendly project.
However, the 4K Firestick is slightly bigger compared to the other two, which makes sense since you need a bigger device to pack the 4K capacity. it’s also not a part of the recent Climate Pledge Friendly project, since this was launched previous year,
Overall, in term of look and feel, all the Firestick look similar, the Firestick 4K is a bit bigger, but they all come with same accessories. Now, let’s take a look at the remote.
Now taking a look at the remote of each Firestick. As you can see again, the remote (also called Alexa remote) of each Firestick looks kind of same with one key difference. There are no volume or mute buttons on the Firestick Lite remote, so you can't use it to control the sound of your TV or your soundbar. There's also no power button. This means if you buy Firestick Lite, you will have to keep two remotes with you all the time. (one TV remote to control volume and other Firestick remote to control the Fire TV stick). Sure, some of you can say, why not use the Alexa on Firestick Lite remote to control volume, but I personally don't always want to talk to my remote when I'm watching TV, and I doubt others will use that too.
Overall, all the Firesticks come with the traditional Alexa remote, the only major difference is, the Firestick Lite doesn’t have volume and power buttons in the remote. It’s kind of a big deal too. Let’s take a look at the software.
When it comes to software experience, you can get same Fire TV OS interface on all the Firestick. So, you get the usual apps like Netflix, Prime videos, YouTube etc. However, there are few minor difference in terms of resolution and audio.
The first major difference in terms of software is the Firestick 4K still runs on Android 7 Nougat which came back in 2018, while the newly release Firestick 2020 and Fire TV Stick Lite runs Android 9 Pie. This means if you get new Firestick you get new updates as well security patches. But there are rumors that these updates will eventually come to Firestick 4K as well, I’m not sure when though, will update the description if it does.
Another difference is in the resolution. Both the Fire TV Stick Lite and Fire TV 2020 do full HD 1080p video output with HDR, HDR 10, HDR10+ and HLG video standards. However, the Firestick 4K, as the name suggests, also supports up to 4K Ultra HD. Although do keep in mind, you will also need a 4K TV and have to subscribe to the top tier plan of Netflix, to enjoy Firestick 4K to full potential.
Another important difference comes on the audio side. The Fire TV 2020 and Firestick 4K has Dolby ATMOS Audio while the Fire TV Stick Lite only has Dolby Audio, (although, you can also get Dolby ATMOS on Firestick Lite via HDMI pass through). To do so, you will need soundbar, if you don’t have a soundbar, you won’t get Dolby ATMOS natively.
In case you don’t know, Dolby ATMOS gives you a multi-dimensional sound kind of like you get in a movie theater. Dolby audio, of course, doesn't offer the same immersion experience. Also, just like 4K, you will need the top tier plan of most streaming services to get Dolby ATMOS content in the first place.
Overall, to sum up the software part, the Firestick 4K is the only Firestick that offers 4K, and Firestick Lite is the only Firestick that doesn’t offer a Dolby ATMOS natively. Now, let’s take a look at the performance of all these Firesticks.
Now, talking about the performance, Amazon claims to improve the performance in the new Firestick Lite and Firestick 2020 by as much as 50 percent compare to the old regular Firestick. But how does it compare in real life, well let’s find out.
All the three Fire TV sticks run on quad-core 1.7 GHz processors with 8GB of storage, however the 4K has 1.5 GB of RAM while the other two have 1 GB of RAM.
Let’s run a side by side comparison on all three sticks to measure the bootup time.
So, which one should you buy?
Well, to be honest, in terms of hardware and software, all three Firestick are kind of similar.
if you have a 4K TV, and top tier subscription for Netflix or Prime and other streaming services then it makes sense to get Firestick 4K. Even if you don’t have 4K but might upgrade to one in one or two year, it’s a good idea to future proof yourself with a 4K streaming stick.
For everyone else, we’d recommend getting the Firestick 2020 to most people. It has the volume control on the remote, latest android 9 version of Fire OS, as well as support Dolby ATMOS right of the box. It’s one of the most balance Firestick for most people who don’t want 4K.
As for Firestick Lite, we don’t recommend it simply because of the lack of native Dolby ATMOS, and volume control buttons on the remote and we would happily pack $10 extra to get those features.
With that out of the way, check out Smart DNS Proxy if you’re keen to unblock geo-restricted content on your Fire TV Stick like Netflix US or Prime Video or BBC UK from another country.
While you are at it, also check out our other videos on Firestick tips and tricks and Firestick accessories. Thank you for reading and watching and see you in the next one.
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