Fittingly, on the day I post about the Amazon Fire TV, the company announces a new product in the line-up. The Amazon Fire TV Stick is closer to the Roku Streaming Stick than the Google Chromecast. It seems to offer all of the functionality of the full Amazon Fire TV set top box in the convenient form factor of a stick that can plug straight into an HDMI port.
The Fire TV Stick has a dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM versus the quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM with the Fire TV. The Fire TV also has the fancy remote with voice support where as the Fire TV Stick comes with something more basic. A Fire TV Remote App on Android devices (and coming soon to iOS) allows you still do voice search with the more basic remote. Alternatively you can buy the Voice Remote or the gaming controller to pair with the Fire TV Stick. The Fire TV Stick boasts similar gaming ability as the Fire TV.
For the price though, the Fire TV Stick is hard to beat. It allows casting from Amazon Fire devices (Kindle Fire, Fire Phone) so is more limited than the Chromecast, however it is more stand-alone. The Roku streaming stick is more expensive with less robust hardware.
The Fire TV and Fire TV Stick are good fits for individuals in the Amazon ecosystem for video and music. With the 8GB of flash storage, it may even be possible to sideload apps on the Fire TV Stick similar to the Fire TV. It’s hard to tell until I get my hands on one. The Fire TV Stick lacks Ethernet, so decent wifi will be a must. The Fire TV Stick has listed as Coming soon the ability to use the device where there are captive portals like hotels, universities, and other places where you must sign in to a page before being able to browse the web.
For today and tomorrow, Amazon Prime members are able to pre-order the Fire TV Stick for only $19. $20 off the normal list price of $39. That $20 discount covers the increase in the Prime subscription this year.