If you’re one of those looking for purchasing a brand new 4K TV, Amazon has some good news for you, and fired its’ own hand versus Apple set-top box. In fact, it’s one that will see its rivarly with Apple kicked into overdrive as we approach the extremely lucrative holiday shopping season. The popular e-commerce giant just announced a variety of updates to its new TV product line that will thrust it into direct competition with the recently revealed fourth-generation Apple TV.
Amazon 4K Fire TV Set-Top Box
With the introduction of the new Fire TV, Amazon has took the stage to kick off its new upgraded model that is the company’s revamped answer to the recently revealed Apple TV 4 hardware. Amazon’s new set-top box in black brings with it the refreshment of 4K Ultra HD video, as well as Alexa, a cloud-based digital assistant that was actually found in the Echo speaker. The 4-thousand pixels resolution capabilities of Amazon’s new TV box immediately trumps that of the Apple TV, but it does come with a catch. To take full advantage of the feature, users will certainly need to be watching content recorded in 4K through a connected television set capable of displaying 4K.
It still got some notable performance enhancements. Internally, the new Fire TV box offers a 64-bit quad-core MediaTek processor, with a GPU integration that offers better up to twice as fast as the original box. Amazon has also attempted to improve the streaming speeds of content through the box by implementing 802.11 AC Wi-Fi with MIMO to keep those 4K streams flowing, and HEVC decoding so even your 1080p streams can look even better performed. The accompanying remote control is visually identical to its predecessor, but offers up to 20% latency improvements to cater to the introduction of the Alexa digital-assistant.
Costs $99. Includes the new voice-controlled, Alexa-take-over-my-entire-living-room remote, and is less than the announced price of the new Apple TV $149 pricing point. However, more expensive than Chromecast, Roku 3, and Amazon’s own streaming media stick. There’s a microSD card slot to boost the storage up to 128GB (comes with 8GB of internal storage). And with Netflix, Amazon Video, and Prime Video on board, the company claims it’s got access to more 4K content movies than any other device.
Fire TV Stick with Voice Remote
Amazon has also shown off an update to its refresh model of its Fire TV Stick. Latest version will ship with improved software and the new Voice Remote. Priced at $50, Fire TV Stick with standard non-voice-enabled remote will still be available for $39.
Basically, the Fire TV can now double as an Amazon Echo to answer all kinds of everyday questions like “What’s the Millenium Falcon?” and so on. Also said, early next year you’ll be able to use it to instruct the Fire TV to launch a program. The cheapest Fire TV Stick, is of course a dongle that will now come with some perks, and tweaks with it, and is a free update for the original Fire TV box as well. Amazon says the new remote is 20% faster, and lasts 40% longer on two AAA batteries. Up to 12 months of battery life.
Fire TV Gaming Edition
With a new optional $40 game controller with much improved buttons from the original, with a headphone jack for private listening and voice search button on-board, you’ll probably pick up the new Amazon Fire TV Gaming Edition instead. The gaming-centric gadget consisting of a special edition Fire TV box that comes equipped with a redesigned game controller as part of the pakacge. It comes with a gamepad instead of the traditional remote, and to sweeten the deal, Amazon is also including a 32-giagbyte microSD card with the purchase. Two free game downloads as well are indeed present. Not a bad deal for thse interesting in casual gaming.
Definitely not a bad deal considering it with the game copies of Ducktales Remastered and Shovel Knight will only costs $140. Hard to say yet if it’s a better choice than an Apple TV or Roku or Shield or any of your streaming choices. Both the box and the stick run on Fire OS, a forked version of Android.
Both the Fire TV Stick with Voice Remote are available for pre-order immediately with with shipping expected in October. The new Fire TV will ship October 5th.