Roku has announced the 3rd generation of the Roku Streaming Stick. The device’s biggest new feature is its new quad-core processor, making it the new most powerful streaming stick on the market, which is a title the Fire TV Stick currently claims. Roku isn’t giving any specifics about the CPU or RAM, but they say it’s eight times as powerful as the previous model, which had single-core 600 MHz CPU and 512 MB of memory. For comparison, Amazon says the Fire TV Stick is six times as powerful as the previous generation Roku Streaming Stick.
Not much else has changed from the previous generation stick. The new model has the same 1080p capabilities, so there’s no 4K support, and the same dual-band 802.11n WiFi as the previous model. Where you’ll notice the biggest change is navigating the OS, which is reportedly a lot snappier than the old stick and has been updated to OS 7.1. The new stick’s remote doesn’t have voice capabilities or a headphone jack, like you’ll find on some of Roku’s other remotes. Roku has also announced a new feature of their mobile app that allows you to listen to the new Roku Streaming Stick’s audio through the headphone jack of your smartphone. This new private listening ability is only available with the new stick for now.
The new Roku Streaming Stick is available for pre-order now for $49.99 and is expected to ship near the end of the month. It’s a necessary update to keep it relevant against the more popular Fire TV Stick and Chromecast competition. Despite being revamped slightly with a new voice remote bundle a few months ago, the Fire TV Stick hardware is now nearly a year and a half old, so I’d expect we’ll be seeing a new Fire TV Stick released before the end of the year to possibly reclaim the title of most powerful streaming stick.