Along with the new 3rd generation Fire TV, Amazon has released their own official Fire TV Ethernet Adapter that also works with the 2nd generation Fire TV Stick. It’s a fine adapter if all you want is to add Ethernet capabilities to your Fire TV or Fire TV Stick, but most people will be much better off buying this UGREEN Ethernet Adapter w/ USB Hub along with an OTG Adapter. Read more ›
The 2nd-generation Amazon Fire TV Stick has been released today in the UK. Several readers have let me know that their pre-orders have arrived and Alexa is finally working on a Fire TV device in the UK. The 22.214.171.124 software update that is currently rolling out to all devices will be adding Alexa to all existing Fire TV models in the UK and Germany as well. Amazon UK has now officially announced that all 1st-gen devices will be getting the new user interface and all models will be getting Alexa. The Fire TV Stick 2 will be arriving in Germany on April 20th, but existing Fire TV owners in Germany should start receiving the 126.96.36.199 update with Alexa before then, during the next few weeks.
As expected, Amazon has announced that the 2nd generation Fire TV Stick, which was released in the US last October, is coming to the UK and Germany. The quad-core streaming stick is now available for pre-order in the UK for £39.99 and in Germany for 39,99 €. In addition to being a much more capable device than its predecessor, thanks to its quad-core 1.3 Ghz Mediatek 8127D processor, Mali-450 GPU, and 802.11ac WiFi, the all-new Fire TV Stick 2 comes with a voice remote and full Alexa capabilities. Read more ›
The 2nd generation Fire TV Stick has been available in the US since October of last year, but Amazon has not released it in other regions yet, like the UK and Germany, where they still sell the 1st generation device. I think this is about to change soon, due to an abrupt supply shortage of Fire TV Sticks in the US. Earlier this week, the 2nd-gen Fire TV Stick suddenly became backordered in the US. Ordering one today won’t see it arrive for over a month. I suspect this is due to Amazon rerouting all supplies to the UK and Germany in preparation for the device’s imminent international launch. Read more ›
It was quite surprising to discover that the Amazon Fire TV Stick 2 works with USB OTG cables out of the box without needing to be rooted. Some, including myself, questioned whether the functionality was accidentally left enabled, and if a future update would disable OTG cable support. The good news is the 188.8.131.52 software update not only still works with USB OTG cables, but it actually better supports USB ethernet adapters connected through OTG cables. Read more ›
If you purchased the new Amazon Fire TV Stick 2, and have activated it, you should have received, or should soon be recieving, and email from Amazon with several promotions. The email contains a code for 1 free month of Sling TV, a link for 2 free months of Hulu, and a link which adds $10 of Amazon Video credit to your account. Everyone who activates a Fire TV Stick 2 by October 31st will receive these credits and promotions. Activation simply means powering on the device and logging in with your Amazon account.
The $10 Amazon Video credit must be applied to your account by November 15 and must be used by December 15, so don’t delay. If you’re not sure what to rent or buy with your credit, Amazon’s Video Deals page is a good place to start. The Sling TV and Hulu promotions must be redeemed by December 15 and November 15 respectively, and are unfortunately valid for new customers only.
One legitimate concern with the new Amazon Fire TV Stick 2 is how well it handles heat dissipation. Cramming in a quad-core CPU into such a tiny package, without any forced airflow, could be a recipe for disaster if heat isn’t managed correctly. Many 1st-generation Fire TV Stick owners know too well that it can get quite toasty, which is likely why Amazon under-clocked its dual-core CPU to 1Ghz, even though it was manufactured to run at 1.2Ghz. To determine how well the 2nd-gen Fire TV Stick handles heat, I’ve taken internal and external temperature measurements of the 1st and 2nd-gen Fire TV Sticks, both at idle and under a 100% CPU load stress test. I’ve concluded that, while the 2nd-gen Fire TV Stick’s CPU runs at a notably higher temperature than the 1st-gen Fire TV Stick’s CPU, the 2nd-gen Fire TV Stick dissipates heat better, which results in lower external temperatures. Read more ›
When the new Amazon Fire TV Stick 2 was released, it was evident that it was a far more capable gaming device than its predecessor due to the nearly 200 games that can run on the Fire TV Stick 2 that can’t run on the 1st-gen Fire TV Stick. However, there are still around 300 games that are available to the Fire TV boxes which the Fire TV Stick 2 can’t play. That list of unavailable games for the Fire TV Stick 2 initially included all of the Grand Theft Auto games, but now GTA III and GTA: Vice City have been made compatible with the Fire TV Stick 2. Read more ›
Amazon has made an unusual and unfortunate decision to remove the ability to adjust the display size on the new Fire TV Stick 2. If you navigate to the Display area of the Settings menu on the new device, there is still an option to Calibrate Display. However, selecting the option no longer brings up a prompt to press UP and DOWN to zoom the visible area in and out. Instead, static arrows are displayed with a message instructing you to “adjust the zoom or overscan setting on your TV.”
This is quite an annoying change to many customers, including myself, who have TVs that crop the edges of the Fire TV Stick’s video output, but don’t have the option to adjust zoom/overscan settings on the TV itself. It’s unclear if the removal of screen calibration will be limited to the new Fire TV Stick 2, or if a future software update will remove the option from all Fire TV and Fire TV Stick models. If you’re among the many Fire TV and Fire TV Stick owners who rely on your device’s built-in display calibration setting, now would be a good time to let Amazon know you don’t want the option removed and/or want it added to the Fire TV Stick 2.
If you have found this article because your Fire TV or Fire TV Stick is zoomed in and you’re looking for a solution, simply hold down the BACK and FAST-FORWARD button on your remote to turn off the new screen magnifier option. Note that the BACK button is not the same as the REWIND button. The BACK button is the one to the left of the HOME button.
The most common question I’m getting about the new Amazon Fire TV Stick 2 is whether or now Amazon has done anything to block sideloading apps or running Kodi. I’m happy to say that it doesn’t look like anything has changed with either of those two things on the new device. You can sideload 3rd-party apps just like you can on all Fire TV models. Kodi is working on the Fire TV Stick 2 and appears on the home screen. Read more ›
Even though the official release day for the new Amazon Fire TV Stick 2 isn’t until tomorrow, some customers are already receiving their orders early. One such customer sent me the above image to confirm that, as expected, the Fire TV Stick 2 is arriving with a new software version 184.108.40.206 (build 555164120). Unfortunately, the new Fire TV interface is not included in this new software version. We’ll have to wait for a software update to add the new interface.
The new Amazon Fire TV Stick 2 is starting to arrive early to some customers. I haven’t received mine yet, but go ahead and post any questions you have in the comments below and I’ll try to answer them once it arrives. If you’ve already received your new Fire TV Stick 2, it’d be great if you could help answer questions as well.
A reader of the site, who wishes to remain anonymous, just sent me these pictures of the 2nd-generation Amazon Fire TV Stick 2. These are the first shots we have of the device and packaging in the wild. Those of you familiar with the 1st-gen Fire TV Stick will notice that the new hardware is notable larger than the previous generation. Judging by the “Empty Display Box” sticker on the front of the packaging, I’m guessing the Fire TV Stick 2 has arrived at retail stores already, which is likely where these pictures were taken. If you’re eager to get your hands on the Fire TV Stick 2 before its official October 20th release date, you may want to give your local Best Buy, Staples, Target, or other such retailer a try and ask them to check if they have any in the back.
Amazon has named the voice remote that ships with the new Fire TV Stick 2 an “Alexa Voice Remote.” The inclusion of the word “Alexa” raised questions on whether the remote was a new model or the same voice remote that comes with the Fire TV 2, since Amazon never used the word “Alexa” to describe the existing voice remote. It seems all but certain that it’s not a new remote because Amazon just updated the existing voice remote’s product page and added “Alexa” to the products name.
In contrast, when Amazon did release a new voice remote model last year, they gave it its own product page instead of updating the older models listing. As for which version of the existing voice remote is included with the Fire TV Stick 2, my money is on the hard plastic version, as opposed to the soft-touch plastic remote, because the images used show non-glossy buttons and a black Amazon logo. The slightly more premium soft-touch plastic remote has glossy buttons and a grey Amazon logo.
The all-new Amazon Fire TV Stick 2 is unquestionablly more powerful than the first generation model it repalces. Nowhere is that more evident than with the new device’s game selection. A vast majority of the best games in the Fire TV app store used to only be available to Fire TV box owners, but the improved performance of the new Fire TV Stick 2 has now made a large portion of those games accessible on a much less expensive device. Amazon’s site currently indicates there are 182 games that are compatible with the new Fire TV Stick 2, which are not compatible with the first generation Fire TV Stick.
Notably still missing from the Fire TV Stick 2’s app library are popular games like Minecraft, Terraria, the Telltale games, and the GTA games. However, top games like Doom & Destiny, Shovel Knight, Leo’s Fortune, SHADOWGUN, Disney games, and dozens more are now playable on a device that costs less than some game controllers. I’ve put together a list of 48 games that caught my eye, which are not compatible with the old Fire TV Stick but are compatible with the new one. Read more ›
Amazon says the new Fire TV Stick 2 is 30% faster than the previous generation Fire TV Stick, however they don’t clarify on how they came up with that figure. While I don’t have the new device on hand to run through benchmark tests, I do have the next best thing, and that’s the Fire 7″ tablet. That’s because the Fire TV Stick 2 and the Fire tablet use the exact same CPU, GPU, and RAM. The two devices probably won’t perform exactly the same, but with identical hardware where it counts the most, the Fire tablet is a perfect substitute to give us a pretty good idea of the new Fire TV Stick 2’s performance. Here’s a CPU and GPU comparison of a theoretical Fire TV Stick 2 compared to all 3 other Fire TV models. Read more ›
The new Fire TV Stick 2 may look exactly like the previous generation Fire TV Stick, but the new model is notably larger. It probably won’t matter to most, but for those of you who already have a hard time fitting the current Fire TV Stick between other HDMI connectors, know that it will be even more difficult with the new model. Thankfully though, the new Fire TV Stick 2 includes an HDMI extender cable, like was included with the non-voice Fire TV Stick; not the female HDMI adapter that was included with the Fire TV Stick with Voice remote bundle which required an HDMI cable to be used.
The voice remote that comes with the new Fire TV Stick 2 appears to be exactly the same as the existing WiFi-direct based voice remote that comes with the Fire TV 2. The dimensions are identical and the images Amazon is using are pixel-for-pixel identical to the existing voice remote images. The fact that there hasn’t been an FCC submission for a new voice remote is also a good indicator that they’re using the same one. As for whether the included voice remote is the more expensive soft-touch plastic variety or the cheaper hard plastic type, I would guess it’s the cheaper one since the buttons don’t appear to be shiny.
Buyers of the all-new Fire TV Stick 2 will receive several extra freebies. For starters, Amazon is giving buyers a $10 credit that can be used to purchase or rent content from Amazon Video. Customers will also receive 1 month of Sling TV, which is a nice bump up from the standard 7-day trial, and 2 months of Hulu, which is a big bump up from the regular 7-day trial. Once you activate the Fire TV Stick 2, you’ll receive an email from Amazon with promotional codes for all three freebies. The promotion ends October 31st, so be sure you setup and login to your new Fire TV Stick 2 prior to that date to receive the email from Amazon. The Hulu and Sling TV offers are for new customers of those services only, but the $10 Amazon Video credit is for everyone.
Amazon has just announced an all-new Fire TV Stick 2 with Alexa Voice Remote for $39.99. The new device looks exactly like the previous model from the outside, but is all-new on the inside. Packed in is a quad-core 1.3 Ghz Mediatek 8127D processor with Mali-450 GPU. That’s a considerable jump from the 1 Ghz dual core CPU powering the previous generation Fire TV Stick. Connectivity also receives a bump up with the addition of dual-band/dual-antenna 802.11ac WiFi.
Interestingly, ethernet connectivity is listed as “optional” so it seems the new Fire TV Stick may support OTG cables and USB-to-Ethernet adapters out of the box without needing to root the device. (See update below.)
RAM and internal storage remain the same at 1GB and 8GB respectively. The new Fire TV Stick 2 is still a 1080p device, so there’s no 4K support, but the new hardware does now decode h.265 HEVC natively. The new hardware now only ships with a voice remote, but is priced $10 less than the old voice remote bundle. The new Fire TV Stick 2 with Voice Remote is available for pre-order now and will arrive at customer’s doors on October 20th.
Amazon has informed me the listing of ethernet as optional for the new Fire TV Stick 2 was a mistake. The product page has been updated to say ethernet is not an option for the Fire TV Stick 2.
With a new device that matches the description of a next generation Fire TV Stick already uncovered through FCC documents, and the existing Fire TV Stick being currently unavailable from Amazon in anyform, there’s no doubt a new Fire TV Stick 2 is on the horizon, but the big question is when will it be released? Well, it’s starting to look more and more evident that an all-new Amazon Fire TV Stick 2 will be announced, and possibly start shipping, next week. More so, it looks like the new Fire TV Stick 2 will also ship with a new voice remote that comes with new features not present on the existing voice remote. Read more ›