Amazon Fire TV Stick 2 includes the same voice remote as before

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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.

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Fire TV and Voice Remote stock instability hint at new devices

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The Amazon Fire TV has had some supply instability recently, which is likely an indication that new hardware is on the horizon. The Fire TV went out of stock as a result of the Prime Day sale in July. It didn’t come back in stock until earlier this week. All of Amazon’s other devices that went out of stock after Prime Day were back in stock within 2 weeks. Today, the Fire TV Voice Remote just went out of stock, for the first time ever, with an expected return date of Spetember 16th. The Fire TV’s long hiatus, and the Voice Remote’s sudden shortage, is a good indicator that both will likely be replaced soon. What’s most surprising though, is the Fire TV Stick’s supply stability. Read more ›

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New voice remote for Amazon Fire TV & Fire TV Stick available for pre-order

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Now that Fire OS 5 is making its way to all versions of the Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, new and old, Amazon is ready to sell the new wifi-based voice remote once again for $29.99. This remote was briefly available for purchase in December for a couple days, but was likely pulled to prevent poor reviews from owners of 1st-gen Fire TVs and older Fire TV Sticks which were incompatible with the remote at the time. Since Fire OS 5 adds compatibility for this new remote to older Fire TV and Fire TV Stick devices, it’s finally safe to sell it without confusing uninformed customers.

Pre-orders for the new voice remote will ship on March 3rd, which is a good indicator that all Fire TV devices will receive the 5.0.5 software update by that date. Judging by the non-reflective buttons and the dark Amazon logo in the product’s photo, I’d guess customers who order this voice remote will receive the slightly cheaper “B” version of the two available models. An alternative to this new voice remote is the bluetooth based non-voice remote, which is also compatible with all Fire TV and Fire TV Stick models, and is still available separately from Amazon.

Update

The pre-order page has been taken down, but you can now order the remote from here.

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Amazon finally selling new WiFi-Direct Fire TV Voice Remote separately

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Amazon is now selling the new wifi-direct based Voice Remote separately for the first time. This is the remote that ships with the 2nd-gen Fire TV and Fire TV with Voice Remote. There’s no way to know which of the two versions of this newer remote you’ll receive when ordering: the cheaper “Bane” version or the more premium “Gelato” version. Many who’ve bought the Fire TV Gaming Edition, which is currently on sale for $114.99, have been waiting for this remote to become available since that bundle does not come with a remote, just the new game controller. Amazon is no longer selling the older bluetooth based voice remote which came with 1st-gen Fire TVs. The new remote is backordered right now with an expected ship date of 2 to 3 weeks. Amazon is also selling used versions of the new remote, likely from returned devices, which appear to be available sooner than the new ones. If you purchase this remote separately, whether new or used, I’d love to know which of the two versions you receive in the comments below.

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Slightly cheaper voice remote shipping with newer Fire TVs

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Most people aren’t aware, but the Fire TV and the Fire TV Stick with Voice Remote come with slightly different remotes. Well, at least they used to. It turns out that some, or possibly all, newer Fire TV shipments are arriving with the slightly less expensive voice remote which was originally only shipping with the Fire TV Stick. The Fire TV I ordered during the Black Friday sale included the “cheaper” remote, whereas the one I ordered at launch arrived with the “better” remote. Read more ›

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Uncovering the differences between the Fire TV and Fire TV Stick Voice Remote

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When the 2nd-gen Fire TV and new Fire TV Stick with Voice Remote bundle were first announced, I learned through my sources at Amazon that the voice remotes included with each device were slightly different. Now that both products have arrived, we can see that the two remotes are in fact different. Here’s a detailed comparison of the differences and similarities between the 2nd-gen Fire TV and new Fire TV Stick bundled voice remotes. Read more ›

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Amazon likely preparing to sell new wifi-based Fire TV Voice Remote separately

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Amazon appears to be preparing to sell the new updated Fire TV voice remote. This new remote reportedly connects to Fire TV devices via wifi direct, as opposed to the old voice remote which uses bluetooth to communicate with the Fire TV. It is also half an inch taller than the 1st-gen voice remote and is rated to last up to 12 months on a pair of AAA batteries.

Currently, Amazon only lists the old bluetooth voice remote for sale. Recently, they changed amazon.com/firetvremote to now point to a different product page than the old voice remote. The new product page does not currently bring up anything, but quiring the item number in the URL with Amazon’s product API reveals a message saying “this item is not accessible”, as opposed to the “invalid item” message one would get if the item truly did not exist.

When Amazon announced the new availability of the Fire TV in Japan, they began selling the new voice remote separately on Amazon’s Japanese site. We know it’s the new remote because the picture is different and the page does not mention “bluetooth”. It seems like the rest of the world will also be able to purchase the new remote very soon.

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The new Fire TV and new Fire TV Stick Bundle have different Voice Remotes

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I’ve learned through my sources at Amazon that the voice remotes that are included with the new Fire TV and the new Fire TV Stick bundle are slightly different. The two remotes are functionally the same but are made up of slightly different materials. I’m told the Fire TV’s voice remote is slightly more premium than the Fire TV Stick’s voice remote, but it’s unclear in what sense exactly. This was done to reduce the production cost of the Fire TV Stick bundle in order to keep it under $50.

Both of these remotes connect to Fire TV devices through wifi and will be backwards compatible with existing 1st-gen Fire TVs and Fire TV Sticks once those devices receive Fire OS 5. Amazon is still selling the 1st generation bluetooth voice remote, but they have not listed the 2nd generation voice remote for sale separately. It’s unlikely that Amazon will sell, or even acknowledge, two different 2nd-gen voice remotes. I speculate that once the stock of 1st-gen voice remotes is depleted, Amazon will simply begin selling 2nd-gen voice remotes in its place.

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List of all Fire TV and Fire TV Stick Remote and Game Controller Specs

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With the addition of a new voice remote and the switch from bluetooth to wifi based connectivity, there seems to be some confusion about the various Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick remotes and game controllers. Here’s a list of all the different remotes and controllers that exist, along with their specifications to help clear up the confusion. Read more ›

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Voice Remote for Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick on sale for $19.99

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Amazon has just placed the Fire TV Voice Remote on sale for $19.99. Down from its regular price of $29.99. This is the lowest price it has ever been, matching last month’s brief sale. With the next-gen remotes around the corner, Amazon likely wants to clear out existing stock. This is the standard remote that ships with Fire TVs that includes a built-in microphone for voice searches. The remote is fully compatible with the Fire TV Stick, so makes for a great upgrade to the Stick’s non-voice remote, which has been out of stock for months. You can also have multiple remotes connected imultaniously for two player games, and spousal remote dueling.

While a built in microphone is the only functional difference between the Fire TV’s voice remote and the Fire TV Stick’s non-voice remote, there are additional small cosmetic differences that make the voice remote better overall. For starters, the voice remote has a curved back that feels better in the hand than the flat back of the non-voice remote. The added length of the voice remote also adds to the premium feel, and makes the remote a bit harder to lose. Lastly, the voice remote is made of a rubbery “soft” plastic that has a nicer feel than the non-voice remote’s hard plastic.

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