Google has just announced the new Chromecast (2020) with Google TV, their first true competitor to Amazon’s Fire TV line of streaming media players. Unlike past Chromecast models that required a mobile phone to use, this new Chromecast comes with a remote and runs Android TV, which has a completely redesigned interface that Google is branding as Google TV. Like past Chromecasts and the Fire TV 3, the new Chromecast is a pendant-style device that hangs off of its permanently attached HDMI cable. It supports 4K video at 60fps, Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos, and costs $49.99.
Apart from carrying the Chromecast name and having a similar shape, this new Chromecast has very little in common with past Chromecast models that did not run Android TV. Among the main differences is the included remote which features a Google Assitant voice button, TV controls through power/volume/mute buttons, and partner buttons in the form of a YouTube and Netflix button.
Under the hood, the new Chromecast is powered by an Amlogic S905X2 Cortex A53 quad-core CPU running at 1.8 GHz and a Mali-G31 MP2 GPU. The Beelink GT1 Mini is a 3-year-old generic Android TV box that uses this same SoC and usually performs about 5% higher on benchmark scores than the Fire TV Stick 4K. Assuming thermals aren’t an issue in the new Chromecast’s smaller casing, it should perform on par with the Fire TV Stick 4K, Fire TV Stick 3, and Fire TV Stick Lite in daily use.
My apologies, but the processor info I originally stated above is incorrect. The new Chromecast has an Amlogic S905D3 Cortex A55 quad-core CPU running at 1.9 GHz and a Mali-G31 MP2 GPU. I expect that it too will perform slightly better than the Fire TV Stick 4K, Fire TV Stick 3, and Fire TV Stick Lite in benchmarks, but everyday use should be on par with the Fire TV Stick 4K. Thank you Jamees for pointing out my mistake!
The new Chromecast has 8GB of internal storage and 2GB of RAM. It features 802.11ac WiFi and has a USB-C port that may accept ethernet adapters, but one has not been announced. As mentioned, it supports 4K video at 60fps and HDR support comes in the form of Dolby Vision, HDR10+, and HDR10. Audio specs are listed as Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, and Dolby Atmos pass-through.
While the new Chromecast runs Android TV, Google is now calling the experience Google TV. It has been significantly redesigned and now much more closely resembles the Fire TV’s interface. Across the top is a navigation menu featuring For You, Live, Movies, Shows, Apps, Library, and what looks like a user profile menu.
Scrolling down the interface you’ll find various rows of categories and suggestions for what to watch, just like you have on the Fire TV. Google talked up aggregating content from various apps and displaying them together on the same screen.
The new Chromecast is available in 3 colors, Snow (white), Sky (blue), and Sunrise (pink), which is also carried over to the remote. It’s available to order today for $49.99 and will arrive later this week. Google is also offering a bundle with 6 months of Netflix for $89.99.