Amazon has announced the all-new 3rd generation Fire TV Stick and, for the first time, a new Fire TV Stick Lite model. These two new models for 2020 replace the outgoing 2nd-gen Fire TV Stick that first debuted in 2016. Both new devices share identical hardware, in regards to the streaming media player itself, which is based very closely on the much loved Fire TV Stick 4K. The new Fire TV Stick 3 carries the same price of $39.99 as the outgoing model and comes with the exact same Alexa voice remote that is included in the rest of Amazon’s Fire TV lineup, which features universal remote capabilities thanks to its built-in IR blaster and power/volume/mute buttons. The Fire TV Stick Lite is being introduced for the first time at $29.99, which is lower than any previous Fire TV model before it. The Firestick Lite comes with a new Alexa voice remote that forgoes device control buttons and adds a new Channel Guide button to make access live content easier.
As just mentioned, both the 3rd-gen Fire TV Stick and the Fire TV Stick Lite are identical from a hardware perspective. They pack in a MediaTek MT8695D quad-core CPU clocked at 1.7GHz, which is a 1080p variant of the MediaTek MT8695 in the Fire TV Stick 4K, so we should be able to expect very similar performance between the two, where the Fire TV Stick 4K is about 2x as powerful as the current 2nd-gen Fire TV Stick in certain benchmarks. Amazon has given a more conservative performance increase figure of 50% for the new Sticks versus the old Stick. These new 1080p Fire TV Sticks also use the PowerVR GE8300 GPU by Imagination Technologies, as is found in the Fire TV Stick 4K.
The new Firesticks still have 1GB of RAM, just like the outgoing model, but it is now faster DDR4 memory, instead of DDR3 like in the old model. Unfortunately, the new Fire TV Sticks still have only 8GB of internal storage, but they do now natively support external storage for storing apps and files through the use of an OTG cable, just like the Fire TV Cube supports. Connectivity on the new Sticks comes in the form of 802.11b/g/n/ac 2×2 MIMO, an optional external Ethernet adapter, and Bluetooth 5.0.
Video playback capabilities for the new Fire TV Sticks caps out at 1080p and 60FPS, so you’ll still need to spend the extra $10 on a Fire TV Stick 4K if you want 2160p video. However, you don’t need to spend more if you just want High Dynamic Range video because, for the first time, the basic Fire TV Stick does now support HDR, HDR10, and HLG video, but Dolby Vision is not supported.
One of the very few areas, outside the included remotes, that the Fire TV Stick 3 and the Fire TV Stick Lite differ in is audio processing. Both models support audio passthrough for various surround sound formats, such as Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, and Dolby Atmos, just as the outgoing Fire TV Stick does, but now the Fire TV Stick 3 also includes onboard Dolby audio decoding, which was previously only found on the Fire TV Stick 4K and Fire TV Cube. The Fire TV Stick Lite will now be the only Fire TV model limited to passthrough audio.
Speaking of differences between the 3rd-gen Fire TV Stick and the Fire TV Stick Lite, the primary difference between the two, apart from the price and Dolby audio capabilities, is the included remotes. The main Fire TV Stick comes with the exact same Alexa voice remote as is included in the current 2nd-gen Fire TV Stick, the Fire TV Stick 4K, and the Fire TV Stick Cube. Unlike old Fire TV remotes before it, this remote is capable of controlling TVs, soundbars, A/V receivers, and cable/satellite boxes thanks to its built-in IR blasters, power, volume, and mute buttons.
The remote included with the Fire TV Stick Lite is an all-new remote that drops the device control capabilities of the existing remote in order to help lower the price of the Fire TV Stick Lite to $29.99, compared to the $39.99 price of the Fire TV Stick 3. The new remote is the same shape and size as the existing remote and still includes Alexa voice capabilities. Another difference between the two remotes is the addition of a Channel Guide button on the Fire TV Stick Lite’s remote. This button opens the grid-based program guide which recently expanded to include YouTube TV, Hulu, Sling TV, and more. This button has been on Fire TV Edition television and soundbar remotes but makes its first appearance on a Fire TV streaming media player with this new Fire TV Stick Lite’s remote.
Both the new Fire TV Stick 3 and the Fire TV Stick Lite come with an Alexa voice remote, HDMI extender, USB power adapter, micro USB cable, and AAA batteries for the remote. They both run Fire OS 7, Amazon’s latest operating system which is based on Android 9 Pie. The Fire TV Stick is $39.99 and will be available in Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The Fire TV Stick Lite is $29.99 and will be available in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Mexico, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Both models begin shipping next week on September 30 and are available to pre-order today.
Fire TV Stick Pre-Orders:
- United States – $39.99
- United Kingdom – £39.99
- Germany & Austria – 38,98 €
- India – ₹ 3,999
- Canada – CDN$ 59.99
- France – 39,99 €
- Spain – 39,99 €
- Italy – 39,99 €
- Japan – ￥4,980