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.
The two remotes are functionally identical, with the only difference being slightly different build materials. You can read my detailed overview of the differences, but the main difference is that the “better” remote is made of soft rubbery plastic with hard buttons, whereas the “cheaper” remote is made of a hard plastic with rubber buttons. I call one “better” and one “cheaper” because I was told by a source at Amazon that the “cheaper” one costs less to manufacture, but it’s really up to one’s own preference which is the slightly better remote. I personally prefer the soft plastic body of the “better” remote, but like the rubbery buttons of the “cheaper” remote better.
If you’re still not sure which remote you have, the sure fire way to tell is to look at the model number behind the battery cover. The “better” remote will have a G after the model number, and the “cheaper” remote will have a B. The letters represent each remote’s code name: Gelato and Bane. Let me know in the comments which remote you have and when you ordered your Fire TV.
Thanks for posting this. I really like the feel of my FTV1 remote and was considering upgrading but this along with many reported issues will let me hold on my FTV1 for another while.
I’m glad I learned about it not actually supporting 4k in all apps before I got it.
I couldn’t agree more. No youtube in 4k is crazy. I’m glad I only paid the $60 screw up on this because otherwise I would be pissed. I ended up getting the Nvidia Shield on the $150 deal for black Friday. Will be here on Tuesday and I am pretty pumped to have full 4k support for my new TV.
Yes I just got one with the same remote my fire stick has fu@$k you amazon I’m mad I can’t control my fire stick because the remote don’t work if the stick is behind the TV the TV blocks the remote signal and it don’t work so I have to have to use the hdmi cable and have the fire stick visible for the remote to work same with the fire TV box this is BS fu@$k U amazon this 2 are going back to amazon for a full refund they are going to have many problems .! I don’t like how the new remote works/ feels anyway they f***up by removing the Bluetooth remote
Televisions and other power using devices can interrupt signals. Hell, your fridge blocks signals. Don’t blame Amazon due to the laws of physics. You may have a TV that puts out more interference than others, of you have a few major wires running behind your TV causing interference, because I bet they tried the stick in one of two tvs successfully.
“or tvs” not “of tvs”
Obviously you don’t even know what you are talking about because you don’t have the new fire stick with voice remote I have a 65″ oled very slim TV and I have pay lots of money to have the TV professional install in my wall with out any wires showing at all have a special panel with all the connections in the wall behind the TV so the only way to make the remote work properly I have to have a humidity cable and use the adapter the stick came with and have the stick sticking out or hang down from underneath the TV so the remote don’t have any interfering between stick in the remote and another words is like you have old remote control that uses IR blaster with which you can unblock whatsoever if you wanted to work anywho im using my first generation fire TV bluetooth voice remote and it works beautifully no problems so the remotes the Amazon are providing does suck there are garbage bottom line so I will have to somehow find another Bluetooth 1st generation voice remote
Wow! Too much coffee?
Whatever helps them keep the price down. Don’t see it as a big deal either way, and the box was a steal at the black friday prices.
Not a huge deal but one of those little things that is nice to know. Maybe they will combine the remotes at some point.
I bought the Fire TV 2 during the Black Friday sale and it came with the cheaper remote. I hate it by comparison. I work in plastics and can definitely confirm that this remote is cheaper to manufacture because it’s not made with the rubber like santoprene material. It’s a much more expensive resin.
Also bought mine black Friday and agree with everything you say.
I can confirm this. I already have one Fire TV 2015, but got 2 more for relatives on black friday sales and I immediatelly felt that the remotes that came with the 74.99 Fire TVs where the cheaper ones. I’m glad these 2 Fire TVs are not for me.
wow. what a shady thing to do. i noticed this too, i told my brother i was like – you know the plastic thats like, textured like suede almost? thats what the remote used to be. the remote i got with the new one is just like regular plastic, feels cheap and the buttons are rubber and not plastic. im like wtf update the box and get cheaper on remote? then i read this???? what a shady company. im returning this and going back to my apple tv. sure its missing 4k but my tv has 4k apps. apple would never skimp their product for a sale. this is unreal
and i havent got my entertainment rack set up yet in the closet at my new house, but if it isnt bluetooth anymore and just IR its worthless to me. it will definitely be going back for this reason alone
It’s wifi direct, not IR
Doesn’t the new model use WiFi for remote communication?
Bummed. Finally bought a gen 2 during the Black Friday deals going on at Best Buy (online). Came with the cheap feeling remote.
Ordered mine on Cyber Monday received it yesterday with Bane (cheaper) remote. The box still shows the previous remote style with the lighter lettering.
I guess I’m the only one here who isn’t bothered by either remote?… I mean….I use it to grab a show and then put it down again. I’m not sleeping on the thing. I don’t think I ever even noticed the difference. (Though, I thought the original article detailing the differences was very informative).
I am on my third 2nd generation Fire TV. The first two were purchased in early October, which were defective and returned, were the Gelato. My present one purchased in late November is the Bane.
I find pros and cons with each one. The Gelato is less likely to slip out of your hands. I prefer the soft buttons on the Bane which makes it less likely for your fingers to slip off the buttons.
It would be nice if they came out with a third design having both soft buttons and soft body.
Thx for the comments. Wanted to hear from someone who actually had both. We got the gaming one when they first came out so it had the game remote, but bought a second 2nd gen on Black Friday and it has the Bane. However I must say I don’t really see any issues with the body, keep in mind I’m comparing it to the 1st gen remotes as we have a couple of those around the house.
I bought a second gen during Black Friday weekend which came with the cheaper remote. After 2 days the right button on the D-pad stopped working. Amazon doesn’t package just a voice remote they could send me for a replacement so they reshipped a new AFTV just to replace my remote. Interestingly, the replacement AFTV came with the better remote.
My black Friday order just arrived in the U.K. It is the cheaper remote which is frustrating as I sold my First Gen with the much better remote.
Bought at the beginning of November in Amazon.de. Came with cheaper one.
I got my 4K Fire Box in the UK in November, it has the ‘cheaper’ remote
Let’s face it…. Amazon screwed up royally with this new remote. Buggy, crappy feel, and simply INFERIOR to the first generation remote.
Overall, I would stick with a first generation FIRE TV and return the 2nd unless you absolutely need a 2nd FTV.
When 2nd generation units should represent an IMPROVEMENT to the 1st, Amazon has gone backwards with a crappier version of their 1st generation device. Brilliant.
After checking out the new AppleTV and the nvidia Shield, I can tell you that amazon needs a complete remote redesign. The current remote is too thick and plastic. AAA batteries are at the heart of the current design flaws. There also should be an option to get a remote with universal IR control of your TV.
I bought two Fire TVs Black Friday weekend. One from Amazon came with the cheap remote, one from Sears came with the good remote.
Personally I never thought much of the gen 1 voice remote from a design perspective. Compared to what apple made years ago (super slim aluminum with rubber buttons), amazons plastic one (with AA batteries) that even sounds cheap–the clicking has woken up my wife on 2 occasions.
On the other side of the argument, its by far the best media streamer Ive ever owned and for $99.99 back in spring of 2014, i feel i got my money’s worth. Then another dig, based on that experience i thought gen 2 would be a technological media marvel with a reasonable price tag… this article is yet anlther reason why i was dead wrong. Still seems like a good box at a more than fair price, but no reason to upgrade and several reasons to stay with gen 1.
I love both my 1st Gen fire tv. With all the complaints, I am in no rush to “upgrade” to 2nd Gen. I will wait for 3rd Gen.
Meanwhile, my Harmony remote hasn’t changed and works great.
I got the B :\
I’m very pissed right now :(