Difference between the 2020 and 2021 Amazon Fire TV Stick — Which should you buy?

With the release of a new Fire TV remote last week, Amazon is now offering a “2020 Release” Fire TV Stick and a “2021 Release” Fire TV Stick. With both versions currently priced the same, an uninformed buyer would likely think the “2021 release” is obviously superior because newer is always better, right? The “2021 release” even says “3rd Gen” in the title, while the “2020 release” does not, and the “2020 release” has a banner at the top enticing customers to check out the “newer version of this product,” so there couldn’t possibly be a reason to buy the old version, right? Unfortunately, that’s not necessarily the case and it’s leading to confusion among shoppers who think the “2021 release” is an all-new Firestick when that couldn’t be further from the truth. Here are all the differences and similarities between the 2020 Fire TV Stick and the 2021 Fire TV Stick, and why you might be better off buying the older version. Read more ›

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Fire TV Stick & Fire TV Stick 4K with New Alexa Remote released in Australia, Brazil, and Mexico

Amazon has released the 3rd generation Fire TV Stick and 1st generation Fire TV Stick 4K in Australia, Brazil, and Mexico for the first time. These firesticks are the same exact hardware that has already been available in other regions since 2020 and 2018, respectively, but what is new is the Alexa Voice Remote included with these Fire TV models. We’ve already seen this remote pass through FCC approval and now it’s officially available. Compared to the existing Alexa Voice Remote, this new remote adds a Live Guide button, four app buttons, and a blue microphone button with the Alexa logo in place of the black microphone button. Read more ›

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Fire TV Sticks will be the first Amazon device made in India

Amazon has announced that it will begin manufacturing Fire TV Sticks in India. This will be the first Amazon device to ever be made in India. Fire TV Sticks will be made by Foxconn subsidiary Cloud Network Technology in Chennai, India. Amazon says that it will “be able to produce hundreds of thousands of Fire TV Stick devices every year.” Considering Amazon sells “millions of Fire TV devices” globally on Prime Day alone, it seems as though the “hundreds of thousands” of Fire TV Sticks made in India will be sold in India, while the rest of the world’s Fire TV Sticks will still be made in China. Read more ›

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Why you should never power a Fire TV Stick from your TV’s USB port

On the plastic wrapper of every Amazon Fire TV Stick is a message telling you to “use the included power adapter and USB cable” to discourage you from using the USB port on your TV to power the device. Many people miss the warning or ignore it for the convenience of having one less power adapter to deal with. If you’re currently powering a Firestick off of your TV or are thinking about doing it, here’s why you should reconsider using the stock power brick that comes with the device. Read more ›

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Fire TV Stick Lite & Fire TV Stick 3 support being grouped with Echo speakers for an Alexa Home Theater System

The Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite and 3rd-gen Fire TV Stick are the latest Fire TV models to add support for being grouped with Amazon Echo speakers to form an Alexa Home Theater System. Using Echo speakers for improved Fire TV audio was first introduced with the release of the Echo Studio last year, thanks to its Dolby Atmos capabilities. The feature has since expanded to also include compatibility with the 1st & 2nd-gen Echo Plus, 2nd & 3rd-gen Echo, 3rd-gen Echo Dot (with or without clock), and the Echo Sub. All of these Echo speakers can be grouped, in the Alexa app, to the Fire TV Stick 4K, both 1st & 2nd-gen Fire TV Cubes, the 3rd-gen Fire TV, and now the two new 2020 Firesticks. Grouping the devices together into a Home Theater System allows the Fire TV’s audio to automatically and wirelessly use the smart speakers instead of your TV speakers. Instructions for how to do so can be found here.

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How to add External USB OTG Storage and Move Apps on the Fire TV Stick Lite, Fire TV Stick 3, and Fire TV Cube

In Amazon’s current lineup of Fire TV models, the 2020 Fire TV Stick Lite, 2020 3rd-gen Fire TV Stick, and the Fire TV Cube (both 1st and 2nd-gen) support expanding their internal storage through the use of an external USB drive. Doing so allows you to move supported apps onto the external storage device to free up space on the Fire TV Stick and Fire TV Cube’s internal storage space. The Fire TV Stick 4K, while it does support external USB devices to some extent, does not currently support moving apps to external storage. Here are what accessories you need for external storage, instucritions for how to configure your Fire TV device correctly, and how to move apps off of the internal storage. Read more ›

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All the differences between the Fire TV Stick Lite, Fire TV Stick 3, and Fire TV Stick 4K

The Fire TV Stick Lite and the 3rd-generation Fire TV Stick (i.e., Fire TV Stick 3) have recently been released for 2020 and join the Fire TV Stick 4K from 2018 to round out Amazon’s budget-friendly lineup of streaming media players, which are colloquially referred to as Firesticks. The differences might seem straightforward when comparing their device specs, but there are several differences, particularly with the software and operating system of each device, that anyone comparison shopping should know about before determining which device is right for you. Here is a meticulous comparison of all of the differences and similarities between the three Amazon Fire TV Stick models. Read more ›

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Fire TV Stick 3 & Stick Lite share the same model number and are the same size as the Fire TV Stick 2

If there was any doubt that the 3rd-gen Fire TV Stick and the 1st-gen Fire TV Stick Lite share the exact same hardware, the fact that they both use the same model number of S3L46N and the same FCC ID of 2AUQI-7436 should put that to rest. The two are physically indistinguishable from one another on the outside. There is a slight chance that internal components like the memory chips differ, based on my benchmark findings, but components like that can actually vary slightly on the same device model depending on what was available during a particular manufacturing run. So, if they do differ inside, there’s no way to know if that is deliberate or just luck of the draw. Read more ›

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Fire TV Stick 3 and Fire TV Stick Lite can sideload apps like Kodi and run Downloader

Among the first questions that people ask about every new Fire TV model is if Amazon has done anything to deter sideloading apps like Kodi. Rest assured that the new 3rd-gen Fire TV Stick and the Firestick Lite can sideload apps just as easily as every Fire TV model that came before them. My Downloader app runs perfectly right out of the box on these new devices. There is just one important difference about sideloading on these new devices that may be confusing to existing Fire TV and Fire TV Stick owners. Read more ›

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Benchmarking the new Fire TV Stick Lite & Fire TV Stick 3 against every other Fire TV model

Now that the new 2020 Amazon Fire TV Stick 3 and Fire TV Stick Lite have been released, it’s time to see how they stack up against existing Fire TV models, past and present. While computational benchmark scores are by no means going to tell you how well a device will perform at real-world everyday tasks, they’re still helpful to understand how much raw power each Fire TV, Firestick, and Fire TV Cube have to offer, should you push them to their limits. I’ve run all 10 Fire TV models that have ever been released through 4 popular benchmarks that test their CPU, GPU, Memory, and more. Here are the results. Read more ›

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