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.
The overall size, shape, and weight of each remote is identical. I’m told by my sources at Amazon that the internal circuitry is also exactly the same with each remote. Where they differ is in the materials used to create the body and buttons. The Fire TV voice remote (top) body is made of a soft-touch plastic that’s slightly rubbery feeling, where as the Fire TV Stick voice remote (bottom) body is made of hard plastic that is slightly smoother and slipperier. If you’re familiar with the the soft plastic 1st-gen Fire TV voice remote and the hard plastic Fire TV Stick non-voice remote, the materials used on the new remotes mirrors the old ones.
The Fire TV voice remote (top) feels like the more premium product between the two. It does not show fingerprints or hand oils nearly as much as the Fire TV Stick voice remote (bottom). The Amazon logo, at the bottom of each remote, is flat and printed on the Fire TV voice remote, while it’s molded in with a mirror finish on the Fire TV Stick voice remote.
The only other big difference between the two remotes is the button material. The Fire TV voice remote (left) has hard plastic glossy buttons, whereas the Fire TV Stick voice remote (right) has rubbery soft buttons. I’m told by my source at Amazon that the difference in button material is one of the main reasons there are two different new voice remotes, because the rubbery Fire TV Stick voice remote buttons are cheaper to manufacture. In practice, the two different button types make little to no difference. They both feel just as good and clicky as the other. The large circular directional button is identical on each remote.
The two remotes are identical from the back, apart from the Fire TV voice remote (top) being made of soft plastic and the Fire TV Stick voice remote (bottom) being made of hard plastic. The back battery covers are interchangeable between the two remotes.
Removing the battery cover reveals the last difference between the two remotes. While they both share the same FCC ID number 2ADU9-3876, further indicating they are identical on the inside, the Fire TV voice remote (top) lists model number “DR49WK G” whereas the Fire TV Stick voice remote (bottom) lists model number “DR49WK B”. The “G” and the “B” are references to each remotes code name, where the Fire TV voice remote is codenamed Gelato and the Fire TV Stick voice remote is codenamed Bane.
While the Fire TV voice remote is slightly better than the Fire TV Stick voice remote, due to the soft-touch plastic and premium button material, the two remotes are so similar that it makes little to no difference which one you use. Currently, in the US, UK, and Germany, Amazon still appears to only be selling the older bluetooth based voice remote separately, as indicated by the reference to bluetooth in the product description. In Japan, Amazon appears to be selling these new wifi based voice remotes separately, although it’s difficult to know whether one will receive the Fire TV or Fire TV Stick version. Amazon has shown signs of starting to sell these new remotes separately soon, but it’s unclear if they’ll replace the existing product page with a new one, or if they’ll just start shipping the new remotes, at some point, when someone orders from the existing voice remote product page.