Five ways Amazon Fire TV Stick beats Google Chromecast

Amazon is continuing in its attempts to break the video streaming market, with the launch of the Fire TV Stick.

The device, which is currently only available in the US, takes the same video-and-games streaming tack as the Fire TV, and is compatible with many US streaming services, such as Hulu, Pandora and Showtime Anytime.

Amazon Fire TV Stick

However, it’s entering an already crowded market, with Google Chromecast and Roku Streaming Stick having been available for one year and eight months respectively.

Here’s five ways the Fire TV Stick beats the Chromecast, and our verdict on which one’s better over all.

Five ways Amazon Fire TV Stick beats Google Chromecast

1. Dual band antennae

This is a major stumbling block for the Chromecast. While the Fire TV Stick will work with 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi, Chromecast will only work with 2.4GHz, meaning you may need to adjust your router’s settings and reliability could still be poor. If you have a 5GHz-only router, it won’t work at all.

2. Dual-core CPU and more RAM

At 1GB, the Fire TV Stick has almost double the memory of the Chromecast, and a dual rather than single-core CPU. This should make the Fire TV Stick much faster than the Chromecast.

3. More Storage

When is comes to storage, the Fire TV Stick’s is big. It sports 8GB of flash storage, compared to Chromecast’s 2GB. This is largely down to the fact the Fire TV Stick isn’t a light-weight streamer like the Chromecast, but is also targeted at gaming.

Amazon Fire TV Stick

4. Voice search

While you need to either download a special app to your smartphone or get a separate Fire TV voice remote, the Fire TV Stick does support voice search. Chromecast, on the other hand, has no support for this technology and there’s no evidence that any will be forthcoming.

5. Games

With the Fire TV Stick, you get access to over 200 games and you can also buy a dedicated game controller. Chromecast supports what is, by comparison, a rather measly 30 games and has no dedicated controller option.

The verdict

While the Amazon Fire TV Stick does beat the Chromecast in these five areas, we still think Google’s streaming device is still better over all.

On interoperability, Fire TV Stick performs extremely poorly at the moment, only working with Android. Chromecast, on the other hand, works with iOS, Android, Mac OS, Windows, and Chrome OS, meaning you can “cast” from virtually any smartphone, tablet or laptop to your TV.

Another area where the Fire TV Stick falls down is it’s very locked into the Amazon ecosystem. While it does have a number of free apps, the pressure to buy into Amazon Prime, Prime Instant Video and Cloud Drive is palpable.

Of course, for those of us living in the UK, the primary advantage the Chromecast and Roku Streaming Stick have over the Amazon Fire TV Stick is they’re already on sale over here.

There’s no UK release date for the Amazon Fire TV Stick. It took the Fire TV set-top-box five months to arrive here after its US launch, so we could be waiting for some time yet.

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