Amazon is taking the fight to Chromecast yet again with its latest living room device, the Fire TV Stick.
Like Chromecast, Roku’s Streaming Stick and crowd-funded Matchstick, the Fire TV Stick pops into a spare HDMI slot on your current TV and instantly upgrades your old, dumb TV by bringing a plethora of on-demand services, apps and games to your front room.
The Fire TV Stick also replicates Chromecast’s main party trick of getting stuff from your small screen to your big screen – you’ll be able to fling content from iOS and Android apps to your TV and enable screen mirroring.
Like the Fire TV mini set-top box, Amazon proudly boasts of the superior specs of its latest Fire-branded gadget compared to Google’s cheap, but wildly popular Chromecast.
The Fire TV Stick comes with a dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM – double what you get inside Chromecast – and 8GB of storage.
It’s also a dual-band WiFi device and it has two antennas (MIMO) which in plain English means that the WiFi performance will be more stable than Chromecast, which is only single-band device with one antenna.
It’ll also work with the same Amazon game pad that’s being sold alongside the Fire TV box. Although the Fire TV Stick isn’t as powerful on paper, you’ll be able to access the same library of games.
A voice remote similar to the one that’s bundled with Fire TV can also be snapped up for $30 (£18) and promises the same voice-controlled functions. ASAP, Amazon’s dynamic personalisation service, is also present and correct.
At $39 for a pre-order (which converts to around £25 at the time of writing) it’s also a great deal cheaper than the Fire TV and will likely appeal to those who were toying with the idea of getting a Chromecast.
The bad news is that it’s not currently available for shipping outside of the US and the jury’s out as to when it’s coming out in Blighty. The release date Stateside is November 19, so if you’ve got some friends across the pond you might want to have a word with them if you’re desperate to get your mitts on an Fire TV Stick before Christmas.
The Fire TV box has only just started shipping here in the UK and that was announced way back in April, so expect a wait for the Stick to touch down over here.