Amazon says the 4K stick is over 80 percent more powerful than the previous generation, with a new quad core, 1.7GHz processor for quicker load times and enhanced picture quality. With 4K support, users can watch Amazon's catalog of thousands of 4K Ultra HD, Dolby Vision, and HDR10+ titles. The company says this is the first time a streaming media stick has supported Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos, the latter of which requires a compatible connected home audio system.
The Fire TV Stick 4K also provides access to the usual array of apps and Alexa skills that users expect, like Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu, Starz, Showtime, CBS All Access, and more. There's also over 500,000 movies and tv episodes available directly on Fire TV through Amazon Prime.
The company announced new apps are gaining in-app voice control on Fire TV, including A&E, AMC, Sony Crackle, Hallmark Movies Now, HBO Now, HISTORY, IFC, Lifetime, and VH1. These join Netflix, Prime Video, and others, and the feature allows users to call up Alexa to play, rewind, fast forward, and navigate through menus with just their voice.
“We’ve listened to our customers and pushed to deliver the complete 4K solution they are looking for, all within a compact stick form factor,” said Marc Whitten, Vice President, Amazon Fire TV.The Fire TV Stick 4K can be paired with an Echo device and Alexa to control streaming content with far-field voice recognition. Customers can also opt to use the bundled-in Alexa Voice Remote, which combines Bluetooth and multidirectional infrared technology to power on compatible TV and AV equipment, switch inputs, or even tune to a channel on a cable box. The new remote also has dedicated power, volume, and mute buttons, and users can speak directly to Alexa by holding down the microphone button.
“The team invented an entirely new antenna technology and combined that with a powerful 802.11ac Wi-Fi chip that optimizes for the best possible 4K UHD streaming experience, even in congested network environments. Our new quad-core processor delivers a fast and fluid experience and support for Dolby Vision and HDR10+ provides an amazing picture. Plus, the all-new Alexa Voice Remote lets you control your complete entertainment experience and use your voice to quickly find the content you want. Just say, ‘Find 4K movies.’”
Roku has also recently cut down the cost of entry-level 4K streaming devices, announcing the Roku Premiere with 4K support at $39.99 in the U.S. Comparatively, the Apple TV 4K is $179.99 in its cheapest 32GB option, although it has dipped down to as low as $105 in previous sales.
Today's news comes a few weeks after Amazon announced a long list of new products at an event in Seattle, including new Echo speakers and Alexa-enabled subwoofers, amplifiers, a microwave, wall clock, and more. In total, senior vice president of Amazon Devices Dave Limp said that the event marked the largest number of devices and features that Amazon has ever debuted in one day.
Amazon has put the Fire TV Stick 4K up for pre-order today for $49.99, and the device will start shipping on October 31 in the United States and Canada. The United Kingdom, Germany, and India will see a launch in November, and Japan will get the 4K stick by the end of the year. Customers can also pre-order the new Alexa Voice Remote separately for $29.99, and it will launch on October 31 as well.