Amazon's new Fire TV Stick Lite supports Full HD plus HDR streaming while an upgraded Fire TV Stick adds Dolby Atmos. A revamped user interface is coming soon.
Upgraded Fire TV Stick
At its launch event, Amazon announced two new Fire TV devices that can be connected to any TV via HDMI. The company also said that it has sold more than 100 million Fire TV devices globally.
An upgraded Fire TV Stick supports Full HD plus HDR streaming (HDR10, HDR10+, HLG) as well as Dolby Atmos audio. While HDR (High Dynamic Range) is often tied to 4K resolution, it is not unheard of that it gets combined with regular HD resolution too. However, not all streaming services offer access to HDR without 4K and it is not clear if, say, Netflix will deliver HDR to these devices.
- "The all-new Fire TV Stick features an enhanced 1.7 GHz quad-core processor that makes it 50% more powerful than the previous generation. The new Fire TV Stick delivers fast streaming in 1080p at 60fps with HDR compatibility," said Amazon.
The new Fire TV Stick will be available next week for $40 on amazon.com. If you want to add 4K and Dolby Vision to the package, Amazon will continue to sell its current Fire TV Stick 4K.
Fire TV Stick Lite
Amazon is also launching an inexpensive Fire TV Stick Lite. It will still support Full HD plus HDR streaming. It will not support Dolby Atmos sound.
- "Fire TV Stick Lite is 50% more powerful than the previous-generation Fire TV Stick and includes the most processing power of any streaming media player under $30. It features HDR support and comes with Alexa Voice Remote Lite, a new remote that allows you to use voice to find, launch, and control content," said Amazon.
FireTV Stick Lite will be available next week for $30 on amazon.com.
New user interface
Amazon has been working on a revamped user interface and at its event the company gave us a first look ahead of a global roll-out later this year, starting on the two new Fire TV sticks just launched.
The new user interface should offer better content discovery and simplified navigation, says Amazon, in addition to user profiles (up to 6 household members) with individual viewing history, recommendations, and watch lists. Alexa is at the core of the new experience.
- "Alexa is at the core of the new Fire TV experience, featuring improved voice controls that give you greater control of your entertainment. Just say, “Alexa, go to Live,” to jump to the Live TV guide, or say, “Alexa, go to Find,” to browse shows," explained Amazon. "Changing user profiles is simple by saying, “Alexa, switch to my profile.” After initial setup, Alexa will automatically recognize the voice and switch to your profile."
The redesigned Fire TV experience will begin rolling out later this year in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States.