The big news in the world of streaming was just announced last week: Amazon is going to release the newest version 4.0 of it’s insanely popular Firestick internet TV box on October 31st!
If you are as geeky about streaming TV as we are, you will know that this is a big deal. The Firestick has probably been the most popular box on the market since it was released back in 2014, and this version promises to be a significant upgrade over version 3.0.
The previous generations of Firestick became incredibly popular due to their user-friendly interface, easy set-up, and quick speeds, all delivered at a very affordable price tag of $40. It has quickly become regarded as one of the best entry-level streaming boxes available, especially for those on a budget.
So what’s the new with the Firestick 4k? Let’s take a look at what we know.
4k HD Streaming Ability
The biggest upgrade is definitely that the new Firestick will offer 4k High Definition streaming resolution. Up until now, Firesticks only supported resolutions up to 1080p, which meant that if you wanted real crystal clear HD you would need to pick up a higher-end, pricier device. We are very happy to see Amazon is now offering this feature on their cheapest unit.
As more and more content is offered in higher resolutions, you will definitely be missing out on the best experience without a 4k compatible device. Once you get used to the clarity and sharp picture quality of 4k HD, you won’t want to go back.
Better WiFi Connection
Another major upgrade is that they are switching to dual-band/dual-antenna Wi-Fi (MIMO), as opposed to regular WiFi. This is crucial, as it will allow for a stronger, more reliable WiFi connection to your home router as it streams in higher resolutions.
One of the major drawbacks with the old Fire sticks was the lack of Ethernet capability, which is superior to wireless connections. Although new Firestick 4k will still this ability, the improved WiFi connection should really help make up for that. We expect this version to be significantly faster at streaming and downloading than the older versions.
The remote for the new 4k model also gets a significant overhaul. Until now, the standard Firestick remote has been extremely minimal. You can only use it to navigate the Firestick itself, meaning you still need the remotes for your TV/stereo/receiver on hand if you want to change any other settings (kinda annoying).
This version will ship with a remote that lets you operate your whole entertainment system with out needing multiple clickers. Amazon added buttons that can control your TV’s power and volume (about time!), which is minor but super convenient upgrade.
The new remotes will also be loaded with Amazon’s Alexa voice command function, so you will be able to operate your system hands-free if you want. Amazon is continuing to add Alexa capability to all it’s products, and this is certainly part of that trend.
All-in-all, this new remote should make using your whole living room set-up significantly more convenient.
The Firestick 4k will offer Dolby Atmos surround sound, which is a big step up on the older models, which only offered standard Dolby Digital. This should please the serious audiophiles with more sophisticated home theater setups.
A Significant Evolution
From what we’ve gathered from Amazon’s official release, the Firestick 4k will be the biggest change to their flagship streaming box since it was released. Pretty much every aspect of this device looks like it will be a significant improvement over the current model.
It does look like the price point will jump slightly, from about $40 to $50, but if you ask us, that extra $10 will be well worth it. If you are new to the streaming box world, the Firestick 4k should make a great entry point. And if you already own a Firestick, you should seriously consider upgrading for the massively improved resolution and speed.
Here are the official tech specs if you are interested.
Firestick 4k Tech Specs
Size: 99 mm x 30 mm x 14 mm (only housing) | 108 mm x 30 mm x 14 mm (including the connector)
Weight: 53.6 g
Processor: Quad-core 1.7 GHz
GPU: IMG GE8300
Storage: 8 GB
Wi-Fi Connectivity: Dual-band, dual-antenna Wi-Fi (MIMO) for faster streaming and fewer dropped connections than standard Wi-Fi. Supports 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi networks.
Bluetooth: Bluetooth 5.0 + LE
Voice Support: Yes, Alexa Voice Remote (included) or free Fire TV app (available for download on Fire OS, Android, and iOS)
Cloud Storage: Free cloud storage for digital content purchased from Amazon
Ports: HDMI output, micro USB for power only
Audio Support: Dolby Atmos, 7.1 surround sound, 2-channel stereo, and HDMI audio pass through up to 5.1
Content Formats Supported: Video: Dolby Vision, HDR 10, HDR10+, HLG, H.265, H.264, VP9 Audio: AAC-LC, AC3, eAC3 (Dolby Digital Plus), FLAC, MP3, PCM/Wave, Vorbis, Dolby Atmos (EC3_JOC), Photo: JPEG, PNG, GIF, BMP
Output Resolution Supported: 2160p, 1080p and 720p up to 60 fps
System Requirements: High-definition television with available high-speed HDMI input, high-speed internet connection via Wi-Fi
TV Compatibility: TV must support minimum HDCP requirements for protected content playback. Compatible with 1) 4K ultra high-definition TVs with HDMI capable of 2160p at 24/25/30/50/60 Hz and HDCP 2.2 or 2) high-definition TVs with HDMI capable of 1080p or 720p at 50/60 Hz.
Included in the Box: Fire TV Stick 4K, Alexa Voice Remote (2nd Gen), USB cable and power adapter, HDMI extender cable for Fire TV Stick 4K, 2 AAA batteries, Quick Start Guide