When it comes to digital media streaming devices, two popular contenders are the Fire Stick from Amazon with the latest update, Alexa, and the 3rd generation Chromecast Ultra from Google. Unless you have the budget to invest in both, choosing between the two will be easier if you have a comparison. Let us take a look at how these two products are similar and different from each other.
Design and Specifications
Both devices are in dongle form but have different shapes. While the Amazon Fire Stick is a USB stick dongle designed with an HDMI port, Chromecast is a dongle in a disc shape and can be connected to an HDMI port at the back of the television as well as an Ethernet port.
The Amazon Fire Stick is powered by a dual-core 2xARM A9 chipset with 1.2GHz Broadcom Capri 28155 and has 1GB RAM. Its maximum output video resolution is 1080p and storage is 8GB flash. As for internet connectivity, it supports 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi. It is also light at only 25.1 grams and its dimensions are 84.9 x 25 x 11.5mm. Conversely, Google Chromecast Ultra’s processor, memory, and storage are still not specified, it has an edge over its competitor in other aspects.These include 4K capabilities with HDR and Dolby Vision. Moreover, it offers faster WiFi connectivity with Ethernet, supporting 802.11ac Wi‑Fi. It is also heavier at 47 grams and has dimensions of 58.2 in diameter and 13.7mm in height.
In terms of computer interface, the two are also different. The Fire Stick has an Android interface and an HTML5-based skin, a feature that its counterpart does not have since its function is basically to just be a channel between your television and mobile device.
When it comes to content and available channels, there is also a variation between the two. The Fire Stick has third party apps for watching, like YouTube, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Showtime Anytime, ESPN and HBO GO, among others. Since Chromecast Ultra does not come with an interface, you get to get content directly from your mobile device via streaming. That said, you also get to enjoy movies and games available from Google which includes most of the content of the Fire Stick from Amazon.
Amazon’s Fire Stick comes with a physical remote control and it also uses app-based remotes for iOS and Android. The remote upgrade is also available for an added cost. It is capable of voice search for more convenient and faster-watching experience. What’s interesting is that you can mention the name of an actor or the movie title to start the search. It can also be used for Netflix and Amazon Prime Video Content. Google Chromecast Ultra does not have a physical remote although the apps can be used as remotes. There is just a button that needs to be pressed. Moreover, it comes with the Fast Play feature that can predict what show you want to watch the current content you are enjoying.
The Amazon Fire Stick is cheaper than its competitor and has a dedicated on-screen UI while Google Chromecast Ultra has an edge in terms of video quality. The decision solely depends on your preference. If you are leaning towards the device from Google, you can learn more about Google Chromecast here.