Previously announced in 2016, the Google Chromecast Ultra is a media player that comes in the form of a dongle. This form factor is similar to its Amazon counterpart, the Fire TV Stick. However, Amazon has upped the game with an update to its Fire TV Stick that brings Alexa to its device. This means that you can make use of all of the benefits that Alexa brings to the table. More so, Amazon has also released a newer version of their Fire TV Stick, which can be purchased for £39.99 from Amazon and has several neat features attributed to it.
Amazon Fire TV Stick
According to their Amazon page, it comes with the following attributes: The next generation of our bestselling Fire TV Stick. The most powerful streaming media stick, with the fastest Wi-Fi and most accurate voice search-now including the Alexa Voice Remote.
‘’Over 7,000 apps, games and Alexa skills, including Amazon Video, BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, Netflix, YouTube and more.
Launch apps and control content with the included Alexa Voice Remote. Simply say “Launch Netflix” or “Skip ahead 5 minutes” and Alexa responds. Plus, play music, search for local restaurants and more. Just ask.
8 GB of storage and 1 GB of memory for apps and games, a quad-core processor, plus 802.11ac Wi-Fi for fast streaming and smooth performance.
Easily find what you want to watch with search results from Netflix, Amazon Video, Prime Video, and other third-party apps.
Amazon Prime members get unlimited access to Prime Video, featuring thousands of movies and TV episodes, including The Grand Tour, at no additional cost. Plus, Prime members can add over 40 premium channels such as Discovery and Eurosport Player. Channels are available as individual subscriptions so you only pay for the TV channels you want.
Pick up where you left off. Bring hit shows and movies with you when you travel. Plug your Fire TV Stick into a TV’s HDMI port, connect to Wi-Fi and continue watching.
Play current favourites or quickly discover what to watch next directly from the Home screen.’’
Specifications and Design Choices
Despite the fact that both are dongles, they do take things a bit differently, especially in shape. Chromecast Ultra has the shape of a disc that has to be plugged in your TV’s HDMI Port. Fire TV Stick is in the shape of a USB stick, with the HDMI port situated on one end.
UI and OS
As far as the UI is concerned, both devices differ greatly from each other. Fire TV Stick is powered by an Android OS that has a custom HTML5 skin.
Chromecast Ultra does not use any sort of interface, it just serves the roll of a bridge between your portable device and the TV.
Channels and contents
Both of the devices are sufficiently stocked for your viewing pleasure, but the contents and channels are provided differently. The Fire TV Stick has its dedicated interface that helps you get your shows and movies with the help of Amazon Prime. You can also get other applications, such as YouTube, HBO GO and Netflix.
Chromecast Ultra does things differently as it has no interface. All the content that you want is streamed from your devices. You can ‘’cast’’ anything, from TV shows to games.
How you control the devices is also significantly different. The Chromecast Ultra has no remote to speak of, and you have make use of your device and the application for the Chromecast Ultra in order to navigate.
On the other hand, Fire TV Stick offers application remotes for both iOS and Android, and it also has its own physical remote right out of the box.