Amazon has finally launched the much-awaited Amazon Fire TV Stick in India at Rs. 3,999. The Fire TV Stick converts your ordinary LED TV into a smart Android TV, but the golden question here is whether you really need to buy it, or if you can easily make do with some other streaming device. Let’s find out.
The primary competitor of Amazon Fire TV Stick is Google Chromecast 2. Talking about the price tag, the Fire TV Stick carries a label of Rs. 3,999 whereas the Google Chromecast 2 can be yours for just Rs. 3,399.
Talking about the similarities first, both the devices support popular apps like YouTube, Netflix, Gaana, Eros Now, Hotstar, and more with the exception of lack of support for Amazon Prime Video on the Chromecast 2, which is kind of obvious.
Hardware Comparison: Amazon Fire TV Stick Vs. Google Chromecast 2
While these devices are priced similarly there is a lot of difference in the hardware that powers them.
Amazon Fire TV Stick Is A Full-Featured Android Device
The Fire TV Stick is an Android-based device that runs on a MediaTek SoC having a 1.3 GHz quad-core CPU and Mali-450MP4 GPU. It also packs 1 GB RAM and 8 GB internal storage that you lets you install your favourite Android apps onto the device itself.
Bluetooth 4.1 and dual-band dual-antenna Wi-Fi cover the connectivity front. It supports Dolby Audio, 5.1 channel surround sound, 2 channel stereo, and HDMI audio pass supporting up to 7.1 channel. The Fire TV Stick can offer a video output of up to 1080p @ 60fps.
Google Chromecast 2 Is Just A Simple Streaming Device
The Chromecast 2 packs a 1.2 GHz dual-core CPU coupled with 512 MB RAM and 256 MB internal storage along with support for dual-band Wi-Fi. It can also stream videos at up to 1080p and supports 2 channel stereo, Dolby Audio, and 5.1 channel surround sound.
Check out our video on comparison:
So How Does It Matter?
Even though the Fire TV Stick might seem like a much more powerful device than the Chromecast 2 on paper, but in reality, it is not. Actually, these are very different devices as far as their functionalities are concerned.
The Difference In Content Consumption Via Both Devices
The Amazon Fire TV Stick is a standalone device and comes with a Bluetooth remote supporting voice search that helps you find and play your favourite content.
Google Chromecast 2 lets you stream just about any content from Chromecast supported apps while also supporting screen mirroring from Android smartphones and laptops to any TV. This way you can also cast locally stored content on your TV without any hassle.
Chromecast 2 doesn’t come with any physical remote, but rather relies on its Android app that will enable any smartphone to control what’s being streamed via Chromecast 2.
The only major downside for Chromecast 2 (for some) is its lack of support for Amazon Prime Video app. You can, of course, mirror your phone to your TV for enjoying Amazon Prime Videos without Chromecast, but it will not be a buttery smooth experience.
Another major differentiating factor that I see here is the mode of control. The Fire TV Stick can be operated comfortably with a physical remote, while Chromecast 2 relies on a smartphone’s touchscreen for its operations. It can be very difficult for you to blindly use a touch-based interface, whereas typing the name of a movie or a show can get intimidating on a regular TV remote.
Which One Should You Buy?
Both devices let you watch content from popular apps like YouTube, Netflix, Hotstar, Eros Now, Gaana, and more. One is a full-fledged standalone device, whereas the other needs an Android smartphone for its operations. You can mirror your smartphone to your TV via the Google Chromecast 2, but the same is not possible using Amazon Fire TV Stick.
So it really depends on your style and needs. The decision should be made on the lines of- the ability to stream offline content on TV, soft remote vs. hard remote, and support for Amazon Prime Video app.