The specs you need at a great price

Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K

It's like if Fire TV and Amazon Echo had a baby

Amazon Fire TV Cube

It's actually pretty hard to find something bad to say about the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K. It's got all the specs you want to see — 4K resolution, HDR10, Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision. It has access to nearly every streaming service you could want, and the vast Amazon App Store. All that's missing is native support for YouTube and YouTube TV.

$49 at Amazon

Pros

  • Hits all the specs you want
  • Great price
  • Improved remote control

Cons

  • Doesn't have every streaming app

The Fire TV Cube adds a microphone array for hands-free Amazon Alexa voice control. But it does so at a high markup, and that's a pretty high price to stomach. But the addition of Dolby Vision and faster on-device voice command processing makes it easier to swallow.

$119 at Amazon

Pros

  • Now has faster, on-device voice-command processing
  • Same great Fire TV experience
  • Added Dolby Vision for 2019

Cons

  • That hands-free Alexa support is expensive

It's an easy decision — how badly do you want hands-free Alexa support build into a Fire TV? (And how much do you want to pay for it?)

Don't overthink this one

For all intents and purposes, the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K and the Amazon Fire TV Cube do the same thing. They turn your TV into a portal for Amazon Prime Video, along with apps and games and music — pretty much everything you'd want in a smart TV box, right?

Both of these devices have support for 4K UHD resolutions. That's important for pretty much any new TV you buy today. They differ a bit when it comes to other features, though.

Amazon Fire TV Cube and Fire TV Stick

Category Fire TV Cube Fire TV Stick 4K
Price $119 $49
Max resolution 2160p (4K) 2160p (4K)
Operating system Fire OS 6 (Android 7.1) Fire OS 6 (Android 7.1)
Storage 16GB 8GB
RAM 2GB 1.5GB
External storage microUSB No
Bluetooth BT 4.2 BT 5.0
Wifi 802.11ac 802.11ac
Ethernet Adapter included Optional adapter
Dolby Atmos Yes Yes
Dolby Vision No YES
HDR 10 Yes Yes
CEC Control Yes No
Amazon Alexa Built in Via voice remote
Internal speaker Yes No

The Fire TV Stick 4K and 2019 Fire TV Cube now both support Dolby Vision for HDR. (That's high dynamic range, and it basically makes your video look better. Colors are brighter and pop more, and darks are darker.)

The Fire TV Cube's differentiator is that it's got a microphone array built in, for hands-free access to Amazon Alexa. (The Fire TV Stick 4K also talks to Alexa, but first you'll have to hit a button on its remote control.) That's a big deal if you just have to have Fire TV and Alexa built into the same box. But it comes at a pretty big premium — $119, versus $49 for the Fire TV Stick 4K. And, in fact, you can bundle a Fire TV Stick 4K with a current-generation Amazon Echo Dot for just $79, making the Fire TV Cube that much of a tougher sell.

Both devices are shipping with the new-and-improved Fire TV voice remote.

The right choice

Fire TV Stick 4K

Get this if you don't like wasting money

The Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K has all the features and specs that you need, and none of the stuff you don't. And it still costs less than $50.

More expensive, less good

Fire TV Cube

If you just have to have hands-free Alexa

The Fire TV Cube is more than twice as expensive, but has hands-free Alexa built in. But you can do better for less with an Echo Dot.

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