Technology has given the world convenience in every aspect of life, and TV streaming has become no exception to this phenomenon. You’ve probably heard the names of Chromecast and Amazon Fire TV Stick, but this article is going to take a close, hard look at the key differences between the two that you should know if you’re planning to buy either of those. First, let’s get into both of the devices’ introduction, so the average user knows what we’re talking about.
Google Chromecast vs. Amazon Fire TV Stick
Chromecast is a small streaming device that’s plugged onto your television through the HDMI cable, that it’s generally equipped with. It may require an external power source, given the version of Chromecast you’re using, but all in all, it’s a hassle-free gadget that delivers beyond expectations. It boasts a minimal design and offers an easy-going user experience that’s genuinely simplistic.
It’s highly convenient in this regard that it can be controlled through your very own smartphone. It gives you total access and provides you all the options in the comfort of a mobile’s interface. It uses a feature called “Casting,” that allows your TV to seamlessly stream shows, movies, cartoons, and everything else that a streaming service can offer. It supports popular names like Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, Pandora, and a lot more.
Another compelling feature of Chromecast is its functionality to allow computer tabs to be cast on your TV. Pretty nifty, if you ask us. You can smoothly cast your Chrome browser tabs on your TV if you wish to do so while opening up a world of possibilities. It’s cheap, easy to set up, and brings exceptional value for each penny spent. Moreover, Chromecast requires zero maintenance. In truth, it’s merely a plug-and-play device offering you a ton of workability.
Amazon Fire TV Stick
Make your not-so-smart TV an Einstien descendant with this smart streaming device from Amazon. It’s similar to Google’s Chromecast in many regards, but there are key differences which we’ll get to later on in the article. It’s connected to your TV via the same HDMI port and is operated with a remote. Firestick is capable of connecting with other elements of a smart home, adding voice functionality, and even more convenience.
The shape of the Firestick is similar to that of a USB but only bigger. It’s a fully-featured streaming device that lets you download streaming apps for free. However, for the ones that offer paid subscriptions, you’ll have to purchase them separately. All in all, Amazon Firestick offers a great viewing experience with a terrific UI that’s bound to set things straight for you.
Amazon’s high-performing media streaming device is a worthy contender for ranking amongst the top places. Some call it the small-scale version of the Amazon TV Box, and while it does not compete, in any way, to triple-A gaming consoles, it offers its fair share of gaming as well. With the Firestick, you can meticulously search for your favorite shows, movies, apps, and even games with voice input, allowing even greater practicality at unflinching ease.
So, now that we’ve outlined the basics of the two devices, let’s get down to highlighting the significant differences that could ultimately affect your decision while purchasing.
When it comes to price, there’s no obvious winner here since Amazon Fire TV Stick and Chromecast both have a price tag that doesn’t lurk far from each other.
The 2019 model of the Amazon Fire Stick TV costs around $39.99, where the remote tags along with the package as well. On the other hand, you have Chromecast costing just $35. As mentioned before, both the devices are affordable, with the Firestick being the most inexpensive Amazon product. It is due to this reason that you’ll find either one of these two almost every households where there’s a TV.
Specifications and Performance
Moving on to the specs and performance part, this is where the differences genuinely start becoming prominent.
To put it simply first and foremost, the Amazon Fire TV Stick takes the lead here, outclassing Chromecast with its powerful specs. It proudly features a dual-core CPU and has 1 GB of RAM, which is whoppingly big for a miniature streaming device. Also, the RAM is double that of Chromecast. To talk about the storage, Firestick, yet again, outnumbers its rival with 8GB of ROM- 32 times more than Chromecast’s 256MB of storage.
Truth be told, both the gadgets perform exceedingly well while latched on to television. Firestick splashes out crisp, vivid colors with a beautiful display. Meanwhile, Chromecast has more dynamism, and natural colors are an obvious plus point using this wonder from Google. Another difference is that Firestick supports Dolby Digital Plus 7.1, while Chromecast maxes out at Dolby Digital Plus 5.1. Nevertheless, speech is heard, and there isn’t much of an appalling difference between the two in this regard. Although, you are bound to experience some lip-sync mess-ups with Chromecast once in a while.
Design-wise, Firestick, and Chromecast are heavily in contrast with each other. However, this is barely an important factor since both of them will rest behind your television, entirely out of the view. But, for difference’s sake, we’re going to do this anyway.
The Amazon Fire TV Stick is a sleek, rectangularly shaped device that’s usually manufactured in black color. You can’t help but observe a dimpled texture on Firestick, as one proceeds to plug it on their TV. In other news, we have Chromecast coming in hot with a disk shape that contains the hallmark of the Chrome symbol. It’s comparatively bigger, and consists of a USB cord, as Firestick does. However, it might be worth mentioning that the original Chromecast back when it came out, was also shaped like a USB, just like Firestick. It was only after a considerable amount of time that it received a complete overhaul.
Another section where Firestick comes out on top is the user-interface of the device. Why is that? Because Chromecast doesn’t even have one.
You read that right. Everything that needs to be controlled on Chromecast is done directly from your smartphone. There’s not a need for any interface since the mobile operation is smooth and accurately fast. Some might desire a good interface with installable apps and other functions, but you’re going to have to switch the Chromecast with the Firestick if that’s the case.
Amazon’s budget-friendly gadget takes pride in its traditional approach to television viewing and features a fully operational user-interface to navigate through. The process is carried out with Firestick’s remote- a course of action many people prefer.
You jump from app to app, and movie to movie comfortably with Firestick’s highly functional, and on-point interface. Amazon’s ASAP feature also comes in play here, lending even more convenience to the Fire TV Stick. What it does is very impressive. It guesses the show or movie you’re about to watch, and pre-buffers it to cut download times, and start them almost instantaneously. This level of quality gets our nod of approval.
Functionality and Content
When it comes to functionality, you can notice that the Fire TV Stick comes with a remote called “Alexa voice remote.” This is a highly intuitive remote controller that sifts through the interface on your television and gives you a more profound experience. There’s no remote with the Chromecast, and several would dislike that.
However, one user reported that Firestick’s Alexa remote also becomes a liability in turn. He meant to say that you cannot possibly hope to control the Fire TV Stick’s interface if you’ve got a broken remote. There’s no way to calibrate settings, and you’re the only option is to order a new remote that costs around $30, almost the equivalent of a full-fledge Chromecast! While people can tolerate digital tapping to use their device, they certainly won’t be happy if they’ve got to get a new, costly remote to continue their TV viewing.
Apart from that, let’s delve into the content side of the battle. Amazon Fire TV Stick is heavily focused on displaying, promoting, and showcasing content from Amazon, with its prime concentration on Amazon Prime. On the contrary, Chromecast streams and plays stuff from Google Play, and doesn’t feature Amazon’s video service by any means. However, if you have an Amazon Prime subscription, you’re going to have a good time with Firestick, but beware of how you’ll be missing out on content from Google. The same applies to the opposite.
Amazon Fire TV Stick and Google Chromecast, both are quite efficient streaming devices, each with their pros and cons. In an ideal situation, we’d recommend owning both of them to get the best of both worlds. Even so, when it comes to features, speed, and power, the Amazon Fire TV Stick is our definite pick when faced off against Chromecast. It’s a more potent gadget and offers compelling features undeniably.
Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean that the Chromecast isn’t capable. The Chrome-powered device packs a quality standard that may include the best Firestick in some cases. Ultimately, it’d be a shame not to say that it all boils down to personal preference. Therefore, we advise giving each device a go to see which one works better for you.