Media-streaming HDMI dongles might not be the A-listers in the world of TV gadgetry, but that’s probably because they are currently few and far between, with set-top boxes hogging the spotlight. That might change a year down the line, as more people are attracted by the lower price point of the genre. Those thinking of investing in the tech right now, though, are faced with a dilemma.
The market currently seems to be led by Google’s second-gen Chromecast, Amazon’s Fire TV Stick and the Roku Streaming Stick, with prices ranging from a meager $35 to a relatively close $50. To help you make an informed decision, we’ve decided to highlight the benefits of Amazon’s offering over the seemingly more popular Chromecast line. The price difference ($40 for Fire TV Stick vs $35 for Chromecast) isn’t massive, so if any of the following tickles your fancy, you might as well shell out a couple extra bucks for them.
So, without further ado, here are ten reasons the Amazon Fire TV Stick (2015) is better than Google’s Chromecast (2015).
The Fire TV Stick has Amazon Appstore built into it, allowing users to install native Android apps right on the device. These include the likes of Plex, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, HBO Now, ES File Explorer File Manager, among many others.
Sideload Android Apps
It runs Fire OS, which is basically a forked version of Android. What this means is that you can install just about any Android app natively on it by sideloading its .APK file. Yup, just about any Android app!
Being Android-powered also means the little thing can run Kodi, the popular media suite that’ll give you access to movies, TV shows, live TV and more. A cord-cutter’s dream!
Bluetooth Headphone Support
If you have to keep the noise down, or just prefer the binaural experience of your bluetooth headphones, wireless audio becomes more of a need than a want. With the latest software update, Fire TV Stick now supports connecting to bluetooth headphones so that you can enjoy the audio from movies, tv shows, games wirelessly!
Apple’s AirPlay Functionality
You can add Apple’s AirPlay functionality to it for wireless media streaming and mirroring from iOS and OS X devices. The solution will set you back an extra $4.99, but it’s money worth spending if you’re heavily invested in Apple’s mobile or desktop platform. By adding this, you will basically turn Fire TV Stick into a full-fledged portable Apple TV.
You can learn how to do that in this guide: Add AirPlay To $39 Amazon Fire TV Stick, Here’s How.
Google’s Cast Functionality
If it allows AirPlay, it must have a solution for Google’s Cast as well, right? It does, and by doing this, your Fire TV Stick can basically do everything that a Chromecast can do, and then so much more!
Here’s how you can add Google Cast for Android and iOS devices to Fire TV Stick: Add Google Cast Functionality To Amazon Fire TV, Here’s How.
The Fire TV Stick comes packed with its own bluetooth-based remote control. This, along with the built-in Appstore makes Amazon’s dongle a standalone set-top box like device as apposed to the Chromecast, which is more of a media conduit. There are two available variants of the remote control, though. The one that comes with the cheaper, $39 Fire TV Stick allows basic navigation, search and playback control.
Full-Feature ‘Alexa’ Voice Assistant
If you shell out a few extra bucks for the $49 bundle, you get the Voice Remote, which lets you control the device using the power of Amazon’s full-featured Alexa voice assistant.
Wireless Game Controller And Gaming Support
For those who really like to get into their casual gaming sessions, the Fire TV Stick offers support for compatible bluetooth-based wireless game controllers, like Amazon’s own Fire TV Game Controller. You can play games like Crossy Road and others available for Android devices.
Amazon’s dongle one-ups Google’s offering in the technical specifications department as well, with 1GB of RAM versus the latter’s 512MB memory, 8GB internal storage trumping the competition’s 256MB and Bluetooth 3.0, opposed to a complete lack of Bluetooth support on the Chromecast.
There you have it. If the above points have you convinced the Fire TV Stick is the better option for your media-streaming needs, you can head on over to the links below to make your purchase.
Buy: Amazon Fire TV Stick with Standard Remote: $39.99
Buy: Amazon Fire TV Stick with Voice Remote: $49.99
Buy: Amazon Fire TV Game Controller: $49.99