Amazon gave a few tricks to the new edition of the Fire TV Stick. Some of these are useful, but it is better to leave a function switched off. The review reveals which it is.
The new Amazon Fire TV Stick with voice remote control is completely the old one: It brings practically all relevant streaming services to every television with an HDMI connection. The operation works quickly, Alexa helps at the push of a button in the search for the desired films and series.
- Large selection of apps
- Easy handling
- Image and sound quality flawless
- HDR has more disadvantages than advantages
According to its statements, Amazon has sold 100 million Fire TVs so far. If you don’t have one yet, but want to get films and series from media libraries and streaming providers onto your television easily and very cheaply, you should take a look at the new Amazon Fire TV Stick.
Almost all the extras and innovations compared to earlier Fire TV sticks are the same. Techloging explains what the new Amazon Fire TV Stick is in the review.
Amazon Fire TV Stick 2020 is just the same
At its core, the Amazon Fire TV Stick has stayed the same, and that’s a good thing: The small plastic bar is small enough to disappear behind the television. If connections that are particularly close together or a wall bracket leaves too little space for the stick, the HDMI cable supplied can be inserted in between.
The stick dangles from it behind the television, which always fits. Sometimes imitation products such as the Xiaomi Mi TV Stick fail because of such little things. The setup is self-explanatory via instructions on the TV screen. A (free) Amazon account is required to install and use apps on the stick. A Prime Video subscription, however, is not required. The supplied remote control is from previous Fire TVs known and lies wonderfully in the hand. A microphone is built-in for voice control and the button below enables it. In addition to the obligatory menu and film control buttons, there are also buttons for volume and mute on the remote control – everything is great.
In addition to the remote control (and batteries), the package of the new Amazon Fire TV Stick also includes a power supply unit and USB cable. The stick can also be supplied with power from the television via a USB connection.
Fire TV Stick now with Dolby Atmos
According to Amazon, the built-in quad-core processor in the new Fire TV Stick should be 50 percent more powerful than in the previous stick. But it already reacted quite quickly to remote control inputs, and when rummaging through the streaming offers in the evening, hardly anyone will notice a difference.
With high-quality televisions and sound systems, however, the difference is visible and audible: the new stick can not only output stereo sound and surround (5.1) via HDMI like its predecessors, but also Dolby Atmos. This is a relatively new sound process that also includes sound effects from above.
Much more important, however: This means that gripping spatial sound impressions are possible even without box arsenals scattered around the audience – good soundbars with Dolby Atmos are enough. Corresponding films and series can be found more and more frequently on the major streaming platforms. From Amazon Prime Video to Netflix, Disney, and Apple TV to Netzkino, all major providers are represented with their apps, as are the media libraries of the TV stations.
At the time of the review, the new Amazon Fire TV Stick showed the well-known Amazon menu. At the end of the year, Amazon wants to simplify that.
If in doubt, switch off HDR on the new Fire TV Stick
The second technical innovation is called HDR. That stands for high dynamic range. This means more colors and a greater range of contrast, HDR films can be more colorful and brighter with finer nuances. So far, HDR has mostly come in connection with ultra-high resolution (UHD or 4K, 3840×2160 pixels), for example with streaming services such as Amazon Prime Video and Netflix.
The new Fire TV Stick, on the other hand, leaves the resolution at Full HD (1920×1080) but also masters HDR. However, a review with the corresponding content from Amazon Prime Video occasionally led to problems: HDR images appeared partially overexposed in bright areas. Then gradients also showed ugly gradations (“banding”).
Did the same film excerpt in the TV’s Amazon app run as a cross-check (in the Panasonic HZW2004with OLED screen), the picture looked flawless and stunning? Therefore, it is better to turn off HDR on the new Fire TV Stick (Settings – Sound and Screen – Dynamic Range Settings – Disable HDR). The new Fire TV delivered flawless full HD quality in the review. In the vast majority of cases, the Fire TV Stick should be used on Full HD televisions that do not support HDR either.
Review conclusion: Amazon Fire TV Stick 2020
Despite all the criticism, the new Fire TV Stick delivers great performance for its price. It brings practically all relevant streaming services to every television with an HDMI connection.
The operation works quickly, Alexa helps at the push of a button in the search for the desired films and series. Also, it reacts sufficiently quickly to remote control inputs. In addition to stereo and 5.1 surround sound, the new stick also outputs sound in Dolby Atmos 3D format. This is a great thing for owners of suitable televisions, soundbars, or AV receivers. That being said, owners of older Fire TVs don’t need to upgrade to the new one.
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