Amazon has announced a slew of new products and software updates including a new line of Amazon Echo smart devices, updates to its virtual assistant Alexa, and an updated Amazon Fire TV experience. The company has, after four years, updated its Fire TV stick, along with a fresh redesign of the Fire TV OS. The updated Fire TV OS will include new features like video call support and a personalised home page. Apart from that, the company has also announced a new, more affordable Fire TV Stick, the Fire TV Stick Lite. The new Fire TV Stick devices will go one sale in India on October 15 and are already up for pre-orders. The new Amazon Fire TV Stick has been priced at Rs. 3,999, and the more affordable Fire TV Stick Lite has been priced at Rs. 2,999.
Fire TV Stick and Fire TV Stick Lite: What’s New
The core design of the new Fire TV Stick remains the same as it has been for years. The device continues to connect to your TV via HDMI and is powered through a wall adapter. The remote for the Fire TV Stick also carries the same design as the previous generation and can also control the power and volume for most televisions. The new Fire TV stick is powered by a 1.7GHz quad-core processor which is claimed to offer a 50-percent faster performance than the previous Fire TV Stick. It also supports HDR compatibility and Dolby Atmos support and has 8GB of internal storage. It will also use 50 percent less power than the previous generation, Amazon said.
The Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite is a very similar product. Priced at Rs. 2,999, it looks and performs similarly as the larger variant. The Fire TV Stick Lite also supports streaming at up to full-HD resolution at 60fps frame rate, HDR support, and 8GB of internal storage. The key difference between the Amazon Fire TV Stick and the Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite is that the ‘Lite’ variant can not control the television and Dolby Audio is only available via HDMI pass-through.
Amazon Fire TV OS: What’s New
The updated Fire TV interface has a personalised home page, allowing users to get to their favourite content quicker. It will also support user profiles for up to six people. The Fire TV’s navigation has also been given an afterthought. The old rows of tabs at the top of the screen is now gone. Instead, navigation has moved down and now includes tabs for Home, Find, Live, and Library, alongside a row of your apps.
Apart from that, Alexa won’t take over the full screen when activated. Further, Amazon also introduced video calling on Fire TV. The new feature allows your TV to display video calls. Initially, this will work with by connecting an external USB webcam with the Fire TV Cube. Amazon is also planning to add Zoom to Fire TV. According to reports, introducing video calls on Fire TV could be a move from Amazon to be able to introduce an Amazon Fire TV television with a built-in webcam in the near future.