New Amazon Fire Stick Has Alexa Baked In
Amazon has really stepped up their game with their newly announced Fire Stick. The new version boasts a pretty significant bump in horsepower and now has Amazon’s voice assistant built right in. The best part? The new streaming stick is still only right around 40 bucks just like the older version.
The processor has been upgraded from a dual core to a quad core 1.3 GHz MediaTek ARM processor and a Mali450 MP4 GPU. Amazon also gave the WiFi a boost by upgrading it to 802.11ac as opposed to the 802.11n of it’s predecessor which should make streaming over a wireless connection a little less painful. The unit also features 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage and Bluetooth 4.1 support for connecting a multitude of devices like game controllers and headphones.
As nice as the upgraded hardware is, the real highlight of the system is the new Alexa voice remote. No doubt influenced by some of its competitors adopting similar voice control schemes like the Roku 3 and Comcast’s X1, the new Fire Stick allows you to search for things to watch with the same virtual assistant technology built into it’s Amazon Echo devices. The difference is that you must press the voice button on the remote unlike the “Always Listening” feature of the Echo. Considering the fact that this stick is going to be plugged into a television near the speakers it wouldn’t be wise to have the voice search feature activating every time a character on TV said something that remotely sounds like “Alexa.”
Unlike the new Fire Stick’s big brother, the Amazon Fire TV, this unit does not support 4K. If you don’t have a 4K television this is no problem, but if you do and want to take advantage of the Ultra HD content from places like Netflix , Youtube, Amazon Prime Video and Hulu you are going to have to shell out a few more dollars for the beefier version. Despite this limitation, the Fire Stick is an excellent choice for most home theater systems. The access to tons of streaming content alone is worth the price of admission and the addition of Alexa makes it that much more tempting.
The holidays are coming sooner than you think, and the Fire Stick is a fairly inexpensive option for the movie and TV buff on your shopping list. It can be pre-ordered from Amazon right now and is expected to start shipping on October 2oth. Get yours while you can with the link below!