In the battle for claiming the role of best streaming device for your home, the Fire TV Stick (3rd Gen 2021) vs. Fire TV Stick 4K are pretty similar. Both serve their roles, depending on what you are trying to achieve with your video playback and streaming needs. However, whether you want 4K playback or Dolby Vision support will sway you. On September 9, 2021, Amazon debuted the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max with an improved remote, faster processor, and support for Wi-Fi 6.
Amazon Fire TV Stick (3rd Gen 2021) vs. Fire TV Stick 4K: What's similar?
When looking at these two streaming sticks head-to-head, it can be extremely tough to tell them apart outside of the packaging. Dimensionally, the Fire TV Stick (3rd Gen) and Fire TV Stick 4K are similar, with the latter being just a bit longer. What you find in the box is the same, with the Micro-USB charging cable, Amazon wall wart, HDMI extender, and additional paperwork, along with the Stick itself.
|Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K||Amazon Fire TV Stick (3rd Gen 2021)|
|Dimensions||99 mm x 30 mm x 14 mm||86 x 30 x 13 mm|
|Processor||Quad Core 1.7GHz||Quad Core 1.7GHz|
|Picture Quality||Up to 4K Ultra HD with support for HDR, HDR 10, HDR10+, HLG, Dolby Vision||Up to 1080p Full HD with support for HDR, HDR 10, HDR10+, HLG|
|Remote||Alexa Voice Remote||Alexa Voice Remote with TV controls|
Both of these include Amazon's updated Voice Remote, which launched in 2019 and can be used to control your whole TV in addition to the Fire TV. You'll also find 8GB of storage in both, which can't be expanded upon with microSD or USB storage. With the new Fire TV Stick (3rd Gen 2021), the processor has been updated from previous iterations, bringing along with it the same Quad-Core CPU clocked at 1.7Ghz. Now both have the same processor as well! The Fire TV Stick (3rd Gen 2021)'s Alexa Voice Remote now includes TV CEC controls, as well as shortcuts to several of your favorite streaming apps.
Amazon Fire TV Stick (3rd Gen 2021) vs. Fire TV Stick 4K: It comes down to 4K
We've already highlighted the similarities between the Fire TV Stick (3rd Gen 2021n) vs. Fire TV Stick 4K. Sure, the 4K version is slightly larger and has just a little bit more RAM packed in, but that's really not much to write home about.
When trying to decide whether you should upgrade, it's actually a few pretty simple questions. Do you need or want 4K video playback? Or are you okay with just having 1080p video? Is 4K worth an extra $10 or so?
Sales from retailers notwithstanding, there's typically a $10 difference between the Fire TV Stick (3rd Gen 2021) and Fire TV Stick 4K. That's really not a lot, especially considering that an extra $10 unlocks 4K playback, Dolby Vision support, and a bit more RAM. So we would say that the extra $10 is worth it unless your existing television is just a spare or doesn't even have 4K playback available.
Those who just want to turn a dumb TV into a smart one will be better off with keeping Amazon's third-generation Fire TV Stick. You still get an Alexa Voice Remote, which can double as your television's remote, along with access to all of the same applications and services when compared to the Fire TV Stick 4K. The latest version Alexa Voice Remote also includes shortcut buttons to your favorite streaming services.
Meanwhile, if you're somebody who wants to enjoy their videos in the best quality possible, the Fire TV Stick 4K is the way to go. There is more RAM under the hood, which will provide slightly better speeds when trying to load apps and videos. Plus, there's also support for various HDR certifications to go along with Dolby Vision and Dolby Audio. Truth be told, both of these are great, but there's a reason why the Fire TV Stick 4K is the best Fire TV Stick on the market.
Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K
This is the one to get
The Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K is the way to go if you want the best that Amazon has to offer. You get 4K playback, Dolby Vision, and Dolby Audio, all without paying a lot extra out of your pocket.
Amazon Fire TV Stick (3rd Gen) with Alexa Voice Remote (includes TV controls) HD streaming device
Get this if you don't want 4K
The Fire TV Stick (3rd Gen) is great for just about everyone, as it can act as an entry way for you to get into the world of Alexa.
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