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Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max vs. Fire TV Stick 4K: Should you upgrade?

Amazon Fire Tv Stick 4k Max Interface Colorful Background
Amazon Fire Tv Stick 4k Max Interface Colorful Background (Image credit: Amazon)

Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max

Amazon Fire Tv Stick 4k Max Cropped Render

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Amazon's latest and greatest Fire TV Stick checks all of the boxes you could want, and then some.

Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max

Max everything

Live View picture-in-picture
Faster processor
Alexa Voice Remote included
HDR10 and HDR10+ certified
Wi-Fi 6 support
More expensive
Not too many extra features

Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K

Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K

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Although it's not on top of the mountain anymore, the Fire TV Stick 4K is still the best option for many.

Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K

Paved the way

4K HDR and HDR10+ playback
Alexa Voice Remote included
Offers most of the same features at a lower price
Same great design
No Wi-Fi 6 support
Unable to use Live View picture-in-picture

It's easy to want to see how the Fire TV Stick 4K Max vs. Fire TV Stick 4K stack up against one another as they duke it out for the title of the best Fire TV Stick. But are there enough improvements with Amazon's latest model to warrant an upgrade? Or should you stick with the tried and true TV Stick 4K?

Fire TV Stick 4K Max vs. Fire TV Stick 4K: Is the Max enough?

Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K

Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: Android Central)

On the face, there doesn't seem to be much difference between the new Fire TV Stick 4K Max vs. Fire TV Stick 4K. Both offer the same great design that just plugs right into an HDMI port on the back of your TV. Amazon includes an Alexa Voice Remote in the box for both models. However, it's here where we start to see some of the differences.

In terms of performance, Amazon integrated a slightly-more powerful processor, with clock speeds up to 1.8GHz compared to the 1.7GHz found on the standard 4K model. To go along with the processor bump, the Fire TV Stick 4K Max also includes an extra 0.5GB of RAM, bringing the total up to 2GB. This is just slightly more than the 1.5GB of RAM included with the TV Stick 4K.

Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K MaxAmazon Fire TV Stick 4K
Dimensions99 x 30 x 14mm99 x 30 x 14mm
ProcessorMediaTek MT8696MediaTek MT8695
RAM2GB1.5GB
Storage8GB8GB
Picture QualityUp to 4K UHD (3840x2160)Up to 4K UHD (3840x2160)
Dolby VisionYesYes
HDRHDR10 / HDR10+ / HLGHDR10 / HDR10+ / HLG
Remote3rd-Gen Alexa Voice Remote2nd-Gen Alexa Voice Remote
Wi-Fi 6YesNo
Live View Picture-in-PictureYesNo

Going back to the remote for a moment, with the Fire TV Stick 4K Max, Amazon has included an all-new Alexa Voice Remote. This option includes shortcut buttons for Prime Video, Netflix, Disney+, and Hulu, along with a Blue Alexa button at the top and a Live TV button. Meanwhile, the standard Fire TV Stick 4K makes use of the 2nd-Gen Alexa Voice Remote, which lacks all of the extra shortcut buttons but still provides quick access to Alexa.

Amazon Fire Tv Stick 4k Max Alexa Voice Remote

Source: Amazon (Image credit: Source: Amazon)

As for that Live TV button, the Fire TV Stick 4K Max reaches its maximum potential when used with one of the best Alexa-compatible security cameras. Live View Picture-in-Picture makes it possible to see who's at the door without interrupting your favorite movie or show. Amazon has also confirmed that it plans to bring the ability to wireless connect the best Alexa speakers with the Fire TV 4K Max for a truly-immersive Amazon Alexa experience.

We aren't sure what the potential limitations could be for Amazon not to bring some of these features to the Fire TV 4K. But as it currently stands, these features will not be arriving for the last-generation Fire TV Stick. It's a shame, too, because these are some pretty great additional features to have, provided that you are using a smart home security camera.

Fire TV Stick 4K Max vs. Fire TV Stick 4K: Making a choice

Fire TV Stick 4k

Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: Android Central)

The biggest thing that the Fire TV Stick 4K has in its favor is its price. Outside the holiday season, Amazon's last-generation streaming stick is much less expensive than its Max counterpart. But considering how aggressive Amazon is with dropping the price for its various devices, it's a tough call. However, if you don't have any Alexa-compatible security cameras and don't plan to get any, then the Fire TV Stick 4K will handle everything you need.

But if you want the best Fire TV Stick and one of the best streaming devices of the year, then the obvious choice is the Fire TV Stick 4K Max. It offers faster performance, more RAM, more features, and the 3rd-Generation Alexa Voice Remote. Not to mention the upcoming ability to wirelessly pair your Echo speakers to the streaming stick for a better audio experience.

Andrew Myrick
Andrew Myrick

Andrew Myrick is a Senior Editor at Android Central. He enjoys everything to do with technology, including tablets, smartphones, and everything in between. Perhaps his favorite past-time is collecting different headphones, even if they all end up in the same drawer.