Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K vs. Google Chromecast with Google TV: Which should you buy?

For many, the battle for the top TV streaming dongle will come down to pitting the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K vs. the Chromecast with Google TV. Both devices have push-button access to their voice assistants and support 4K UHD video and Dolby Atmos audio, as well as a $50 price tag outside of sales. 

Both of these streaming dongles are also compact enough to sit unseen behind your TV and are an excellent choice for upgrading an old or slow TV with a modern smart interface. So which is the better option for you? That's what we're here to help you decide.

Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K vs. Chromecast with Google TV: Spec Showdown

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Chromecast with Google TV white

(Image credit: Joe Maring / Android Central)

It took Amazon about three years to release an updated version of the Fire TV Stick 4K, landing in October 2021. This gives it a bit of an edge in the "newness" category when compared to the Chromecast with Google TV. But you can see from the specs that there are a lot of similarities between the two.

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Header Cell - Column 0 Chromecast with Google TVAmazon Fire TV Stick 4K
Year releasedOctober 2020October 2021
Dimensions4.7 x 1.6 x 0.5 inches6.4 x 2.4 x .5 inches
OSAndroid TV OSFire OS
Voice remoteYesYes
Voice assistantGoogle AssistantAmazon Alexa
Supports 4KYesYes
Video formatsDolby Vision, HDR10, HDR10+Dolby Vision, HDR10, HDR10+
Audio formatsDolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Atmos (pass-through)Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Atmos
CEC controlYesYes
Smart home controlsYesYes

Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K vs. Chromecast with Google TV: Feature Parity?

Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max Lifestyle

(Image credit: Andrew Myrick / Android Central)

Honestly, this is one of the tougher comparisons we've had to do in a while. Both devices are really good at what they do — providing a user-friendly interface to access thousands of apps and streaming video content at the push of a button, or the prompt of your voice. Which one you choose largely depends on whether you use Amazon's Alexa or Google Assistant around your home. However, there are some subtle differences to point out if you're not in a relationship with a voice assistant at the moment.

As you can see from the spec table above, both devices have basically the same video and audio playback abilities, and both have similar amounts of storage and RAM. Both have user-friendly remotes with voice assistant access at the push of a button. However, one could argue that even though the Chromecast remote looks better, the Alexa Voice Remote is more functional because it has dedicated rewind and fast-forward controls and two more app shortcut buttons.

Both devices are really good at what they do — providing a user-friendly interface to access thousands of apps and streaming video content at the push of a button.

The Chromecast with Google TV as a whole certainly looks more impressive in its three fun colors — Snow (white), Sunrise (pink), and Sky (blue) — but really, you'll only see that on the remote since the dongle will be plugged in behind your TV. Still, it's a nicer look on your coffee table than the much more generic-looking remote from Amazon

The biggest selling point for the new Chromecast is, in fact, its Google TV user interface. Previous Chromecast devices did not come with dedicated remotes or any sort of user interface. Previously, Google offered streamed video games with a service called Stadia that has since been discontinued.

 The For You and Watchlist personalization features are welcome additions. And recently, Google also finally brought custom user profiles, so you won't have to worry about your recommendations getting mixed up with everyone else in the house.

Chromecast with Google TV HD remote on table

(Image credit: Andrew Myrick / Android Central)

One of our writers who ran out and got a Chromecast with Google TV the day it was released said that he was overall very pleased with the device, but that he had some issues with the CEC controls when trying to turn his TV on or off with the Chromecast remote. Not sure if this is a problem with his TV or the Chromecast, but I thought it worth mentioning.

We have had the Fire TV Stick 4K as our top Fire TV stick and top Fire TV device for over a year now, and it still compares favorably with the best devices from the likes of Apple, Google, and even Roku. Amazon has completely overhauled its lineup of Fire TV devices over the past few years. 

Along with introducing the Fire TV Stick Lite and new Fire TV Stick, Amazon announced an upgraded version of the Fire TV Stick 4K in 2021. There aren't too many differences between this one and the original, but an upgraded remote and smoother performance make for a better overall experience.

Amazon Luna controller in hand

(Image credit: Android Central)

Amazon continues attempting to improve viewer recommendations and the overall user experience. For instance, if you're a gamer with a fast internet connection with low latency, Amazon's Luna gaming service will also work with the Fire TV Stick 4K. While its own Luna Controller is recommended for the most responsive experience, you can also use a PlayStation 4 or Xbox One controller you've already got.

Not only that but a handful of games are included with a Prime subscription with more games available to purchase or through subscriptions like Luna+ or Ubisoft+. Twitch streaming is also made easy with just a few clicks and can use your phone for chat and your face camera. Streaming via Luna also has the added benefit of not requiring a streaming PC or fact upload speeds for high-quality video.

Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K vs. Chromecast with Google TV: Which should you buy?

Amazon Fire TV Home Screen

(Image credit: Android Central)

When we compare devices with separate ecosystems unless there's a glaring discrepancy we tend to recommend that you just stay in whatever ecosystem you are already in or are most comfortable in. While that recommendation sort of holds true here, it's not a very strong one.

We really like the new Google TV interface and some of its unique features, plus the colors are a nice touch. But what really puts it on top for us here is how you can access pretty much all of the same media and services on the Chromecast as you can on the Fire TV, including Prime Video and Amazon Music. Plus, the photo slideshows are much better on Google Photos than they are on Amazon Photos.

Chromecast With Google Tv Aukey Usb C Hub

(Image credit: Android Central)

The one real frustration that you might come across with either of these devices are the storage limitations. Both Amazon and Google opted to use 8GB of storage, which could be fine for most, but once you start downloading a bunch of different apps, you might find yourself butting up against the limit. There are workarounds, some of which involve using external USB-C hubs, but it's a frustrating situation considering the sheer number of streaming services that are available.

Whichever device you choose, you're going to get a fantastic streaming dongle with an excellent voice remote. And there's nothing wrong with that.

Jeramy Johnson

Jeramy was the Editor-in-Chief of Android Central. He is proud to help *Keep Austin Weird* and loves hiking in the hill country of central Texas with a breakfast taco in each hand.

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