Amazon on Wednesday introduced its new Fire TV Stick 4K, a media streaming device. The new dongle is said to be 80% faster than its predecessor and brings support for new HDR modes as well as Dolby Atmos audio. The Fire TV Stick 4K will ship with Amazon’s new Alexa Voice Remote that has more buttons and is more versatile than its predecessor.

The new Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K is slightly bigger than its predecessor launched in 2016 and is based on MediaTek’s MT8695 platform, which is specifically designed for modern media streaming dongles with a variety of smart capabilities, such as voice commands. The chip itself is made using a 12 nm process technology, it is based on four unknown general-purpose cores running at 1.7 GHz as well as Imagination’s PowerVR GE8300 GPU outfitted with a brand-new media decoding engine, and display pipeline. The SoC is accompanied by MediaTek’s MT7668 communication chip that brings support for 802.11ac with 2×2 MU-MIMO Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.0.

When it comes to media processing capabilities, the Fire TV Stick 4K can decode H.265 Main 10 Profile Level 5.1 with HDR10, HDR10+, HLG, and Dolby Vision, H.264 High Profile Level 4, as well as VP9 (presumably we are dealing with Profile 2 with HDR10 here). Meanwhile, it is noteworthy that unlike the 2017 Fire TV STB, the new dongle also fully supports MPEG2, MPEG4, and VP8 for web videos with an up to 1080p at 30 fps resolution. In addition, the Fire TV Stick 4K supports Dolby Atmos (EC3_JOC), Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, MP3, FLAC, and other audio formats.

The addition of HDR10+, HLG, and Dolby Vision support are the key enchantments that the Fire TV Stick 4K has over all other Fire TV-branded devices (both dongles and STBs). In fact, the Fire TV Stick 4K is currently the industry’s first dongle to support the full combination of HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision, and Dolby Atmos. There are Blu-ray players that support the combination, but they are naturally considerably more expensive. One thing to keep in mind though is that far not all modern Ultra-HD TVs support said technologies.

When it comes to connectivity, the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K naturally has an HDMI 2.0b output as well as a micro-USB 2.0 port for power and/or optional Amazon Ethernet adapter. As noted above, the device also supports 2×2 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.0.

The new Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K will come bundled with the company’s all-new Alexa Voice Remote outfitted with power, volume and mute buttons, and is compatible not only with the dongle itself, but also with select AV equipment. Obviously, as the brand name suggests, the Alexa Voice Remote can also be used to search for content using your voice as well as for a variety of Alexa-enabled services, and devices (e.g., smart home appliances, etc.).

Amazon’s Fire TV Stick 4K will start shipping on October 31 in the U.S. and Canada. Right now, it can be pre-ordered for $49.99. The device will be available starting November 14 in Germany, India, and the U.K. Later this year the product will also hit Japan.

The Alexa Voice Remote can be acquired separately for $29.99 in North America. Its availability dates are the same as availability dates of the Fire TV Stick 4K.

Amazon Fire TV Specifications
  Fire TV
Stick 2016
Fire TV
Fire TV
Fire TV
Fire TV Stick 4K (2018)
SoC Model MediaTek MT8127D Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 APQ8064 MediaTek MT8173C Amlogic
CPU 4×Cortex-A7
at 1.3 GHz
4×Krait 300
at 1.7GHz
at 1989 MHz
2×Cortex A53
at 1573 MHz
at 1.5 GHz
at 1.7 GHz
GPU Mali450 MP4 Adreno 320
at 400 MHz
PowerVR GX6250 at 600MHz Mali450 MP3 PowerVR
RAM 1 GB 2 GB 1.5 GB
Storage 8 GB 8 GB + microSD 8 GB
Wi-Fi 802.11ac 2×2 MIMO 802.11n 2×2 MIMO 802.11ac 2×2 MIMO
Bluetooth BT 4.1 BT 5.0
Ethernet optional 100 Mbps optional optional
USB none USB 2.0 Type-A none Micro USB 2.0
Video Output Connector HDMI 1.4 HDMI 2.0 HDMI 2.0a HDMI 2.0b
Video Output Resolution 1920×1080
at 60 Hz
at 30 Hz
at 30 Hz
at 60 Hz
Dolby Vision
Audio Output HDMI HDMI
Optical Audio (TOSLINK)
Audio Features Dolby Audio pass through via HDMI Dolby Atmos 7.1,
DA 5.1 pass through via HDMI/optical
Dolby Atmos 7.1,
DA 5.1 pass through via HDMI (?)
Remote Remote with voice search Amazon Remote Amazon Remote Remote with voice search Remote with voice search (2018)
Media Formats Video H.263
  Audio AAC-LC, AC3 (Dobly Digital), eAC3 (Dolby Digital Plus), HE-AACv1, HE-AACv2, FLAC, MP3, PCM/Wave, Vorbis AAC-LC, AC3 (Dobly Digital), eAC3 (Dolby Digital Plus), FLAC, MP3, PCM/Wave, Vorbis, Dolby Atmos (EC3_JOC)
  Images JPEG, PNG, GIF, BMP
PSU 5 W, internal 16 W, external 21 W, external external external
Dimensions 86×30×12.6mm ? 115×115×17.8mm 65×65×15mm 99×30×?mm
Price at Launch $39.99 $99.99 ? $69.99 $49.99
Detailed Specs Link  

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Source: Amazon

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  • MrCommunistGen - Wednesday, October 3, 2018 - link

    I'd say there's still a good chance we're looking at Cortex A53 cores. I'd have to guess that most of the expanded feature set leans heavily on hardware implemented decoding, etc rather than general purpose compute.

    The spec geek part of me would love to see them be A55 cores, but I don't see MediaTek spending that much R&D money on that - and I don't see the (low cost/low margin) product needing the enhancements the newer core brings.
  • Death666Angel - Wednesday, October 3, 2018 - link

    Decent specs for the price and comparative towards the Chromecast Ultra (though a bit of a different device). This might replace or support my Amlogic S912 box. Definitely more interesting to me than previous Fire TV Sticks.
  • austinsguitar - Wednesday, October 3, 2018 - link

    i mean for 50 dollars... eh idk about this one.
  • timecop1818 - Thursday, October 4, 2018 - link

    No Ethernet? What the shit does "optional" mean? Connected via USB-Micro OTG?
    Anything that doesn't have Ethernet is a non-starter for media streaming as wifi is too shit and unreliable. Better off buying something like Odroid C2.
  • A5 - Thursday, October 4, 2018 - link

    If you can't reliably stream compressed video, it's probably an issue with your wi-fi setup.
  • nathanddrews - Thursday, October 4, 2018 - link

    If timecop is like me, he probably wants to sideload stuff like Kodi to stream ISO/MKV backups of discs, Steam streaming, etc. WiFi-only is a non-starter in those situations.

    But yeah, for Netflix or Plex transcoded material or higher-latency game streaming, WiFi-only is fine.
  • timecop1818 - Thursday, October 4, 2018 - link

    laptop sitting next to ac1370 (or 1730, i don't remember) AP is getting 61mb/sec copying stuff from my media server.

    same laptop with gige is getting >100meg/sec.

    until i can guarantee at least 100mb/sec at any location in my house with wifi, I'll stick with Ethernet.
  • olafgarten - Monday, October 8, 2018 - link

    What speeds do you get over ethernet?
  • PeachNCream - Thursday, October 4, 2018 - link

    It's been a lot of years since I've WiFi cause a problem with media streaming. Since 802.11g came out, wireless ethernet has been perfectly adequate, but if you're having problems, buy something with wired ethernet and move on with life -- or figure out what you're doing wrong to screw up WiFi so badly that you can't move a video stream over it.
  • phoenix_rizzen - Thursday, October 4, 2018 - link

    Probably integrated into the power adapter like on the Chromecast.

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