Battle of the 4K streaming gadgets

  • Amazon Hearth TV Stick 4K

    Tried and true

    The Amazon Hearth TV Stick 4K has been round for a minute, and with its top-notch HDR assist, massive app library, and handy Alexa integrations, it’s no marvel Amazon hasn’t bothered to exchange its championed, mid-tier streaming machine.


    • Nice value
    • Wonderful HDR assist
    • Fingers-free Alexa controls

    • Solely 8GB of storage
    • Consumer interface is a little bit busy
    • No Wi-Fi 6 assist

  • Chromecast with Google TV (4K)

    Supply: Google

    Google Chromecast with Google TV (4K)

    An distinctive foe

    The Chromecast with Google TV (4K) is your one-stop store for all of your streaming wants. And whereas the {hardware} is a bit more costly than the Hearth TV Stick 4K, Google’s algorithmic method to recommending motion pictures and TV reveals is difficult to beat.


    • Terrific person interface
    • Curates content material primarily based in your viewing historical past
    • Permits you to forged apps from a Chromecast-enabled machine

    • Restricted inner storage
    • Barely dearer than the Hearth TV Stick 4K

Streaming gadgets are a superb and cheap option to get pleasure from your favourite film and TV present apps, and each Amazon and Google are prime canines within the mighty world of web-connected leisure. Since its 2018 launch, Amazon’s Hearth TV Stick 4K has developed fairly the next, with many customers championing the machine’s spectacular HDR capabilities, Alexa controls, and immense app library.

However by way of competitors, the 2020 launch of the Chromecast with Google TV (4K) sounded a trumpet of battle. Bringing the famend Android and Google TV interfaces from sensible TVs to plug-and-play peripherals, the puck-shaped Chromecast has been hailed for its personalised content material suggestions, Google Assistant assist, and arresting image high quality.

When searching for a brand new streaming machine, you may be in good palms with Amazon or Google. Nonetheless, between the Hearth TV Stick 4K and Chromecast with Google TV (4K) (herein known as Chromecast 4K), you might be questioning which of the 2 titans will test extra packing containers to your streaming needs and desires. Luckily, we have examined and reviewed each merchandise and created this side-by-side comparability that will help you select the very best streaming machine for you and yours.

Value, specs, and availability

The Amazon Hearth TV Stick 4K has been round for a couple of years now, and you will discover it nearly wherever. Whereas the official retail value is $50, shopping for immediately by Amazon will usually prevent a couple of dollars. Pricing at retailers like Greatest Purchase, Walmart, and Goal are sometimes decrease than MSRP, too.

Then there’s the Chromecast with Google TV (4K), which generally sells for round $50, however buying by Google and Amazon may prevent a couple of dollars. This streaming machine will be discovered at brick-and-mortar shops like Greatest Purchase and Walmart.

  • Amazon Hearth TV Stick 4K Google Chromecast with Google TV (4K)
    Working System Hearth OS 6 Android 12
    Decision 4K 4K
    Ports HDMI output, micro USB for energy solely HDMI, USB-C
    RAM/storage 1.5GB/8GB 2GB/8GB
    Connectivity Wi-Fi 5 (2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz twin band), Bluetooth 5.0 Bluetooth, Wi-Fi
    Value $50 $50
    Show Dolby Imaginative and prescient, HDR10, HDR10+ HDR 10, HDR 10+, Dolby Imaginative and prescient
    Audio Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Atmos Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Atmos

Two set-it-and-forget-it designs

Fire-TV-Stick-4K-Max 2

Each the Amazon Hearth TV Stick 4K and Chromecast with Google TV (4K) are about as minimalist because it will get for bodily {hardware}. The Hearth TV Stick 4K is designed for fast connectivity and should finest be in comparison with a USB dongle. As an alternative of a separate HDMI cable, an HDMI connector is fixed proper to the Hearth Stick, and the one wire to fret about is a micro-USB energy lead. As soon as the whole lot is plugged in, you may stroll by a fast setup wizard that can get you linked as much as your Amazon account (or permit you to create one in the event you do not), permit you to select a couple of apps to populate your private home display screen, and you then’re off and working.

The Chromecast with Google TV (4K) opts for a similar ergonomic method to plug-and-play operation because the Hearth TV Stick 4K, however with a barely friendlier-looking silicone chassis. Puck-shaped gadgets are inexplicably cute to take a look at, and it does not harm that you’ll get the Chromecast in three completely different colours: snow white, dawn pink, and sky blue. You will be prepared to start out streaming as soon as you’ve got linked to HDMI, powered the Chromecast (a USB result in a wall outlet adapter), and walked by the preliminary setup.

So far as remotes go, the Hearth TV Stick 4K and Chromecast with Google TV (4K) include well-made controllers that prioritize fast navigation and voice help (Alexa for Hearth TV, Google Assistant for Chromecast). Google’s distant is barely smaller than Amazon’s, however some could want the tinier footprint for handheld consolation. Every distant additionally options a couple of shortcut buttons for widespread apps like Netflix and Prime Video.

A warfare of Hearth TV and Google software program


In the case of the brains of the operation, the Hearth TV Stick 4K runs the present with its Hearth TV UI, which additionally options quite a few Alexa integrations. In actual fact, the five-letter good friend is constructed proper into the distant, permitting you to seek for your favourite motion pictures and run your Alexa-powered sensible house proper from the lounge sofa. On paper, this all sounds good, however how does the Hearth TV Stick 4K stack up by way of precise structure and apps? Fairly properly.

Hearth TV is strong and full of content material, and so far as widespread apps go, the whole lot from Netflix to Disney+ and Apple TV+ is represented. Amazon Luna’s gaming library is fairly respectable, too. That being mentioned, by way of “advisable content material,” Amazon does are inclined to hitch its wagon to its personal IP. Scrolling by genres, new arrivals, and different classes, one can begin to really feel that Amazon’s UI is a not-so-cleverly disguised (and seemingly endless) business for Amazon Prime Video and associated Amazon providers. This commentary is not a deal breaker; particular person person profiles assist divvy the curation. Nonetheless, by way of pure algorithmic marvel, the Chromecast with Google TV (4K) is the true software program champ.

Google TV seems and feels good, and so does Google Assistant. Higher but, the house display screen (billed as For You) is an actual savant when recommending motion pictures and reveals you might be inquisitive about. Google TV screens the form of content material you’ve got been consuming to ship these user-generated watch lists. And since each member of the family can create their very own profile, Dad’s love of ’60s biker flicks will not influence Junior’s love of contemporary horror.

Relating to apps, the Chromecast with Google TV (4K) will not allow you to down right here both. All the massive weapons of streaming have a spot within the Google TV library, and Stadia assist will get you entry to a Pandora’s field of stream-box gaming. We’re additionally massive followers of Google Assistant’s responsiveness: Not solely does the digital companion pull up related motion pictures, actors, and genres in seconds flat, however the Chromecast’s onboard compatibility with Google Dwelling and Nest merchandise makes the Chromecast (4K) a superb sensible house hub, too.

Oh, and let’s not overlook the precise “casting” you’ll do. Whether or not you wish to mirror your telephone display screen to the TV or ship a YouTube video out of your pill to your streaming machine, the Chromecast with Google TV (4K) is the O.G. relating to wirelessly beaming content material from level A to level B. The pace at which your media will get to the place it must go is quicker than ever. Plus, it is good to know that if an app you want is not obtainable by Google TV, there is a good likelihood you’ll forged the app to your Chromecast out of your cell machine.

Highly effective efficiency throughout the board


Supply: Google

Neither the Hearth TV Stick 4K nor the Chromecast with Google TV (4K) is a straggler concerning total efficiency. For these of us dedicated to getting the best possible image and sound attainable, each gadgets assist a few of the mightiest audio and video codecs throughout the A/V spectrum. You will get HDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Imaginative and prescient, HLG, and Dolby Atmos assist, so whether or not you are planning on streaming a ’50s noir or the newest $200 million superhero epic, colours, distinction, brightness, and immersive sound-staging just isn’t going to be a problem by any means.

We additionally stay in an age the place pace is of the utmost significance. Luckily, each the Hearth TV Stick 4K and Chromecast (4K) additionally ship the products relating to net connectivity and UI actions. Participating the voice assistant, navigating a heavy-duty app like Netflix, and enjoying a film in 4K HDR are tell-tale situations for error… if an error goes to happen. This simply is not the case, although, with both streaming machine. So long as your Wi-Fi community offers sufficient bandwidth, you may expertise little navigation and playback points from each the Hearth TV Stick 4K and Chromecast with Google TV (4K).

Which streaming machine is finest?

Pitting two stalwart manufacturers towards one another isn’t a simple feat, however we’ll need to declare a winner, and in the present day’s trophy goes to the Chromecast with Google TV (4K). It is arduous to beat the intuitive UI and sensible suggestions that the Google TV OS can develop. And whereas it is a couple of {dollars} greater than the Hearth TV Stick 4K (except you resolve to go for the Chromecast with Google TV (HD) as an alternative), the flexibility to forged sure apps out of your cell or desktop is what made the Chromecast so widespread within the first place. It is nonetheless an superior function in the present day.

Chromecast with Google TV (4K)

Supply: Google

Google Chromecast with Google TV (4K)

Editor’s selection

The Chromecast with Google TV (4K) is among the most immersive and strong streaming gadgets you should purchase. With its 4K HDR capabilities and Dolby Atmos assist, stream-able motion pictures and TV reveals have by no means regarded and sounded pretty much as good. To not point out that the built-in Google Assistant makes it fast and straightforward to seek for content material and navigate the Google TV interface.

This is not to say that the Hearth TV Stick 4K is not a worthy second-best. If cash is an enormous concern, the Hearth TV Stick 4K continues to be one of many most cost-effective streaming gadgets in the marketplace and is usually on sale, too. We additionally admire how easily Alexa runs concerning UI navigation and sensible automations.

amazon fire tv stick 4k

Amazon Hearth TV Stick 4K

The Amazon Hearth TV Stick 4K could not match the Chromecast with Google TV (4K) relating to advisable content material, however this Alexa-powered streaming machine continues to be a stable purchase. And for these buying on a price range, the Hearth TV Stick 4K is usually on sale.

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