Buying Guides Entertainment

The New Amazon Fire TV Is Cheaper, But Is It Better?

Mihir Patkar 06-10-2017

Following hot on the heels of both Apple and Roku, Amazon has now upgraded its streaming devices too. The new Amazon Fire TV is faster, supports HDR, and yet costs less than its predecessor. So is there a catch?


This is the third generation of the Fire TV, and Amazon still calls this a set-top box. But the gadget’s new size makes it seem more like the Fire TV Stick or Chromecast Ultra, as it hangs behind your TV instead of sitting under it.

How Much Does It Cost?

amazon fire tv 2017

The all-new Amazon Fire TV has launched with a retail price of $69.99, significantly lower than the $99.99 price tag of the second-generation Fire TV.

Fire TV with 4K Ultra HD and 1st Gen Alexa Voice Remote, streaming media player Fire TV with 4K Ultra HD and 1st Gen Alexa Voice Remote, streaming media player Buy Now On Amazon

In fact, Amazon has two cool offers to save you some big bucks. At the time of writing you can purchase the new Fire TV with an Echo Dot to save money on both.


If you want to cut cable but still enjoy free live sports, you need to buy a TV antenna What Can You Watch Using a TV Antenna? What if there was a cheap, legal way to gain access to many of the big networks? You'd probably lap it up. Well, it turns out there is! Step forward the trusty TV antenna. Read More . Amazon is making that simple (and affordable) by selling a Fire TV and HD Antenna bundle.

Fire TV with 4K Ultra HD (2017 Edition, Pendant) + HD Antenna Fire TV with 4K Ultra HD (2017 Edition, Pendant) + HD Antenna Buy Now On Amazon

The new Fire TV will start shipping on October 25. If you like the device, it would be a good idea to pre-order it now. This promises to be a hot seller during the festive season.


A New Design for a New Generation

The most striking feature of the all-new Fire TV (2017) is how small it is compared to the previous version. In fact, the Fire TV is now more like the Chromecast.

amazon fire tv 2017

The new Fire TV is a small black tile that fits in the palm of your head, with an HDMI cable coming out of it. Plug this cable into your TV and the Fire TV will hang behind your TV working its magic. At least after you connect it to a power source, of course.

If your TV’s HDMI ports are located at the back this is much more aesthetically pleasing option than the previous Fire TV. There’s no cable clutter, and no need to find a base to put it on. But if your TV’s HDMI ports are located at the side then this is going to be one odd-looking setup.


Better Video and Audio Than Before

Either way, good looks don’t matter if the gadget can’t do what you want it to. And just like Apple and Google, Amazon is pushing HDR and 4K content HDR TV: What It Is & Why You'll Need It in 2016 High Dynamic Range, or HDR, is shaping up to be the big TV buzzword for 2016. But what is it? Will it live up to the hype? Here's all you need to know. Read More . Plus, it boosts audio with Dolby Atmos support.

amazon fire tv 2017

Remember, if you want to use HDR and 4K, you’ll need to buy a 4K HDR TV that supports it The Best Affordable 4K HDR Smart TVs You Can Buy Those in the market for a new Smart TV have a tough choice to make. It's not a gadget that you upgrade often, so you want something future-proof. So, what do you get? Read More too.

No Expandable Storage, You’re Stuck With 8GB

It’s annoying when a company removes a great feature just to make their gadget smaller. The new Fire TV (2017) removes the best feature of its predecessor Amazon Fire TV And Fire TV Game Controller Review & Giveaway Amazon launched the Fire TV, a media center device not unlike the Apple TV, but with gaming as perk. Read More : the microSD card slot.


Now, the 8GB of internal storage is all you get. So if you wanted to download shows to watch them offline later, you’re out of luck. This will also hit live TV DVR capabilities, since 8GB is far too little storage for saving 4K HDR video.

One of the other features of the Fire TV was the games you could play on it. But now again, you’re going to fill up that space really fast and be left without a choice.

The New Amazon Fire TV (2017) vs. Fire TV Stick

The all-new Amazon Fire TV is double the price of the Fire TV Stick How to Set Up and Use Your Amazon Fire TV Stick Here's how to set up and use your Amazon Fire TV Stick for best performance, plus fixes to common Fire TV Stick issues. Read More , but is the new entrant twice as good? Despite the lack of storage, yes it is.

The 2017 Fire TV has a new 1.5GHz quad-core processor that makes it 40 percent faster than any other Amazon streaming device. It also has 2GB RAM compared to the Fire TV Stick’s 1GB RAM. Both factors combined, you get a smoother experience while browsing the menu or using the Alexa Voice Remote.

Amazon Fire Tv Alexa GIFs - Find & Share on GIPHY

In fact, the Fire TV 2017 works well with all Alexa voice-controlled gadgets like the Amazon Echo series A Comparison Guide to Amazon Echo Devices: Which One Is Best for You? Which Amazon Echo device is right for you? We compare the Plus, Dot, Tap, Show, Spot, Look, and Fire TV Cube to help you make up your mind. Read More .

Plus, it supports 4K and HDR, neither of which the Fire TV Stick can handle.

How Does It Fare Against the Competition?

The big question you now face is: which media streaming device should you buy? What's the Best Media Streaming Device? Looking for the best streaming device? We've covered four different kinds of streaming devices: Budget, mid-range, high-end, and DIY. Read More The Fire TV 2017 and the Roku Streaming Stick Plus cost the exact same price, while the Apple TV costs twice as much. That’s a huge price advantage.

However, Apple TV will upgrade all of your previous purchases to 4K HDR for free. Which could add up to a huge amount of savings if you already have a good iTunes library. You’ll need to buy them again on Amazon or Roku, so you should factor that cost in before deciding.

Between the Fire TV and the Roku Streaming Stick Plus, it’s a tough call. Both have their selling points, like the voice control remote on Fire TV and the new Wi-Fi booster attachment on Roku. So it’s a toss-up, really, and comes down to your own personal preferences.

In fact, it might be a better idea to opt for a media streaming device that occupies the space between the Apple TV and the Fire TV 2017: the Roku Ultra. If you can grab it for under $100 it’s an absolute bargain.

Roku Ultra - HD and 4K UHD Streaming Media Player with HDR, Enhanced Remote with Voice Search Roku Ultra - HD and 4K UHD Streaming Media Player with HDR, Enhanced Remote with Voice Search Buy Now On Amazon $175.95

What Will You Buy?

While 4K HDR support is great and the faster processor makes the Fire TV smoother, the removal of the micro SD slot is bitterly disappointing. Still, Amazon’s latest media streaming devices is pretty cool, especially with cool built-in features like X-Ray vision 8 Cool Things You Can Do With Amazon Prime Video You can do more than "just stream videos" through Amazon Prime Video. Here are several nifty tips, tricks, and hidden features that will improve your Amazon Prime Video experience... Read More .

Do you like what Amazon has done with the new Fire TV (2017)? Or do you think this represents a backwards step for the company? Which media streaming device do you think represents the best value for money right now? Please let us know in the comments below!

Related topics: Amazon, Apple TV, Chromecast, Media Streaming, Roku.

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  1. likefunbutnot
    October 10, 2017 at 2:10 am

    Amazon presently isn't selling the full-on FireTV, the one with an SD reader and ethernet port. This is a weird middle child and I can't figure out why anyone would want it. It's not cheap like a Fire Stick and it's saddled with wireless-only network access.

    My hope is that Amazon does eventually release a proper successor to the FireTV. This is a downgrade from a more useful product.

    • Johnny
      October 23, 2017 at 5:49 pm

      Yep....Zero SD Card or expandable storage( I'm Out) cause that's a deal breaker

  2. EdmondGary
    October 6, 2017 at 10:00 pm

    I have pre-ordered one but it is not the best out there.
    Right now I have an apple TV 4K and the old Amazon fire TV both plugged into my television.
    The interface on the apple is far superior to the one on the Amazon TV.
    The apple remote also has a volume control which is really nice.
    The new Fire TV 4 K has 2 things going for it, one of which make it indispensable. The first is that it's less than half the price of the Apple TV 4K. The second is the ability to load Kodi on it. Kodi is just too good to ignore. Even though I think the apple TV is overall a better though more expensive streamer, If I could only purchase one I would purchase the new Fire TV 4K because of the ability to load Kodi. Luckily, I can purchase both.

  3. JoeTheSmall
    October 6, 2017 at 7:45 pm

    "fits in the palm of your head"

    I don't know about that, the palm of MY head is pretty small.

  4. Jake from State Farm
    October 6, 2017 at 4:41 pm

    It needs a built-in Ethernet port. You can get an adapter but then the cost goes up.

    It also needs to have volume control and headphone jack in the remote like the new Roku Ultra. Yes, you can pair BT headset if you have one but it should still be an option to plug in headphones.