Firesticks or Smart TV sticks are an amazing way to breathe life into your media entertainment systems when it’s far from new. But the real question is how to choose the best streaming sticks among the cluster of big giants in the market like Amazon Fire TV Stick or Roku Stick, or Chromecast?
To make it easier for you, we have compared two of the most widely popular Firestick brands, Amazon and Google. The range of Amazon Fire TV sticks may be more extensive, but in comparison to that, Google isn’t far from the race either. Google has perfected its streaming devices as reviewed by the latest release, Google Chromecast TV.
Streaming sticks have introduced a wide range of features, including HD streaming, voice control, Spotify, Disney Plus, and YouTube. We will compare these features with the device’s design and price for determining the dominance of either one of the streaming devices to the top.
Therefore, for a fair fight, we will be focusing all our attention on both the brand’s most iconic streaming products, Google Chromecast and Amazon Firestick or Fire TV Stick. However, we have also shared a detailed breakdown of every Google and Amazon device so that you understand what the offer contains and whether it’s worth spending your time and money on.
If you are shopping searching for the cheapest media broadcasting devices, then you are most likely to end up among the two options: Amazon Firestick or Google Chromecast. Both can pull off all the basic tasks like playing your movies and TV programs from a wide range of networks. But they have a different approach towards it.
The Chromecast is more like a standalone device. The way it works is you just have to open a supported application on your Android or iOS smartphone and turn on the cast option in that application into your smart TV. It is mirroring supported of your device’s display if it’s your preference, and you can also cast from your computer, therefore making it easier to view your saved videos or running Netflix on the TV.
The Firestick, on the other hand, is a self-made device. You can download & install the best firestick applications in its internal memory, and it also comes with a remote controller bundled with the product. So there is no need for the phone to be around all the time, just the Tv and Firestick device.
The offerings from Amazon make up for the most traditional media entertainment experience, where you can browse around thousands of channels. Google’s Android TV works under the same basic principle, while Chromecast offers a completely different approach towards what we call television. On the contrary, the Amazon Firestick dongle can be a lot easier in human hands, and Chromecast being more flexible depending on how you are using it and what you want to do with it.
So, let’s compare Amazon Fire TV Stick with Google Chromecast TV to find out which one suits you the best. But before that, we will discuss what is Chromecast and Amazon Firestick. Let’s get right into it!
Chromecast is a collective dongle for your home TV that connects to the HDMI port of your TV and embeds smart functionalities into it. The Chromecast connects to your home internet connection and can be controlled via your smartphone. This lets you open any media entertainment application on your phone with Chromecast and play any content on your TV.
Most importantly, it makes use of the Google Cast protocol for receiving that content on your Smart TV, so there is no need to get support from the source that is being used. Multimedia broadcasting services like Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Chrome browser, YouTube, Android, and many others are compatible with Google Chromecast. So you can say that Chromecast is a beast of a streaming platform.
Chromecast was introduced in the year 2013 by Google and updated with Chromecast 2 in the year 2015, and again in 2018 called Chromecast 3rd Gen. With all the versions supporting full HD content, the newest models have gotten progressively faster along with strong Wi-Fi reception.
Chromecast has every feature that comes with Android TV devices, including Google Assistant, applications, and the streaming abilities from third-party devices with Google Cast feature, all under one roof in an updated, streamlined menu system.
- Good at aggregating content
- Remote has both HDMI-CEC and IR functionalities
- Integrated Google Assistant making searching for content easy
- Smart Home features
- High Resolution 4K with HDR support
- No application for Apple TV
- No playback buttons on remote
- No Ethernet port
- Switching users not allowed
- No Google Stadia support until 2021
In the year 2014, Amazon released its first-ever dedicated live streaming device called Amazon Fire TV. It was like a set-top box that could turn any TV into a Smart TV that provided media entertainment by displaying applications and streaming shows directly on the device screen.
In essence that, it is a media player that lets you pair your Tv to the home internet network connection. This concept rapidly gained popularity and soon evolved into a separate device called Amazon Firestick or Amazon Fire TV Stick. This was a plug-in device that was rather different from that of a set-top box.
Remotely powered and smaller in size, the Fire TV Stick or Firestick has similar functionalities to its successors with abilities like streaming movies, TV shows, and various channels along with ScreenCloud digital signage application.
Amazon opens you up to a new age of affordable 4K streaming. The 4K TVs not only features at least some type of streaming service and applications, but a dedicated 4K media streaming service is becoming cheaper because of it.
The best part of the firestick is that you can jailbreak your firestick with amazing apps such as Kodi. One you side-load Kodi onto your firestick, you can install the best Kodi Addons for the best streaming experience.
- Dolby Atmos, Dolby Vision, HDR10, and HDR10 + for $40
- Lightning-fast responses
- Impressive performance
- TV power capabilities with Remote like on/off, channel change, volume control, and some cable boxes
- No Google Play applications
- Annoying Amazon commercials
- Bloated menu system
- The power adapter is inconvenient
A good User Design or UI isn’t just about laying out the content options in a convenient fashion but also about letting you pick up from where you left off last time. Amazon has amazingly improved its Fire TV stick operating system over the past few years, and it looks easier and cleaner than before.
Here are few things about both the rivals:
- You get ‘Recent Tab’ with Amazon Prime Video on the home screen that displays the most recent application that was being watched.
- The Chromecast doesn’t have any interface specifically since it’s just the video conduit. All the selection and navigation is carried out on the device itself, be it PC, phone, or tablet. There is nothing much you can do on the TV screen.
- With Chromecast, you would require to locate your tablet or phone for even basic things like switching different movies or skipping forward in episodes. The TV has HDMI-CEC that you can use to at least pause video with the help of a remote. You can also use Google Home for controlling Chromecast.
- Firestick, on the other hand, comes with a Bluetooth remote, which makes it one of the best in the market. There is a control pad that you can use for navigation, playback buttons, and many more.
- Amazon Firestick also has a bundles remote control application for iOS and Android, which is easier to control rather than typing on a TV with a remote. With the application, you can do everything that remote can do.
The Firestick comes with a dedicated tab for searching, where you can type whatever you want to watch. Alternatively, you just have to press the hold button on the remote and tell your query. Sadly, features like the Alexa voice assistant are not available in some places like India, so the bundled remote won’t perform any voice commands. You don’t get any universal search feature either. You can use it only for Amazon Prime Video titles.
Here are few things about both the rivals:
- Even though Chromecast has the Google Home application as a companion for iOS and Android, its catalog indexing is limited only up to Netflix and YouTube. However, still, it only shows few titles as there is no search option.
- Eventually, it boils down to running different applications on your smartphone and looking for something to watch manually.
- Since there are few limitations to the Firestick product in India, your smartphone, whether iOS or Android, could end up being the better choice to search for what you are looking for.
- While the Fire TV Stick can search for things, doing the same thing on the phone with Google Chromecast is more likely to perform quicker than the Amazon Firestick.
Speaking of video output, both Firestick and Chromecast can display Full HD 1080p resolution quality. The latter also supports HEVC or H.265 files as it is embedded with a quad-core chip inside. Therefore, your Prime Video contents would consume less bandwidth and load faster. Since Amazon also offers internal memory that Google doesn’t provide, it can pull video files to reduce more waiting times.
Here are few things about both the rivals:
- Phone apps always tend to receive updates first and are more optimized than their Android TV counterparts. This means that you will receive new updates with Chromecast and are more likely to encounter random crashes or bugs.
- Both the sticks have dual-band Wi-Fi support, so there would be no problem with the network congestion or speed. The Firestick also comes with Bluetooth, which allows pairing with wireless audio devices like headphones or speakers. This is a net addition if you are a regular binge-watcher while your roommate is sleeping.
Having the install base capabilities of Android, the Chromecast boasts its wide support base, with over 20,000 applications on Google Web Store. By comparing it with Amazon, it has been found that there are around 3,000 apps and games and few other services on Firestick.
Here are few things about the rivals:
- Both offer you the most popular services like Voot, Hotstar, Eros Now, Netflix, Sony Liv, Airtel Movies, and much more.
- However, with Amazon and Google as extreme competitors, their offerings are missing from each other. You won’t get Play Music on Firestick and Prime Video on Chromecast. But thankfully, YouTube works on the contrary by relying on an optimized TV version.
- Another advantage that Firestick has over Chromecast is that you won’t require all the applications to be on your phone. But you can’t cast anything on Chromecast without them. This makes the experience even more frustrating without any extra space on your phone.
In addition to media streaming, Firestick also supports gaming. Although the Indian Amazon App Store doesn’t have much to offer like the big names ‘Crossy Road’ and ‘Alto’s Adventure’ but still, there are few games like ‘Lego Star Wars: The New Yoda Chronicles’ and ‘Flappy Birds Family.’
Unfortunately, the Fire TV Gaming Controller isn’t available in India, which gives it a bad review amongst the community. Furthermore, you also get to have a wide variety of apps, be it lifestyle, productivity, news, and much more.
With Chromecast, mirroring can also be done from your phone screen to your TV, but you can’t play games since there are frame drops, random lags, and ping issues. Both have support for mirroring on your Android devices.
The Chromecast, along with Google TV, is priced at £59.99/$50.99, which is fairly decent considering it offers 4K streaming. Especially if you are into the Google ecosystem and make the most out of Android and Google Home.
On the other hand, Amazon Firestick is significantly cheaper, which is £39.99/$39.99. This makes it a tremendous all-in-one package.
Overall, we can clearly see that there is a tie between the Amazon Firestick and Google Chromecast. It depends on you what works the best for you and how you want to make use of it. We hope that whatever we shared in this article has helped you. However, if you still have any queries, you can visit our website, and we will try our best to assist you.