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Chromecast (Google TV) vs Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K: Which is Better? (Image: Vitor Padua/Technoblog)

Direct rivals in the segment, the Google Chromecast com Google TV it’s the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K are popular dongles that have a mission to “turbine” old monitors and TVs. The devices reproduce in 4K HDR, bring remote control with embedded virtual assistant and a good performance. They even have a full menu with lots of streaming apps, games and more.

The Fire TV Stick 4K sells for around R$ 400. The Chromecast, unfortunately, has not yet been released in Brazil, at least until the publication of this comparison. Still, it can be found in several online stores for up to R$ 600. But, after all, Chromecast or Fire TV Stick 4K: which is better? That’s what we’ll discover in this comparison.

Chromecast (Google TV) vs Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K video comparison

Notice of ethics

O Techblog is an independent journalistic vehicle that has helped people make their next purchase decision since 2005. Our reviews are not intended for advertising, so they highlight the strengths and weaknesses of each product. No company has paid for, reviewed or had advance access to this content.

Chromecast was acquired by Techblog retail and the Fire TV Stick 4K was provided by Amazon as a donation and will not be returned to the company. For more information, visit tecnoblog.net/etica.

Design

Chromecast with Google TV (Image: Darlan Helder/Tecnoblog)
Chromecast with Google TV (Image: Darlan Helder/Tecnoblog)

When it comes to design, it’s clear that Chromecast is more attractive as it has a modern finish, with three different colors (white, blue and pink), plus a compact controller. The Fire TV Stick 4K is more “dull”, but it has its good points. The model has a format that resembles a pen drive and, depending on the space on the back of the TV, the dongle is well hidden without disturbing the other connections.

Okay, you’ll barely see the equipment, since they are on the back of the TV, but for those who care about the appearance, Chromecast tends to please more people, especially for the control, which follows the color of the dongle. I also like to look at installation and portability, and on both counts the devices do very well, thanks to the compact form factor.

Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K (Image: Darlan Helder/Tecnoblog)
Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K (Image: Darlan Helder/Tecnoblog)

The Fire TV Stick 4K could easily win in design, but the Chromecast comes out victorious for the colorful finish that will win over more people.

Remote Control

Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K (Image: Darlan Helder/Tecnoblog)
Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K (Image: Darlan Helder/Tecnoblog)

Assessing the remote, Amazon delivers a large rig with multiple keys, including four streaming: Prime Video, Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon Music. The Chromecast controller, on the other hand, has a minimalist feel with just two extra buttons: Netflix’s and a dedicated one for opening YouTube.

Both bring a microphone to trigger their respective virtual assistants. In the case of Chromecast, Google Assistant; on Fire TV Stick 4K, Alexa. In my tests, activation on both devices worked properly. A curious detail in Chromecast is that the company placed the volume buttons on the right side, but this decision does not affect usability and ergonomics. In fact, both are very ergonomic.

Chromecast with Google TV (Image: Darlan Helder/Tecnoblog)
Chromecast with Google TV (Image: Darlan Helder/Tecnoblog)

I honestly like the Chromecast controller better because of its modern, fluffy look and its compactness, but the risk of losing it on the couch, for example, is too great. This is because it has a very small format compared to other controls. Furthermore, as it is light, the device may get dirty over time. The Fire TV Stick has a bigger accessory, with more streaming buttons and can be less of a headache.

In remote control, the Fire TV Stick 4K get the better of.

connections

Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K (Image: Darlan Helder/Tecnoblog)
Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K (Image: Darlan Helder/Tecnoblog)

Chromecast and Fire TV Stick 4K can be connected to TV or monitor via HDMI connection. To facilitate the installation, Amazon sends an extension cable, which can be useful if there is not enough space to fit the device on the back of the TV. In this case, we can say that the Fire TV Stick “turns” a Chromecast.

Also in connection, they have Wi-Fi 802.11ac and work on 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz networks, which is great. In Bluetooth, here’s the difference: Bluetooth 5.0 is part of the Fire TV Stick’s specifications; Chromecast has Bluetooth 4.1, that is, an older version.

Chromecast with Google TV (Image: Darlan Helder/Tecnoblog)
Chromecast with Google TV (Image: Darlan Helder/Tecnoblog)

Dependence on the power supply is mainly responsible for making Chromecast lose points here. It cannot be powered by the TV’s USB port and the person must use the power adapter; it’s a rather bad situation, especially in houses with few outlets. Amazon’s device does not have this type of limitation.

O Fire TV Stick 4K wins in connections/connectivity.

Software e apps

Chromecast with Google TV (Image: Darlan Helder/Tecnoblog)
Chromecast with Google TV (Image: Darlan Helder/Tecnoblog)

In software, Amazon works with Fire OS and the search giant has adopted Google TV, which is nothing more than a personalized Android TV interface. The systems are very similar, featuring popular apps on the first screen, content recommendation for you to watch, and an embedded personal assistant. Both Google TV and Fire OS are intuitive interfaces, that is, you will hardly have problems while browsing.

But then we come to the point where there is separation. Google TV is able to deliver a more complete and personalized usability by being linked to the largest search engine in the world, which even already has your personal information.

Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K (Image: Darlan Helder/Tecnoblog)
Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K (Image: Darlan Helder/Tecnoblog)

Although it has undergone a major redesign, Fire OS can appear to be a bit “messy” in the content recommendation areas. Google TV, on the other hand, is more organized, with fluidity and well-separated elements. Also, the Fire TV Stick may be less attractive to those who don’t subscribe to Amazon’s streaming service. And the company highlights the existing productions in the catalog.

Netflix, Disney+, Apple TV+, Amazon Prime Video, Paramont+, Star+, DirecTV Go, Spotify and TuneIn are some of the services you’ll find in their store. Interestingly, until the publication of this comparison, the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K remains without Globoplay and HBO Max, two popular apps in Brazil.

O Chromecast 4’s Google TV comes out champion in terms of software and applications.

Performance

Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K (Image: Darlan Helder/Tecnoblog)
Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K (Image: Darlan Helder/Tecnoblog)

Now in hardware, they were equipped with Amlogic processor. Google Chromecast delivers 2GB of RAM and Fire TV Stick 4K, 1.5GB; they still deliver 8GB of internal space. In practice, users won’t encounter major bottlenecks in either product, and during my testing they gave me smooth navigation and apps launch quickly. Sometimes, however, Chromecast took longer to turn on.

Chromecast with Google TV (Image: Darlan Helder/Tecnoblog)
Chromecast with Google TV (Image: Darlan Helder/Tecnoblog)

In my opinion, the Fire TV Stick 4K has always been the best-running TV dongle Asphalt 8, but I have to register that Chromecast managed to reach the same level. Again, their GPU delivers a decent gaming experience. But it’s good to remember that Google’s device only allows playing with a Bluetooth joystick, that is, it is not feasible to use the remote control.

In performance, the Fire TV Stick 4K is the highlight, but Chromecast is not far behind.

image and sound

Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K (Image: Darlan Helder/Tecnoblog)
Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K (Image: Darlan Helder/Tecnoblog)

Speaking of image, both Fire TV Stick 4K and Chromecast 4 can play in 4K at 60 fps. They support Dolby Vision, HDR10 and HDR10+ technologies for better definition and vibrant colors. In terms of sound, the equipment has Dolby Atmos, for a more immersive sound experience.

In summary, they are great technologies for those who are always watching movies and series on TV and looking for a more immersive experience. However, it’s worth remembering that to get the most out of these features you need to have a compatible 4K TV, so keep that in mind so you don’t get frustrated.

To complete, Chromecast and Fire TV Stick 4K win in terms of image and sound, as they deliver the main solutions in both areas. Both have everything to please their owners.

Who wins?

Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K (Image: Darlan Helder/Tecnoblog)
Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K (Image: Darlan Helder/Tecnoblog)

And the score is this: 3 Points for Chromecast with Google TV e 4 points for Fire TV Stick 4K. With that, it can be concluded that the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K is the best 4K dongle for most people. It stands out for the most complete remote control, proves to be more versatile and simplified in connectivity, delivers decent performance and good imaging technologies.

Chromecast, in turn, is not defeated and shows that Google managed to develop a gadget that has everything to annoy the competition. Design, Google TV software with the full application portfolio and imaging technologies are the strengths you’ll find here. Also, let’s not forget that the company tends to deliver a more customizable experience, since it already has access to a lot of personal data.

Today, the Fire TV Stick 4K takes the trophy, but the Chromecast 4 is an important rival and one that can be a nuisance.

Chromecast with Google TV (Image: Darlan Helder/Tecnoblog)
Chromecast with Google TV (Image: Darlan Helder/Tecnoblog)

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