Amazon Fire TV Stick's latest upgrade is going to make it a lot smarter

Amazon Fire TV Stick 2016
Amazon Fire TV Stick 2016

It's a good time to be a fan of streaming video. Roku announced a new line up of HDR/4K-ready boxes earlier this week and rumors are floating around about Google's 4K Chromecast Ultra that it might show off next week.

To top it all off, Amazon announced on Wednesday that it will update its Amazon Fire TV Stick with a quad-core processor, 802.11ac Wi-Fi antenna and Amazon's voice assistant, Alexa, getting built straight into the remote.

While the updates are more iterative on this year's version of the Amazon Fire TV Stick than they have been in past years, Amazon says the upgrades will make the new hardware about 30% faster than last year's model.

The best news by far, however, is that despite the additional hardware, the Amazon Fire TV Stick will stick to its $40/£35 (around AU$50) price.

The additional features, though subtle, are appreciated. A 30% speed boost promises better loading times in between menus, while the 802.11ac antenna will mean consistent streams with less buffering time.

The Stick still won't offer 4K or HDR, however. For that, you'll have to shell out for the Streaming Stick's older brother, the Amazon Fire TV, or wait to see if Google shows off the Chromecast Ultra next week at its October 4 press event.

The new Amazon Streaming Stick with Alexa Remote starts shipping October 20, and is available for pre-order starting today.

Nick Pino

Nick Pino is Managing Editor, TV and AV for TechRadar's sister site, Tom's Guide. Previously, he was the Senior Editor of Home Entertainment at TechRadar, covering TVs, headphones, speakers, video games, VR and streaming devices. He's also written for GamesRadar+, Official Xbox Magazine, PC Gamer and other outlets over the last decade, and he has a degree in computer science he's not using if anyone wants it.