Last year Roku wowed the world with its 4K Streaming Stick+, because it was the first time a company had squeezed 4K (and HDR) support into stick form. While it made headlines for lowering the price of entry for 4K streaming devices this year, there are still some issues with the product line-up. For one Roku supports HDR 10 over Dolby Vision, and those new cheaper devices aren't coming to the UK anytime soon.
So Amazon has stepped in with a new 4K Fire TV stick. It's available here, it's cheaper than Roku's stick, and it supports both HDR 10+ and Dolby Vision - the first device to do so without ditching the stick-shape. It's also 80 per cent faster than past Fire TV Sticks, supports Dolby Atmos (if you have the right audio setup), and has a quad-core 1.7GHz processor built in to speed up all your streaming and browsing.
At this point you might be wondering why Amazon bothered. It has a small Fire TV dongle capable of playing 4K video and supported HDR 10. Well that device isn't listed on the Amazon store page anymore, not in the UK at least, and going to the page directly lists the dongle as "currently unavailable" at the time of writing. While that device didn't support Dolby Vision, Amazon claims that its customers preferred the stick design. So move along flappy Fire TV dongle, hello 4K Fire TV Stick.
On top of this Amazon has refreshed the Alexa voice remote, which can communicate with your TV using a combination of Bluetooth and infra-red. That means, like the remote included with the Roku Streaming Stick+ and the 4K Now TV box, it now has volume and power controls you can use with compatible TVs, soundbars, and receivers. That's including the usual Alexa controls that are present on older remotes. The downside is that it's not bundled with the 4K streaming stick, and has to be purchased separately. But look at the bright side, that does mean you can buy it without having to upgrade your existing Fire TV device. If you want to, that is.
The new 4K Fire TV Stick and upgraded Alexa Remote will both be available from 14th November, costing £49.99 and £29.99 respectively. They're available to pre-order now on the Amazon website, though the 4K stick will also eventually be available at Argos, John Lewis, Dixons, very.co.uk, and Littlewoods. It can also be pre-ordered as a bundle with the new Echo Dot for £79.98, saving £20 in the process. If you buy two together (£89.98) you'll also save yourself £10.