Amazon has launched the Amazon Fire Tv Stick – its competitor to Chromecast – in India at Rs. 3,999, which means you can now easily watch Prime Video on your TV.
If you’re a Prime member, it will ship with your credentials configured, and net you Rs. 499 cashback via Amazon Pay. You can also get it from physical retailers such as Croma and Reliance Digital starting Thursday.
To entice you into buying the Fire TV Stick, Amazon has several limited period offers at launch. You can get 100GB of free data on your Airtel broadband and 4G Wi-Fi connection for a period of three months, and 240GB data on your You Broadband connection for the same period. There’s also a three-month free premium subscription for Eros Now, six months of ad-free streaming on Gaana, and a month of ad-free streaming on Voot.
Like Google’s Chromecast, the Amazon Fire TV Stick plugs in directly into your TV’s HDMI port, though it works a bit differently. Instead of using your phone to cast, the Fire TV Stick will ship with a voice remote that you can use to navigate the interface, or search by speaking to it. At the launch event, Amazon said that voice search will also pick up names of Hindi titles, though we’ll only know how well once we’ve spent some with it. Sadly, there was no mention of Alexa.
The Fire TV Stick is better seen as a compact version of its bigger cousin, the Fire TV. That means you can install more than 3,000 apps, games, and services, though you’ll have to keep its 8GB internal storage in mind. There’s no way to expand it, if you’re wondering. On the hardware side, the Fire TV Stick runs on a quad-core chip, with 1GB RAM, and support for 802.11ac Wi-Fi.
What does Fire TV Stick do?
What are the tech specs like?
Fire TV stick runs a MediaTek Quad-core processor clocking at 1.3GHz, 1GB RAM and Mali450 graphics. It is a complete media player in itself and does not need a laptop or a phone to play content. Unlike Google Chromecast, it is not just a connectivity device between phones, laptops and tv sets. It runs on Android operating system with Amazon’s custom interface loaded on it.
What content can we get on the Fire TV Stick?
The stick comes preloaded with apps like Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, YouTube etc. One can play content on these apps using the stick itself.
In India, the stick also carries Voot, NDTV, Hotstar, Sony Liv, Gaana on it.
Amazon Prime subscribers already get complimentary access to Amazon Prime Video. Amazon Prime membership can be purchased for just Rs 499 per annum.
Why Fire TV Stick and not Chromecast then?
The advantage Fire TV Stick offers is that it is a media player in itself that comes with preloaded apps while the Chromecast device needs you to find the content using a phone or laptop and then ‘cast’ it using Chromecast. The Fire TV Stick also trumps Chromecast on processing speed and onboard memory of 8 GB compared to just 256 MB on the Chromecast. Moreover, the device also comes with a remote with voice control that allows the user to control content on the media player. All these make the Fire TV Stick the more attractive option.
What else can one do with it?
Gamers will also love the Amazon offering as the device comes preloaded with games.
What’s in the box
The box comes with an Amazon Fire TV stick, a voice remote, a power adaptor for the stick, two AAA batteries and a HDMI extender cable.
What is the price?
Amazon has launched the stick with a pricetag of Rs 3,999. Amazon has announced that they will put Rs 499 into the buyer’s account which can be used to subscribe to Amazon Prime. This offer is valid till May 31.
Airtel is offering over 100 GB data for Fire TV users wherein, customers purchasing the device will get free 100 GB high speed data via Airtel Broadband/Airtel 4G Home Wi-Fi. In addition, Airtel Movies, the OTT app from Airtel, will offer Airtel mobile and broadband customers access to a collection of thousands of popular Bollywood movies & premium TV shows across a host of genres.
Google’s Chromecast retails at about Rs 3,500.