The whole idea of television has witnessed a radical change with video streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video doing the rounds. The sheer concept of how and what people watch on their TV sets at home has also been somewhat reinvented.
The journey of online content right up to the television sets now seems like a cakewalk – courtesy, the SMART TV’s and more recently, streaming sticks such as Google Chromecast itself. Only recently, Amazon joined the club with the launch of the Fire TV Stick in India at INR 3,999.
With the availability of options, people are starting to wonder which is a better fit between the Google Chromecast 2 and the Amazon Fire Stick. Well, we are here to find out.
What can you watch?
Well, for starters the Amazon Prime Video Stick brings you content from almost every video streaming source possible including its anti-fellow, Netflix. Which, to be fair is pretty amazing. You also get access to others in the likes of Amazon Prime Video, Gaana, YouTube, Eros Now and Hotstar.
The Google Chromecast also allows you to consume content from Netflix, YouTube, Hotstar, Eros Now, Gaana and more, sure but the Chromecast is a tad bit more advanced in the sense that it lets you mirror your mobile (Android), laptop or desktop’s screen onto the television, thus making it better suited for you to watch almost everything up on the big screen. Locally stored content can also be viewed on the TV.
The Amazon Fire TV Stick brings you a voice remote intending of course that you can speak out the name of what you desire to watch and it will go ahead and play it for you.
It is a bit of a bummer that the Amazon Prime Video app does not support casting via Chromecast. You could play content from Prime on your phone or system and cast the whole screen on your TV but the outcome is most likely to be stumpy and not nearly as flawless as compared to what a Chromecast supported application can give you, still with a small software update it can be fixed as it is in initial phase as of now.
The hardware within?
The Amazon Fire TV Stick gives you 8GB internal storage with dual-antenna Wi-Fi, dual-band, Bluetooth 4.1 and is powered by a MediaTek Quad-core ARM 1.3GHz processor tied with 1GB of RAM and the Mali 450 MP4 GPU.
The Stick results videos in both 720p and 1080p resolutions up to 60 frames per second. It also supports Dolby Audio, 5.1 surround sound, 2 channel stereo and HDMI audio-pass through up to 7.1.
Whereas, the Google Chromecast 2 comes bearing a 1.2GHz dual core ARM Cortex-A7 processor, 512MB of RAM, 256MB of internal storage and 802.11ac WiFi with support for both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. It results videos at 1080p and includes 2 channel stereo-support, Dolby Audio and 5.1 surround sound.
Now, given the records, the Fire Stick hardware sure does appear more tempting but one should note that the Chromecast is a different sort of device that does not claim a massive amount of internal storage and RAM as no applications are stored here internally.
How does one consume content?
As mentioned earlier, the Amazon Fire TV stick has the voice remote – enabling you to voice command the content you plan to watch.
The Google Chromecast 2, however, makes your smartphone, your remote. All that needs to be done from your end is play a video on whatever Chromecast supported the application you got on your phone, press hit the cast button on the top right corner, and that’s all.
You can mirror stuff on the big screen with the Chromecast 2.
Both have significant pros and cons – for instance, the Chromecast 2 will let you search conveniently what you want to watch through the on-screen keypad, but you also need to unlock the screen each time you have to pause or play the video.
It is difficult to beat the ease of actual physical buttons when it comes to pausing/playing contents or going back and forth in a video frame. You can search content through the voice command, but it still gets iffy using the remote to type in. But hey, you can also pair a Bluetooth keyboard with the Fire TV. That should make it easy.
What stands the price?
There’s not much disparity between both items when it comes to the pricing. For existing Prime customers, it gives an INR 499 cashback via Amazon Pay on the standard price of INR 3,999.
The Google Chromecast can be found on Flipkart at INR 3,399.
Which one should you pick?
Both have highs and lows and truth be told, both are fulfilling standard expectations. For folks who are not as technologically sound and prefer the vibe of a good old-fashioned remote, the answer would be the Amazon Prime TV Stick. Also suitable for those who find themselves deeply invested in the whole Prime Video ecosystem.
Having said that, the Google Chromecast 2 will give you more flexibility regarding what you want up on the big TV screen. Alongside the video streaming applications, you also get to view locally stored content on your phone with the Chromecast 2. Plus, you get to mirror stuff off your phone, laptop or desktop directly on to the TV set.
That’s all between the two for now – hope this helps make up some minds!