If you’ve yet to invest in a smart TV, you could do worse than getting your hands on an Amazon Fire TV stick. After all, with such an array of must-see TV on online only services like Netflix, you’re missing out if you don’t have access to them.

For those who aren’t aware, Amazon Fire TV devices basically turn your TV into a smart TV. You plug them in and connect to your WiFi. You’ll then be greeted with all your favourite online TV apps right there in front of you. Amazon’s offerings of course feature Amazon Prime TV, but also Netflix, BBC iPlayer, 4oD, ITV Catch-Up, YouTube, Vevo, and Spotify. Those are just a small selection of the channels on offer and more are added all the time.

At the moment, two Amazon Fire TV devices are on the market. There’s the Amazon Fire TV stick which costs $39.99 and plays footage in HD. In addition, there is also the Amazon Fire TV box which costs $89.99 and can play footage in 4K Ultra HD if you have a compatible TV. Naturally, there are a few other bells and whistles on the latter but those are the main points. Both can be controlled with Amazon’s Alexa voice controls. Even if you don’t have an Amazon Echo device, the devices come with voice controlled remotes.

However, a pair of new Amazon Fire TV devices are apparently on their way. According to Amazon Fire TV News, these devices will be much more powerful than what is currently available. In addition, the leaker claims both will be available by the end of the year.

The new Amazon Fire devices:

The two devices that Amazon will be releasing will apparently on either side of their current models. There is a mid-range dongle and a top of the range cube-like box. Both will have the capability to show 4K Ultra HD footage on compatible TVs.

To start with, the dongle. Aside from being able to play 4K Ultra HD, it’s not wildly different the existing Amazon Fire TV stick in function. It will have 2GB RAM in comparison to the 1GB on the stick. Still, it’s largely the same device. It’s a bit more powerful than the stick, but still less powerful than the current Amazon Fire TV boxes. The leak suggests it might cost between $60 and $80. In addition, the leaker thinks it will be announced later in September and released in October.

However, the Fire TV cube device is a big step forward. It’s basically an Amazon Echo Dot combined with an Amazon Fire TV box. Pretty cool. Apparently the device will have built in far-range microphones so you can control your device with just your voice, without needing a remote. The leak also suggests the device will feature an IR emitter so aside from just controlling your Amazon device, you will be able to control your entire TV with just your voice. There’s also a speaker built into the cube so you can communicate with Amazon’s voice assistant, Alexa, even if the TV is off. Oh, and don’t worry, you will be able to turn off the microphones. So don’t worry, your TV won’t be listening in on everything you say.

The leak says that the Amazon Fire TV cube will be launched before the end of 2017 and cost upwards of $100. It’ll be quite an investment, but the features seem very much worth it.

Which is the best TV streaming device?

All of this is very cool but if you’re not a massive tech-nerd, you might feel a little bamboozled. After all, there are a lot of these devices on the market from a great many providers. So which is actually the best? To help you figure it out, we’ve compared some of the best devices in a handy table. We’ve included all the relevant information and tried to avoid excessive confusing technical details.

Device Name: Price: Minimum Requirements: Maximum Resolution: Controller:  Memory:
Amazon Fire TV Stick $39.99
TV with an HDMI port
Wi-Fi network
1080p Alexa Voice Remote (included)

Free Fire TV Remote App (available for download on Fire, Android, and iOS)

Amazon Echo devices

1GB
Amazon Fire TV $89.99
TV with an HDMI port
Wi-Fi network
4K Ultra HD Alexa Voice Remote (included)

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Free Fire TV Remote App (available for download on Fire, Android, and iOS)

Amazon Echo devices

2GB
Upcoming Amazon Fire TV Dongle ~$69.99 (thus far unknown)
TV with an HDMI port
Wi-Fi network
4K Ultra HD Alexa Voice Remote (included)

Free Fire TV Remote App (available for download on Fire, Android, and iOS)

Amazon Echo devices

2GB
Upcoming Amazon Fire TV Cube ~$100+ (thus far unknown)
TV with an HDMI port
Wi-Fi network
4K Ultra HD Alexa Voice Remote (included),

Free Fire TV Remote App (available for download on Fire, Android, and iOS)

Amazon Echo devices

Voice control through device itself

2GB
Google Chromecast $30.00
TV with an HDMI port
Wi-Fi network
Supported Device for app
1080p Free Chromecast App (available for download on Android, Fire, and iOS) 512 MB
Google Chromecast Ultra $69.00
4KTV with an HDMI port
Wi-Fi network
Supported Device for app
4K Ultra HD Free Chromecast App (available for download on Android, Fire, and iOS) N/A
Apple TV $149.00/$199.00 (depending on model)
TV with an HDMI port
Wi-Fi network
1080p Siri Remote (included)

Apple TV App (available for download on iOS)

2GB
Apple TV 4K ~$200 (thus far unknown)
4KTV with an HDMI port
Wi-Fi network
4K Ultra HD TBA 2GB
Roku Streaming Stick $39.99
TV with an HDMI port
Wi-Fi network
1080p Roku Remote (included)

Roku Remote App (available for download on Android, iOS and Fire)

512 MB

In conclusion:

As you can see, the trouble with all these devices is that they’re all remarkably similar. In fact, aside from slightly different control methods, the only real difference is whether or not they’re capable of playing 4K Ultra HD TV. If you own a 4K Ultra HD TV then you should probably get the appropriate device. After all, why bother buying one if you’re not going to get the most out of it?

If you’re not so bothered about insane graphical fidelity, then just do yourself a favour and get a cheap and cheerful one!