Amazon Fire TV (2015) Second Generation Review
Amazon Fire TV Intro and Specs
Not long ago, Amazon announced a revamped Fire TV with a handful of new and upgraded features including 4K Ultra HD video support and Alexa functionality. Although the original Fire TV which we reviewed last year had voice capabilities, those voice controls were limited to searching for content and applications. With Alexa built in, the second-generation Fire TV now has additional features, such as the ability to provide sports scores, weather and traffic information, or play music.
As you’ll recall from our review of the Amazon Echo, we were impressed by the Alexa functionality and its utility in our everyday lives. A few months later, Alexa is still a common name spoken in our household on a daily basis.
In addition to Alexa, the new Fire TV has a number of hardware upgrades as well. Most notably, the new Fire TV now supports 4K Ultra HD video thanks to a more powerful GPU. In order to enable 4K video, Amazon has upgraded the processor in the new Fire TV to a quad-core, 64-bit MediaTek SoC with PowerVR GX6250 graphics. According to Amazon, this processor has 75 percent more processing power than its predecessor. The Fire TV also has 2GB of memory and better Wi-Fi support. You’ll also find 8 GB of storage in the new Fire TV, and unlike the first generation model, the new version has a microSD card slot that lets you expand the storage capacity up to 128 GB.
Of course, the Fire TV still provides access to all of today’s most popular content and services including Netflix, Amazon Video, HBO GO, and Showtime Anytime. The Fire TV also lets you watch live TV on NBC News, NBA Gametime, and Sling TV which includes ESPN, CNN, HDTV, AMC, A&E, Cartoon Network, and more. You can also rent movies, view photos, stream music, and play games using the Fire TV.
|Size||4.5 x 4.5 x 0.7 inches|
|Processor||MediaTek Quad-core up to 2 GHz
Dual-core @ 2.0 GHz + Dual-core @ 1.6 GHz
|GPU||Power VR GX6250|
|Storage||8 GB internal|
|Wi-Fi Connectivity||Dual-band, dual-antenna Wi-Fi (MIMO) for faster streaming and fewer dropped connections than standard Wi-Fi.
Supports 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi networks.
|Bluetooth||Bluetooth 4.1 + LE, with support for the following profiles: HID 1.0 , SPP 1.2, HOGP 1.0, GATT, A2DP 1.2, AVRCP 1.0|
|Voice Support||Yes, with Fire TV Voice Remote (included) or free Fire TV Remote App (available for download on Fire, Android, and iOS)|
|Game Controller Support||Yes, optimized for Amazon Fire TV Game Controller and most games are compatible with other Bluetooth controllers|
|Cloud Storage||Free cloud storage for all Amazon content|
|Ports||DC Jack, HDMI output, 10/100 Ethernet, microSD slot, USB 2.0|
|Audio Support||Dolby Audio, 5.1 surround sound, 2ch stereo, and HDMI audio pass through up to 7.1 (Dolby Audio coming soon to Netflix)|
|Content Formats Supported||Video: H.265, H.264, Audio: AAC-LC, AC3, eAC3 (Dolby Digital Plus), FLAC, MP3, PCM/Wave, Vorbis, Dolby Atmos (EC3_JOC)Photo: JPEG, PNG, GIF, BMP|
|Output Resolution Supported||2160p up to 30fps
720p and 1080p up to 60fps
|System Requirements||Compatible high-definition or ultra high-definition television with available HDMI input, Internet connection, a power outlet|
|TV Compatibility||TV must support minimum HDCP requirements for protected content playback.Compatible with (1) 4K ultra high-definition TVs with HDMI capable of 2160p at 24/25/30/50/60 Hz and HDCP 2.2, or (2) high-definition TVs with HDMI capable of 1080p or 720p at 50/60 Hz|
|Warranty and Service||1-year Limited Warranty and service included. Optional 2-year and 3-year Extended Warranty available for U.S. customers sold separately.|
|Closed Captioning||Watch videos and TV shows with closed captioning displayed. Captions are not available for all content.|
|Included in the Box||Amazon Fire TV
Amazon Fire TV Voice Remote
2 AAA batteries
Quick Start Guide
|Price||$99.99 at Amazon.Com|
Fire TV Voice Remote
|Size||1.5 x 5.9 x 0.7 inches|
|Weight||2.4 ounces with batteries / 1.6 ounces without batteries|
|Batteries||2 AAA (included)|
|Battery life||Up to 12 months battery life with typical use|
As you can see, the new Fire TV is available for the same price as before--$99.99. Amazon is also offering a Fire TV Gaming Edition for $139.99 which comes with the Amazon Game Controller, a 32 GB microSD card, and two games (Yacht Club’s Shovel Knight and Disney’s DuckTales: Remastered).