Amazon’s Fire TV line of devices now includes four different Fire TV Stick models with list prices ranging from $30 to $55. But under the hood it turns out that some models have remarkably similar hardware.

In fact, the $30 Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite and $40 Fire TV Stick are basically identical. The only difference is that the Lite model comes with a paired down Alexa Voice Remote Lite that lacks hardware buttons for controlling the volume and power on your TV.

But the Fire TV Stick 4K and 4K Max pack additional RAM and, in the case of the Max, faster CPU and graphics performance which should lead to quicker app launch times and smoother all-around performance.

Left to right: Fire TV Stick Lite, Fire TV Stick, Fire TV Stick 4K

Here’s a look at how Amazon’s new Fire TV Stick 4K Max (2021), 3rd-gen Fire TV Stick (2020), 1st-gen Fire TV Stick Lite (2020), and 1st-gen Fire TV Stick (2018) stack up in terms of hardware:

Fire TV Stick Lite (2020)Fire TV Stick (2020)Fire TV Stick 4K (2018)Fire TV Stick 4K Max (2021)
Video1080p @ 60 fps
HDR10+
1080p @ 60 fps
HDR10+
4K @ 60 fps
HDR10+
4K @ 60 fps
HDR10+
CPUMT8695D
1.7 GHz quad-core
32-bit (software limitation)
MT8695D
1.7 GHz quad-core
32-bit (software limitation)
MT8695
1.7 GHz quad-core
32-bit (software limitation)
MT8696
1.8 GHz quad-core
32-bit (software limitation)
GPUIMG GE8300IMG GE8300IMG GE8300 (650 MHz)IMG GE9215 (750 MHz)
RAM1GB DDR41GB DDR41.5 GB DDR42GB DDR4
Storage8GB8GB8GB8GB
WiFiWiFi 5
2 x 2 MIMO
WiFi 5
2 x 2 MIMO
WiFi 5
2 x 2 MIMO
WiFi 6
2 x 2 MIMO
BluetoothBT 5.0BT 5.0BT 5.0BT 5.0
Ethernet10/100 (with dongle)10/100 (with dongle)10/100 (with dongle)10/100 (with dongle)
OS Fire OS 7
(Android 9)
Fire OS 7
(Android 9)
Fire OS 6
(Android 7.1)
Fire OS 7
(Android 9)
RemoteAlexa voice remote LiteAlexa voice remoteAlexa voice remoteAlexa voice remote
List Price$30$40$50$55

This article was originally published September 24, 2020 and last updated September 9, 2021. 

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  1. The lite model is actually a 3rd gen upgrade from Gen 2 even though Amazon calls it a Gen 1 because they changed the name to lite. It is as advertised at 50% faster than 2019 but I think it is faster than that based on my 2016 Gen 2.

  2. Good to know. I bought the 4K stick when it came out in part because I wanted a media player/streaming device that was future proof and it supports Dolby Vision (and HDR 10+, etc.). The new one is slightly better, faster, but not enough to switch it out. Though definitely worth buying in the case I need a second one.

    That said… Wow Brad. You originally published this in the future? I am very impressed that the original publication is two weeks AFTER the update to the article 😉

  3. One HUGE features missing from your grid… the lite does not have a volume control for your tv/sound bar/amp.

    This even works for some computer brand speaker remotes like logitech.

  4. For the price the hardware is poor on all models.

    Terrible ram and storage sizes.

    minimum 2gb ram with models up having 4gb and storage wise 8gb then 16gb+ for higher models also add sd card support (the extra ethernet adapter as well is a joke not even gigabit)

    I don’t know why people buy these things

    1. Speaking for the 4k version, hardware storage might be poor, but performance isn’t. Wasn’t happy with any of the previous versions, but the 4k version has more than enough fire power. As long as you can sideload and still put a launcher on it, I’ll still have lots of uses for one, whether that’s taking one with me while traveling or an extra one concealed behind the tv, they are extremely handy because of their size. For $25 for the two 4K sticks I currently have, I’m not complaining.

      Perfect example of how I use the 4k stick. Get an otg cable, sideload your favorite media player app or download vimu player from amazon, and connect a 512gb flash drive full of media for on the go. Perfect companion if there’s nothing good to watch where you are. As long as thr flash drive is in the FAT32 format, it will work fine and anything in the x265 codec works fine as well. I’ve even got a 2tb seagate wireless drive running on the stick using kodi with a ton of movies + tv on that which connects through wifi. Been solid for years. The entertainment that you can get out of this thing is pretty impressive when you think outside of the box. The apps you can use run with from iptv to games with a bluetooth controller.

      You want to complain about specs. Look at the reviews on that new xiaomi mi stick. The hardware on that is woefully under-powered based on the reviews I’m reading. A stuttering mess with apps like hulu. It’s no Nvidia Shield, but rarely have I had any performance issues from all the times I’ve been using the 4k stick.

      You don’t have to worry about asking me why I bought it. I could give you a hundred reasons.

  5. There’s a serious mistake on at least the Stick 4K specs.

    The specs read 32 bit under the CPU SoC, but the actual cores are 64 bit ARM64/v8-A based A53 cores.

    The OS is the limiting factor as for some reason Amazon is gimping all their devices with a 32 bit version of Android thereby limiting the full performance of the SoC’s they use.

    1. I should clarify that, but this is how Amazon lists the specs, because there’s no support for 64-bit applications on these devices. So unless it becomes possible to root these sticks and install custom ROMs, for all intents and purposes, these are 32-bit devices.