Amazon Fire TV vs Google Chromecast: which is better?

family watching tv

With affordability on their side, Amazon Fire TV and Chromecast devices are no doubt some of the most popular video streamers in the market. But each has unique perks and drawbacks that make them a better option for different types of users.

For instance, Chromecast devices make sense for those who want seamless Google Home integration. But except for Chromecast with Google TV, Chromecast players can’t function without an additional device to cast from. Read our Google Chromecast review to learn more.

On the other hand, Amazon Fire TV devices are great for fans of Prime originals as they allow easy access to Amazon Prime Video content. Learn more about the service’s offering in our Prime Video review. Plus, they come with an Alexa remote, unlike Chromecast players.

So choosing between the two can be a little challenging since they’re comparable but with stark differences in the way they function. In this post, we give you a detailed comparison of the Fire TV devices from Amazon vs. Chromecast players. This will help you figure out which one’s a better option for you.

Amazon Fire TV vs. Google Chromecast features and specs

Fire TV Stick LiteFire TV StickFire TV Stick 4KFire TV CubeChromecastChromecast UltraChromecast with Google TV
4K supportNoNoYesYesNoYesYes
Dolby Vision supportNoNoYesYesNoYesYes
Expandable storageNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
Remote controlYesYesYesYesNoNoYes
Google Assistant compatibleNoNoNoNoYesYesYes
Alexa compatibleYesYesYesYesNoNoNo
Siri compatible NoNoNoNoNoNoNo
Dimensions3.4 x 1.2 x 0.5 inches3.4 x 1.2 x 0.5 inches3.8 x 1.2 x 0.5 inches3.4 x 3.4 x 3 inches2.04 x2.04 x 0.54 inches2.29 x 2.29 x 0.53 inches6.4 x 2.4 x 0.5 inches

Amazon Fire TV vs. Google Chromecast cost

Price-wise, Amazon Fire TV devices and Google Chromecast players are more or less comparable. You can get the most basic version of each device for $29.99 — both with full HD (High Definition) support. So in the Chromecast vs. Fire Stick Lite comparison, it’s all a matter of which device ecosystem you prefer.

But with Fire TV having more models, you can also choose from a wider range of price points. This makes them more flexible when it comes to pricing, so there’s something for every budget. Don’t forget to check out our Fire TV comparison report to learn all about the different Fire TV models and their varying price points.

The priciest option is the Fire TV Cube, which costs $119.99. It also comes with much more advanced features, including built-in Ethernet support and larger storage capacity. Find out the detailed features of the model in our Fire TV Cube review.

At the same time, the Fire TV Stick 4K offers the best value since it comes with 4K streaming capabilities at just $49.99. Learn more about the detailed offering of this device model in our Fire Stick review.

Meanwhile, the priciest Chromecast is the Chromecast Ultra, which costs $69. As highlighted in our Chromecast Ultra review, the higher price point means a few premium features such as an Ethernet port. It also has the functionalities to provide better streaming quality than the basic Chromecast. So it’s ideal for those who need high-quality, uninterrupted streaming.

You can also check out our Chromecast vs. Chromecast Ultra comparison report to learn more about how the two options vary.

That said, you get the best value out of the Chromecast with the Google TV option since you get 4K streaming and several premium functionalities for just $49.99.

Amazon Fire TV vs. Google Chromecast interface and personalization

The interface is where you’ll find the biggest difference between Amazon Fire TV and Google Chromecast devices.

Amazon Fire TV devices have a quick and straightforward interface that’s similar across models. This even applies to TVs that run on the Amazon Fire ecosystem. Make sure to check out our Fire Stick vs. Fire TV comparison to learn more about how these TVs are different from the Fire TV streamers.

On the home screen, you’ll find your apps in an intuitive layout, so it’s easy to navigate between them. But other than a few exceptions, you typically have to launch each app to browse through its contents instead of browsing directly on the home screen.

On the plus side, you can pin your favorite apps to the home screen for easier access. And you still get previews for certain titles on the home screen so you can instantly watch them without having to go through the extra step of opening the app that offers them.

Amazon Fire TV devices now offer multiple user profiles, which adds some level of personalization to your experience. You can create up to 6 user profiles, each with its own settings, viewing history, and watch list.

For Prime Video subscribers, Fire TV devices make it easy to access the app. And you can personalize your subscription by adding your favorite channels, which will then be accessible from the Fire TV home screen. Learn more about what channels you can add in our Prime Video guide on packages and pricing.

With the Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra, you won’t have to learn how to get used to an entirely new OS (Operating System). These devices let you cast content from your phone or tablet and even your computer. So you get to control the entire experience from a device that you’re already comfortable using. At the same time, they don’t offer much in terms of personalization.

On the other hand, the Chromecast with Google TV has an interface of its own. This interface is snappy and straightforward, so you won’t have much trouble getting used to it. It even has a “For You” tab with recommendations based on your viewing history. But it doesn’t let you create multiple user profiles at the time of writing this post, which strikes off some personalization points.

Amazon Fire TV vs. Google Chromecast streaming quality

Even in terms of streaming quality, Fire TV and Chromecast players are comparable for similar model ranges. That means there isn’t much difference in Fire Stick vs. Chromecast 3rd Generation in terms of the streaming quality. Both offer up to 1080p streaming and decent speed.

This holds true for other streamers such as the ones from Roku too. For similar price points, you get the same level of streaming quality. Check out our Fire Stick vs. Roku Streaming Stick comparison to learn more.

Both Amazon Fire TV and Google Chromecast also offer models that give you 4K streaming at the same price point. To stream in 4K on Chromecast, the cheapest option is the Chromecast with Google TV for $49.99. Check out our guide on Chromecast in 4K to learn more.

And for the same price, you can get 4K streaming on the Amazon Fire Stick 4K. The Fire Stick 4K streaming option may be just what you need if you’re planning to watch the 4K titles on Prime Video. Learn more about streaming Prime Video in 4K in our guide.

Amazon Fire TV vs. Google Chromecast compatibility

When it comes to device compatibility, there isn’t too big of a difference between Fire TV and Chromecast players. For both options, you’ll need a 4K TV to stream content in 4K. And a high-definition TV to stream content in HD.

Both devices need a TV with HDMI input at the bare minimum. And naturally, higher-end models will require high-speed input to stream 4K content.

To use Chromecast devices, you’ll also need a TV that has built-in High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) 1.3 or higher. For 4K streaming, your TV needs at least HDCP 2.2. And to cast content from your mobile or tablet, your device needs to meet the following specifications:

  • Android 6.0 or later for Android mobiles and tablets
  • iOS 12.0 or later for iPhones or iPads

As for voice assistant compatibility, both Amazon Fire TV and Google Chromecast players stick to their own product. For instance, the Amazon Fire TV players come with a remote that has built-in Alexa voice assistant. And you can use Google Assistant with Google Chromecast players through the Google Home integration.

Neither the basic Chromecast nor the Chromecast Ultra comes with a remote, whereas all of the Fire TV players and the Chromecast with Google TV come with one. So you typically have to control them with a compatible mobile device through the Google Home app. But if you still want to use a remote with your Chromecast player, check out our guide on how to set it up.

The final cut

Both Amazon Fire TV and Google Chromecast offer plenty of great options that cater to the needs of different types of users. And the two options are more or less comparable, considering the device range and price points.

For those on a budget, the Fire TV Stick Lite and the basic Chromecast are great options. But if you want 4K streaming and still want to save some money, go for the Fire TV Stick 4K, or the Chromecast with Google TV. And for a first-class streaming experience, it’s a fight between the Chromecast Ultra and the Fire TV Cube.

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