Planning to buy a set-top box for the holidays? Feeling stuck between an Amazon Fire TV vs. Apple TV? Without a doubt, it is going to be one of the hardest decisions to make. There are so many considerations to make such as access to entertaining shows, your gaming needs, choice of apps, smartphone you are using, better controller, casting and streaming options, connectivity, and so on. To give you a much clearer vantage point, we have compiled some of the most notable aspects between Amazon Fire TV vs. Apple TV for you to easily pick out what matters most to your end-game.
Amazon Fire TV vs. Apple TV: The Show-Down
When buying a streaming box, the following essential aspects must be taken into mind: design, resolution, software specs, connectivity, controller, content, unique features, and, of course, price. Here they are:
DESIGN. Bearing the same midnight-black color, Apple TV looks like the pudgier cousin of Amazon Fire TV. The former weighs approximately 425g but with its rounded edges and thicker dimensions allow for less desk space. The Fire TV, on the other hand, is bulkier with its 281g approximate weight. Though slim and lighter, it takes up more desk space with its 115x115x17.5 dimension.
SCREEN RESOLUTION. The latest Amazon Fire TV is capable of 4K video playback at around 2160p and 30fps. Its 1080 playback can be enjoyed at around 60fps. Apple TV, on the other hand, makes use of HDMI video output in either 1080p or 720p.
SOFTWARE Specs. Both set-top boxed run on top-of-the-line microprocessor. Apple TV has its own 64-bit A8 processor with 32GB storage. Amazon Fire TV has 2GHz quad-core MediaTek processor made even more powerful with Power VR GX6250 600MHz graphics as well as 8GB internal storage and micro-SD expansion slot of up to 128GB. If you are keen on running 4K or so into huge gaming extravaganza, you will need more RAM and power like that of the Fire TV.
Still on specs between the Amazon Fire TV vs. Apple TV extravaganza, The former runs on Amazon Fire OS 5.0 Bellini which features movie and TV section for 4K content with Alexa voice control. The latter runs on Apple tvOS which also currently features a specific app store for TV content with white background, Siri voice control, night-and-day screensavers, and split screen viewing.
CONNECTIVITY. While both set-top boxes support 802.11ac Wi-Fi with MIMO and Bluetooth 4.0, there are subtle differences when it comes to their connectivity features. Apple TV uses power in, HDMI 1.43 outpout, Ethernet, and USB-C. Amazon Fire TV, by virtue of its 4K, now support HDCP 2.2-compatible HDMI port.
CONTROLLER. Both set-top boxes sport wireless remote controls in sleek black with easy-to-use navigational wheels and microphone button. Amazon Fire TV remote however, has other buttons and a microSD port. For a few dollars, you can buy an optional controller for your Amazon Fire TV for astounding gaming experience.
CONTENT/APPS. Amazon Fire TV still maintains its usual menu of UI categories ranging from Search, Home, TV or Movies, Watchlist and Video Library, Games, Apps, Photos, Music, and Settings. Like the Apple TV, it also features apps for Hulu Plus, Watch ESPN, Vevo, and so on. For US market, it also feature FreeTime and subscription-only Prime Video menu option. With its own app store, Apple TV also has also evolved with new big-screen specific apps no longer just limited to the usual BeatsMusic, Disney Channel, HBO GO, HULU Plus, iTunes, and many more.
SPECIAL FEATURES. While Apple TV allows you to stream wirelessly from any iOS device to any HDTV and iCloud for premium movie and extra storage via its unique AirPlay, Amazon Fire Tv also allows you to cast content via any smartphone that supports it. It also features cloud storage and built-in voice-search mic on the controller. FreeTime on Amazon Fire TV also allows more kid-dedicated screen time.
PRICE. Between the Amazon Fire TV vs. Apple TV debacle, the latter may seem to hang as the more expensive option. But when you add the optional gaming controller to the Fire TV, you also more or less get the same spending power.
Picking between the Amazon Fire TV vs. Apple TV is all a matter of preference. For those who are into gaming and the whole 4K route, the Amazon Fire TV would be a likely choice. For those who simply want robust entertainment catalogue, the Apple TV is definitely the best set. In all these, it all boils down to personal preferences because, frankly, both deliver astounding features that will truly make television entertainment spectacular.