Fire Stick vs Fire Stick 4K: Should You Pay $15 for 4K?

This guide is intended for people who already own a Fire Stick and are wondering if they should upgrade to a Fire Stick 4K. Will it be worth the extra dollars to indulge in the upgrade? The new Fire Stick 4K is the third generation of the Amazon TV and in this article, we will compare Fire Stick vs Fire Stick 4K.

However, if you don’t have a Fire Stick, and might be wondering what this is all about, it is useful to know that it is a streaming media device that can plug into your TV and access many of the popular streaming channels through the use of one single remote. For those of you who are juggling three or more remotes to get to your favorite shows, there is information here for you, too.

If you already own a Fire Stick device then you already are familiar with its many advantages. What you might not know is just how popular the Amazon Firestick has become. If you ask ten people about their media streaming devices, eight of them are likely to own an Amazon Fire Stick.

Amazon originated the Fire OS, using it to power their digital media streaming devices beginning in April 2014. It has become the most requested and used device in many countries. Amazon provides regular updates to deal with discovered bugs and to improve the user interface.

The recently launched Fire Stick 4K supports Dolby Atmos and 4K HDR. Read on to learn whether it is worth your while to upgrade from the Fire Stick to the Fire Stick 4K.

Fire Stick vs Fire Stick 4K


You won’t find a lot of difference in size, shape, or weight between the Fire TV Stick and the newer Fire TV Stick 4K. But appearances are deceiving.

Listed below are some of the differences:

1. Size

Although at first glance, the new Firestick 4K seems to be the same size, closer examination reveals that the newer model is slightly larger. This is because the new Fire TV Stick 4K has four new buttons.

This means that you don’t need your old TV remote to surf channels, increase or decrease volume, mute the TV for phone calls, or to answer important questions. You can also mute the volume and then switch off your Fire Stick, allowing video to run.

2. Display

Fire TV Stick 4K supports HDR protocols and is an ultra HD 2160p device. When a device has an increased number of pixels, you gain greater picture clarity. More pixels mean higher picture clarity. The original Fire TV only supported 1080p display. Unfortunately, to enjoy this feature you must have a TV that has a 4K display. The question then becomes is it time to upgrade your TV to 4K HDR?

3. Operating System

Amazon uses the Fire OS for all its streaming devices. With that said, the Fire OS will support all Android apps. Android OS can be readily customized to run on almost any OS because they are open source.

Amazon developers have made the adaptations necessary for Android devices to be compatible with the Firestick. The new Firestick uses Fire OS 6, which corresponded with the Android 7.1 Nougat. The old Firestick ran on Fire OS 5 which corresponds to Android 5.1 Lollipop.

Because of this switchover, you might need to do some device upgrading to take advantage of the Fire TV Stick 4K. Many applications no longer support OS 5, Android 5.1, otherwise known as Lollipop.

4. RAM

RAM stands for Random Access Memory. It is the component that makes a huge difference in the speed of your computer and how many things it can do at once. The old Firestick had 1GB of RAM, which is really pretty impressive when compared to early PCs and devices.

But as time has moved on, more complex programming has created a demand for greater RAM. This third generation Firestick has 2GB of RAM. This gives a smoother operating experience and greatly improves processing speed.

Attention: Read before you continue

Governments and ISPs across the world monitor their users online activities. If found streaming or browsing content on your Fire TV Stick, mobile or PC, you could get into serious trouble. Currently, your IP is visible to everyone. We strongly recommend you to get a good VPN and hide your identity so that your online experience doesn’t take a bad turn.

We use IPVanish which is the fastest and most secure VPN in the industry. It is very easy to install on any device including Amazon Fire TV Stick. Also, it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you don’t like their service, you can always ask for a refund. IPVanish also runs a limited time offer where you can save 73% on your VPN and they allow you to use one account on unlimited devices. This is a flash sale that can expire at any time.

Click Here for IPVanish VPN @ 73% Off

Here are the reasons why you must use a VPN all the time.

5. CPU

Speaking of processor speed, another “speedy” improvement for the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K is swapping out the old Mediatek 8127D processors for Amlogic S905Z. Again, this gives the user a smoother, more satisfying experience.

6. Storage

Here is an option completely new to the Fire Stick. The old Fire TV was strictly a “what you buy is what you get” device. But the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K has the option of increasing memory by adding a micro USB. It doesn’t plug in directly, however. A separate OTG cable is required.

7. Audio

An added feature that was not included in the second-generation Fire TV Stick is support for Dolby Atmos sound. The new Fire TV Stick 4K also supports ten HDR protocols that assist with providing superb sound quality and crisp, clear video.

8. Price

While there is not a massive difference in price, you can expect to pay more for the Fire TV Stick 4K than you might for the older, second-generation device. If you have a new TV that will go with the third-generation Fire Stick, then it is likely to be worth the slight uptick in price.


There you have it – the differences between the second-generation and third-generation Firestick. If you have an older TV, then upgrading might not be much of an advantage. But if you have a television with 4K resolution, then upgrading to the Fire Stick 4K is likely to be well worth your while.

The new Fire Stick 4K has some really cool features. It is definitely faster and can give an improved viewing experience when teamed with the correct television.

Did you enjoy reading this Fire Stick vs Fire Stick 4K comparison? We welcome your feedback and please share your thoughts in the comments section.

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8 months ago

the bottom line is if you have 4K already then it improve your experience, also you get a power button and volume control which is a plus, I don’t have 4K and will use my 2gen control until I just want to change, I do have IPVanish and I am happy wit it, I also downloaded the program that tells me the vpn is on and working, thanks for all your info. I really like reading all Filelinked tutorials

Armand Cipullo
Armand Cipullo
8 months ago

Have you tested your WiFi speed with VPN off? When I keep the VPN setting to automatically go on, I find buffering increases and apps crash because the speed is so drastically effected. . I’m concerned. Has anyone else found this? If so is there a fix ?

Armand Cipullo
Armand Cipullo
8 months ago

I have been using a Fire Stick since 2014. Yes the new 4 K stick is much better. I find it to also pull in faster WiFi than the older ones. What I did discover is that when using VPN like IPVanish the VPN can impact WiFi speed drastically. After contacting IPVanish the company was able to assist me to set the settings in the program/app to help improve my WiFi speed.

8 months ago

Hi I’m not a techno buffso some/all of your comments I find hard to follow but I get there in the end ,so if I install a new fire stick ,the new stick will be completely blank ,so I would have to start afresh, that’s a challenge

Paul K
Paul K
8 months ago

Have been a fire stick user for a long time and am upgrading to the 4k. Look for sale from Amazon and if a prime member you can get a good deal. Not using a VPN as of now streaming is legal in the US and do not want to slow down wifi speeds.

Li cam
Li cam
8 months ago

Thanks! I have a 4K but haven’t used it I have an older tv, but still the upgraded hardware
( cpu ect) will have me unpacking it tomorrow!
Thanks for the info!
Love reading your articles!;)

Carla Kenner
Carla Kenner
7 months ago

I have IP VANISH,on my 4k stick.
My question is why does my prime account videos and when viewing I have to disconnect, my von for it to work?
Is there a setting in Ip Vanish that needs to be set to keep my vpn on or is it not necessary to it on while viewing movies through Amazon account.