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Amazon Fire TV Stick vs Google Chromecast: Which is the best Streaming Media Player in the Market

TL;DR 
Fire TV is better in terms of User Experience and Control convenience. There is a Tie the convenience of searching content. Performance and Quality wise Fire Stick and Chromecast are same, but Fire Stick also supports x265, hence is fast and saves bandwidth. Number of apps for chromecast are way more than of Fire Stick. There is also option for games in Fire Stick. Price of Chromecast Rs 3,499 and Price of Fire Stick is Rs 3,999.

Before the launch of Amazon fire TV, if you had asked me - which is the best streaming device in the market? My Answer would have been Google Chrome Cast hands down. 
But now the users have another option - Amazon Fire TV Stick. Both Google Chrome Cast and Amazon Fire Stick pull off the same task - streaming media from various sources, but their approaches differ.

On one hand Google Chromecast is a service. You open a supported app on your Android or iOS device (Phone, Tablet, ,Laptop or PC), hit the cast button on the app and then mirror the contents onto your TV Screen. This way you can view saved videos, stream Netflix.

On the other hand, Fire Stick is a Product. It lets you install hundreds of apps onto its memory and also comes in with a Bluetooth remote for controlling the TV. You don't need  to carry another streaming device with you.

UI/ UX and Control

A Good user interface is the one that lets you find what you are searching for with ease. But a good User Experience is the one that lets you pick up from where you left off. Amazon has improved its Fire OS hugely over the years. Fire OS - which was once so clumsy has been refined, and made super fast.  On the homepage you get a recent tab, that displays the recent apps and also the title of the last Amazon Prime video that you were watching.


On the other hand, chromecast doesn't have a user interface, since its just a conduit for the media. All the Navigation and the controlling is dependent on the app that is delivering the content. When using chromecast event to do the smallest things like playing the next video, you need to locate the device delivering the media to chromecast.

On the other hand, the Fire Stick comes with a Bluetooth remote that has a control pad for navigation, buttons for playback and voice search. There is also an Android and iOS app that lets you control your Fire Stick.

SEARCHING

Fire Stick comes with a dedicated search tab. Also you can press the voice button on the remote to query. But sadly the Amazon's voice assistant isn't available in India yet, so voice search is not global. It only lets you search for amazon prime videos like Kenny Sebastian's Don't be that guy and apps like hotstar. 

Also Fire TV doesn't launch apps automatically it just searches for it and displays result. Also due to its limited capabilities in India, using chromecast to search and stream is comparably faster as compared to Fire Stick.

PERFORMANCE & QUALITY

Both Fire stick and chromecast can output media at 1080p. But the Fire Stick also has support for HEVC(x265), so your videos will load faster and consume less bandwidth. Also Amazon is offering internal memory, that is used by the device to pre-fetch the video and hence reduce the wait time.

The Fire stick also offers Bluetooth, so you can easily connect Bluetooth headphones with it and enjoy your favorite shows when others are sleeping.

APPS & SERVICES

Chromecast has been in the market for a longer period of time and naturally its user base is large. According to google currently there are over 20,000 apps that can chromecast. On the other hand, according to Amazon, they have around 3000 Apps, Games and Services.

Most popular services like Netflix, Hotstar, Voot are available in both chromecast and Fire Stick. But you won't get play music on fire stick and Amazon Prime on Chromecast(for obvious reasons).

PRICES

Google's second generation chromecast costs Rs 3,399 on Flipkart and Fire TV Stick is available on Amazon for 3,999.

Although the Price of the Fire stick is a little more but you get a Bluetooth remote and internal memory which are worth the extra money.

Also, if you don't have Amazon Prime yet, then you can get an Amazon Pay balance worth Rs 499 on buying Fire Stick.

VERDICT

There are clear winners in each category. Both chromecase and Fire stick are good in their respective use cases. The one you decide to buy solely depends upon your preference. Although Fire Stick is a superior product as compared to chromecast, but the number of apps for Chromecast is way more. Also there is limited support for Amazon's Alexa in India :( .

Aman is a Technology Enthusiast, Foodie and a sports fanatic who loves exploring new things on the internet. He is a gadget addict who would just get attracted to any gadget or technology that he could lay his hand on.

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