Apple TV 4K vs Amazon Fire TV 4K: Which is the better buy?
Amazon and Apple have both recently unveiled new 4K HDR compatible streaming boxes, but which one should you buy?
Let’s take a look at what sets them apart and see which is the better purchase.
Apple TV 4K vs Amazon Fire TV 4K design: What’s the difference?
Amazon has drastically redesigned its Fire TV for this generation, ditching the boxy style for something more akin to the Fire TV Stick or Chromecast Ultra.
Instead of sitting on your TV unit, the Fire TV plugs right into your HDMI port and hangs out the back. This means it’s hidden away.
The Apple TV is much more familiar. It’s a glossy black box that sits below your TV, plugging into an HDMI port via an HDMI cable you’ll have to buy separately.
Apple TV 4K vs Amazon Fire TV 4K specs and features: Which has more?
Right, this is the important category. If you’ve gone out and splurged on a new 4K and HDR television, you’ll likely want the absolute best content to work all those pixels.
First off, both these devices support 4K content. This is either from their own movie stores, Netflix or Amazon Prime Video. The 4K Fire TV will ship with the this onboard, but it will be coming to the Apple TV later in the year.
They also both support HDR – high dynamic range – playback, too. This offers better brightness and contrast, as long as your TV supports it. Netflix and Amazon both offer HDR content, as does iTunes for the Apple TV.
Not all HDR is created equal though, and the Apple TV supports both HDR 10 and Dolby Vision HDR. The Fire TV 4k only supports HDR 10.
The majority of HDR TVs support HDR 10, so Amazon has clearly gone for greater compatibility, but Dolby Vision can offer even brighter and colour-rich pictures if you’re watching back Dolby Vision enhanced content.
There are also some differences in the audio formats supported. The Apple TV 4K supports Dolby 7.1 surround, but the Fire TV 4K actually improves on this by adding Dolby Atmos support too. Atmos might come to the Apple TV in the future with a software update, but it’s not here at launch.
In terms of storage space the Apple TV 4K can be picked up in either 32GB or 64GB flavours, whereas the Fire TV 4K only has 8GB storage, This isn’t a huge deal though, as the majority of content is streamed rather than downloaded.
Both boxes comes with the support for the latest HDMI standard, dual-band 802.11 Wi-Fi and voice-controlled remotes. They both support ethernet, but on the Fire TV 4K that requires a separate dongle.
Powering the Apple TV is an A10 CPU and 3GB RAM, making it a seriously fast box. The Fire TV 4K has a 1.5Ghz quad-core processor inside.
Apple TV 4K vs Amazon Fire TV 4K price: Which is better value?
The biggest difference between these two boxes is their price. The Apple TV 4K starts at £179/$233 (32GB) and rises to £199/$259 (64GB), while the Fire TV 4K costs a mere £69.99/$91. That’s a whole lot cheaper for Amazon’s stick.
It is important to take into account that 4K HDR movies on iTunes are a lot cheaper than they are on Amazon, and the selection seems a lot bigger, plus iTunes will upgrade your older movies to 4K for free when they become available.