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Amazon packs UHD and HDR in a tiny form factor with the new Fire TV Stick 4K

Amazon has been on a roll in 2018. Earlier this year, the company launched the Fire TV Cube, which tied together everything you’d want out of a streaming box along with some brilliant smart home features. Then it launched the Fire TV Recast, which adds live over-the-air (OTA) TV to your other Fire TV devices. Now, the company is set to take a big picture to a smaller form factor with the announcement of the new Fire TV Stick 4K, the company’s most powerful streaming stick to date.

The company says the Fire TV Stick 4K is 80 percent more powerful than the best-selling Fire TV Stick, thanks in part to its new quad-core 1.7GHz processor. This brings not just the ability to stream in 4K resolution, but support for high dynamic range (HDR) in both HDR10+ and Dolby Vision formats. The new model doesn’t just offer better picture quality. Audio has received an upgrade as well, with support for Dolby Atmos object-based surround sound.

The Fire TV Stick 4K features a new 802.11ac Wi-Fi chip that helps with the bandwidth requirements for 4K programming, meaning you shouldn’t have to worry about buffering or stuttering picture. The updated hardware also offers quicker load times and an overall faster streaming experience. This, combined with the new Alexa Voice Remote that adds volume buttons to the remote, makes for one of the best Fire TV experiences to date.

If you’re looking for a way to make sure you’re watching the highest-quality content, you can simply say “Alexa, find 4K TV shows” so you don’t have to worry about checking to see if a show is streaming in the right resolution. If, on the other hand, you know exactly what to watch, you can simply say, for example, “Alexa, watch Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan,” with in-app voice control now available in apps including Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu, and others. The new streaming stick also works with Amazon’s Fire TV Recast, letting you easily watch and record OTA TV.

The Fire TV Stick 4K sells for $50 and includes the new remote, which is available separately for $30. That is a low price for a 4K streamer, but isn’t quite as low as the $40 Roku Premiere, which debuted last month. If you’re looking to put together a smart home starter kit, you can save a little money by ordering a bundle that packages a Fire TV Stick 4K together with an Echo Dot for $80. Another bundle packages the Fire TV Stick 4K, Fire TV Recast, and a 35-mile HDTV antenna for $250, which the company says is a savings of over $50.

The Fire TV Stick 4K is available for pre-order now, and will begin shipping on October 31.

Updated on October 3, 2018: Clarified that the remote is brand new and updated that the included antenna in the bundle is 35-mile, not 50-mile.

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