2nd Gen Fire TV Stick 4K Max a faster, smarter streaming device

Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max 2nd generation

It wasn’t just smart home devices that Amazon announced at its event overnight. Alongside the Echo Hub, and Ring Stick Up Cam Pro, the global company also announced new Fire Stick 4K and Fire TV Stick 4K Max models.

Although the naming convention hasn’t changed, which may lead to confusion among shoppers, the new models of the TV streaming devices are said to be faster and more powerful than the previous generation.

We reviewed the original Fire TV Stick 4K Max in 2021, which didn’t have either Kayo or Binge apps at the time. A subsequent update added the popular local streaming services to the platform earlier this year.

Fire TV Stick 4K Max: what’s new?

Most of the changes to the new upper-end Amazon streaming stick are under the hood. For starters, the second-generation device uses a quad-core 2GHz processor (up from 1.8GHz) and doubles the storage to 16GB. It even weighs less, with the new Fire TV Stick 4K Max dropping nearly five grams compared to the first iteration.

Improved wireless technology may be the most immediately useful upgrade. There’s now support for Wi-Fi 6E tri-band connectivity, a faster version of Wi-Fi. Granted, you’ll need a 6E-compatible router to fully benefit, but it should mean faster and more reliable streaming – even if your house is filled with wireless gadgets. Plus, the 4K Max now uses the Bluetooth 5.2 protocol (up from 5.0).

Fire TV Stick 4K Max | Stream BINGE, Kayo Sports, Netflix, Prime Video
  • Our most powerful streaming stick. Elevate your entertainment experience with a powerful processor for lightning-fast app starts and fluid navigation.
  • Enjoy the show in 4K Ultra HD, with support for Dolby Vision, HDR 10+, and immersive Dolby Atmos audio.
  • Stream more than 350,000 movies and TV episodes. Watch favourites from Netflix, BINGE, Stan, Disney+, Prime Video, Apple TV+ and more, plus watch sport live and on-demand with Kayo Sports and Optus Sport. Subscription fees may apply.

Another welcome addition to the streaming device is that it comes with the Alexa Voice Remote Enhanced, which includes a “Recents” button for easily accessing previously used apps. It’s the same remote that ships with the more expensive Fire TV Cube.

Outside of the usual streaming fare, the second-gen 4K Max also enables any TV to not only become a smart TV, but also a digital art display. Accessed by using voice commands or holding down the home button, the Fire TV Ambient Experience kicks in. Included as part of the feature is the ability to cycle through calendars, reminders, photos, and over 2,000 artworks. This includes a mix of overseas and local artists, like Nicole Blake and First Nations artist Biddee Baadjo.

A faster Fire TV Stick 4K (sans the Max)

Amazon claims that the second-gen 4K streaming stick’s 1.7GHz processor is 25% more powerful than the original, and its 2GB of memory is 33% more powerful. Internal grunt improvements aside, it also now has Wi-Fi 6.

Fire TV Stick 4K | Stream Prime Video, Netflix, 9Now, 7plus
  • The world’s best-selling Fire TV 4K stick. Elevate your entertainment with the next generation of our 4K stick, with improved streaming performance.
  • Stream for free with 9Now, 7plus, ABC iview, 10Play, SBS On Demand, YouTube and more.
  • Enjoy the show in 4K Ultra HD, with support for Dolby Vision, HDR 10+, and immersive Dolby Atmos audio.

It’s worth mentioning that the non-Max version doesn’t get the latest remote. Instead, it has the non-“Enhanced” version, which excludes the “Recents” button. A slightly annoying omission but not worth getting too hung up on.

Release date and price

Both new Fire TV devices are available to pre-order now ahead of a 27 September 2023 release date. The next-gen Fire TV Stick 4K Max costs $119, while the non-Max model costs $79.

If you favour smoother navigation and have a Wi-Fi 6E router to take full advantage of faster speeds, it makes more sense to get the 4K Max. Otherwise, Wi-Fi 6 is still a fast wireless protocol, so the vanilla 4K stick would suit your needs adequately. Either device will capably transform any dumb TV into a smart TV via an HDMI port.

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