The Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite is a new entry into Amazon's Fire TV range of streamers, and it's the cheapest model that Amazon has put out yet.
Retailing for just $29.99 / £29.99 / AU$59.99, it's a good amount cheaper than the new Fire TV Stick (2020) or even its premium Fire TV Stick 4K cousin. While you won't be getting all the bells and whistles of more expensive models, you're still getting the same Fire TV interface and Alexa voice assistant, as well as full HD streaming and even HDR support.
Amazon has historically often been undercut on streaming sticks, with the likes of the Roku Express proving a cheaper, lower-spec alternative to the Fire TV range – but this latest model is sure to just make the budget streamer space even more competitive.
So what exactly is different about the Fire TV Stick Lite, and what features does it sacrifice to get to its low price point? Read on for everything you need to know below.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? An affordable HD streaming stick in the Amazon Fire TV range
- When can I get it? September 30
- How much does it cost? $29.99 / £29.99 / AU$59.99
Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite pricing
The Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite will be available globally from September 30, though it's available for pre-order until that date. You can buy it for $29.99 or £29.99 in the US and UK respectively, or for AU$59.99 in Australia (marking the first time a Fire TV model has landed in the territory).
That price point puts it well below the $39.99 / £39.99 Fire TV Stick (2020) and $49.99 / £49.99 Fire TV Stick 4K. It matches up with the $29.99 Roku Express, making it pretty clear that Amazon is looking to stop Roku from beating it on price.
What about Amazon Prime Day 2020?
Amazon Prime Day is coming up soon on October 13-14. The massive sales event will be a great place to find discounts on Fire TV devices, as well as lots of other tech. Amazon has a habit of discounting even brand new Amazon models, so it's worth keeping an eye out in the sales. Otherwise, Black Friday 2020 kicks off on November 27, giving you another chance to get a big discount.
Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite specs, resolution, HDR
There are streaming sticks with native 4K support – like the Fire TV Stick 4K – which should make for a better picture on a 4K TV, though.
The Fire TV Stick Lite also adds in HDR (high dynamic range) support, increasing color and contrast with a larger range of possible tones to utilize. Most 4K video these days is filmed in HDR10 – the basic HDR format – making it a smart choice to upgrade to the Lite if you're currently making do with an SDR streamer. You'll also get the dynamic HDR10+ format favored by Amazon Prime Video, which uses metadata to calibrate your picture settings on a shot-by-shot basis.
HDR is a surprise addition at this price point, especially since 4K isn't supported – but it does make the Fire TV Stick Lite a meaningful upgrade on the Fire TV Stick (2019).
Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite remote
One key area where the Fire TV Stick Lite stands out is the remote – which sacrifices some utility in order to bring down the price.
Most Fire TV devices ship with the Alexa Voice Remote – a dedicated clicker for navigating the Fire TV interface, that also throws in volume / playback controls and a microphone for voice commands using the Alexa voice assistant.
The Fire TV Stick Lite, however, comes with a simplified Alexa Voice Remote Lite, which ditches the TV-related controls, meaning it can only control the streaming stick and not the hardware it's plugged into.
So, you don't get volume or power buttons, and you'll have to juggle with your usual TV remote – or your smart speaker, if that's how you tend to turn on your television.
Fire TV: UI changes
While the Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite doesn't offer huge hardware improvements, there are some notable changes coming to the Fire TV interface.
There are now profiles for every member of your family, which can be customized to each viewer. There's also a new navigation bar which includes the favored apps of each profile, making getting around the UI much quicker.
You're also getting a picture-in-picture mode, meaning you can load up more than one app at one time on your Fire TV interface for dual watching. It may sound a bit busy, but it means that a video stream from your smart doorbell can come up in the corner without entirely taking over the screen or closing the other app you have in use. A similar technique is at work with Alexa voice commands, with answers being displayed in compact text boxes rather than using up the full width of the screen.
All of these changes sound good to us – and they're set to come to all existing Fire TV devices – though we're still waiting on Amazon to improve its flawed browser experience for Amazon Prime Video.