Fire TV 4k

Fire TV 3rd Gen vs Fire TV 2nd Gen – Should You Upgrade?


Today I got my hands on the 3rd gen Fire TV. One of the most popular questions I get is should you upgrade to the 3rd gen Fire TV from the 2nd Gen Fire TV.

Well, I could talk about it but showing you is probably the best way to do this. So here is my head to head review of the Fire TV 3rd gen vs the 2nd Gen:

Here are some details from the 3rd gen Fire TV’s Amazon listing

  • All-new Fire TV with 4K Ultra HD and HDR support in a compact and portable form factor.
  • Experience true-to-life picture quality and sound with access to vivid 4K Ultra HD up to 60 fps, HDR, and Dolby Atmos audio.
  • Enjoy tens of thousands of channels, apps, and Alexa skills with access to over 500,000 movies and TV episodes from Netflix, Prime Video, YouTube, Hulu, HBO, SHOWTIME, STARZ, and more. Subscription fees may apply.
  • Use your voice to easily find, launch, and control content with your Alexa Voice Remote or pair Fire TV with an Echo device for hands-free content control.
  • Do more with Alexa by playing music, ordering a pizza, and controlling compatible lights and other smart home devices—just ask.
  • Prime membership unlocks thousands of movies and TV episodes, including Thursday Night Football, Amazon Original Series, Amazon Channels, and ad-free listening to millions of songs with Prime Music.
  • No cable or satellite? No problem. Use an HD antenna to get free broadcast networks like NBC and PBS or watch live TV and sports with subscriptions to Hulu, PlayStation Vue, and Sling TV.
  • Simply plug into an HDTV and start streaming in minutes. With an ultra-fast processor and 802.11ac Wi-Fi, you can rely on smooth and responsive performance.

So should you upgrade to the 3rd gen?

If you have an HDR TV I would upgrade to the 3rd gen Fire TV. HDR brings a noticeable improvement in image quality. If you do not own an HDR TV I would not upgrade at this time. The 2nd gen Fire TV is faster and has more features than the cheaper 3rd gen Fire TV does not have.

If I was buying a new Fire TV and you want to use it for streaming videos I would buy the 3rd gen Fire TV. With more TVs adding HDR support I would buy the 3rd gen so you are ready when you upgrade your TV.

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  • Jimmy S

    Thanks alott luke you are the 1st and only person to have a head to head utube vid up already comparing the two thanks for all you do

  • Lyntill

    Thanks for the comparison, Luke. I got mine yesterday but haven’t had time to hook it up yet. I didn’t have the 2nd generation. I bought this one mostly because of the Alexa controls.

    Btw, Alexa liked the review too. She’s been talking back to you.

  • Babbette’s Butler

    I bought the 3rd Gen Fire TV box. I noticed a little jerkiness at times and some speed-ups on Hulu as compared to my Roku 3.

    • Fred Koot

      How it hasn’t been announced?

      • Babbette’s Butler

        Maybe it’s not happening to many others.

        • ApplesToOranges

          He’s saying, the 3rd Gen Fire TV Box isn’t even announced yet.

  • jmgnyc

    Good vid, but FireTV lost me at the first Geico ad on the home screen. I will not buy something with banner ads on the home screen of a video device.

    • Daniel Quillen

      Roku devices have ads as well, it’s not a big deal. I don’t even really notice them.

      • jmgnyc

        I guess I’m lucky. I don’t get ads on my Premier+ home screen, perhaps because I have the store hidden? Showing an ad for a show or movie when I select a channel is much less obtrusive that what Amazon is doing. Gillette and Geico built into the scrollable area is just not something I will accept, but to each his own 🙂

  • Fred Koot

    Its not an upgrade. Its less powerfull , they just changed the hdmi port

    • Emilio

      And removed the USB and Ethernet port. Definitely not an upgrade.

  • James Grayson

    Its a fire stick shaped like a mini box.

  • Iphart

    HDR sucks royal. I have Roku Ultra when watching a streaming 4K content from Netflix or Amazon Video, I turn off the HDR since it makes the picture way too dim even at night with no lights on in the room.
    My LG 4K tv has HDR built in also and same story.
    I wonder if Dolby Vision is any better? New ATV has it.

    • Fred Koot

      Try some bias lighting. Dont watch tv in a all dark room. I find hdr makes the colors more natural.

  • Diane U

    FYI: my Amazon Tap gave me my weather in reply to your query faster than either Fire TV. She’s very competitive.

  • Surfer

    @Luke Bouma, what happened the the Fire TV 3 cube with Alexa mics? Is that still in the works or did Amazon scratch that?

    • Respected Citizen

      Variety said

      The cube with built-in microphones apparently isn’t quite ready, and may not even see a release this year. Then again, Amazon is likely going to push hard to make sure it won’t miss the holiday shopping season.

    • jbw9999

      Why do people use @ before usernames?

  • Benchmark

    I would like to see a comparison like this with the Fire Stick Gen 2. I think it would be helpful to see the differences.

  • Daniel Czyz

    They need a 4GB version. Really want to see a new Fire TV, and not another stick one. Hopefully the Cube version comes out soon.