Although it may not seem like it, they do have some differences between them.
Since Amazon launched its first Fire TV Stick, only Xiaomi and Realme have dared to enter this fight, a priori, sterile, because everything that Amazon touches turns it into a sure success and an insurmountable wall for its adversaries. In this sense, we are not going to detract from the Fire TV Stick, I have one of them at home that I use almost daily. Without a doubt, these 3 brands have to their credit the best TV sticks on the market.
However, Xiaomi and realme with both TV sticks have some advantages that the Amazon device is not capable of offering. And all this is due solely and exclusively to the operating system on which these gadgets are based. And it is that, while the Fire TV Stick has basic Android, it is covered by its customization layer and does not have closed agreements with all partners, and in the case of Xiaomi and realme, their TV sticks come with clean Android TV, where any app has a place.
We are going to review in detail everything that each option offers, its price, and the differences between them. Then it will be you who decides which one to keep when buying one. We will review the 4 most common purchase versions and the ones with the highest power and resolution of both brands. In this way, we will know in which part one or another version falters, and we will be able to make a correct decision in this regard.
- Xiaomi TV sticks
- Xiaomi Mi TV Stick
- Xiaomi TV Stick 4K
- Amazon TV sticks
- fire tv stick
- Fire TV Stick 4K Max
- What’s wrong with the Fire TV Stick
- Advantages of the Xiaomi Mi TV Stick
- The best alternative to Xiaomi Stick TV and Fire TV Stick
Xiaomi TV sticks
Xiaomi was one of the most prominent manufacturers to launch TV Box models on the market and to succeed with them to this day. However, the launch of Amazon’s Fire TV Stick created a new production line of this type of device that allows people to avoid having another device next to the TV and hide it behind it.
Xiaomi Mi TV Stick
Following in the footsteps of Amazon, Xiaomi stopped focusing mainly on its successful Mi Box with Android TV to launch its first TV stick to compete with the Fire Stick TV. This first model is more basic and very similar to the Amazon device in its Lite version, as it has enough capacity to play content in 1080p at 60 fps thanks to 1 GB of RAM and its quad-core Cortex-A53 CPU and chip. ARM Mali-450 chart. In the box comes the micro USB to USB cable to power the Mi TV Stick, the remote, and a power adapter.
It works on Android TV 9, with WiFi 5 and Bluetooth 4.2 technology for peripherals such as remote control, game controllers, or headphones. It is capable of playing all types of video, image, and audio files and is compatible with Dolby and DTS sound. To carry basic Android TV without customization layers on top of it, it is easier to install all kinds of third-party apps through downloaded APKs. Those of us who use Android daily on our mobile will see these advantages more easily.
Xiaomi TV Stick 4K
When Xiaomi realized that 4K televisions were the future, not like 3D, it began to get its act together to renew its best-selling Mi Stick TV. At that time, it was compared to Amazon’s Fire TV Stick 4K, although with a late arrival in Europe and the rest of the planet. This device supports ultra-high resolution (UHD/4K) content at 60 fps without problems, and all this is thanks to its quad-core Cortex-A35 CPU, its ARM Mali-G31 MP2 GPU and the 2 GB of RAM it has. The big difference with the Full HD model is that it has undergone a slight growth throughout.
In addition, the default system is Android TV 11, a necessary update to the Google TV system. Its connectivity is similar to the previous model, renewing Bluetooth technology to version 5.2 with lower energy consumption and greater stability. In the box, we find a micro USB to USB cable, a power adapter, the controller, and a mini HDMI extension cable. Its internal memory is 8 GB, we would have preferred 16 GB due to the support for 4K content that occupies considerably more space and the apps that are loaded more every day.
Amazon TV sticks
Amazon was one of the first manufacturers to launch a TV stick on the market. This fact revolutionized the industry because until then many firms had focused on launching Android TV Boxes such as the Xiaomi Mi Box or the NVIDIA Shield TV as the most prominent. The current TV sticks represent a reduction in space and price with power very similar to an Android TV player.
Fire tv stick
Amazon’s most successful device currently sells its 3rd version presented in 2020 and which arrives with Android TV 9 under Amazon’s customization layer, Fire OS 7. It has the power of the MediaTek MT8695D quad-core processor at a speed of 1.7 GHz. We have 1 GB of DDR4 RAM that, together with the CPU, make a perfect tandem to be able to support content in 1080p at 60 fps without a problem. From the Amazon app store, we can download all kinds of applications for streaming video/music, games, or information/news, and install them on the 8 GB of internal storage that this Fire TV Stick comes with.
It is compatible with HDR10, HDR10 +, and HLG image enhancement technology, so dark scenes will become brighter. Its remote, which works via Bluetooth 5.0, is low consumption and includes a microphone to be able to ask Alexa for the content you like the most at any given time. This device has WiFi 5 connectivity and the possibility of connecting a 10/100 Mbps Ethernet cable through an adapter (not included). We can install apps from the store or third-party APKs by activating the corresponding option in the device options.
Fire TV Stick 4K Max
This device is the most powerful of the TV sticks on the market today. It has 8 GB of internal memory and 2 GB of RAM to move content in 4K at 60 fps without breaking a sweat. It achieves this, not only because of the RAM but also because of its MediaTek MT8696 + MT7921LS quad-core processor that works at 1.8 GHz. Its IMG GE9215 GPU at 750 MHz also has a lot to do with this successful device. It runs Fire OS 7 on top of Android TV 9, like all current Fire TV versions.
It is compatible with a multitude of audio, video, and image formats, including FLAC, MP3, H.265, or Dolby Vision. All content compatible with HDR10 + and HLG can be played on this TV stick. There are many series and movies on Disney +, Prime Video, and Netflix that show their full potential if you use this Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K. I tell you that I have it connected to a high-resolution projector. To work, you just have to have a free socket close to the TV stick or a USB connector on the TV designed to give it power with at least 1A of intensity.
What’s wrong with the Fire TV Stick
The problem with the Amazon Fire TV Stick comes when we want to install the best apps for Android TV that we want. In this sense, it does not put much resistance to the vast majority of them. In the Amazon app store, we will find a large number of apps that we also have in the Google Play Store adapted to the Android TV of the Xiaomi and realme TV sticks. However, it seems that some of the partners such as HBO Max are not available to install in Spain.
BenQ is also a manufacturer that has a TV stick with Android TV in its catalog on which Netflix cannot be installed in any way, but the rest of the apps can (besides, buying it for free is very prohibitive). Therefore, the Amazon Fire TV Stick is not alone in this regard. Even so, Amazon’s Fire TV Stick is a great streaming device with the possibility of 1080p and 4K with a high frame rate per second. One of our editors confirms:
It is a very good device to turn your television into a Smart TV, since it has a wide catalog of applications and, in addition, it allows you to install third-party apps. It is a simple device to handle and works smoothly.
Advantages of the Xiaomi Mi TV Stick
Another reason why we see that the Xiaomi and Realme TV sticks have an advantage over the Amazon Fire TV Stick is the possibility, more easily, of installing third-party apps. In all TV sticks, you can activate the option to install applications from unknown developers, but only in those that come with basic Android TV (Xiaomi and realme), the warranty of the gadget will remain intact. However, if you do it on a Fire TV Stick and there is a problem, Amazon is not responsible for the damage caused and will not replace the unit with a new one.
I have both options, a Benq TV stick and a Fire TV Stick 4K Max. On both, I have all the apps I use daily installed, however, on the Fire TV Stick I cannot have HBO Max, but I can on the BenQ device. I have the same case with Netflix, which I can use on the Fire TV and not on the BenQ one.
This would not happen with a Xiaomi or Realme TV stick, since in both cases we can install all the apps like Netflix and HBO Max without any problem. However, the Chinese manufacturers must work hard to achieve the fluidity that we have in the Amazon device, adding a greater amount of RAM and storage for the practically perfect operation that is needed in this type of gadget.
The best alternative to Xiaomi Stick TV and Fire TV Stick
The best alternative right now is the realme TV stick, it only has one version and it supports 4K content at 60fps. The firm has seen the vein and has gone directly to snatch part of the market that both Amazon and Xiaomi have already won today with their most powerful device. This device is very similar to Xiaomi’s, if not nailed down, as it has the same processor, same GPU, same RAM, and internal memory. It comes with Google TV in its guts, which is the same as Android TV 11. In addition, its price is slightly lower than that of Xiaomi because since it was launched at 69.99 euros it has seen its price drop, and it remained at 49.99 euros on its official website.
Sharlene Meriel is an avid gamer with a knack for technology. He has been writing about the latest technologies for the past 5 years. His contribution in technology journalism has been noteworthy. He is also a day trader with interest in the Forex market.