The Amazon Fire TV Stick is one of the best ways you can turn your standard TV into a smart TV, and enjoy your favourite content from different streaming services, such as Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Hotstar, YouTube.
It was launched in India several years ago and currently in the second generation. There are two versions of Amazon Fire TV Stick available on Amazon. The Non-4K Amazon Fire TV Stick is priced at Rs 3999, while the 4K Amazon Fire TV Stick sells for Rs 5999.
Looks like Amazon Fire TV Stick finally gets some competition, with the Launch of Mi TV Stick in India. From the packaging to the contents in the package, Xioami is directly targetting to the people who would pick Amazon Fire TV Stick to turn their standard TVs into smart TVs.
Since the device is from xiaomi its USB is its aggressive pricing the Mi TV Stick is priced at Rs 2799, which is Rs 1200 cheaper than the non 4K Amazon Fire TV Stick.
Comparing the package content
The packaging of the Mi TV Stick is pretty much similar to the Amazon Fire TV Stick along with the content provided in the package.
There is a TV remote along with the HDMI stick, and there is a Micro USB cable, along with a power adaptor. However there is an extra thing in the Amazon Fire TV Stick box, it’s the Male to Female HDMI Adapter, which is a pretty useful accessory for people who would be plugging the HDMI stick behind the wall-mounted TV.
If the HDMI slot on the TV is is straight at the back and not on the side, it will nearly be impossible for or anyone to plug the Mi TV Stick without having to buy bhai the male to female HDMI adaptor separately.
Majority of the people who would be needing the adaptor can buy it separately online. It will cause between Rs 250 to Rs 300, even if you have to buy this, the Mi TV Stick would still be Rs 1000 cheaper then the Amazon Fire TV Stick.
Comparing the specs
Call to the Amazon Fire TV Stick looks smaller than the Mi TV Stick the dimensions for both devices are pretty much similar.
Specifications for both devices are also pretty much same, with 8GB of internal storage on both devices including 1GB of RAM. The GPU is also the same (Mali-450 759MHz), including the output resolution which is up to 1080p at 60fps.
The Amazon Fire TV Stick and Mi TV Stick both have got only one micro USB slot which is used to power the device using the provided USB adaptor. The USB slot provided on your TV would not supply enough electricity to power the devices.
Both the devices have got Wi-Fi support so that you can easily connect with your home network. Both are other devices also have got Bluetooth on how to connect Bluetooth accessories such as external speakers. Amazon Fire TV Stick has got Bluetooth 4.1 while the Mi TV Stick has got Bluetooth 4.2, although there is no difficulty in connecting Bluetooth accessories to either of the devices.
Comparing the TV Remote
The TV remote of the previous generation of Amazon Fire TV Stick did not have volume buttons which have been rectified in the current generation. Additionally, there is also a mute button on the new remote, which is absent in the Mi TV Stick remote.
There is a dedicated Netflix and Prime video button on the Mi TV Stick. Why there is no dedicated button for either Netflix or Prime video on Amazon Fire TV Stick the user interface off Amazon Fire TV Stick is designed to showcase content from Prime video on the home screen itself.
Since the Prime Video and Amazon Fire TV Stick both are from Amazon, both are deeply integrated. Users can use the voice button to search for or movies and TV shows and play them directly from Prime Video. The Voice button also gives you access to Alexa, and you can use some of the commands you can use with Alexa, and the results will be shown on the TV.
Something similar is also available on the Mi TV Stick where Google Assistant button works for performing voice commands and works similarly. So you can use Google Assistant commands with the Mi TV Stick, and the results will be shown on the TV.
For some reason, I find voice commands the Mi TV remote work better than on the Amazon Fire TV Stick.
Mi TV Stick remote is Bluetooth enabled just like the one you get with Amazon Fire TV Stick, but the battery on Mi TV remote lasts much longer, at least for me, in comparison to the Amazon Fire TV Stick where I have to change the batteries every Fortnite. At one point, I was tired of spending money on alkaline batteries that I bought rechargeable.
Another thing to note which can be e a decision-maker is the the the availability of replacement of TV in case the TV remote stops working.
Replacement TV Remote for Amazon Fire TV Stick is available for Rs 1999, while the replacement TV remote for Mi TV Stick is available online for Rs 499 (Generic ones are even cheaper). Which means you can get as much as for MI TV remotes for the price of one Amazon Fire TV Stick remote, and as much as 10 IR Remotes for Mi TV.
Remote Apps are available for both Mi TV Stick and Amazon Fire TV Stick for both Android and iPhone. Android TV for Mi TV Stick connects easily in comparison to the Fire TV Remote.
Comparing Cast from Mobile to TV Feature
Both the HDMI TV Sticks offer a feature that lets you cast content on your mobile phone to the TV. For Amazon Fire TV Stick, its called TV Cast, and is pretty broken. It does not work as intended.
For Mi TV Stick, the feature is called Chromecast, which is a feature created by Google. Google sells a dedicated Chromecast device for TVs for Rs 3499/, which it provided built-in with Mi TV Stick. It also works as intended.
The bonus is that Chromecast also works for Casting content from Laptops as well if both are connected to the same Wi-Fi network.
Apart from casting content from Mobile/Laptop to TV, both devices also offer a feature of screen mirror. Deadly the features on both the devices. It’s so bad I didn’t even bother spending time to find a workaround.
Comparing the Performance and User Experience
Since we have compared the specifications of both Amazon Fire TV Stick and Mi TV Stick in the specifications section and found out the specs are pretty much similar, the performance is also pretty much similar.
There is a boot time of 30+ seconds on both devices. You will notice the screen going dark for a few seconds when you are launching an app on both the devices. However, switching between apps is less irritating on Mi TV Stick.
The Mi TV Stick also makes it easy to launch Netflix and Prime video since there is a dedicated button on the remote.
Like we mentioned earlier, the Amazon Fire TV Stick has got the user interface with Prime video built-in. Amazon uses Fire OS, which is based on Android, but it is heavily customised. You won’t find any Google services on the Owais, and all you need to register and set up your device is your Amazon account login credentials.
The Fire OS has got some accessible content streaming apps pre-installed along with their old version of the app store. However, it is still possible to sideload Android apps that are optimised for Android TV. We have written a detailed guide on how to do it.
Although there is hardly any extra space on both the devices to do a lot of side load of Apps, it is still easier to do it on the Mi TV Stick. Also, it is unlikely you will find the need as you get access to the play store which has got all the Android TV optimised apps available.
After having used both the devices to turn my standard 32-inch full HD TV from Samsung into a smart TV, I have found the Mi TV stick gives how much better experience than the Amazon Fire TV Stick.
I don’t find a compelling reason to go for Amazon Fire TV Stick as there is no exclusivity. Even though the hardware and the performance of both the devices are pretty much at par, all the apps that are available on Amazon Fire TV Stick are available on Mi TV Stick as well. All the features available on Amazon Fire TV Stick are available on Mi TV Stick and work better.
Considering the price, at Rs 1200 cheaper than the Amazon Fire TV Stick, the Mi TV Stick is a Good deal to have.
But, you know what an even sweeter deal is? The Mi Box 4K. It’s just Rs 700 more than Mi TV Stick at Rs 3499/-, gives you everything you get with Mi TV Stick, and also improves the performance 2x. and is still cheaper than Amazon Fire TV Stick.