Amazon Firestick and Google Chromecast are the two most competed streaming devices available in the market. Other than the streaming device rivalry, Google and Amazon are always on the verge of competition. If you are going to buy any of these two streaming devices, read below to know all the pros and cons, additional features and more about Firestick and Chromecast.
What is Firestick?
Firestick is a streaming device by Amazon that can be used to stream and watch media content through the internet. It is an independent device with a remote controller. You can install apps, games and browsers to stream media contents on your TV.
Streaming without a VPN exposes your IP address, making you vulnerable to privacy breaches and hacker attacks. Without encryption, your online activities are more susceptible to monitoring by ISPs, snoopers, and the government. Lastly, accessing geo-restricted content may be impossible without a VPN, limiting your entertainment options. Hence, it is recommended to use a VPN.
Of all the available VPNs, I recommend NordVPN if you ever want to watch the desired movies, TV shows, or sports events on your Firestick without risking your privacy. NordVPN is the fastest and best VPN service provider with global coverage. You can now avail yourself of the New Year's deal of 67% off + 3 Months Extra of NordVPN to stay anonymous.
With NordVPN on Firestick, your internet traffic gets encrypted, so your IP and identity stay anonymous. You can stream the desired content while staying away from the government and other online intruders.
Read more about Amazon Firestick
What is Chromecast?
Chromecast by Google is more of a casting device than a streaming device. It can be used to cast your smartphone content on your TV. You need to control your Chromecast through a smartphone, there is no separate controller for it. Google Chromecast is the best casting device but it also serves as a streaming device and as a competitor for Amazon Firestick.
Firestick vs Chromecast – Setup
To setup Firestick, you need to follow the on-screen instruction for about two to three minutes to complete the setup. If you purchase the Firestick through the Amazon Online Shopping, your Amazon account is already signed in on your device which makes the setup process easier. When you finish the setup, you need to install all the app manually on your Firestick.
For Chromecast, you need to download the Google Home app on your Smartphone and need to complete all the on-screen instructions to finish the setup. When you finish setup, you are ready to cast any app that is available on your smartphone. You don’t need to install any app like you do in Firestick.
For streaming devices, both the device has minimal setup procedures and is easy to setup. There is nothing to say that the one device is superior to other in setup wise.
Firestick vs Chromecast – Design
Amazon Firestick is a rectangular shaped device. The device contains only the micro USB port and the HDMI port. It has no moving parts other than the optional HDMI extension cable. Firestick looks a lit bit thicker as it may disturb the next HDMI port on your TV. If it blocks, you can use the extension cable.
Google Chromecast is a circular-shaped device with the HDMI cable, not the HDMI port which makes the connection easier. It has also the micro USB port and with the Reset button. If you want to reset the Chromecast, you can use the Reset button.
On Design-wise, Chromecast is a better device when compared to Firestick.
Firestick vs Chromecast – Control
Amazon Firestick has a separate remote control for its device. You can control the Firestick with the Remote. Like a computer keyboard, there are a lot of hidden shortcuts available on the Firestick Remote.
Apart from the remote, you can control the Firestick with your smartphone. To control the Firestick with your smartphone, you need to install the app Amazon Fire TV. The app is available for both Android and iOS smartphones.
This is where Chromecast is having a lower hand. It doesn’t have any separate remote control. Your smartphone is the remote control. The best part about the control in Chromecast is that you can cast it and do any other thing on your smartphone. It won’t affect the casting process. After the arrival of Chromecast, many of the streaming apps come with the Cast icon. You just need to tap the cast icon and you are ready to cast the app on your TV.
Despite having the Cast icon on many streaming apps, Amazon Firestick is having the edge over Chromecast. On control-wise, Amazon Firestick wins the race.
Firestick vs Chromecast – UI
The User Interface of Amazon Firestick is very similar to Android smartphones as it runs on Fire OS which is very similar to Android OS. The on-screen keyboard is the only thing that gives a headache to the users. The keyboard keys are arranged in ABCD format, not in QWERTY format which is the universal format for keyboards. Choosing and selecting the letters from the on-screen keyboard is quite a task. However, you can use voice control to eliminate this issue.
In Chromecast, it doesn’t have any user interface like the control. It just a device that is used to cast. As the control, your smartphone is the UI to your Chromecast. You don’t need to do any specific thing on Chromecast other than casting. Hence, it misses all the UI options that are available on Firestick.
In UI-wise, Firestick may look better for most of the users. Chromecast hasn’t any UI of its own.
Firestick vs Chromecast – App Ecosystem
This is the make or break factor for both the devices. The number of apps and apps compatibility is the major factor for both devices.
For Firestick, there is a separate app called Amazon App Store where you can install apps on your Firestick. If it is not enough for you, you can install apps using third-party installers. As it runs on Fire OS which is very similar to Android, you can install most of the Android smartphone app on your Firestick. It has 8GB of storage to install apps and store data which is enough for a single user.
On Chromecast, you can cast almost all the streaming apps which have in-built cast icon. The apps that don’t have the cast icon, you can use the Mirror screen feature that is available on the Google Home app. The storage depends on the user’s smartphone.
Firestick vs Chromecast – Streaming Quality and Content
When streaming quality is considered Amazon Firestick has an output quality of 1080p. For 4K resolution, it has Fire TV Stick 4K. Since it has internal storage, it can pre-load video files which will reduce the buffering. In contents, as mentioned earlier, you can download most of the Android apps and can stream its contents.
In Chromecast. it supports 1080p videos and has Chromecast Ultra for 4K support. Since it is a casting tool, it can deliver content that is supported by your smartphone. For the apps, that don’t come with Cast icon, you can screen mirror your smartphone. But the Screen mirroring won’t work for iOS devices. When it comes to app updates. the smartphone is the first device to get the update when compared to Android TVs.
In Streaming Quality and Content, both the devices are up to the mark. It is hard to distinguish the devices in this category.
Firestick vs Chromecast – Gaming
You can install games on Firestick but you can’t control as you do in smartphones. You need to control it only by the remote. High-end games need fast controls and quick reflexes. You can’t do that in Firestick.
In Chromecast, you can’t literally play games. You can share your game screen for others to watch your gameplay. Usually, games won’t come with Cast icon you need to screen mirror your smartphone to Chromecast.
Both devices are not good for gaming. You can’t play the game comfortably on Firestick. It is not essential to screen mirror your game.
Amazon Firestick has some cool features other than a streaming device. There are apps on the Amazon App Store that can be used to cast your Smartphone. AllCast app is one such example. You can use your Firestick as a casting device. If you want you can install any apps on your Firestick like productivity, news, sports, fashion apps. It can be your stationary smartphone.
In Chromecast, there are no additional features. The device capability and performance solely depend on your smartphone you are using. It can be used as a tool to share what’s on your smartphone. Other than that, there is not much a Chromecast can do.
Amazon Firestick cost starts from $45 to $119. Chromecast costs from $35 to $70. Chromecast is a cheaper device when compared to Firestick. But for $45, you will get an independent device. In the case of Chromecast, the device is useless without a smartphone. By considering the price and in-built features, Amazon Firestick is the best buy.
By considering all the pros and cons, Firestick is the best streaming device when compared to Chromecast. Though the Chromecast is cheaper, it doesn’t work independently. Amazon Firestick, as a whole, is holding the edge over the Chromecast. On the bottom line, Amazon Firestick is worth the buy.