New Amazon Fire TV (2017): What we know so far about the Apple TV 4K rival

Amazon may be working on two new Fire TV models set for launch later this year, according to the latest reports.

It’s been a while since Amazon last upgraded its Fire TV platform. The second-generation Amazon Fire TV model launched back in 2015, ushering in support for 4K Ultra HD streaming, followed by an upgrade to the Amazon Fire TV Stick in October last year. Since then, it’s all been quiet.

But new evidence suggests that Amazon is about to release two new Fire TV models, both of which will reportedly be capable of 4K streaming, in an attempt to pull the rug out from under the new Apple TV 4K.

The first will be a dongle, according to AFTVNews, which will plug directly into your HDMI port. This technically makes it a direct successor to the Amazon Fire Stick – although it’s no longer a stick. Instead, it’s squared off, and has a dangling connector that makes it look much more like the latest Google Chromecast.

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Credit: AFTVNews

 

New Amazon Fire TV (2017): Price and specs

The article suggests that the dongle will feature 2GB of RAM, 8GB of built-in storage, and will be powered by an unnamed 1.5GHz processor. The device, we’re told, will price between $60 and $80 USD, which is more expensive than the current Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote ($39.99).

The second device is a little more interesting; it appears to be a flagship Fire TV device, but in a new, cubic form. It’s also got Amazon’s signature blue LED wrapped around the top, which signals that it comes with Alexa digital assistant functionality.

The report notes that the new Fire TV will feature far-field microphones – just like the Amazon Echo – that will allow users to operate the set-top box with voice commands. The box is also expected to feature an integrated speaker so that you can use it like an Amazon Echo – or a Google Home or Apple HomePod – when your TV is turned off.

It’s reported that the top of the box will feature similar buttons to the Echo Dot – including mute, action, and volume keys – and that it’ll come bundled with an IR remote control. We don’t have specific pricing just yet, but it’s tipped that the device will cost upwards of $100.

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New Amazon Fire TV 2017: Release date and what to expect

While Amazon hasn’t confirmed any such news, a couple of other developments have us wholly believing we’re going to see new Fire TV devices very, very soon.

The first is that Amazon has pulled the existing Fire TV lineup from its online store, similar to how Apple’s online store went down ahead of the launch of the iPhone X and iPhone 8. This suggests the launch of a new product is imminent.

Shortly after it was discovered current generation Fire TVs were no longer available for sale, it was also spotted (again by AFTVnews) that a new software update was rolling out for Fire TV devices. Most significantly, this update brings the entire Fire TV range onto the same version of Amazon’s Fire OS, and adds voice keyboard input – a major nod to the new 4K devices we’re expecting to see, as they’re thought to feature Alexa integration.

In terms of a release date, we wouldn’t like to speculate too much, but given that existing Amazon Fire devices are no longer available to buy, we have to think we’re looking a launch within the next seven days, at most.

 

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