If you are looking to invest in a new streaming stick like the new Chromecast 3, or the upcoming Fire TV Stick 4K then this is the story for you. We will tell you the features each dongle brings along with their price and availability.
Google has launched the Chromecast 3 in India. The new Chromecast was announced alongside the Pixel 3 family of smartphones and was overshadowed for obvious reasons. The third generation of Google’s streaming dongle now comes in a matte finish. The matte finish is nice as it will resist scratches and fingerprints. The device also comes with Dual Band 802.11ac Wi-Fi. It is priced at Rs 3,499 in India and is available for pre-order on Flipkart. The device will go on sale on October 24.
Google says that the Chromecast 3 is 15 percent faster than its predecessor, the Chromecast 2. The biggest highlight is that the Chromecast 3 can now do 1080p at 60 frames per second. This is great only for those looking for this feature. If you have a Chromecast 2, then there is little reason for you to upgrade as the Chromecast 3 does not do 4K. I repeat, the new Chromecast 3 does not do 4K. There is no upgrade in terms of the UI either. You have fancy wallpapers when the device is inactive, or you can have a slideshow of your Google Photos. The primary remote control in this case is still your smartphone and you can control the Chromecast using the Google Assistant. Amazon Prime Videos content cannot be Chromecasted to your TV from your smartphone or tablet. You can read our comparison between the Chromecast 2 and the Fire TV here.
If you are one that has a TV on the Android TV platform, then you don’t really need a Chromecast or the Fire TV as all these features are built into your TV directly. If you are, however, looking for a dongle for your old TV or want a better smart TV experience on your budget smart TV, then there is one other option to choose – the recently announced Fire TV 4K. Sure, it costs Rs 2,500 more than the Chromecast 3, but it does come with a voice enabled remote control and support for all popular streaming apps like Netflix, Hotstar, Prime Videos and more. The Fire TV 4K is priced at Rs 5,999 and is up for pre-order on Amazon.in, with availability starting November. If you have a 4K TV, then it's an even better option as the new Fire TV Stick supports 4K along with HDR 10 and Dolby Atmos audio encoding. If you are looking for a 4K experience on a Chromecast, then you will need to buy the Chromecast Ultra which isn’t officially available in India.
If you are one that has a smart TV running on Android TV, WebOS or Tizen, then neither of these sticks make sense unless you want Alexa or Google Assistant specific services. Either of these sticks make sense for the following scenarios.
Like we said above, if you have a 1080p TV and a second gen Chromecast or the first gen fire TV stick, then the upgrade to the new one of either isn’t value for money. If you are one who is finicky about 1080p content at 60fps which one mostly finds on YouTube and in gaming videos, then the new Chromecast has some justification for you. If you have a new budget 4K TV and are looking to make the most of it, then you can consider the upcoming 4K Fire TV Stick as there is quite a bit of content on Netflix and some on Prime Videos that is in 4K and HDR enabled. Also, you are getting a device that is futureproof.
There are a host of other devices to consider based on your setup such as the NVIDIA Shield if you want to stream your PC games to your TV or the Apple TV 4K if you are on the Apple ecosystem. Nonetheless, all these devices will only work if you a decent internet connection at home, so make sure you check that before buying a streaming dongle. Yes, you can tether your Jio connection to make the most of these devices.