In Brief

Amazon unveils Fire TV Stick with Alexa smart controls

Revamped stick is faster, has more power – and can even order your takeaways

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Amazon has revealed its new Fire TV Stick, saying it's faster, more powerful and crucially smarter.

After rival Roku gave its streaming box line-up a comprehensive overhaul – including a model offering 4K support – the internet giant has hit back by adding its Amazon Echo voice-activated assistant Alexa to the device.

Using a smart remote, users will be able to find a film, TV show or app simply by summoning Alexa and asking her to locate it.

The remote's abilities go beyond finding content, though. Users will be able to get the news, weather reports and even takeaways via the assistant, says BGR.

The Fire TV Stick looks exactly the same as its predecessor, but contains more powerful hardware. Amazon has upped the processor chip from duo to quad-core and added 802.11ac wi-fi support, making the stick 30 per cent quicker and allowing users to loading faster, with fewer buffering pauses.

Unlike Roku's device, however, the Fire TV Stick does not have 4K or high dynamic range (HDR) support, although these are available on Amazon's more expensive Fire TV box.

Pre-orders are open now and the new stick is set to launch mid-October. Users who activate their stick before 31 October will be offered free content from Hulu, Sling TV and Amazon Direct Video.

Despite the upgrades, Wired says the new Fire TV Stick will not be more expensive. It's expected to retail at £34.99, with the current stick on sale as a cheaper option.

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