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Wondering which iPhone 5 to buy? We’ll help you answer that question with some common sense, featuring two use cases that will cover the vast majority of iPhone owners.
Average iPhone User – iPhone 5 16GB
The average iPhone user and anyone on the standard upgrade cycle should go with the base-model iPhone 5. Why? It’s the most reasonably priced at $199 with a two-year contract, it holds it’s resale value the best for when you go to upgrade again at the next release cycle, and with iCloud, 16GB is a more than adequate amount of storage for the vast majority of users needs. For just about every average iPhone 5 user, the base model 16GB iPhone is the way to go.iPhone Photographer – iPhone 5 32GB
Planning on using your iPhone as your primary camera? You should get the 32GB model. Even with iCloud and Photo Stream to help relieve the space burden, the iPhone 5 has a 8MP camera and that means file sizes are often 4MB per picture, which will quickly take up space. Add in a handful of great apps, a music collection, and the occasional 1080p movie recorded from the iPhone 5, and you’ll max out the base models 16GB capacity quick once you start snapping lots of photos. The 32GB model is the most reasonable solution you won’t have to constantly delete photos to free up space, and it doesn’t cost too much more at $299 with a contract. Yes if you’re on the rapid-upgrade cycle, you will lose most of that $100 price difference, but if your iPhone 5 is going replace your point-and-shoot camera, it’s well worth the difference and sure beats cluttering your pockets with a separate digital camera.What Color? Which Cellular Carrier is Best for iPhone 5?
This is the hardest question to answer because it largely depends on where you live, where you go, and your monthly budget. The iPhone 5 supports true LTE networking, which is much faster than 3G, but not all areas have LTE coverage yet. Your best bet is to use the carriers coverage maps, find the areas you most often visit, and check coverage based on those requirements, and then use Apple’s excellent iPhone plan comparison tool to determine the best plan for your budget.
For me, I live in an area without LTE coverage on any carrier, and I still have an ancient grandfathered unlimited data plan on AT&T. For that reason, plus the eventual SIM card unlock, I’ll be sticking with AT&T for iPhone 5. That said, if I lived in a major city with LTE coverage, I’d probably go with Verizon because their LTE is very fast, you usually get the Personal HotSpot feature bundled with their data plans, and because you can use FaceTime over the VZ cell network. Meanwhile, if I wanted the cheapest monthly bill for using huge amounts of data, Sprint would be the obvious winner. As you can see the decision will vary based on your needs, and that’s why spending a few minutes looking at each option is worthwhile.
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On the surface, the iPhone 12 vs iPhone 12 Pro are very similar phones. They both feature 6.1-inch OLED displays with flat-edge designs and Apple’s A14 Bionic processor inside, but look a little closer, and there are several notable differences worth exploring.
If you’re shopping for a new iPhone 12 in 2023, here’s everything you need to know about the iPhone 12 vs iPhone 12 Pro. Plus, should you wait for the iPhone 13?
In this comparison, we focus specifically on the 6.1-inch iPhone 12 and the 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Pro. While the iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 are largely the same phones, there are some key differences in terms of display size and resolution. The iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max also share many of the same features, but there are notable differences in display size and camera technology.iPhone 12 vs. iPhone 12 Pro: Display
The display technology between the iPhone 12 and the iPhone 12 Pro is nearly the same. Both devices feature a 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR display using OLED technology with a resolution of 2532 x 1170 pixels at 460 pixels per inch.
The one difference is that the iPhone 12 Pro display features a higher “typical” brightness than the iPhone 12 at 800 nits versus 625. The actual max brightness of the displays is the same, however, at 1200 nits, thanks to universal support for HDR.
The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro displays are both protected by Ceramic Shield technology, which Apple says offers 4x better drop performance than previous iPhones.
Other display features on the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro include:
2,000,000:1 contrast ratio
True Tone display
Wide color display (P3)
The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro are very similar in terms of design as well, with both featuring flat edges similar to the iPad Pro as well as the iPhone 4/iPhone 5 days. Both devices also feature edge-to-edge displays with identically sized notch cutouts on the front to house the Face ID sensors.
The key difference in design is that the iPhone 12 is made out of what Apple calls “aerospace-grade aluminum” while the iPhone 12 Pro is made from “surgical-grade stainless steel.” This means that the iPhone 12 has a brushed aluminum finish, while the iPhone 12 Pro features a shiny stainless finish.
The difference in materials between the iPhone 12 and the iPhone 12 Pro also has implications on the weight of the phones. The iPhone 12 weighs in at 5.78 ounces, while the iPhone 12 Pro weighs in at 6.66 ounces.
Other dimensions of the phones are the same:
Height: 5.78 inches
Width: 2.82 inches
Depth: 0.29 inches
Both the iPhone 12 and the iPhone 12 Pro are rated for IP68 splash, water, and dust resistance. Under this rating, the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro can withstand submersion at a maximum depth of 6 meters for up to 30 minutes.Performance and battery life
Another area where the iPhone 12 and the iPhone 12 Pro are nearly identical is in regards to processor performance. Both devices feature Apple’s latest A14 Bionic process, which Apple touts is “the fastest chip in a smartphone.” The A14 Bionic features two high-performance cores and four efficiency cores.
Both the iPhone 12 and the iPhone 12 Pro also feature the latest Neural Engine for improved machine learning features and capabilities. Apple says the new 16-core Neural Engine offers an 80% increase in performance compared to the prior generation.
The iPhone 12 Pro features 6GB of RAM, while the iPhone 12 features 4GB. The additional RAM in the iPhone 12 Pro lends itself to a handful of additional camera features, which we’ll touch on in a bit. The RAM difference is unlikely to have a major effect on performance outside of the camera features, though.
Finally, Apple says that the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro feature the same battery life:
Video playback: Up to 17 hours
Video playback (streamed): Up to 11 hours
Audio playback: Up to 65 hours
Both devices also support fast-charging for getting an up to 50% charge in 30 minutes with a 20W power adapter. There’s also support for 7.5W Qi wireless charging and 15W wireless charging when using a MagSafe wireless charger.Connectivity
The iPhone 12 lineup is the first iPhone lineup to include5G connectivity, and that extends to the iPhone 12 as well as the iPhone 12 Pro. This means that regardless of which iPhone model you buy, you’ll get the fastest version of 5G available in your area.
In the United States, the iPhone 12 and the iPhone 12 Pro both support sub-6GHz 5G as well as mmWave 5G. Internationally, however, iPhone 12 5G support is limited to sub-6GHz connectivity.
Best iPhone 12 cases:Camera
Where the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro really start to differ, however, is in terms of camera technology.
The iPhone 12 features a dual-camera system with a 12MP ultra wide lens and a 12MP wide lens. You also get software features such as Night mode and Deep Fusion processing alongside optical image stabilization and more.
Here are the iPhone 12 camera features:
On the other hand, the iPhone 12 Pro features a triple-camera setup consisting of ultra, wide, and telephoto lenses. You also get support for Night mode when using portrait mode, which is made possible by the all-new LiDAR Scanner, exclusive to the iPhone 12 Pro.
Another one of the key differences is that the iPhone 12 Pro features support for Apple’s new ProRAW photo format, which will give iPhone photographers more control over their images and new tools for post-processing.
Here are the iPhone 12 Pro camera features:
The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro feature the same video recording capabilities, except that the iPhone 12 Pro can record Dolby Vision HDR at up to 60 fps, while the iPhone 12 Dolby Vision support is limited to 30 fps. The iPhone 12 Pro also has a higher digital zoom during recording at 6x versus 3x and 2x optical zoom in support.Colors, storage, and pricing
The iPhone 12 is available in five different colors: black, white, Product(RED), green, and blue. The iPhone 12 Pro is available in four different colors: pacific blue, gold, graphite, and silver.
In terms of pricing, the iPhone 12 starts at $829 (or $799 for AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile customers) for 64GB of storage. You can upgrade to the 128GB configuration for $879 ($849 for AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile), or to the 256GB configuration for $979 ($949 for AT&T/Verizon).
On the other hand, the iPhone 12 Pro retails for $999 for 128GB of storage, $1099 for 256GB of storage, and $1299 for 512GB of storage.Included
Citing environmental concerns, Apple is no longer including headphones or a charging brick in the iPhone 12 box this year. Here are some accessories you might consider picking up to help fill that gap and complement your new iPhone.iPhone 12 vs. iPhone 12 Pro features What about the iPhone 13? You should probably wait.
As you’ve likely seen, rumors about the iPhone 13 or iPhone 12S are starting to gain traction. The iPhone 12S is rumored to bring a handful of new features, but is expected to be an “S” year upgrade over the iPhone 12.
That being said, we are just a little over 2 months away from the introduction of the iPhone 12S or iPhone 13, so it is best to wait to find out for the Apple event in September to make a decision about what to buy.
You can keep up with the latest iPhone 13 rumors in our full roundup right here.Wrap up: iPhone 12 vs. iPhone 12 Pro
As you can see throughout this comparison, the primary differentiating factors between the iPhone 12 and the iPhone 12 Pro are camera features. The iPhone 12 Pro offers a range of different camera capabilities that aren’t supported on the iPhone 12.
When you zoom out and look at non-camera features, the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro are harder to distinguish from each other. They both feature 6.1-inch OLED displays, 5G connectivity, Apple’s fastest A14 Bionic processor, and similar designs.
For many, if not most, people, the iPhone 12 is more than enough smartphone. It can handle everyday tasks with ease, and the camera will take stunning images even without all of the bells and whistles of the Pro.
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When it comes to budget tablets, there are only two main options: the Amazon fire tablet or the Apple iPad. Which one is the best for your needs? Let’s take a look.
To be clear, we are only talking about the basic iPad here, not the iPad Pro version. This is because tablets like the iPad Pro and Microsoft Surface Pro are meant more as laptop replacements rather than simple tablet devices.
Table of ContentsAmazon Fire Tablet vs. Apple iPad: The Rundown
In a way, the comparison isn’t really fair. The Amazon Fire tablet is priced at less than half of what the iPad 10th Gen asks for, making it clear that there are going to be major differences in their features and performance.
The iPad outperforms the Fire tablet on every technical specification, offering more storage, more processing power, higher resolution, and better cameras. So the question is not whether the Apple iPad is better than the Amazon Fire tablet – it definitely is – but rather if it is worth the extra price.
And honestly, that is a difficult question to answer. Because it depends entirely on what you want out of a tablet.
If you are looking for a simple entertainment tablet to read books, play games, and watch movies on, the Amazon Fire tablet is perfect for you. It is especially good for kids. But if you’re looking for a more powerful mobile device with a range of productivity apps and the specs to power them, the iPad would be a better choice.Amazon Fire Tablet vs. Apple iPad: The Specs
Amazon Fire HD 10
Apple iPad 10.9 10th Gen
10.1-inch 1080p Full HD 10.9-inch Liquid Retina True Tone
1920 x 1200 2360 x 1640
Octa-core 2.0 GHz Apple A14 Bionic
3GB or 4GB 4GB
32GB, 64GB 64GB, 256GB
2MP Front, 5MP Rear 12MP Wide camera with Smart HDR 3
Starts at $149 Starts at $447Amazon Fire Tablet vs. Apple iPad: Pricing
The first and most obvious difference between the two tablets is the pricing. The Amazon Fire tablet is practically dirt cheap, with even the latest 10-inch model retailing at just $150, while the iPad starts at well over $400.
Even if you are willing to go back a few years – metaphorically speaking – and buy an older generation model, you’ll still be hard-pressed to get a price lower than the Fire tablet. And this is before we consider the iPad Pro, which will cost you at least a thousand bucks, if not more.
This renders the Amazon Fire tablet the undisputed winner in terms of pricing. Unless you really want more from your tablet – and can extend your budget – you can go with the Fire HD 10 with no regrets.
Winner: Amazon Fire TabletAmazon Fire Tablet vs. Apple iPad: Apps
Contrary to what you might expect, the Amazon Fire tablet does not run on Android. It instead uses FireOS, a fork of Google’s AndroidOS. And therein lies its biggest problem.
Amazon Fire tablet cannot run Google services. This means no Play Store, no Gmail, no Chrome (it has its own browser), and most surprisingly of all, no Youtube. Even the general selection of apps available on the Fire tablet is smaller since you can only install apps from the Amazon App store.
Now technically, it’s possible to install these natively unsupported apps on a Fire tablet through workarounds. But such methods are tricky and often get broken when a new update rolls out.
The Apple iPad, in contrast, features all applications available in the Apple ecosystem. This means you get Google apps like Youtube alongside Adobe and Microsoft’s creativity and productivity apps.
Winner: Apple iPadAmazon Fire Tablet vs. Apple iPad: Display
The display is a major factor in choosing a tablet, and another area in which the cost of the device ends up playing an important role. And so while the Fire HD 10 is marketed as a multimedia tablet, it is the more expensive iPad that sports a better display.
The 10.9-inch iPad features a Liquid Retina display with True Tone color, along with a whopping 2360 x 1640 resolution. This sets it leagues apart from the Amazon Fire tablet’s 1920 x 1200 Full HD display.
Of course, this also means that accidentally breaking the iPad’s display is going to burn a deeper hole in your pocket. If you’re getting this tablet for a kid, you might be better off with the Amazon Fire tablet’s Kids Edition, which encloses the tablet in a more durable casing for just fifty bucks extra.
Winner: EvenAmazon Fire Tablet vs. Apple iPad: Camera
Apple is known for its incredible cameras, so you can probably already guess the winner in this category. That’s right – the Apple iPad has better cameras than the Amazon Fire tablet.
The increased price tag obviously plays a part in this, since you can only fit so much into a $150 device. Especially when the primary function of that device is to serve as an entertainment tablet, not a photography tool.
Still, the Amazon Fire tablet’s 2MP cameras are good enough for the occasional photo or video call. If you want proper cameras, however, you should go with the Apple iPad without a second thought.
Winner: Apple iPadAmazon Fire Tablet vs. Apple iPad: Processor
The CPU of a tablet is often not a deciding factor for most people, since it’s hard to judge how the numbers translate into actual performance. This holds true when comparing these two tablets since they both boast of a multi-core processor with 2Ghz (or higher) clock speed.
That being said, the Apple iPad is outfitted with a more sophisticated processor. Named A14 Bionic, the chip contains specialized hardware for machine learning, giving a huge boost to all the new AI algorithms being rolled out.
All that doesn’t really matter if you just want to watch movies or play games on your tablet. For most use cases, the Amazon Fire tablet’s CPU performs just fine.
Winner: EvenThe Verdict
If you look at the specs alone, the Apple iPad takes the clear win. From the display to the camera, it outstrips the capabilities of the Amazon Fire HD, with higher-quality hardware and software.
At the same time, you must remember that this increased quality comes at a price. The iPad 10.9 is priced at more than twice the cost of the Fire HD 10, and most people won’t find the hefty price tag worth it.
Whether you want to read books on the Kindle app or watch Amazon Prime Video, the budget-friendly tablet performs quite well. Unless you really want the extra features, the Amazon Fire tablet would be the correct choice for you.
There you are, sitting on your office chair. Feeling comfortable and good about yourself. Let me tell you something. You are lost. You are a nobody. Why? Because you don’t have a mechanical keyboard in your life! Like some evangelical preacher, I have an idea I need to sell you. That is the glory of the mechanical keyboard. If you accept the mechanical keyboard into your life, you could be experiencing increased comfort, improved productivity, and glory! It will change the way you type forever! Don’t just ask me, there are plenty of fanatics that have forever converted from using cheap, rubber-dome keyboards to high-quality mechanicals. I have made a short list of five reasons why you should switch to a mechanical keyboard. I have faith that you will see the light.
The second reason why you need to switch to a mechanical keyboard is ergonomics. Mechanical keyboards generally have higher quality keycaps which are rounded to let your fingers rest on them more comfortably. Traditional laptop keys, with the exception of Lenovo’s, are flat. Flat keys are good for space-saving designs but you not only lose precision, but also comfort. I find flat keys uncomfortable to type on for long periods because I have to hit them “head on” in order not to make an error. Also, it is very easy to hit these keycaps on the corners which will cause your fingers to slip and mis-type. If you hit the corner of a keycap on a mechanical keyboard, you still have a good chance of registering the input. The longer “throw” of mechanical keyboards are also more comfortable for long typing sessions compared to the short engagement point of chicklet-style keyboards. For a long time, I thought the main attribute of an ergonomic keyboard is shape. After using the Microsoft Natural Ergonomic keyboard for 2-3 years and using my Leopold Tenkeyless for about 5 months, I realize that it’s not about the shape. The main reason mechanical keyboards are better is the key switches.
The third benefit is reduced strain. I realize this is closely related to comfort but I felt that this deserved its own section simply because of RSI(Repetitive Strain Injury). We use our computers for hours and some of us do not take RSI seriously. I take good care of my hands. And so should you. For most people, their hands are their livelihood. Hand health is very important if you are a musician, laborer, or athlete. One thing I’ve notice after spending a few months with my mechanical keyboard compared to keyboards of my past is finger pain. I use to get finger pain after prolonged typing on the rubber dome keys. They were all I knew so I didn’t question. It wasn’t until I was in the market for a better keyboard where I found out about mechanical key switches. Subsequently, it wasn’t until I was typing on them for hours until I realized my finger pain was mainly caused by the cheap rubber-dome keyboards. If you are on the computer for hours, or if your profession involves extensive amounts of typing, consider investing on a mechanical keyboard for this very reason. These key switches will reduce finger strain. Your hands will thank you.
The fourth benefit of using a mechanical keyboard is improved speed. A more precise, comfortable keyboard means improved typing speed. I was never a speed typist. Barely being able to type 25 WPM, after a few months of serious training, I can now type 60-70 WPM. Your mileage may vary but you will improve your speed. If not in burst typing, definitely in endurance typing. That’s typing long essays or reports. Wiki has the average typing speed rated at 33 WPM. If you are over this, you are doing very well.
The last and most important reason why you need a mechanical keyboard? They’re fun! That may sound silly to say but after getting one, I now enjoy typing. I like the sound of these Cherry MX browns. Some people like the blues. You can’t go wrong either way. They’re great to type on. Mechanical keyboards have their own unique personalities. From the simple Leopold Tenkeyless to the highly sought after HHKB Pro 2. Typing shouldn’t be a chore. Most people probably won’t be competing on typeracer for leisure, but mechanical keyboards will make you smile. It’s like buying a luxury car. Sure, you don’t NEED leather heated seat with power everything but if you can afford it, why not treat yourself? Especially a tool that you will spend years using. Once you punch the keys, you will see the light
C. Scott Brown / Android Authority
The Samsung Galaxy S21 series has been around since early 2023, and it has enjoyed plenty of time among the best Android phones on the market. Then, the competition got even steeper with the launch of the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. You might be having a tough time deciding which device is best for you, but fear not. We’re here to help you decide in our Google Pixel 6 vs Samsung Galaxy S21 showdown.
We’ll take you through most of the critical elements, from the design to the price of each phone, before we ultimately deliver our verdict. Ready to grab a new phone? Let’s get started.
Google Pixel 6 vs Samsung Galaxy S21
David Imel / Android Authority
We teased the cameras briefly above, but now it’s time to get into the nitty-gritty. The Pixel 6 series offers Google’s largest camera leap since the Pixel 4 series added a second lens. The Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro come with a 50MP primary lens and a 12MP ultrawide lens housed in the hefty camera bar. However, if you go for the Pixel 6 Pro, you’ll also get a 48MP telephoto lens to work with that’s capable of 4x optical zoom and up to 20x Super Res zoom.
C. Scott Brown / Android Authority
Google hasn’t always packed the largest batteries into its Pixel devices. That was particularly a problem with the Pixel 4 and its much-maligned weak battery life. Now, those days seem to be in the past. We heaped praise on the Pixel 5a for its 4,680mAh battery as the largest in any Pixel to date, and now the Pixel 6 Pro has outdone it. Google’s premium flagship packs a 5,003mAh cell that’s now the largest in any Pixel.
The adoption of USB PD PPS makes the Pixel 6 series Google’s fastest ever with 30W charging.
You can also make the most of 21W wired charging to regain up to 50% of your battery life in just 30 minutes. As for wireless charging, the Pixel 6 Pro supports up to 23W with the new Pixel stand. Over on the more affordable Pixel 6, you’ll find a 4,614mAh cell and up to 21W wireless charging. The 21W wired option is the same, and both phones rely on USB Power Delivery PPS for their fastest speeds.
Learn more: The Pixel 6 charges much slower than Google implied
Samsung’s trio uses the same USB PD PPS standard for charging, though only up to 25W speeds. You’ll also top out at 15W wireless charging speeds across all three models. The Galaxy S21 packs the smallest cell at 4,000mAh, while the Galaxy S21 Plus and S21 Ultra are nearly equal at 4,800mAh and 5,000mAh, respectively.
Opinion: The Pixel 6 design is amazing, actually
Ryan Haines / Android Authority
Samsung Galaxy S21: $799 / £769 / €849
Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus: $999 / £949 / €1,049
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra: $1,199 / £1,149 / €1,249
Google Pixel 6: $599 / £599 / €649
Google Pixel 6 Pro: $899 / £849 / €849
Both the Samsung Galaxy S21 series and the Google Pixel 6 series represent a return to lower prices in 2023. The entire Galaxy S21 range received a $100 price cut compared to the previous Galaxy S20 lineup. Samsung’s most affordable Galaxy S21 kicks off at $799 — right in line with the vanilla iPhone 13. Each model jumps by $200 from there, giving the S21 Plus a $999 starting point and the S21 Ultra a $1,199 price tag.
However, those prices are for the 128GB Galaxy S21, S21 Plus, and S21 Ultra. Raising your storage to 256GB will cost an extra $50 on average, or you can go up to 512GB on the Galaxy S21 Ultra for $1,379.
The Samsung Galaxy S21 series has become harder to find since the launch of the Galaxy S22 series. However, it may be beneficial to opt for the newer flagship, as it packs upgraded internals at the same asking price. The Galaxy S22 Ultra has even taken over as a Galaxy Note alternative.
Google Pixel 6
The more affordable Pixel
The Google Pixel 6 features a 6.4-inch FHD+ display and runs on the all-new Google Tensor SoC. It has an upgraded camera system, exclusive software features, and offers some of the best hardware Google has ever produced.
See price at Amazon
Learn more: Which Samsung Galaxy S21 phone is right for you?
Both series are tried and true flagships, and it’s hard to go wrong with either one. If you want to save the most money, go for the Pixel 6. If you want the best Android experience around, it just might be a toss-up between the Pixel 6 Pro and the Galaxy S21 Ultra. You’ll have to decide whether you want Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 processor in the Galaxy S21 series or the brand-new Google Tensor chip that the Pixel 6 series packs under the hood.
There are a lot of smart TVs in the market. However, not everyone would want to upgrade their entire TV set just to get the smarts, right? That’s where streaming sticks and TV boxes come in. You just plug them into your TV, and your old, dumb TV becomes smart. That is, as long as it had an HDMI port at least. So far, one of the best streaming options for TVs was the Fire TV Stick, but Xiaomi has now launched the Mi Box 4K in India. So, if you are confused between the two, we are pitting the Mi Box 4K vs Fire TV Stick to find out which one you should buy.Mi Box 4K vs Fire TV Stick: Design and Form Factor
The first major difference between these two devices is in their design. As the names suggest, the Mi Box 4K is a box, while the Fire TV Stick is a stick. Those things offer two different sets of pros and cons. Here’s what I’m talking about.
The Fire TV Stick’s flash-drive-like design means it can usually be hidden away behind your TV panel. That results in a cleaner look for your over all set up. However, due to the small size, the Fire TV Stick doesn’t come with the selection of ports that the Mi Box 4K does.
The Mi Box 4K, on the other hand, has a box-like design so it will take up some space on your counter-top or TV cabinet. Moreover, an HDMI cable goes from the box to your TV, which means cable management is more difficult here. However, the Mi Box 4K offers a couple of ports that allow you to expand your entertainment set up with ease.
There’s also the fact that hiding the Fire TV Stick behind a TV can sometimes result in poor WiFi reception. In fact, Amazon itself suggests using an HDMI extender to keep the Fire TV stick somewhere in the open for reliable internet connectivity.Mi Box 4K vs Fire TV Stick: Ports
As I said in the previous section, the Fire TV Stick, due to its design, doesn’t have any ports to offer. It has an HDMI-out that connects to your TV, and a microUSB for power. That’s all.
The Mi Box 4K on the other hand offers a bunch of ports. There’s obviously the HDMI out, and a power input. However, there is also a USB Type-A port and an audio out port here.Mi Box 4K vs Fire TV Stick: Streaming Options, Entertainment, and Controller Connectivity
One of the most important things to consider while getting a streaming stick or box is the things you can do with it. Fortunately, both the Mi Box 4K and the Fire TV Stick offer access to almost all the streaming services you’re likely to use in India.
You get Netflix and Prime Video in both. Plus, the Fire TV Stick now supports YouTube as well, just in case you weren’t aware of that. There’s also support for Disney+ Hotstar, so you can watch sports, and your favourite Disney movies and TV shows.
Same holds true for most games by the way. The Mi Box 4K runs Android TV, which means you get access to a fairly big library of Android TV games that you can play on it. Games like Asphalt 8, Trials Frontier, and Badlands are just some of the awesome games available for Android TV from the Play chúng tôi Fire TV Stick, however, uses the Amazon App Store. Still, most of the major games like Badlands and Asphalt 8 are available for the Fire TV Stick.
While it may be possible to play some games using the remote, most games require you to play with a controller. Some, in fact, make a controller mandatory to play. Fortunately, both the Fire TV Stick and the Mi Box 4K support popular Bluetooth controllers including the PS4 DualShock, and Xbox One controller.Mi Box 4K vs Fire TV Stick: Picture Quality
Note: The Fire TV Stick 4K does support 4K streaming. However, that’s priced at Rs.5,999 which is considerably more expensive than the Mi Box 4K’s Rs.3,499 price tag.
Bear in mind that streaming in 4K requires a high-speed internet connection. Plus, you should have access to 4K content in your subscription plan. For Netflix, that means you need the Premium plan. You should also have a 4K TV in order to actually enjoy 4K content on it.Mi Box 4K vs Fire TV Stick: Smart Assistants
Both the Mi Box 4K and the Fire TV Stick come with voice assistants built in. This means you can simply ask the assistants to help you find stuff to watch, launch apps, etc. However, while the Mi Box 4K comes with the Google Assistant, the Fire TV Stick comes with Amazon Alexa.
Mi Box 4K vs Fire TV Stick: Codecs and Certifications
Moving on, let’s take a quick look at the various codecs supported by both these devices, and support for things like HDR10, Dolby Vision and more.
The Mi Box 4K comes with the following video codecs:
VP9 Profile-2 up to 4K*2K@60fps
H.265 HEVC up to 4K*2K@60fps
H.264 up to 4K*2K@30fps
MPEG 1/2/4 1080p@60fps
Real 7/8/9 up to 1080p
Along with that, the Mi Box 4K also comes with Dolby Audio, and DTS support. The Fire TV Stick supports only the following codecs:
H.265 (HEVC). Hardware accelerated up to 1080p @ 30fps, 25 Mbps, Main Profile Level 4.0, Color space 8-bit support
H.264. Hardware accelerated up to 1080p @ 30fps or 720p @ 60fps, 20 Mbps, High Profile up to Level 4
H.263. Hardware accelerated up to WVGA (800×400) @ 30fps, 6 Mbps, Profile 0 Level 70
MPEG-2. Hardware accelerated up to 1080p @ 30fps
MPEG-4. Decodes at 30fps, 20 Mbps, Advanced Simple Profile Level 5
There’s no support for VP9, or VC1 codecs here. It does, however, support a lot of audio codecs:
AC3 (Dolby Digital). Up to 48kHz, 6 channels, 16-bit and 24-bit
eAC3 (Dolby Digital Plus). Up to 48kHz, 6 channels, 16-bit and 24-bit
AAC-LC. Up to 96kHz, 6 channels, 16-bit and 24-bit
HE-AACv1 (AAC+). Up to 96kHz, 6 channels, 16-bit and 24-bit
HE-AACv2 (enhanced AAC+). Up to 96kHz, 6 channels, 16-bit and 24-bit
FLAC. Up to 48kHz, 2 channels, 16-bit and 24-bit (no dither for 24 bit)
MIDI. MIDI (Type 0 and 1), DLS (Version 1 and 2), XMF, and Mobile XMF. Ringtone formats RTTTL/RTX, OTA, and iMelody
MP3. Up to 48kHz, 2 channels in DSP (16-bit and 24-bit) and software (16-bit)
PCM/Wave. Up to 96kHz, 6 channels, 16-bit and 24-bit
Vorbis. Ogg (.ogg), Matroska (.mkv)
AMR-NB. SupportedMi Box 4K vs Fire TV Stick: Pricing
The final nail in the coffin for the Fire TV Stick is the pricing. The 2nd-gen Fire TV Stick is priced at Rs. 3,999 and offers Full HD streaming, no ports, and a smaller selection of video codecs. The Mi Box 4K, on the other hand, is priced at Rs. 3,499. What’s more, at that price it offers 4K streaming, a couple of ports, and stock Android TV.Mi Box 4K vs Fire TV Stick: Which is the Best Streaming Stick/Box?
So, now that we’ve taken a look at the Mi Box 4K vs the Fire TV Stick, which one should you buy? Well, the Mi Box 4K clearly wins out. Look, it can stream 4K content, it has more ports, it comes with stock Android TV, and it supports more video codecs. Even with all that, it’s more affordable than the regular Fire TV Stick. If you want 4K streaming with the Fire TV stick, you will have to shell out Rs. 5,999 for the 4K variant of the Fire TV Stick.
The only reason to consider buying the Fire TV Stick (and I would recommend getting the 4K variant in that case), is that Alexa seems to work better on the Fire TV Stick than Assistant on the Mi Box 4K. Plus you will not have to deal with the HDMI cable going from your TV to the Mi Box 4K.
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