Today, Amazon launched an inexpensive new member of its Fire TV family of products aimed at the many markets in which Alexa is not available. It’s called the Fire TV Stick Basic Edition, and it costs about $50. It’s also available in over 100 new markets.
“Last year, we made Amazon Prime Video available to customers globally, and today, we’re building on that momentum as we introduce Fire TV Stick Basic Edition to new customers around the world,” Amazon’s Marc Whitten says in a prepared statement. “This makes streaming content from apps like Prime Video fast and easy and we can’t wait to hear what customers think.”
The Fire TV Stick Basic Edition provides a quad-core processor, 1 GB of RAM, and 8 GB of storage, Amazon says, plus 802.11ac Wi-Fi and support for High Efficiency Video Codec (HEVC), 1080p HD streaming, and Dolby Audio.
What it doesn’t provide is support for Alexa, Amazon’s digital personal assistant. And that’s the point: Alexa is only available in a few markets, and Amazon is trying to push its products worldwide. So for now, it can offer Fire TV devices without Alexa in those (many) markets that are not yet supported by Alexa.
To be clear, if you live in a market where Amazon does provide Alexa-based products, like the United States, you’re better off with a Fire TV that does support Alexa. Those versions are more powerful and, curiously, also less expensive. Here, the Fire TV Stick Basic Edition costs $50, while the more-capable Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote costs just $40.