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Amazon Fire TV Stick gets Alexa and a small but crucial upgrade

The $40 streamer can finally control the power and volume of your TV - and it gets Alexa, too

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Amazon has given the remote for its Fire TV streaming stick a small but crucial upgrade - the ability to control your television.

Where previous versions of the remote lacked power and volume buttons for controlling your TV - meaning a second remote was always needed nearby - the new model syncs up to your television and controls it. That way, you can fire up the TV, start streaming, and adjust the volume with the one Amazon remote.

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The remote also brings the Alexa voice assistant to the base-level Fire TV Stick for the first time - a feature previously reserved, along with those volume buttons, for the more expensive 4K Stick.

With a microphone on the remote, you can ask Alexa to find and play content from Amazon Prime Video, as well as interacting with the assistant in the usual way, just as you would with an Echo smart speaker.

Also included with the updated Fire TV Stick is IMDB's new Freedive service, which gives you access to a selection of free movies and is pre-loaded onto the device.

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The new Stick with improved Alexa remote is priced at $40, while the 4K version - which has the same remote - costs an additional $10. For that, you get access to 4K Ultra HD content (instead of just 1080p Full HD), plus Dolby Atmos audio, and the ability to play HDR10+ and Dolby Vision content.

Alternatively, if you already own a Fire TV Stick and don't fancy the upgrade to 4K, you can buy the new Alexa remote for $15, which is currently reduced from $30 for a limited time.

The new Fire TV Stick with Alexa remote will begin shipping from Amazon globally on January 23. At $40 to $50, these devices represent excellent value for money, considering they give you access (if you have a subscription) to Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Hulu, HBO, ESPN and more.that work with Google Home and Home Mini

Check out The GearBrain, our smart home compatibility checker to see the other compatible products that work with Amazon Alexa enabled devices.

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See which products "work with" either Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa by clicking on the device below.