New Google Chromecast 3: Everything to Know
Is Google doing enough with their cheapest HDMI TV streaming device?
It’s been three years since Google last refreshed the Chromecast, and in that time a lot has changed in the TV world. So, it was about time Google updated their media streaming device.The device was announced after the Google Pixel Event that saw the announcement of a new Pixel Phone 3 and Pixel Slate and Home Hub.
The new, third-generation Chromecast has an updated design. Google have ditched the glossy colours in favour of a matte black or white finish and Google’s ‘G’ logo.
It’s also getting some small tech and feature improvements. Google claims the new Chromecast is 15 percent faster. That's not much, but it’s apparently enough to add support for streaming 60fps video at 1080p. 60fps was supported on the last generation but limited to 720p.
Support has also arrived for Wi-Fi 5GHz. This is actually quite exciting for people who live in flats or other accommodation with lots of neighbours, who all use 2.4GHz. 5GHz signals don't travel as far as 2.4GHz, but if your router is close enough to Chromecast, it should definitely be utilized to avoid interference.
Another addition to this new Chromecast is that it now lets you play music in sync with other speakers connected to Google’s smart devices. However, this feature won’t launch until later this year. There were reports that Google would add Bluetooth support, but sadly there isn't any sign of it in the specs.
Just like the older model, its price is £35 and it's available now.
So, if the new device leaves you wanting, what other options are there? While Apple have their Apple TV 4K, it is pushing £200. The real competition, for under £40, is Amazon’s all-new Amazon Fire TV Stick. The Fire Stick is £40 but comes with a remote, which has voice support for Amazon Alexa. The difference between the new Chromecast and the Fire TV Stick really comes down to user preference. Both are 1080P and support loads of services. Some users will prefer a remote while some will like casting with their phone.
However, on November 14 2018, Amazon will be releasing a new 4K streaming stick that will cost just £50. At just £15 more than the new Chromecast, the new 4K Fire Stick supports HDR10, Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision. For those who want to cast to their TV, but also have a 4K Set, the Chromecast Ultra is a good option. However, it does cost £70.
Have Google done enough to warrant an upgrade? Is it worth waiting for the new Amazon 4K Stick? Should the new multi-room audio feature worry Sonos?
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