Released over 2 years ago, the original Roku Streaming stick was due for a refresh with intense competition from the Amazon Fire TV Stick an Google’s Chromecast. Digital Trends takes a long hard look at the new 2016 version of the Roku Streaming stick.
Roku claims its new stick has more processing power than any other pocket-sized streamer, and we’re inclined to agree. The previous Roku streaming stick had a single-core processor, but the new stick sports a quad-core – just like the Roku 4
What you don’t get is 4K resolution, expandable storage, an Ethernet connection, or the ability to play media stored on USB drives.
Perhaps the most notable new feature for the Roku Streaming Stick is its ability to stream audio to the Roku app installed on any iOS or Android smartphone connected to the same network. While the larger Roku 4 and Roku 3 boxes are able to stream analog audio to their remotes, the Roku stick isn’t capable of doing the same. Some may see the streaming to a smartphone as a workaround of some sort, but as far as we’re concerned, it’s far better. There’s no lag, and sound quality is far better. Plus, a smart phone’s battery is far better at handling the task than the two AAA batteries used in Roku’s remote controls, which die pretty quickly with extended headphone listening.
Read the full review here.