As with its predecessors, the Lite is a relatively non-descript HDMI USB dongle. However, hopefully this new model features a bit more processing power to rival the existing 4K Stick’s responsiveness if it’s a straight-up replacement of the $40 2019 version. One might assume Lite also refers to resolution and this will be a 1080p offering, vs 4K, slotting in at an even lower price point should Amazon expand to three SKUs. The power brick looks a bit smaller, for whatever that’s worth, but the more notable physical changes are seen in the Alexa voice remote:
The highly valuable volume and power control buttons have been excised from the Lite’s remote. Perhaps dropping them is a way to reduce hardware cost and/or support expenses (while encouraging an upsell). But it stings. Like TiVo and Roku, Amazon is aggregating a variety of live content (streamed and/or OTA, dependent upon Fire hardware) within a somewhat unified guide… and the new remote will feature a live TV guide shortcut. For example, my Insignia Fire Television lists a mixture of OTA (via native tuner) and streaming Pluto Television channels (although what I’d really like to see is Channels DVR integration) … that is efficiently surfaced via the same button.
Update 9/24 PM: Amazon has come clean and the non-4K Fire TV Stick (link) has been refreshed with new internals, but keeps the same $40 price point. The Fire TV Stick Lite (link) is an expansion of the line, with the same updated and more sprightly processor, but ships with that simpler remote for $10 less.