Google Chromecast with Google TV is a cheap streaming TV stick for $50
Chromecast is inarguably one of Google’s most successful hardware ventures. The dongles have gained immense popularity over the years, thanks to their affordable price tags and ease of use. To keep up with the times, Google has revamped the Chromecast dongles quite a few times since they were initially unveiled. Today, the company has unveiled another such refresh, which introduces a dedicated remote and a customized version of Android TV called “Google TV”.
As seen in previous leaks, the new Google Chromecast with Google TV features a round, pebble-like design with an HDMI cable attached on one end. The dongle has a USB Type-C port for charging and a reset button on the back. On the inside, the Google Chromecast with Google TV features the Amlogic S905D3G SoC, which is a 12nm chip that packs in 4 ARM Cortex-A55 cores clocked at 1.9GHz and the ARM Mali-G31 MP2 GPU clocked at 850MHz. The chipset is accompanied by 2GB of RAM and 8GB of onboard storage.
Along with the Chromecast dongle comes a new remote with a dedicated Google Assistant button, a D-pad, a YouTube button, a Netflix button, an input switcher button, and a few other buttons to help users control the dongle.
The remote also has a volume rocker on the right edge and a microphone to pick up voice commands. Furthermore, the remote has an LED indicator that glows solid when the Google Assistant is listening for your voice command and it’s powered by 2 AAA batteries (included in the box). Another cool thing worth mentioning about the remote is that it will now let you control your Google Assistant-enabled smart home devices right from the comfort of your couch.
The new Chromecast dongle supports both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi for connectivity and it’s capable of streaming content at 4K resolution at 60fps. The device also includes support for HDR content, HDMI-CEC, Dolby Vision, and Dolby Atmos audio.
In terms of software, the new Google Chromecast runs Google TV based on Android 10. For the unaware, Google TV is Google’s new version of Android TV with a new content-focused UI. The improved UI is divided into a couple of different tabs, like For You, Movies, Shows, Apps, and Library, which can be accessed from a bar at the top.
Each tab in the new UI is home to different content, with the For You tab showing app, movie, and show recommendations based on your usage patterns. The For You tab acts as the new home screen and it displays movies and shows from all your services in one place. This eliminates the need to switch between different streaming services to find the content you wish to watch. The Movies tab is home to movies from all the different streaming platforms available on the device and similarly, the Shows tab lists TV shows from various streaming platforms.
The Apps tab lists down all your installed apps, along with recommendations from the Google Play Store. You can also search for apps from this tab or find apps based on a couple of different categories. Finally, the Library tab lists content that you’ve purchased or rented from the available platforms. This new UI is expected to greatly improve the user experience, as it conveniently consolidates content from various platforms onto one screen.
Pricing & Availability
The new Google Chromecast with Google TV is priced at an affordable $49.99 and it goes on sale starting today in the U.S. on the Google Store, and it’s coming to more countries in the near future. If you’re interested in picking one up for yourself, you can either purchase it from the Google Store or from offline retailers like Walmart, Target, and Home Depot. The dongle is available in a white finish called ‘Snow’ as well as a “Sunrise” and “Sky” finish. The retail packaging includes the Google Chromecast with Google TV dongle, Google Chromecast Voice Remote, power cable, power adapter, and 2 AAA batteries.
You can also purchase the device for $89.99 to get 6 months of Netflix’s Standard Streaming Plan (two screens) on top, or you can purchase it in a bundle with the new Nest Audio and/or the Nest Hub Max.
This article was updated on October 12, 2020, at 3:10 PM EST to correctly reflect what SoC is found in the new Chromecast.