The marketplace for streaming devices has reached a certain level of maturity. We now have the Apple TV, Roku, Chromecast and even Amazon came with its own device. Having so many options means competition and competition is driven by innovation. Today we are going to compare and place side by side the Roku 3 and Google Chromecast. These streaming devices have reshaped the way we think about streaming devices and both of them were highly praised at launch but which one is better?
Build Quality And Features
The Google Chromecast was built to be a budget device that is supposed to run as a complementary gadget to an Android phone. What this means is that Chromecast does not work without a smartphone. The Roku 3 on the other hand is a completely independent device that runs a series of apps and only requires an internet connection.
Placed side by side the difference between the two is obvious. Chromecast is small and because it is just an USB dongle it is not visible when connected to a PC. The Roku 3 on the other hand is slightly larger and it comes with a remote. The remote features a headphone jack and has motion detection similar to the Wii-mote.
In terms of build quality there is a clear difference between the two. The Roku is a stylish gadget and seems well built. Chromecast on the other hand clearly shows that it was built to be cheap and affordable. This also explains the hardware and price difference between the two.
Looking what’s inside there are some major differences between the two. The Chromecast comes with a Marvell 88DE3005 SOC (system on a chip), 512 DDR3 ram and 2GB of internal storage. Even if the specs are modest the device is able to render full HD content. Roku on the other hand features a much more powerful configuration. It comes with a dual core ARM A9 CPU running at 900 MHz with 512 MB of DDR3 RAM and features no internal storage.
The Roku 3 has support for thousands of channels and comes with a useful remote. It is only needs a wi-fi connection and it is ready to go. Even if has a few games its main focus is on streaming media channels or listening to music. Chromecast on the other hand does a much better job when it comes to gaming. Because the device actually streams what is displayed in an app directly on the TV, gaming becomes much more enjoyable. It is actually a great experience to play a mobile game on a large screen TV and use the smartphone as a controller.
It is difficult to compare the two and declare which one is the winner. Each device has its own features and does one thing better than the other. If one device satisfies certain needs, the other one can appeal to a different market segment. What is clear right now that when it comes only to streaming movies and online content Roku 3 wins but gaming and mobile apps are much better on Google Chromecast.