Google’s budget Chromecast could solve a major annoyance with the 4K model

But it can cause other problems by shipping it with only 1.5 GB RAM

Right now, it’s no secret that Google is working on a cheaper new Chromecast. At the beginning of this year, rumors surfaced for the first time about the device, which will soon be on the market. The budget Chromecast would apparently run Android 12 and support streaming content with Full HD resolution. The stick has already gone through the FCC, can be seen in photos and the European price has been leaked. utilities, developer Kuba Wojciechowski claims to have gotten its hands on an internal firmware of the streaming stick, which reveals some of its key specs.


Wojciechowski believes the July build he obtained will likely come pre-installed on the device. It refers to the streaming stick as “Chromecast HD”, which could be the final marketing name. The firmware is based on Android 12 with Google TV on top. In comparison, the current Chromecast with Google TV runs on Android 10. The firmware confirms that the stick will contain Amlogic’s S805X2 CPU with AV1 decoding. This is paired with 1.5GB of RAM, a downgrade from the 2GB of RAM found on the 4K model. The lower RAM doesn’t bode well from a performance standpoint, despite Google recently rolling out some CPU and RAM optimizations for the existing Chromecast.

The latest GMS guidelines from the big G state that any device running Android 13 must have 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage to access the Google Play suite of apps and services. Since the upcoming Chromecast HD will not meet the requirements, it is unlikely to receive the Android 13 update.

For Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, Chromecast HD would apparently rely on the NXP 88W8987 chipset, which supports dual-band Wi-Fi 5 and Bluetooth 5.2. There is also a diagram of the remote in the firmware that resembles the Bluetooth remote of the 4K model.

More importantly, the firmware refers to the Chromecast HD which supports A/B virtual partitions for seamless updates. This eliminates the need for the device to download updates to /storage. Instead, they are streamed directly to one of the virtual partitions. So you can install the latest update on the streaming stick even if it doesn’t have enough free space. This was a big problem with the current Chromecast with Google TV, but the company seems to be addressing this on the cheaper model.

Google will most likely announce the Chromecast HD at its upcoming Pixel hardware event on October 6.