Amazon Fire TV Stick Review
What is the Amazon Fire TV?
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After using it for a month I just had to do an Amazon Fire TV Stick review. Got it, use it, love it…. The Amazon Fire TV (Love the name) takes various content from the net (such as videos, music, games, and more) and displays it in the comfort of your living room on your TV. The Fire TV comes in two models – The Amazon Fire TV, and the Fire TV Stick. The two models are fairly similarly but of course there are differences. If there wasn’t, the stick wouldn’t be around $50 cheaper!
What Are The Main Differences?
- Both support 1080p HD resolution. The box also supports 4K Ultra HD.
- The box connects to your TV with an HDMI cable and the wall with a standard A/C adapter.
- The Stick plugs directly into an HDMI port on your TV (convenient for wall-mounted TVs).
- The Stick is powered from a USB cable that you can plug into a USB port on your TV.
- The Amazon Fire TV Box is faster and has more memory.
- The Amazon Fire TV Box has a port for connecting to your router and a microSD slot for more storage.
- The Amazon Fire TV Box has extra apps that aren’t on the stick (~5200 vs 4800). Mostly games requiring higher performance.
Amazon Fire TV Stick Review
Where other top boxes fall short with less streaming media content, Amazon Fire TV Stick has plenty of apps to chose from such as Amazon Instant, Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Sky News, Spotify and much more. It sometimes feels strange loading up Netflix on the Amazon.
The Amazon Fire TV supports tons of music providers, including their own Amazon Music, Pandora, Spotify, and iHeart Radio.
There are both free and paid games available, including ones like Crossy Road, Candy Crush Saga, and Minecraft. Initially it was a little disappointing to realize the stick only comes with less-intensive games – don’t be expecting graphically demanding games like The Walking Dead Season 1 or 2. With that said, the lack of high-end games doesn’t lessen the value of the stick. After all it is coming in at under $50.. If you want a system that’s overflowing with games, maybe you should consider the Amazon Fire TV Box which has a great selection of titles. But, if you still love Flappy Birds and other similar games then you will be more than happy.
Both models, the stick and the box come with Alexa which is Amazon’s voice-activated, artificial intelligence software .Alexa give you news headlines, sports scores, weather reports, stock prices, etc. Also with Alexa you can perform a voice search which I find handy. In early 2016, Amazon released Alexa on it’s first-generation Fire TV boxes and sticks. You will need a voice remote to use it on a stick. Voice emotes can be bought separately..
Amazon Fire TV Stick Review
Looking at the specs I was quite impressed with the Amazon Fire TV Sticks energy usage when you look under the hood (so to speak). The stick sports a Broadcom dual-core processor with 1GB of memory and a huge 8GB of storage. Compared to the Chromecast, single-core processor with 512MB memory and 2GB of storage it is easy to see why the Amazon’s stick comes out an easy winner.
Where the full-size set-top boxes like the Nexus Player and Apple TV struggle with too little streaming media content to choose from on their platforms, Amazon Fire TV has an abundance of apps at your disposal. All of the primary suspects are here and accounted for: Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Instant, Sky News, Spotify and more. It actually feels rather strange loading up Netflix on an Amazon device – if you take Now TV as an example of a device that has its own interests at heart, you will find neither Netflix or Amazon on board. In my view, the more open the better.
I find one of the biggest advantages of the Amazon Fire TV Stick over others It is light and not cluttered with a maze of buttons (back, home, menu, rewind, play/pause and fast forward).And one more button – At the top is a round directional pad with a central button that, pretty well does everything else.
Amazon Fire TV Stick Review Conclusion
Amazon Fire TV Stick Review Pros
The Amazon Fire TV Stick is very simple to setup, I was quite impressed with the amount of things you can do with the system. It is fast and responsive. Menus load almost instantly. Videos seem to start sooner than other systems I have seen.
The remote, unfortunately isn’t as good what you get with the box. Content seems to be somewhat dependent on Amazon Store. Search results seem to only display Amazon links. It gets annoying to pay for a movie and then discover it’s playing for free on Netflix..GRRR
Nothing is perfect and, while it may have it’s flaws, the Amazon Fire TV Stick is something any TV or movie enthusiast would be very happy with. I think if you don’t care about all the bells and whistles, the Stick is a great way to start. Excellent value for money for those on a budget. The box is better if you want the best performance available and, of course, if you’ve already made the move to a 4K TV and have access to 4K content.
Ready to buy?
Get full specs and read customer reviews at Amazon.