There’s a reason the Fire TV Stick has nearly 170,000 customer reviews on Amazon averaging 4.5 stars. Due to its power, selection, versatility, and feel, Amazon’s streaming stick takes the top prize in this roundup.
From the start, the Fire TV’s design and size is outstanding, packing a ton of power into a small stick-shaped box. The physical components revolve around the small “stick” itself, which is plugged into your HDTV, and an Alexa voice remote, which lets you control your Fire Stick with both your voice and the usual buttons included on most remotes. The box also contains a power adaptor, two AAA batteries, and a HDMI extender. All you have to do is plug the stick into your TV and a power outlet, connect to the Internet, and enjoy.
With over 15,000 skills, games, and apps including Netflix, Hulu, HBO NOW, YouTube, Amazon Video, NBC, WatchESPN, Disney Plus, and much more, you’ll have a wealth of entertainment at your fingertips. While many of these services still keep standard subscriptions, services like IMDB TV and Pluto TV offer free, ad-supported content to keep you entertained for hours, all without a subscription.
In the tech world, we’re always a bit cautious when it comes to voice control and activation features, however the included Alexa Voice remote works flawlessly. All you have to do is say your favorite show out loud and boom—it’s on your screen ready to roll. And it should go without saying that if you’re already an Amazon Prime member you’ll have access to Prime Video, featuring thousands of movies and TV episodes at no additional cost. And since the device is running a modified version of Android, you can actually install plenty of content right to your device just by using the in-app installer. Kodi, for example, is one of the most popular ways to install third-party software on your device, making it easy to add outside sources of entertainment.
While the Fire TV Stick remains one of the best choices for several years running, Amazon finally announced a new version of the model going on sale this year. This version, the Amazon Fire TV 4K, is improved in several ways, including the addition of HDR10 (along with HDR10+ and even Dolby Vision) support and, of course, 4K options for streaming content. If you think the improvements for streaming television end there though, you’re wrong—the 4K model also comes with an improved remote featuring volume buttons and a mute button, nice improvements over the version that originally shipped a few years ago.
Whichever version you choose, you’re bound to be happy by what’s included here. The Fire TV Stick, and the brand-new Fire TV Stick 4K, are cheap options that both come in at under $50. With streaming television as cheap as it is, it’s easy to dive into a full ecosystem of apps and games.
- One of the cheapest options
- Alexa support built into the remote
- 4K option is more expensive