When browsing the many streaming devices on offer, you’ll have probably come across Amazon’s Fire TV range. From teeny tiny streaming sticks to bulkier cubes and even smart TVs, Amazon Fire devices offer a simple way to stream your favorite content to your TV screen. But with similar features, it can be difficult to decide which Amazon device is right for you. Here, we’ll look at the Amazon Fire Stick vs Amazon Fire TV and discuss the major differences between these two products. Read on for information about prices, setup, benefits, and more. Head to our Amazon Prime Video review for a roundup of everything else you need to know about the service.
What are the different Amazon Fire TV devices?
Amazon Fire TV Stick
Amazon Fire TV Sticks are a compact and competitively priced streaming solution. Setup involves nothing more than plugging them into the back of your TV. Once they’re connected, you can access thousands of apps, including Amazon Prime Video and Hulu — just like Roku’s range of streaming devices. Two Fire TV Stick models exist — the standard high-definition (HD) streaming stick and a slightly more expensive one that’s capable of 4K ultra-high-definition (UHD) streaming. The cheaper stick costs $39.99, while the 4K option is $49.99. Both come with 8 GB of storage space, with 4.5 GB available for internal storage.
As well as providing you with endless entertainment, Fire TV Sticks have the ability to turn your living space into a smart home. Each and every Amazon Fire TV device comes with Alexa voice control, so you can open apps, play, pause and rewind videos, and search with the power of your voice. (To kickstart Alexa, all you need to do is press the microphone button on the included remote control.) You can also replace your Fire TV Stick remote with your phone and sync Bluetooth headphones to your device for private listening late at night.
These features are similar to other streaming sticks like Roku. However, not all Roku devices feature voice control. Amazon’s Alexa capabilities are also considered to be superior. The technology goes above and beyond streaming assistance by having the ability to control other smart home devices as well as answer questions about the weather, traffic, and more. However, you may notice a couple of apps missing from the Fire TV Stick interface. Amazon’s app store doesn’t automatically include the likes of Google Play and Vudu.
But Amazon Fire TV Sticks do work with any TV that has an HDMI port and can play either HD or 4K content. That means you don’t need to shell out for a smart TV or a TV that has Amazon Fire built into it. You’ll also need Wi-Fi in order to stream and an Amazon account to utilize all of the above features.
Amazon Fire TV
As well as standalone streaming devices, Amazon integrates its Fire operating system into a number of smart TVs. Toshiba and Insignia both sell Amazon Fire TVs in a range of sizes from 24 to 55 inches. Just like the streaming sticks, some come with HD displays and others feature 4K screens. Price-wise, expect to pay from as little as $100 up to around $500.
Of course, a TV is a more expensive option than a streaming stick, but it does come with several advantages. You’ll get all of the same features that a Fire TV Stick provides without the need for a separate device. And you won’t need to worry about your device being replaced with a newer model in a year or two. More than 15,000 apps and channels are available to watch, and you can even connect an HD antenna to access over-the-air live TV for free. Plus, when watching live TV, you can plug in a USB flash drive to pause live TV for a whopping 60 minutes, rather than just two.
Amazon Fire TVs also feature Alexa to control not only your streaming but your entire TV and additional smart home devices like lights and heating. (Note that some models only pair with an Echo speaker, rather than working hands-free.) And some TV remotes come with hotkeys for a number of popular services, such as Amazon Prime Video, HBO, and Netflix.
Setup is just as easy, if not easier, than Fire TV Sticks. All you have to do is plug the power cord into an outlet and turn on the TV. Follow the on-screen instructions to connect to your Wi-Fi, log in to your Amazon account, and begin streaming.
The final cut
When it comes to Amazon Fire TV vs Stick, there really isn’t a clear winner. For starters, there aren’t a huge number of differences between the two devices. Both come with almost identical features and offer the same access to the streaming world as well as the chance to make use of innovative voice control technology.
So which one should you pick? Well, the device you choose depends on how much you want to spend and whether you prefer a more integrated approach, rather than having to use multiple devices. The Fire TV Stick is a cheaper way to stream if you don’t already have a smart TV, but Amazon Fire TVs are an all-in-one option with several ways to boost your live TV experience. At the end of the day, the choice is yours.