Amazon really struck gold with their Amazon Fire Stick. It was a way to bring streaming at an affordable price to pretty much every household in the world. It has gone through a few updates, but the biggest one is this brand-new Fire TV Stick 4K which we are taking a closer look at today.
The Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K is the latest version of the popular Fire Stick that Amazon has sold millions of. More and more people now have a 4KTV thanks to the prices on them plummeting over the last couple of years, but not everyone has fully embraced 4K content just yet.
That is the aim of this latest version of the Amazon Fire Stick. It is here to make 4K streaming as easy and affordable as possible.
It is the cheapest 4K streaming device currently
It could not be any easier to use
Comes with Alexa voice remote in the box
Can be paired with the Echo Dot
Offers full 4K HDR support
Your TV’s USB will probably not be able to power it
There is still no YouTube app for Fire Sticks!
YES! The Fire Stick 4K as I write this is currently the most affordable of all the 4K streaming devices that are out there. It is usually around ten bucks cheaper than the Roku one. In all this usually retails at $39.99 which is only ten bucks more than the standard Fire TV Stick! Getting access to 4K content for this price is a real steal. However, it should go without saying that you do need a 4K TV to get the most out of this.
While the $39.99 is a very fair asking price. Amazon does also offer a bundle where you can also get the Echo Dot included. This is currently being offered for $69.98 at the time of this review and that is a great price too! If the Echo Dot is something you could see yourself using, you would be as well getting it as part of this bundle and saving yourself a few bucks.
To be honest with you the design of the Amazon Fire Stick has not really changed a whole lot from the very first generation. It is literally a stick! Amazon does not need to do anything fancy with the design and most of the time you cannot see it as it is behind or at the side of your 4KTV.
The Fire TV Stick 4K like the previous models can be a little chunky to fit in comfortably next to other HDMI devices. If this is the case, you just use the included HDMI extender and it will fit like a charm.
The remote they have included is the same Alexa Voice Remote that was included with the second-generation device. Well at least from a design point of view it looks like that. It has a solid feel to it and it is great how it is not too overloaded with buttons.
One of the reasons that Amazon has had such a slam dunk with their Fire TV Stick is that (in addition to the price) they are very easy to set up. You plug your Fire TV Stick into your HDMI port and then power it up. Now, this is the only “issue” that I can see with this device. My Samsung 4KTV was not able to power the Fire TV Stick 4K from its USB port.
It is not a huge deal as it does come with a mains adapter than you can use, but the power cable is very small and I got lucky in that my TV is close to a power outlet. Folks who have their TV on a wall may run into an issue here.
Once you have the Fire TV Stick connected to your 4KTV, the first thing you want to do is connect it to your router and then you are ready to go!
If you have used any of the other Amazon Fire TV Sticks that they have released over the years, you will have a real sense of familiarity when you turn this on. It uses the exact same setup that the previous models use. So, you have your main apps, recently used, search menu and so on.
If you have an Amazon Prime account then, of course, you can take full advantage of that with the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K. One of the things I like about Amazon Prime instant video is that all of their Amazon Prime Originals stream in 4K without having to upgrade your membership! This is an awesome way for you to test out your 4K streaming and for you to see just how incredible it looks.
Of course, any other apps that you like will be available here. I have used Netflix and WWE Network a ton with this thing and they both look great. In regards to Netflix, you do have to have the upgraded account to watch content in 4K so that is something to think about. There are a ton of apps for you to make use of with the Amazon Fire TV Stick! There are also some fun games that you can play.
I feel that if you have a 4KTV getting a device like this is great, while I can get different 4K streaming apps directly onto my Samsung TV. The remote is horrible to use and in general, using the Fire TV Stick is just a much more pleasant experience.
As far as the content goes the only thing that is a major bummer is that there is still no YouTube app for Amazon devices! This is a real shame as YouTube has some pretty cool 4K content that I am sure would have looked amazing played through this thing.
This is actually the fifth Amazon Fire TV Stick I have had in my house and you will never hear me complain about that remote! It is very easy to use (and get lost down the side of the sofa) and even a less technically minded person is not going to have any trouble with it.
The Alexa functionality was something that I thought was just a gimmick. However, it is so much easier to be able to say “Alexa, find The Tick, Alexa find American Gods” or whatever it is you want to watch. It is also great to mess around with. I also think the Alexia functionality makes the Amazon Fire TV Stick even more appealing for older people. From personal experience, I can tell you that my grandma uses this (although not the 4K version) and finds it great.
One of the Fire TV Sticks that we have in our house is the first generation and let me tell you, you can tell it is the first generation. It is a little sluggish and slow, especially when compared to this new one that I have hooked up to my 4KTV.
Amazon to deal with the 4K streaming have used a new antenna to accommodate this. Now what is great about this is that it actually (as well as allowing for 4K streaming) makes the whole device run a lot smoother and generally better. I assure you that you can notice a difference not just because this is 4K, but in the general functionality over how this performs compared to an older Fire TV Stick.
Moving around the menus is quite quick and I did not get any kind of delay like I sometimes get with my older stick. One thing I will say is that putting the device to sleep by holding the button is still annoying. However, as this has the Alexa Voice Remote, you do not have to worry about that and you just tell Alexa to put it to sleep.
So, while it may look the same, under the hood I feel that Amazon has worked a bit of magic here. Not only to give us full 4K streaming but to make a new generation of Fire Stick that runs smoother than any of the ones before it did.
The Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K is a truly awesome little device. It offers you a ton of different streaming options and all of the 4K content that I tried made great use of the HDR on my 4KTV. I was very impressed with how movies and TV shows looked and I found myself actually looking for 4K content to watch!
The asking price makes this an even more attractive product. If you have a 4K and want a streaming device that is going to let you really embrace the 4K way of viewing. For 40 bucks you really cannot go wrong with this!