Let’s cut straight to the point. The Amazon Fire Stick 4K is the best Android TV Stick currently on the market. If you are considering investing in an Android TV Stick, the Fire Stick 4K should be at the top of your list.
Not convinced yet? Read our detailed review of this hardware below as we explain exactly why the Fire Stick 4K is dominating the market.
If you are considering getting one, we expect to see big discounts on these products as part of Amazon Prime Day sales and in the weeks that follow. So, there has never been a better time to get yours.
Overall Rating Of The Amazon Fire Stick 4K
Overall, we give the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K 4.5/5 stars. It loses a couple of points because the Amazon Fire software does make downloading some apps a little challenging (but not impossible), and it prioritizes Amazon products when you are searching.
But the Amazon Fire TV 4K is one of the few TV sticks, rather than boxes, that are offering 4K streaming, and Amazon is doing it at a rate that is much more affordable than most of its competitors, especially when you consider that it comes with the new Amazon Fire remote included.
It integrates with the Alexa speaker for seamless voice commands, and improvements made to the interface means it is more usable than ever.
- Support 4K streaming
- High usable interface
- Amazon Alexa voice assistance
- Updated Amazon Fire remote
- Biased towards Amazon products
We think that the Amazon Fire Stick 4K, even though it was released in 2018, still has the edge over the Amazon Fire Stick 2020, which is nice, but doesn’t offer 4K picture quality.
Amazon Fire Stick 4K Review
While the Amazon Fire Stick 4K is small, about the same size as an old fashioned USB stick, it is very powerful under the hood.
We are talking about a 1.7GHz quad-core processor, 8 GB of storage, an 802.11ac Wi-Fi chip, and an optional ethernet connection (sold separately) if you want the fastest possible internet speeds.
It is all this power that allows the little Fire Stick 4K to deliver 4K picture quality at 60 fps, with Dolby Vision, HDR, HDR10+, and Dolby Atmos.
So, as long as the content you want to stream is available in 4K, and you have a 4K TV of course, you can expect maximum picture quality. It won’t be the Fire Stick 4K that is letting you down when it comes to delivering pristine 4K picture and sound.
The Stick comes with Amazon Alexa voice assistant built in. Unlike the Fire TV Cube, the Fire Stick does not act like a fully-fledged Alexa speaker, but it will integrate with an Alexa speaker if you have one. If not, use the voice control button on the Amazon remote that comes included.
If you buy today, you will get the new version of the Amazon remote, which includes volume up and down buttons and power buttons that are absent from older versions of the remote. This is good news, as switching to your TV remote to adjust the volume was a bit of a pain.
The Stick is incredibly easy to set up. It is just a matter of plugging it directly into your TV via the HDMI 2.2 port and into a power socket via the micro-USB. You will then want to sign it into your network, either via Wi-Fi or with an ethernet connection, which is sold separately.
There is an easy step-by-step set-up wizard that takes you through every step of the process. You will need an Amazon account to complete your set up. But you don’t need an Amazon Prime subscription, though it will certainly improve your experience.
When it comes to streaming, the Amazon Fire Stick 4K does not come with any content. You need to set yourself up with the content that you want via streaming apps. It is simple to download the majority of what you want.
Amazon Prime Video will come pre-installed, and all you need to do is activate an Amazon Prime Membership to get it working. All the most popular apps, such as Netflix, Hulu, HBO, and Sling TV are easily downloaded from the Amazon Store, where native apps that should work seamlessly with your stick are available.
You don’t get as much flexibility with the Amazon Fire Stick as you do with an Android TV Stick in that not all of the apps available in the Google Play Store are available in the Amazon Store.
For example, you can’t download the full TikTok app to your Fire Stick; you only get a more limited “view only” version that has been designed specifically for Amazon. But if you are desperate to download any of these apps onto the stick, you can work around this by sideloading, but it is not as clean as a direct download.
If you want to watch broadcast TV, that is simple to do by plugging an antenna into your TV, and you can then access the live TV via an app that is built into the Fire TV. While the Fire TV Stick (and Cube) don’t offer DVR for live TV, you can now buy this separately in the form of the Amazon Fire TV Recast.
Depending on which model you choose, you can get either 75 or 150 hours of DVR space with this machine that works seamlessly with the Fire Stick 4K and other Fire devices.
You can read more about the Amazon Fire TV Recast here.
The Amazon Fire Stick 4K has great response times and you won’t notice loading assuming your internet is good. The interface is also highly intuitive to use in terms of navigating between your apps and searching for content.
That is not to say it is perfect. There are a few little niggles that could be fixed.
First, while the search function is great, and you can search by actor as well as title and filter via 4K content, it does push Amazon content to the top of the list, which not all users will appreciate.
Second, voice command does not work with all the apps. That’s fine, but if the voice command fails, you get kicked out of where you are and you will need to enter again. This can be a bit frustrating, so it is worth remembering which apps don’t play well with voice command.
One thing we do like is the new picture in picture option, which means you can have two apps open at the same time. While this might not seem like the most useful thing for a TV stick, if you have Alexa sending you answers, it will only take up part of the screen while you continue watching whatever you were interested in.
The Amazon Fire TV Stick is available exclusively from Amazon. It usually costs $49.99, with the Amazon remote included. This is only $10 more than the non-4K Amazon sticks. Plus, there are often big discounts available, such as on Amazon Prime Day.
To put the price in context, the Chromecast Ultra is the comparable product from Google and it currently costs around $69. Similarly, the Android X96 stick, which also delivers 4K, costs $59.99. Meanwhile, the NVIDIA Shield 4K mini streaming device costs $149.99.
You can read full reviews of all the best Android TV sticks here.
The main reason to choose a TV stick over a TV box is the price. They tend to be cheaper because they are less powerful and have more features. If this is your main concern, then the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K is an excellent choice. You get 4K streaming at a fraction of the cost of the majority of other options.
The main thing that sticks tend to lack is an ethernet cable so you can connect your device directly to your router. But you can buy one of these separately at a price point of $14.99 for the Amazon Fire Stick.
Sticks also tend to come with less sophisticated remote controls than boxes, but the Amazon Fire Stick comes with the Amazon Alexa remote, the same remote that comes with the Amazon Fire Cube.
You can read our full comparison of the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K and the Amazon Fire Cube here.
What Is The Difference Between The Fire Stick And The Fire Stick 4K?
As the name suggests, you can get 4K resolution with the Fire Stick 4K, while you only get 1080pp HD quality with a standard Fire Stick.
What Channels Do You Get With The Fire Stick 4K?
Like most streaming tech, unless they are “fully loaded,” the Fire Stick 4K does not come with channels included. You need to download apps, invest in an antenna or otherwise source the content you would like to stream. Even Prime Video requires an Amazon Prime subscription, which costs $12.99 per month after a free trial period.
Can You Watch Normal TV On Amazon Fire Stick?
You can watch normal TV on the Amazon Fire TV stick, but you will require an antenna or other live TV streaming app, such as Sling TV. If you want DVR service, you will need an extra piece of kit, the Amazon Fire TV Recast, which offers either 75 or 150 hours of DVR storage depending on the model that you choose.
Does The Amazon Fire Stick 4K Work On Any TV?
An Amazon Fire Stick 4K will work on any TV as long as it has a HDMI input. However, if you want to take advantage of the 4K picture quality, you do also require a 4K TV.
If you don’t mind the slightly more limited interface that you get when you use an Amazon Fire product, the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K is one of the best TV sticks on the market. It offers 4K TV streaming at a very affordable price, and it has lots of nice features, meaning it is one of the most usable TV sticks on the market.
Don’t get confused by the fact that the Amazon Fire Stick 2020 is newer than the Amazon Fire Stick 4K. If you want 4K streaming in a stick, this is the only Fire Stick that will deliver that.
Do you have experience using the Amazon Fire Stick 4K? Share your thoughts with the community in the comments action below.