Review: Amazon Fire TV Stick (Top Portable Media Streaming Device?)
Millions of people are either ditching cable entirely, or relying on a streaming service like Netflix on top of their cable provider for all their shows and entertainment. That’s why so many people are in the market for a streaming product, and there are several options available today with devices like streaming boxes, the Roku, game consoles and the Amazon Fire product line for sale. The trick is choosing between these options to pick the best product for you. I firmly believe that the Amazon Fire TV stick is one of the best options on the market today, and I’ll go into why down below.
Don’t Miss These Great Specs!
Fast Voice Search
Typing on a small wireless media remote is a nightmare. It takes ages to scroll around that virtual keyboard typing one character at a time, and the new Fire TV Stick makes that scenario simpler than ever to avoid. Simply press the mic button at the top of the remote and tell Alexa to “Find horror films” or “Find Bubble Guppies” and you’ll be treated to the show you’re searching for in mere moments. It’s a real pleasure to use compared to more conventional search methods, and my favorite feature of the new Fire Stick. The voice search feature works on more than 140 different apps, so it’s likely that it will be supported on everything that you use it for. Options like the Roku and most streaming box products don’t come with a voice search at all, making it much more difficult to conduct searches while using it.
Excellent Media Support
A good streaming device is only as good as the media that it supports, and the latest Fire Stick supports quite a bit. There are more than 15,00 apps for the little stick, but the important thing is that major players like HBO Now, Hulu, Netflix, NBC, Disney, Amazon Video, Showtime and Sling TV are all supported natively. Most of the major names work flawlessly on the stick, letting you enjoy your favorite shows from anywhere that you can plug in.
Perfect Travel Companion
Whether you’re traveling for a business trip or looking for a bit of entertainment after a fun day out on a family vacation, the Fire TV Stick is compact and plugs into any TV with an HDMI port, making it a perfect travel companion. You’ll have access to your favorite content while on the go, and won’t have to worry about things like DVD players, lugging around discs, or carrying one of those large portable DVD players to watch your favorite content. Just plug the stick in, sign into the local network and start watching like you would at home. Your preferences are maintained and you’ll only spend a few moments getting everything set up.
The original Fire Stick was a bit sluggish, but the latest model is more powerful than ever and tears through the menus faster and more capable than before. You can scroll around for that movie you’ve been wanting to see in less time, and enjoy your favorite media without all the waiting.
Ideal for Prime Users
Prime users can make the most of all their features with the Fire TV Stick. It natively supports Prime Video and Music and will let you access all the latest features with the press of a button. Better yet, Alexa knows how to navigate your music library, your Prime video preferences and hand pick the options you’re interested in with simple voice commands.
Neat and Hidden
When compared to other streaming devices like the Amazon Fire TV, the Roku or the many streaming boxes selling today, the Fire Stick is a very neat and compact device. This is perfect for media enthusiasts that want their streaming device out of the way. It plugs into the HDMI port of a TV and stays hidden behind its bezel on most sets. You’ll barely notice the Fire Stick while it’s being used and can easily create a streamlined media setup using it as your player.
While the Fire Stick doesn’t offer 4K media playback, it does offer 1080p playback which is the top offering from most streaming services today making it the practical choice. High-definition video plays nice and crisply and is enjoyable to watch through the Fire TV Stick. Of course your Internet connection and home network quality will determine how fast videos load, but once they’re loaded you’ll love how smooth playback can be with the stick.
Not for Gaming
While it is possible to play some basic games like Angry Birds with the Fire TV Stick, it really isn’t a gaming device. If you want a little media player that’s also decent for gaming, the Fire TV is a better option. While it’s more expensive, it comes with game remote support, has higher processing power and is capable of offering a better gaming experience overall. It’s important to note that you’ll have to purchase a game controller separately and the Amazon-branded product is more than the Fire TV stick costs on its own, so it’s a decent investment.
The Amazon Fire TV Stick is a powerful little media product that comes with the features that most people are looking for in a home theater device. It’s perfect for streaming most multimedia content and handles services like Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, HBO Now and many others very well. Sure it’s not perfect and isn’t ideal for playing games and it can’t handle 4K quality video from the few sources that offer it, but it’s one of the best options for the money today.