Amazon Firestick Review

Buy The Amazon Firestick

Video Transcript

well here it is the Amazon fire TV stick this is the HDMI dongle version of the fire TV box and it ships out to customers starting tomorrow november nineteenth we got ours a little bit early so that we could get an advance look at it so far I like what I’m seeing in fact I’m starting to wonder do I really need the Amazon fire TV box at all but there are sure to be some differences just like there is between the Roku streaming stick and the Roku boxes so let’s take a closer look here’s everything that comes in the box there is the stick itself of course not much to see here just the USB power port on the side the remote is very similar to the fire TV box except for you’ll notice it’s missing the little voice search and microphone button up at the top it also comes with a pretty compact little wall power brick here for powering it if you don’t have a USB port on your television and this is the USB power cable it’s a standard four foot length which is fine if you’re going to be putting it behind your TV but if you have to reach down to a wall that may be a little on the short side and then there’s an HDMI extender for those hard to reach hdmi inputs this is something that chromecast comes with but the Roku streaming stick does not now if we compare the Roku streaming stick to the Amazon fire TV stick you’ll notice the Roku is a little bit shorter and stubby or a little more stout this is longer and more slender it also feels a little bit more substantial and that’s probably because it’s got some premium components inside this has a dual core processor one gigabyte of RAM and eight gigabytes of flash storage which greatly at least on paper outperforms the Roku we’ll see if that turns into a real life benefit or not now with the remotes there’s a whole lot more defined differences obviously that amazon remote is a lot more slim and trim it also sits flat whereas the Roku tends to wobble back and forth and that’s no small deal I mean you’re going to be holding these things all the time it’s hard to understand exactly why the Roku remote would be so bulky but that’s only because this guy is so trim you will notice however that the Roku remote does offer some hotkeys although an outdated one for immediate access to certain services whereas Amazon requires you to just navigate to the apps from within the interface so we’ve just plugged in the fire TV stick to one of our HDMI ports and we’re powering it using a USB cord on the TV and when we fire it up we get this message it’s suggesting maybe we ought to be plugging it into the wall we’re not clear on why that is perhaps there’s better performance if you plug it into the wall but we can assure you this is a top-of-the-line 4k TV with more than adequate USB ports and as you’ll see it runs just fine now when you order a fire TV stick if you do so with your Amazon account it’s automatically going to be registered to your Amazon account if you want to change it you can but that’s how it’s going to come out of the box when you first get things started you’re going to be forced to watch an orientation video you can back out of it but you can’t really skip it it just picks up where you left off and of course it’s going to get you indoctrinated with amazon prime if you aren’t already so my number one concern was that this was going to be a sluggish experience relative at least to the fire TV box kind of like the Roku streaming stick is it’s a little slow to react that is definitely not the case here if I make a change to my menu item it moves immediately now it does take a little bit longer to load the graphics than the fire TV box but certainly not a long a period of time you can navigate through all my options pretty quickly here let’s see how it does opening apps let’s pull up netflix here alright so maybe a little slower than the fire TV box but I mean it’s so close that we’re going to actually have to measure how many seconds it was certainly not a sluggish device by any stretch I think somebody who isn’t used to the streaming set-top box is going to find this to be plenty snappy let’s go ahead and load a TV episode this is a a prime purchase as it were and of course amazon prime content is going to load almost immediately so if you’re not familiar with the fire TV ecosystem it’s built entirely around amazon prime if we go to prime video here we’re going to see lots of options that are free to watch for Prime members you also the option to rent or buy movies or television if you buy them they live in amazon’s cloud that same thing goes with the television shows if you buy an entire season it will live in amazon’s cloud and you can play it back anytime you want you can also build a watch list so that any new episodes of TV series that you like to watch will automatically be populated here and you can get to them quickly your own video library again is that cloud-based storage anything that you buy from amazon will live here and you can access it from any amazon device you want now the thing that makes the fire TV so much different than say the chromecast or the Roku is its extensive amount of gains there are quite a few free games you can get here and some decent ones to purchase as well many of these work just fine with the remote that comes with the fire TV box why would definitely recommend looking into getting the gaming controller which adds sort of that console-style feel to the gaming experience bottom line is the fire TV stick for forty dollars is one heck of a deal this gets you very close to the full on fire TV box I think maybe for gaming it would be a little bit better what to have the box but even with the stick add the gaming controller for forty dollars and you’re in business it’s also much lower profile and it’s a lot more portable you can take this thing anywhere take it to the hotel take it to your buddy’s house you can literally stick this thing in your pocket and have a whole world of content at your fingertips when you get there