Amazon Fire TV Stick review: TV control is nice, but Roku (and Lite) are better sticks

Streaming Tv carries on to improve in attractiveness, with new expert services and options every day, and to continue to keep up most of the key machine makers launched new goods in the previous yr you can hook to any Tv. Roku has the new Streambar and the Roku Express 4K Additionally, Google has the Chromecast with Google Tv and Amazon has its most affordable streamer still: the $thirty Hearth Adhere Tv Lite. Amazon also sells the $40 Hearth Tv Adhere, the subject matter of this overview. 


  • Affordable
  • Remote provides Alexa voice and Tv control
  • Vast selection of streaming applications
  • Integrates properly with Echo speakers

Will not Like

  • The cheaper Lite is a superior worth
  • The step-up 4K adhere is superior for 4K TVs
  • Extra complicated menus than Roku

Like some of its competitors the $forty Hearth Stick’s distant has buttons for quantity, mute and energy, permitting you to control all those features on your Tv — and possibly ditch your Tv distant. Those people distant buttons are the only serious distinction between the $thirty Adhere Lite and the $forty Adhere, so you’re generally spending $10 for Tv control.

The $forty Adhere (2020) is the Hd-only center little one between the cheaper Lite and the extra capable Hearth Tv Adhere 4K , and each of all those are superior options total. Indeed, that Tv control is pleasant, and the Hearth Adhere does provides a whole lot for your $forty, including integration with present Echo products a great choice of applications (it now has both HBO Max and Peacock) and a slick interface. But Hearth Tv nonetheless pushes its Primary Video retailer in look for effects, and the property display can be a minimal much too chaotic for persons who know what they want to check out. At the exact same rate the Roku Express 4K Additionally provides superior options and worth, and for $10 less the Lite is an unbeatable deal.

What is it?


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Hearth Tv Sticks are USB adhere-sized products that plug into a spare HDMI port on your Tv. They stream audio and video clip information from dozens of diverse applications about your Wi-Fi link. Whilst anyone can use a person of these products, being an Amazon Primary subscriber enables you to check out included programming.

The distant alone has not physically altered substantially because the first Hearth Tv was launched, and it lacks the quality really feel of the Roku distant or Google’s new distant. The new Hearth Adhere distant does include the ability to control your Tv quantity, while it lacks the shortcuts to Netflix or other typically-made use of expert services. Setting the distant up with a Tv can take about thirty seconds and it can even control a receiver (I made use of it with a Sony Tv and an Onkyo receiver without difficulty).


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Along with the Hearth Tv Lite, these are the first products we have observed to offer HDR but not 4K resolution, and it raises the question of what type of Tv it truly is created for. There are hundreds of 4K HDR TVs out there but I tried doing a look for for 1080p TVs that can do HDR on Greatest Buy’s site and uncovered only four. For most persons with 4K HDR TVs, we might suggest receiving a streamer that can essentially do 4K instead of a 1080p streamer like the Adhere.

The adhere will come with a energy adapter and Amazon strongly recommends you use this. Whilst you could use the USB ports on your Tv to energy the machine, it signifies the device could behave unusually. For instance, Dolby Atmos information would not operate at all when the device was plugged into a Tv USB port, inspite of the machine declaring it was outputting “Dolby Atmos” — the seem arrived out as 

Heaps of streaming applications


The Hearth Tv sports (get it?) dozens of streaming applications.

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Like other streaming products the range of expert services that Amazon Hearth Tv supports is enhancing all the time. It can entry nearly all of the key streaming applications, including Amazon Primary Video, Netflix, Hulu, Sling Tv, Crackle, Pluto Tv, Tubi Tv, Amazon Audio, Pandora, Spotify and numerous, numerous extra. The Hearth Tv system now provides each HBO Max and Peacock bringing it in line with Roku and Chromecast with Google Tv.  

What it truly is like to use

With only a pair of little options to individual them — and the sticks even have the exact same S3L46N product range — the Hearth Tv and Hearth Tv Lite behaved nearly identically in my exams. The two offer a wholesome enhance of options, tightly integrated voice commands and relative fast response situations. 

Making use of the Hearth Tv Adhere distant is quick, and Alexa queries with the microphone button were being extra responsive and relevant than using the Echo as a go-between. In distinction, Roku could not have the exact same strong voice capabilities, but text queries by using the Roku distant are normally extra qualified towards totally free or integrated programs relatively than only “invest in now” links.  


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When it will come to user interfaces there are two diverse schools of considered: Application-centric menus like the Roku and Apple Tv kinds just clearly show you a grid of applications, so you won’t be able to essentially look through for a thing to check out without clicking through to every single app. Amazon Hearth Tv and Google Tv get a extra information-concentrated method, surfacing heaps of titles on the property webpage alone. 

If you like to graze for information, the Hearth Tv may be extra appealing, If you know what you want previously, or at the very least what app you want to check out, a Roku is probably a superior decision, in component mainly because Amazon’s look for effects skews greatly towards its have (typically user-pays-further) information. 

Image and seem good quality were being quite related between the Lite and the Hearth Adhere, and graphic good quality was as excellent as I might expect. On paper you can find a distinction in Atmos audio assist: The Adhere provides Dolby Atmos audio decoding whilst the Lite has Dolby Atmos move-through. The simple distinction between them is negligible, however, mainly because an Atmos-able receiver or soundbar is wanted in each circumstances to hear Atmos audio. No matter whether the adhere or the receiver does the decoding isn’t going to definitely make any difference. 

Also, in my testing I have uncovered numerous expert services — including Primary Video and Disney Additionally — involve a 4K Tv for Atmos to operate in any case. In brief, I don’t take into consideration this element distinction a big deal mainly because most persons with respectable Atmos setups should really (when once again) be using a bona fide 4K streamer.

Should really you invest in it?

If you’re in the market place for a new $thirty or $forty streamer it will come down to a decision between Hearth TV’s information-first method as opposed to Roku app-first a person. If you’re common with Roku’s straightforward menu layout the range of tiles and options on the Hearth Tv Stick’s property webpage can be too much to handle.

If you previously have a Hearth Adhere, you can find totally no cause for you to invest in the 2020 model. Dolby Atmos and HDR are strange include-ons for 1080p products, and if Amazon preferred to offer a thing one of a kind at the rate it should really have integrated full 4K assist. As it is, if you have a respectable 4K Tv then you should really get a serious 4K streamer like the Roku Express 4K Additionally. And if you want to help save funds, go with the Hearth Tv Lite.

To start with released Oct. 8 2020, up-to-date June 2021 with addition of Peacock.