Firestick Buying Guide – What Is The Best Firestick?


Amazon’s Firestick TV devices convert your standard TV into a smart one. They provide legal access to popular streaming services like Netflix, Disney Plus, and Hulu. Considering that your TV doesn’t have to be top-of-lin-line to connect with them, they make for an affordable viewing experience. Plus, you can sync them with existing Amazon Prime subscriptions for convenient access to content.

With Alexa, you have the luxury of commanding your screen with your voice. Amazon offers a good range of Firestick TVs for you to choose from, depending on your budget and preferences. If you’ve decided to buy one, here are the best ones and why they stand out.

The best Amazon Fire TV Sticks in summary

  • Best performing Fire TV Stick: Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max (2nd Gen).
  • Best runner-up Fire TV Stick: Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K (2nd Gen).
  • Best value Fire TV Stick: Amazon Fire TV Stick (3rd Gen). 
  • Best smart home control: Amazon Fire TV Cube (3rd Gen).
  • Best budget Fire TV Stick: Amazon Firestick TV Lite.

Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max (2nd Gen)

Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max 2nd Gen
Image Credit: Amazon

Pros

  • Affordable.
  • 4K Ultra HD picture quality.
  • Portable design.
  • Alexa-supported remote control.

Cons

  • Excessive ads.
  • Needs a power source.

Supported resolution: 4K | HDR Compatibility: HDR10, HDR10+, HLG, Dolby Vision | Processor: Mediatek MT8696 | OS: Fire OS 8 | Form factor: Stick | RAM: 2GB | Storage: 16GB | Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.2 + BLE, Wi-FI 6E: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax, ethernet at 10/100 Mbps (with external dongle) | Price: $60

The Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max offers a powerful streaming performance via a quad-core 2GHz processor. It’s the reason each app will start quickly and smoothly during navigation. You’ll spend less time waiting for UI elements to respond and switch between your favorite streaming services in little time. 

Even better, it supports Wi-Fi 6E for lag-free streaming 4K Ultra HD picture quality across multiple devices. You’ll find this capability useful if you find yourself in busy Wi-Fi environments. Coupled with Dolby Vision, HDR, HDR10+, and immersive Dolby Atmos audio, you’ll have nothing short of a cinematic experience with lifelike colors and surreal sound. 

Whether you’re looking for a rom-com movie or series to binge-watch, the Fire TV Stick 4K Max contains a vast library of 1.5 million movies and TV episodes from Netflix, Prime Video, and Disney Plus. The Alexa Voice Remote is one way to control the entertainment with simple voice commands and buttons. You can find, launch, and play content and use dedicated buttons to command your TV, receivers, and soundbars.

Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K (2nd Gen)

Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K 2nd Gen
Image Credit: Amazon

Pros

  • Affordable.
  • 4K Ultra HD picture quality.
  • Portable design.
  • Alexa-supported remote control.

Cons

  • Excessive ads.
  • Significantly reduced storage from the 4K Max (2nd Gen).

Supported resolution: 4K | HDR Compatibility: HDR10, HDR10+, HLG, Dolby Vision | Processor: Mediatek MT8696D | OS: Fire OS 8 | Form factor: Stick | RAM: 2GB | Storage: 8GB | Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.2 + BLE, Wi-FI 6E: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax, ethernet at 10/100 Mbps (with external dongle) | Price: $40

The Fire TV Stick 4K takes a minor step down from its successor. While the Fire TV Stick 4K and 4K Max models have similar features, including support for Ultra HD streaming, Dolby Vision, HDR10+, and more, the 4K model offers 8GB Storage space. The Max model has double that amount at 16GB allowing you to download more apps and store content locally on the device.

The Fire TV Stick 4K also has a MediaTek MT8696D 1.7GHz processor. While the Max model’s upgraded processor presents improved performance and faster loading times for apps, the drop in the basic 4K model’s performance isn’t exaggerated. You’ll want to consider that Fire Sticks are primarily for streaming content and don’t require a lot of RAM anyway.

Basically, the 4K variant is the Fire Stick TV you want to get if you’re after a high-quality streaming device with a smaller price tag than the 4K Max. 


Note: Neither of the aforementioned 4K Fire TV Sticks will deliver such high picture quality to a television that doesn’t support 4K output. Instead, they will optimize the picture quality according to the TV’s capabilities through HDMI. It’s best that you buy affordable alternatives, like the 3rd Gen Fire TV Stick or the Lite model.


Amazon Fire TV Stick (3rd Gen) 

Amazon Fire Stick TV 3rd Gen
Image: Amazon

Pros

  • Affordable.
  • Great picture quality.
  • Portable design.
  • Alexa-supported remote control.

Cons

  • Excessive ads.
  • 1080p resolution.

Supported resolution: 1080p, 720p (up to 60 fps) | HDR Compatibility: HDR10, HDR10+, HLG | Processor: Mediatek MT8695D | OS: Fire OS 7 | Form factor: Stick | RAM: 1GB | Storage: 8GB | Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0, 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac; 2×2 MIMO, ethernet at 10/100 Mbps | Price: $40

The Amazon Fire TV Stick 3rd Gen device doesn’t have 4K resolution, but it’s not the lowest performing streamer either. It has 1080p resolution, which is usually sufficient for casual streaming, especially when you don’t have a TV that supports 4K.

The connection part is easy. The device’s design is simple, and all you need to do is plug the device directly into your TV’s HDMI port with the male connector on one end. On the other end is a MicroUSB you can link to a wall adapter for power or to Amazon’s optional Ethernet adapter for wired network access. 

You may not like the Mediatek MT8695D processor, 1GB of RAM, and Fire OS 7 combination. Occasionally, you will experience stuttering and it does take seconds longer to navigate through menus. It gets more annoying with the advertisements you can’t easily shut out.

Amazon Fire TV Cube (3rd Gen)

Amazon Fire TV Cube
Image: Amazon

Pros

  • Affordable.
  • 4K Ultra HD resolution.
  • On-device buttons.
  • Doubles up as a smart speaker when the TV’s turned off.

Cons

  • Less concealable compared to the stick form factors.
  • Most expensive streaming media player on the list.

Supported resolution: 4K | HDR Compatibility: HDR10, HDR10+, HLG, Dolby Vision | Processor: Amlogic POP1-G | OS: Fire OS 7 | Form factor: Cube | RAM: 2GB | Storage: 16GB | Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0 + BLE, 802.11 a/b/g/n/ax; 2×2 MIMO, ethernet at 10/100 Mbps | Price: $110

Although it’s not a stick, the Fire TV Cube is worth adding to the list. It is a central hub for connecting and controlling lights, thermostats, and locks, among other smart home devices. As the name implies, it’s a boxed device with a stylish fabric mesh design that you can place on your TV stand or any other flat surface. At its top, you’ll find buttons to power the device, adjust Alexa’s volume, and stop a playing video. At the side of the box are ports for connecting HDMI, IR extender, USB, Network, and power cables. 

The built-in mic and speakers allow you to communicate directly with the virtual assistant and hear her loudly when she speaks. Even while your TV screen is turned off, this functionality still works. The remote itself has a mic for waking and using the assistant, although it really isn’t necessary unless you prefer a hands-on experience.   

Notably, the Fire TV Cube introduces Wi-Fi 6E support alongside HDMI pass-through. It means you have faster speeds than previous generations. Also, if you have a setup with a cable box, a gaming console, and a Fire TV Cube connected to your TV, you don’t need to manually change the HDMI inputs on your TV whenever you want to use a different one. Instead, you can connect all the devices directly to the Cube and switch between them via voice or remote control. 

Amazon Firestick TV Lite 

Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite
Image: Amazon

Pros

  • Affordable.
  • 4K UHD resolution.
  • Compact design.
  • Alexa-supported remote control.

Cons

  • Low RAM & storage.
  • Remote control has fewer buttons.

Supported resolution: 2160p, 1080p, 720p (up to 60 fps) | HDR Compatibility: HDR10, HDR10+, HLG, Dolby Vision | Processor: Mediatek MT8695D | OS: Fire OS 7 | Form factor: Stick | RAM: 1GB | Storage: 8GB | Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0, 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac; 2×2 MIMO, ethernet at 10/100 Mbps | Price: $30

The Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite is a budget-friendly streaming solution for your 1080p TV. It is priced at just $30 and offers a compact design and straightforward setup. As you’d expect from a cheap streaming device, it has a simple rectangle plastic stick you can plug into your TV. Like the Fire TV Stick 3rd Gen, it has a MicroUSB port on the side.

The remote control is bare, with a few buttons for video playback, navigating through Home and other menus, and using voice commands. Besides that, no shortcut buttons exist, especially the iconic Netflix button. 

Even though most of its features have been stripped down, you can still watch content from top-rated services, including Sling TV, Crackle, Pluto TV, Tubi TV, Amazon Music, Pandora, Spotify, and more. Live tiles allow you to preview content, which is great if you don’t want to waste time deciding if a movie is worth the watch. 

Watch anything from anywhere with Amazon

Amazon’s Fire Stick TVs and Cubes provide viewing experiences that cater to every need and budget. If you want more options or you’ve tried them and they fell short of expectations, there are more streaming media players from other brands.

Roku provides a user-friendly interface and supports higher RAM and storage options than the base Fire Stick but has somewhat clunkier software. Chromecast with Google TV integrates well with Android devices and uses Google services. Apple TV is best for anyone deeply invested in the Apple ecosystem, offering exclusive content and features like Apple Arcade gaming. Each device caters to different preferences, providing a range of options for you to choose from.





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