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Amazon Fire TV (2017) review

8.1/10 AVG.
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The Amazon All-New Fire TV is a versatile streaming box with excellent Alexa integration and a reasonable price tag, but the design is a head-scratcher.

- Marshall Honoroff, Tom's Guide 

Those in deep with the Amazon ecosystem will find plenty here to like, especially if you’re gung-ho about Alexa.

- Chris Davies, SlashGear 

Specs / Features

Warranty (Months) 12 months
Release date 25-October-2017
Size 7 x 7 x 2 cm (2.8 x 2.8 x 0.8 in)
Weight N/A
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Reviews summary section

What's good

  • Small, light-weight design
  • HDR and 4K/60fps support
  • Decent price
  • Fast performance

What's bad

  • Small content selection for 4K HDR
  • Some connectivity issues with older routers

Amazon's latest Fire TV now has tight Alexa integration so you can easily navigate through menus and 4K support to rival the big names in streaming boxes. But is this enough to unseat Apple TV or Roku Ultra at the top of the streaming charts?

Let’s find out what reviewers have to say!

On paper, the Fire TV sounds impressive. It comes with a 1.5GHz quad-core processor, support for 4K HDR streaming and Dolby Atmos support. The 2017 version also sees a more svelte size measuring in at 2.56-by-2.56-by-0.59 inches. At 87.1 grams, it’s light enough that reviewers were able to hang it from the HDMI port without any direct pressure on the port.

With that said, in comparison to other dongles, such as the Chromecast Ultra, it is still larger and heavier.

The Wi-Fi antenna is located inside the body to keep things trim. With that said, many suggest getting an ethernet cable if you have a weak wireless signal, an older router or plan to stream 4K content.

As with all media streamers, it comes with an included remote. The design hasn’t changed from its predecessor, but experts don’t have too many complaints. They found its design elegant and intuitive.

While the remote itself is well-designed, some critics were disappointed with the actual menu system displayed on the TV. Some called it “cluttered” due to the inclusion of promotional content and other Amazon-related bloatware.

However, they appreciated the integration with Alexa as they could use various voice commands to control playback. They ran into some limitations, however. The Verge notes, “There’s some basic stuff it can’t do like set timers or change the TV volume. Integration with my Echo Dot was also hit-or-miss.”

So what about performance? The 1.5GHz quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM provided critics with excellent playback and generally snappy performance. They didn’t notice any lag when navigating the menus and videos buffered quickly.

Perhaps the biggest technological leap for the Fire TV is the inclusion of HDR. While reviewers were pleased with the picture quality and sharpness, they were limited by Amazon’s small catalog of 4K HDR movies. Still, they were pleasantly surprised with the excellent contrast and fairly accurate color representation. They note even non-4K, non-HDR shows and movies managed to look quite nice.

If you don't mind getting techy, the Amazon Fire TV is also one of the only mainstream streaming media boxes that allows you to sideload Android apps. While controls are hit-or-miss using a remote instead of the touch interface most Android apps are designed for, this greatly improves the flexibility of the box for power users.

In general, most reviewers would recommend the Fire TV. Trusted Reviews states, “It’s fast, easy to use and app support is pretty good...Amazon’s little black box of wonder is back and better than ever.” Tech Radar adds, “...the Fire TV (2017) is a fantastic update, and as a cheaper alternative to its closest rival, the Chromecast Ultra, it brings more content and better features…"

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