Amazon Fire TV (2017)

8.1/10 AVG.
RATING

  • Amazon Fire TV (2017)
  • Amazon Fire TV (2017)
  • Amazon Fire TV (2017)
  • Amazon Fire TV (2017)
  • Amazon Fire TV (2017)
  • Amazon Fire TV (2017)

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


All-new Fire TV with 4K Ultra HD and HDR support in a compact and portable form factor. | Experience true-to-life picture quality and sound with access to vivid 4K Ultra HD up to 60 fps, HDR, and Dolby Atmos audio. | Enjoy tens of thousands of channels, apps, and Alexa skills with access to over 500,000 movies and TV episodes from Netflix, Prime Video, YouTube, Hulu, HBO, SHOWTIME, STARZ, and more. Subscription fees may apply. | Use your voice to easily find, launch, and control content with your Alexa Voice Remote or pair Fire TV with an Echo device for hands-free content control. | Do more w... More

All-new Fire TV with 4K Ultra HD and HDR support in a compact and portable form factor. | Experience true-to-life picture quality and sound with access to vivid 4K Ultra HD up to 60 fps, HDR, and Dolby Atmos audio. | Enjoy tens of thousands of channels, apps, and Alexa skills with access to over 500,000 movies and TV episodes from Netflix, Prime Video, YouTube, Hulu, HBO, SHOWTIME, STARZ, and more. Subscription fees may apply. | Use your voice to easily find, launch, and control content with your Alexa Voice Remote or pair Fire TV with an Echo device for hands-free content control. | Do more with Alexa by playing music, ordering a pizza, and controlling compatible lights and other smart home devices-just ask. | Prime membership unlocks thousands of movies and TV episodes, including Thursday Night Football, Amazon Original Series, Amazon Channels, and ad-free listening to millions of songs with Prime Music. | No cable or satellite? No problem. Use an HD antenna to get free broadcast networks like NBC and PBS or watch live TV and sports with subscriptions to Hulu, PlayStation Vue, and Sling TV. | Simply plug into an HDTV and start streaming in minutes. With an ultra-fast processor and 802.11ac Wi-Fi, you can rely on smooth and responsive performance.

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Specification

Brand Amazon
Model LDC9WZ
Warranty 12 months
Release date 25-October-2017
Size 6.6 x 6.6 x 1.5 cm (2.6 x 2.6 x 0.6 in)
Weight 87.8 grams
(3.1 ounces)

The "1-Minute" Review

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…"

Critic Reviews


The Guardian

Compact upgrade to make your TV smarter

from The Guardian

The Fire TV with 4K and HDR is one of the best streaming devices around. It takes most of what was good from the last generation and squeezes it into a dongle that’s at least £10 cheaper and you can hide behind your TV.

Read full review

The Fire TV with 4K and HDR is one of the best streaming devices around. It takes most of what was good from the last generation and squeezes it into a dongle that’s at least £10 cheaper and you can hide behind your TV.

Read full review

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Tech Advisor

A good way to stream your digital subscription services to your TV

from Tech Advisor

Be aware that at the moment, there aren't actually that many 4K HDR films or TV shows out there, on any streaming service. When the Fire TV works to its full potential it's great, but for now it might be overkill for your needs.

Read full review

Be aware that at the moment, there aren't actually that many 4K HDR films or TV shows out there, on any streaming service. When the Fire TV works to its full potential it's great, but for now it might be overkill for your needs.

Read full review

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Make Use Of

The little box that thought it could

from Make Use Of

Great choice if you're already within the Amazon ecosystem, but the performance and interface really need to improve.

Read full review

Great choice if you're already within the Amazon ecosystem, but the performance and interface really need to improve.

Read full review

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Android Central

A great streaming dongle for the casual viewer

from Android Central

The Amazon Fire TV is definitely in the "Don't think, just buy it" category. Because you get a whole lot here in a $69 streaming device. If all you want to do is watch shows and maybe play around with a few apps and not worry that this isn't the fastest experience with all the bells and whistles, then go for it.

Read full review

The Amazon Fire TV is definitely in the "Don't think, just buy it" category. Because you get a whole lot here in a $69 streaming device. If all you want to do is watch shows and maybe play around with a few apps and not worry that this isn't the fastest experience with all the bells and whistles, then go for it.

Read full review

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TechRadar

A tiny 4K and HDR streaming box

from TechRadar

The Amazon Fire TV (2017) is the latest version of Amazon’s streaming box, and comes with a fantastic new redesign, plus support for 4K HDR content and Dolby Atmos soundtracks.

Read full review

The Amazon Fire TV (2017) is the latest version of Amazon’s streaming box, and comes with a fantastic new redesign, plus support for 4K HDR content and Dolby Atmos soundtracks.

Read full review

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Alphr

Pixel-perfect streaming

from Alphr

The Fire TV with 4K Ultra HD a brilliant product, but a tricky product to assess nonetheless. On the one hand, it’s the market leader. For me, it’s the easiest TV streamer to use, giving you voice control features, an intuitive UI and a simple, effective remote control all in one box.

Read full review

The Fire TV with 4K Ultra HD a brilliant product, but a tricky product to assess nonetheless. On the one hand, it’s the market leader. For me, it’s the easiest TV streamer to use, giving you voice control features, an intuitive UI and a simple, effective remote control all in one box.

Read full review

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Expert Reviews

Amazon's new streamer is pure TV gold

from Expert Reviews

It’s taken its precious time about it, but the new Fire TV 4K is finally here and it works very well indeed. The Alexa facilities, in particular, are great to have and make finding content across multiple services incredibly easy.

Read full review

It’s taken its precious time about it, but the new Fire TV 4K is finally here and it works very well indeed. The Alexa facilities, in particular, are great to have and make finding content across multiple services incredibly easy.

Read full review

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T3

Simply unbeatable value for 4K HDR and Dolby Atmos support

from T3

If you want 4K HDR and don't want an Apple TV, this is the best option - unless you're totally embedded with Google apps and services (in which case you probably want the Chromecast).

Read full review

If you want 4K HDR and don't want an Apple TV, this is the best option - unless you're totally embedded with Google apps and services (in which case you probably want the Chromecast).

Read full review

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The Verge

Everything but the content

from The Verge

The new Fire TV checks almost every box you’d want in a modern media streamer: it’s small, it’s fast, it’s relatively inexpensive, and it has a powerful voice assistant tied into a beautiful interface.

Read full review

The new Fire TV checks almost every box you’d want in a modern media streamer: it’s small, it’s fast, it’s relatively inexpensive, and it has a powerful voice assistant tied into a beautiful interface.

Read full review

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TechHive

This is a step backward, even with 4K HDR

from TechHive

Cheap UltraHD streaming gets weighed down by a cluttered interface, middling voice search, and a lack of hardware innovation.

Read full review

Cheap UltraHD streaming gets weighed down by a cluttered interface, middling voice search, and a lack of hardware innovation.

Read full review

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