- Marshall Honorof, Tom's Guide
A focus on Amazon apps makes the Fire TV Stick a good choice for existing Amazon customers and less compelling for others.
- Samuel Gibbs, The Guardian
A very good smart TV device in a cheap and effective package.
The 2017 Amazon Fire TV Stick competes with other low- to mid-tier media streamers such as the Chromecast and Roku Express. If you’re dedicated to the Amazon ecosystem, it might just be the cheap media streaming alternative to turn your “dumb” TV into a smart one.
But streaming boxes have changed a lot since the Fire TV Stick's debut. Does it still offer value in the budget market?
Read on to see what reviewers think!
If you find the Fire TV too bulky, then you’ll be happier with the small footprint of the Fire TV Stick. It’s small—measuring just 3.3-by-1.2-by-0.5 inches. And since it plugs directly into the HDMI port and uses Wi-Fi, you don't have to worry about cables running all over your media center. The included power cable is the only one you'll need.
Reviewers add that its small size and lack of cable make it a perfect travel companion for those who want to bring their favorite movies or tv shows with them when visiting family, going on business trips, or taking a holiday.
Amazon changed a few things about the 2017 Fire TV Stick compared to the previous model. One improvement experts noticed almost immediately was its speed. It comes now with a quad-core processor (versus dual-core), which made scrolling through menus or searching for content painless and snappy.
Perhaps the biggest upgrade is integration with Alexa. While the previous generation allowed you to download an app to use Alexa, the 2017 version has it built into the included remote. Rather than use the Alexa command, you just need to press the button on the remote and give instructions.
For the most part, critics found it very responsive and fairly fast. They could easily search by genre, actor, title, and more. With that said, they would often get unhelpful results, mostly when searching by actor.
Alexa also lets you fast forward or rewind shows or movies, but many didn’t find this feature as useful—especially since they could perform the same action with the remote.
So what about streaming quality? As expected when first starting a show, or after rewinding or forwarding, reviewers ran into a slightly blurry image for a few seconds, but it immediately cleared up to HD quality.
When compared to the Chromecast, they note the Fire TV Stick loaded much faster. They had no buffering issues in any of the apps—including Netflix or Amazon Prime Video. However, if you’re looking for 4K resolution, you'll want the more-expensive Fire TV as the Stick only offers 1080p resolution.
Overall, the 2017 Fire TV Stick impressed reviewers. The Indian Express states, “[It] works like it is supposed to… it has given me no cause to complain.” T3 adds, “… the Fire TV Stick has a strong case to be called the best all-round streaming device available today.”
No questions for the moment.