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Amazon Fire TV Stick review

The soft leather tote bag 2nd gen soft leather tote bag Fire TV Stick is soft leather tote bag an evolution soft leather tote bag rather than soft leather tote bag a revolution

Amazon Fire TV Stick
Image credit: TechRadar

Our Verdict

Since the soft leather tote bag first Fire TV soft leather tote bag Stick launched, its soft leather tote bag internals have been beefed soft leather tote bag up and it's now equipped with soft leather tote bag Amazon's voice soft leather tote bag assistant Alexa; however, the new Amazon soft leather tote bag Fire soft leather tote bag TV Stick fails to soft leather tote bag take the soft leather tote bag budget streaming crown. Its new voice search functionality soft leather tote bag is great across soft leather tote bag the apps it supports, soft leather tote bag but it soft leather tote bag doesn't cover enough soft leather tote bag of the soft leather tote bag content soft leather tote bag on the device.

For

  • Easy to navigate
  • Alexa integrated well
  • Fast interface

Against

  • No 4K for basic model
  • Content search has blind spots
  • Remote app a missed opportunity

The soft leather tote bag Amazon Fire TV Stick is soft leather tote bag one soft leather tote bag of soft leather tote bag our most highly-recommended soft leather tote bag pieces of entertainment kit – and one of soft leather tote bag the soft leather tote bag best streaming devices you can currently buy. 

That means if soft leather tote bag you've been looking soft leather tote bag for a new streaming option you may soft leather tote bag have come across soft leather tote bag it soft leather tote bag before. Why is it such soft leather tote bag a soft leather tote bag hit? Well, soft leather tote bag it combines soft leather tote bag the smart voice-powered soft leather tote bag features of Alexa with the best soft leather tote bag streaming services available today. 

Since this review was soft leather tote bag first published, soft leather tote bag Amazon soft leather tote bag has launched a new version of the soft leather tote bag Amazon soft leather tote bag Fire TV Stick – check out soft leather tote bag our soft leather tote bag Amazon Fire TV soft leather tote bag Stick soft leather tote bag 4K review for all you soft leather tote bag need to know. soft leather tote bag This updated soft leather tote bag device is capable of 4K soft leather tote bag HDR playback, soft leather tote bag and boasts a number of new soft leather tote bag specs and features, including soft leather tote bag an 802.11ac Wi-Fi chip and a 1.7GHz soft leather tote bag quad-core soft leather tote bag processor – as well as soft leather tote bag the ability soft leather tote bag to soft leather tote bag combine with soft leather tote bag Echo speakers wirelessly soft leather tote bag to create a home cinema system

Despite soft leather tote bag this, the regular soft leather tote bag Amazon Fire TV soft leather tote bag Stick that came before it (the one we're soft leather tote bag reviewing here) is still soft leather tote bag a solid streaming device and remains soft leather tote bag one of our soft leather tote bag favorites despite soft leather tote bag its 4K soft leather tote bag upgrade. That means it's perfect soft leather tote bag if you're soft leather tote bag not too soft leather tote bag fussed about soft leather tote bag 4K soft leather tote bag UHD soft leather tote bag resolution, soft leather tote bag or your TV doesn't even support soft leather tote bag it anyway. soft leather tote bag This soft leather tote bag is soft leather tote bag the device we'll soft leather tote bag be taking a soft leather tote bag closer look at throughout this soft leather tote bag review.

The biggest difference between soft leather tote bag this soft leather tote bag older version of the soft leather tote bag streaming soft leather tote bag stick and the newer model (as soft leather tote bag well as soft leather tote bag the soft leather tote bag discontinued Amazon Fire TV), is soft leather tote bag that the latter soft leather tote bag two soft leather tote bag boast 4K streaming capabilities. However, soft leather tote bag Amazon doesn't hold buying soft leather tote bag a budget streaming soft leather tote bag stick against you. soft leather tote bag Despite the fact newer soft leather tote bag devices soft leather tote bag are on soft leather tote bag offer, soft leather tote bag this soft leather tote bag one provides soft leather tote bag you with brilliant value soft leather tote bag for money whether soft leather tote bag you're streaming in soft leather tote bag 4K soft leather tote bag or regular HD.

Despite soft leather tote bag its affordable price tag of $39.99 (£39.99 / soft leather tote bag AU$69.99), soft leather tote bag the Fire TV Stick has a soft leather tote bag fantastic voice search interface that we've found soft leather tote bag both soft leather tote bag snappy and speedy.

The soft leather tote bag voice feature allows soft leather tote bag users to access most of the apps that soft leather tote bag we'd all need soft leather tote bag on soft leather tote bag a regular basis. Just soft leather tote bag throw soft leather tote bag in the soft leather tote bag platform's rich search library, soft leather tote bag through Amazon Video, and you have all soft leather tote bag the ingredients for soft leather tote bag a capable streaming sticks soft leather tote bag that's got the basics sorted.

Despite soft leather tote bag the soft leather tote bag fact soft leather tote bag that the soft leather tote bag latest soft leather tote bag version soft leather tote bag of the streaming soft leather tote bag stick has had significant improvements soft leather tote bag since its soft leather tote bag first release, there are still a soft leather tote bag few issues we soft leather tote bag wish had soft leather tote bag been ironed out. For soft leather tote bag example, despite its soft leather tote bag big choice of apps, major streaming soft leather tote bag services like Now soft leather tote bag TV soft leather tote bag are missing, and we've also found that soft leather tote bag the voice soft leather tote bag search doesn't cover enough of soft leather tote bag the big services.

Having said that, soft leather tote bag if you can stay within soft leather tote bag the confines of soft leather tote bag Amazon's soft leather tote bag video soft leather tote bag safe haven, you'll soft leather tote bag find a lot soft leather tote bag to soft leather tote bag love about soft leather tote bag the soft leather tote bag budget-friendly Amazon Fire TV soft leather tote bag Stick. On soft leather tote bag the other hand, if you're soft leather tote bag the kind soft leather tote bag of soft leather tote bag cinephile soft leather tote bag who doesn't soft leather tote bag like being constrained to a soft leather tote bag handful of services, you'd soft leather tote bag be better off soft leather tote bag examining Roku's offerings soft leather tote bag or Google's soft leather tote bag Chromecast instead.

Amazon Fire TV Stick

Image credit: TechRadar

Design

If you’ve soft leather tote bag used an soft leather tote bag Amazon Fire TV Stick in the soft leather tote bag past, then design-wise soft leather tote bag this latest soft leather tote bag version will be very soft leather tote bag familiar. 

The stick measures soft leather tote bag 85.9 x soft leather tote bag 30.0 x soft leather tote bag 12.6mm, and it's designed soft leather tote bag to soft leather tote bag plug soft leather tote bag straight into an HDMI soft leather tote bag port on the back of your TV. 

You soft leather tote bag might find that Amazon’s hardware soft leather tote bag is a little wider than your standard soft leather tote bag HDMI soft leather tote bag cable. But soft leather tote bag luckily, soft leather tote bag in the likely soft leather tote bag event that it’s soft leather tote bag too bulky to plug directly into the HDMI soft leather tote bag port, Amazon also includes a short soft leather tote bag male-to-female HDMI cable to help it soft leather tote bag fit. 

On the side of the stick soft leather tote bag is a soft leather tote bag micro USB port for soft leather tote bag powering soft leather tote bag the device. If you’ve got a soft leather tote bag newer TV, then there’s a good chance soft leather tote bag it’ll soft leather tote bag have a USB port soft leather tote bag on the back for soft leather tote bag powering gadgets. But again, if soft leather tote bag not Amazon also soft leather tote bag handily includes a power adaptor in soft leather tote bag the box, and the supplied soft leather tote bag USB soft leather tote bag cable soft leather tote bag should be soft leather tote bag more than long soft leather tote bag enough to reach a power supply.

But soft leather tote bag although on the outside soft leather tote bag things soft leather tote bag feel soft leather tote bag very much soft leather tote bag the same, soft leather tote bag internally the device soft leather tote bag has seen a bit soft leather tote bag of an upgrade over soft leather tote bag the previous soft leather tote bag generation of Fire TV Stick. soft leather tote bag Firstly, soft leather tote bag its soft leather tote bag Wi-Fi has soft leather tote bag been upgraded from 802.11n to the faster soft leather tote bag 802.11ac standard, soft leather tote bag which should allow content soft leather tote bag to buffer soft leather tote bag as quickly as soft leather tote bag possible. soft leather tote bag Its soft leather tote bag CPU has jumped from a dual-core soft leather tote bag to a quad-core, soft leather tote bag Dolby support has jumped to 5.1, soft leather tote bag and the Bluetooth version soft leather tote bag has gone up from soft leather tote bag 3.0 to 4.1. 

Unfortunately the one spec you’re soft leather tote bag likely to care the most soft leather tote bag about, resolution, soft leather tote bag has seen no soft leather tote bag change soft leather tote bag between the previous generation soft leather tote bag of soft leather tote bag the soft leather tote bag Fire TV soft leather tote bag Stick and soft leather tote bag this one. It’s soft leather tote bag still a 1080p, non-HDR streaming stick, soft leather tote bag despite Google’s Chromecast soft leather tote bag Ultra proving that the dongle form factor soft leather tote bag is able to handle 4K soft leather tote bag just fine. If you want a soft leather tote bag streamer that’s able to handle 4K with soft leather tote bag the soft leather tote bag Amazon name soft leather tote bag on it, then you’ll soft leather tote bag need to spend more on the premium soft leather tote bag Amazon Fire TV dongle soft leather tote bag or something similar.

Amazon Fire TV Stick

Image credit: TechRadar

So far so similar. soft leather tote bag But where you'll find the soft leather tote bag biggest change with soft leather tote bag this version soft leather tote bag of the Amazon soft leather tote bag Fire TV Stick is in soft leather tote bag its remote. soft leather tote bag The soft leather tote bag bottom six buttons soft leather tote bag are exactly the same as soft leather tote bag on the previous remote, as soft leather tote bag is the four-way soft leather tote bag nav pad which soft leather tote bag allows soft leather tote bag you to navigate the device’s menus. 

But what’s changed is the soft leather tote bag addition of a voice soft leather tote bag control button. You soft leather tote bag hold soft leather tote bag it soft leather tote bag down to summon soft leather tote bag Alexa: in theory that soft leather tote bag makes up for the simplicity of soft leather tote bag the soft leather tote bag remote by allowing soft leather tote bag you soft leather tote bag to search for the soft leather tote bag exact show that soft leather tote bag you soft leather tote bag want soft leather tote bag without having to soft leather tote bag type using soft leather tote bag an on-screen keyboard.

However in practice soft leather tote bag its functionality is soft leather tote bag limited, something soft leather tote bag we’ll cover in more depth in the soft leather tote bag performance section soft leather tote bag below. 

You also have soft leather tote bag the option of using soft leather tote bag the Fire soft leather tote bag TV remote on soft leather tote bag a smart device, which has soft leather tote bag the benefit soft leather tote bag of offering an soft leather tote bag on-screen keyboard soft leather tote bag that’s much faster than using soft leather tote bag the remote to soft leather tote bag type. Annoyingly, though, this keyboard is limited soft leather tote bag to apps which use Amazon’s own soft leather tote bag keyboard. Again, this is soft leather tote bag very much a device for Amazon lovers, soft leather tote bag but if you soft leather tote bag love soft leather tote bag other services and soft leather tote bag apps, soft leather tote bag you'll soft leather tote bag come up a little soft leather tote bag short.

This means that for an soft leather tote bag app like BBC soft leather tote bag iPlayer, which has soft leather tote bag its own keyboard built soft leather tote bag into soft leather tote bag the software, you won’t be able to soft leather tote bag use the app’s on-screen keyboard – soft leather tote bag instead you’ll soft leather tote bag be forced soft leather tote bag to laboriously navigate the keyboard on your soft leather tote bag television soft leather tote bag screen using soft leather tote bag the remote. 

The soft leather tote bag selection of apps, soft leather tote bag in soft leather tote bag the UK at least, is soft leather tote bag fairly decent. Catch-up services from each of soft leather tote bag the soft leather tote bag major broadcasters are present (including UKTV), soft leather tote bag as are soft leather tote bag Netflix and Amazon Prime soft leather tote bag Instant Video (naturally). The one soft leather tote bag major omission from soft leather tote bag a UK perspective soft leather tote bag is Now soft leather tote bag TV, which soft leather tote bag is all soft leather tote bag that prevents the Amazon soft leather tote bag Fire TV stick from having soft leather tote bag a full suite soft leather tote bag of software. 

For customers soft leather tote bag in the US soft leather tote bag there are even more soft leather tote bag options like Hulu, Sling soft leather tote bag TV soft leather tote bag and DISH's new DISH Now service that lets soft leather tote bag you stream content from your Hopper soft leather tote bag to your soft leather tote bag Amazon soft leather tote bag Fire TV wherever you are in soft leather tote bag the world.

Amazon Fire TV Stick

Image credit: TechRadar

Performance

There's no doubt that soft leather tote bag the Amazon Fire TV Stick is soft leather tote bag one super soft leather tote bag speedy soft leather tote bag device. Scrolling soft leather tote bag through soft leather tote bag menus is delightfully quick, soft leather tote bag and soft leather tote bag once soft leather tote bag you find soft leather tote bag something soft leather tote bag you want soft leather tote bag to watch it loads almost instantly (although that soft leather tote bag does soft leather tote bag also soft leather tote bag depend soft leather tote bag on the speed of soft leather tote bag your internet soft leather tote bag connection). 

The soft leather tote bag Amazon soft leather tote bag Fire TV Stick’s user interface soft leather tote bag is laid soft leather tote bag out in a straightforward way that's bound soft leather tote bag to soft leather tote bag make sense soft leather tote bag for soft leather tote bag those who soft leather tote bag haven't even used a streaming device soft leather tote bag before. Recently accessed soft leather tote bag shows and apps can soft leather tote bag be found on the home soft leather tote bag screen, or you can scroll up and soft leather tote bag across soft leather tote bag to soft leather tote bag find different content and soft leather tote bag apps. 

The most annoying thing soft leather tote bag about the experience soft leather tote bag is soft leather tote bag that for many apps soft leather tote bag you can’t access their soft leather tote bag content soft leather tote bag directly from the home screen. Instead, you’ll soft leather tote bag have to navigate to the soft leather tote bag app first, and then find content within the soft leather tote bag app. 

The result is soft leather tote bag that finding what you soft leather tote bag want to watch soft leather tote bag may take you soft leather tote bag a little longer depending on which soft leather tote bag platform it’s soft leather tote bag on, soft leather tote bag especially soft leather tote bag if soft leather tote bag you’re making use of soft leather tote bag the Fire TV soft leather tote bag Stick’s search functionality. 

If it’s on soft leather tote bag one of the soft leather tote bag platforms supported by Amazon’s universal soft leather tote bag search (Amazon Prime and Netflix being the two soft leather tote bag main examples) soft leather tote bag then you’ve got soft leather tote bag the perfect device for it. You have soft leather tote bag two soft leather tote bag options here. Either soft leather tote bag you head up soft leather tote bag and left on soft leather tote bag the main menu soft leather tote bag to soft leather tote bag reach the search box, and enter soft leather tote bag the TV show or soft leather tote bag film name on the on-screen soft leather tote bag keyboard, or you soft leather tote bag can simply hold down the voice search soft leather tote bag button on the remote and say the soft leather tote bag name of the soft leather tote bag content you’d like to watch. 

If you’ve ever used Alexa soft leather tote bag on one of Amazon's Echo soft leather tote bag range of smart speakers, soft leather tote bag then you’ll know it’s a soft leather tote bag very accurate soft leather tote bag piece of soft leather tote bag voice recognition software. And with soft leather tote bag the Fire TV Stick that soft leather tote bag was no soft leather tote bag exception. It soft leather tote bag was able to understand what show we soft leather tote bag were looking soft leather tote bag for almost every soft leather tote bag time, soft leather tote bag and on soft leather tote bag the one occasion soft leather tote bag it didn’t, it soft leather tote bag presented two options for us to soft leather tote bag choose from soft leather tote bag on the screen. 

Amazon Fire TV Stick

Image credit: TechRadar

But soft leather tote bag our biggest soft leather tote bag bugbear is soft leather tote bag that a soft leather tote bag lot of the soft leather tote bag streaming soft leather tote bag services soft leather tote bag on the soft leather tote bag Fire soft leather tote bag Stick aren’t covered by soft leather tote bag this universal soft leather tote bag search functionality, and soft leather tote bag this makes soft leather tote bag their content much harder soft leather tote bag to soft leather tote bag find. 

For example, soft leather tote bag when we reviewed the soft leather tote bag Fire TV Stick, soft leather tote bag if you soft leather tote bag search for a show that’s soft leather tote bag only soft leather tote bag available through the BBC iPlayer, soft leather tote bag Amazon’s software will soft leather tote bag have absolutely nothing soft leather tote bag to show you. soft leather tote bag It’s soft leather tote bag not even intelligent enough to know which streaming soft leather tote bag service the soft leather tote bag show is available on. 

Instead you’ll have soft leather tote bag to navigate to soft leather tote bag the app in question (which soft leather tote bag can be done using soft leather tote bag voice search), soft leather tote bag open it, soft leather tote bag and manually find the soft leather tote bag program via the app’s own interface – soft leather tote bag and here soft leather tote bag you soft leather tote bag won’t soft leather tote bag be soft leather tote bag able soft leather tote bag to use Alexa soft leather tote bag to search, so you’ll soft leather tote bag have to soft leather tote bag navigate an on-screen keyboard soft leather tote bag using your remote. 

The search function, including Alexa, soft leather tote bag is more or soft leather tote bag less soft leather tote bag limited to searching soft leather tote bag for program titles, despite the steps soft leather tote bag Amazon has soft leather tote bag taken with its soft leather tote bag X-ray functionality, which allows you to soft leather tote bag access IMDB soft leather tote bag information soft leather tote bag within its shows. 

Search for ‘Jeremy Clarkson’ for example, soft leather tote bag and rather than bringing up Amazon’s soft leather tote bag flagship show, The soft leather tote bag Grand Tour, you’re instead confusingly given a soft leather tote bag link soft leather tote bag to the TV soft leather tote bag show Dexter soft leather tote bag of soft leather tote bag all soft leather tote bag things. 

Although Amazon’s search soft leather tote bag functionality is fast and accurate, soft leather tote bag it soft leather tote bag only soft leather tote bag covers a fraction of the soft leather tote bag content soft leather tote bag you’re soft leather tote bag likely to be streaming, and it’s soft leather tote bag not nearly soft leather tote bag as soft leather tote bag clever or soft leather tote bag as soft leather tote bag capable as soft leather tote bag Alexa is on soft leather tote bag the soft leather tote bag Echo, which is soft leather tote bag a real soft leather tote bag shame for soft leather tote bag those who have soft leather tote bag become accustomed to soft leather tote bag her super helpful soft leather tote bag recognition smarts.

We also feel that soft leather tote bag Alexa soft leather tote bag is under-utilised when soft leather tote bag it comes soft leather tote bag to controlling the playback soft leather tote bag of content. You’re able soft leather tote bag to skip ahead to the next soft leather tote bag episode using soft leather tote bag your soft leather tote bag voice, but you’re not soft leather tote bag able soft leather tote bag to skip back soft leather tote bag an soft leather tote bag episode – and if you’re watching soft leather tote bag a soft leather tote bag series on anything other than Amazon soft leather tote bag Prime soft leather tote bag then you soft leather tote bag won’t even be able to skip soft leather tote bag forward. 

Amazon Fire TV Stick

Image credit: TechRadar

We liked 

The Amazon Fire soft leather tote bag TV Stick’s interface soft leather tote bag is quick and snappy. soft leather tote bag It’s soft leather tote bag intuitively laid out, and soft leather tote bag finding most content is quick and easy. And it's soft leather tote bag that interface soft leather tote bag that makes it one soft leather tote bag of our top (if not the top) affordable soft leather tote bag streaming devices around.

Once you get soft leather tote bag to soft leather tote bag your content it streams without any complaints soft leather tote bag or buffering. And playback is soft leather tote bag smooth and looks soft leather tote bag good. 

The voice search functionality soft leather tote bag is quick and accurate when searching for soft leather tote bag Amazon or Netflix soft leather tote bag content, soft leather tote bag and it’s also a soft leather tote bag speedy way of soft leather tote bag hopping between apps. soft leather tote bag Most major streaming soft leather tote bag services are supported, soft leather tote bag but it's soft leather tote bag definitely soft leather tote bag one for the die-hard Amazon fans. 

We disliked

Although soft leather tote bag you soft leather tote bag can access Amazon and soft leather tote bag Netflix soft leather tote bag content from the soft leather tote bag home screen or soft leather tote bag search soft leather tote bag results soft leather tote bag directly, most other apps soft leather tote bag require you to launch the app soft leather tote bag in question first and then soft leather tote bag navigate to its soft leather tote bag content. This soft leather tote bag limits the usefulness soft leather tote bag of soft leather tote bag the device’s search functionality, soft leather tote bag especially its soft leather tote bag excellent Alexa soft leather tote bag voice recognition search. 

Alexa soft leather tote bag is also under-utilized when soft leather tote bag it comes soft leather tote bag to controlling playback. You can soft leather tote bag use it to skip soft leather tote bag to the next episode, soft leather tote bag but soft leather tote bag you can’t skip backwards, and nor soft leather tote bag can you soft leather tote bag jump to a particular soft leather tote bag episode. 

Resolution is limited soft leather tote bag to soft leather tote bag 1080p, although soft leather tote bag this is perhaps understandable given soft leather tote bag that this is soft leather tote bag a soft leather tote bag budget-focused device. 

Being able to soft leather tote bag use the soft leather tote bag Fire TV app to soft leather tote bag enter text is useful, soft leather tote bag but the amount soft leather tote bag of situations in which this actually soft leather tote bag works is very soft leather tote bag limited. 

Amazon Fire TV Stick

Image credit: TechRadar

Final verdict

The Amazon Fire TV soft leather tote bag Stick soft leather tote bag with Alexa Voice soft leather tote bag Remote can at soft leather tote bag times feel like a missed opportunity. There’s soft leather tote bag so much functionality here soft leather tote bag that soft leather tote bag should soft leather tote bag make the device easier to soft leather tote bag use, but which soft leather tote bag ultimately only soft leather tote bag ends up being soft leather tote bag of soft leather tote bag benefit for soft leather tote bag Amazon’s own soft leather tote bag video soft leather tote bag content. Great for Amazon fans soft leather tote bag and for watching soft leather tote bag Netflix shows, not soft leather tote bag so soft leather tote bag great for everyone else.

That's because if you’re watching Amazon soft leather tote bag or soft leather tote bag Netflix soft leather tote bag content then soft leather tote bag the soft leather tote bag interface is a soft leather tote bag dream. It’s quick, soft leather tote bag voice search works well, and soft leather tote bag it’s easy to soft leather tote bag find soft leather tote bag what soft leather tote bag you soft leather tote bag want to watch. 

Venture soft leather tote bag into more niche streaming soft leather tote bag services, soft leather tote bag however, and the soft leather tote bag stick’s soft leather tote bag functionality is soft leather tote bag much more basic, offering soft leather tote bag merely a portal soft leather tote bag to each app’s own interface rather than soft leather tote bag functionality soft leather tote bag of its own. 

This is a solid piece soft leather tote bag of streaming hardware, but it’s not soft leather tote bag the step forward we hoped Alexa might have soft leather tote bag enabled it soft leather tote bag to be. 

If you’re in soft leather tote bag the market for a soft leather tote bag Fire TV device, soft leather tote bag it soft leather tote bag might be best to soft leather tote bag try your luck with soft leather tote bag the Amazon Fire soft leather tote bag TV Cube or new soft leather tote bag Fire soft leather tote bag Stick 4K instead. But soft leather tote bag if soft leather tote bag you want soft leather tote bag a capable streamer that soft leather tote bag gets the job soft leather tote bag done this soft leather tote bag one soft leather tote bag is more than enough to get you soft leather tote bag up-and-running.

Original review by Jon Porter.