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Amazon Fire Stick Review

The Amazon Fire TV Stick is one of the most popular streaming devices out right now. Read on to find out why.

Lara Vukelich

Pros Cons
  • Stream Netflix, Hulu, Disney+ & HBO Max
  • Supports voice commands
  • Costs under $40
  • No 4K support
  • More expensive but very similar to the Lite Version
  • When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

    What is Amazon Fire TV Stick?

    If you want easy access to Netflix, Hulu, and your other favorite streaming platforms, the Amazon Fire TV Stick is a helpful tool. This small plug-in device can turn any TV into a smart TV if you have an open HDMI port. 

    The Fire TV Stick is very popular among some streaming subscribers. You don't have to use other Amazon devices or services to appreciate the utility and simple design. In 2020, about 30 percent of people who use a streaming player say they have a Fire TV Stick. 

    There are three main Fire TV Stick models: The Fire TV Stick, the Fire TV Stick Lite, Fire TV Stick 4K, and Fire TV Stick 4K Max. However, we'll focus on the Fire TV Stick model, which is now in its third generation.

    Amazon Fire TV Stick Pricing

    The Fire TV Stick is widely available in the U.S., while you can buy it right now from Amazon, Best Buy, Target, and other retailers. Most places carry the third generation model for about $40, but the streaming device is sometimes on sale throughout the year, especially during Amazon Prime Day or Black Friday sale events.

    Once you buy the device, you can use it for free. There's no subscription cost associated with the Fire TV Stick. However, if you want to watch streaming services like Disney+ or Netflix, you'll still need paid subscriptions. If you want to stick to free titles, you can turn to Amazon Freevee, Tubi, or Pluto TV to watch shows and movies at no cost.

    All Fire TV Stick models operate on the same platform, which is also shared with the Amazon Fire smart TV. No matter which model you choose, you can download a variety of apps to access streaming movies, TV shows, music, podcasts, video games, and more. 

    The main differences between the standard Fire TV Stick and other models are that the 4K model supports 4K streaming, and the Lite model's remote control doesn't come with buttons to control the TV's power and volume. The Lite version's remote is also lacking shortcut buttons for popular streaming services.

    Amazon Fire TV Stick Features

    The Fire TV Stick (third generation) comes with most of the features you'd expect from the current generation of streaming devices. The device is easy to set up, easy to use, and includes access to all of the top streaming services, such as Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, Disney+, Paramount+, and more. You can also watch live TV streaming services on your Fire TV Stick, such as YouTube TV, Sling TV, fuboTV, and others.


    The Fire TV Stick package comes with the remote, USB cable and power adapter, HDMI extender, batteries, and the streaming device. The stick itself is a small candy bar-sized device that plugs into your TV's HDMI input. 

    The setup here is very simple. All you need to do is connect the power adapter to the Fire TV Stick, and then plug the Fire TV Stick into the HDMI input on your TV. Next, insert the batteries into the remote. The Fire TV Stick should turn on automatically. Just make sure the TV is set to the right HDMI input. After that, you'll enter in your Wi-Fi password and complete the on-screen setup. If you need help, the box includes a quick start guide.


    Amazon definitely goes for the minimalist approach when it comes to the design of their streaming devices. The Fire TV Stick looks like a big USB flash drive, and it easily fits into your TV's HDMI input. The device goes into the back or side of your TV (depending on whether the HDMI input is). The cable running to the power adapter is only a few feet, so you'll need to find an outlet that's nearby. Meanwhile, the Fire TV Stick has 8GB of storage and 1GB of memory for apps storage, as well as speedy menus and app launching.


    The black remote control for the Fire TV Stick third generation model comes well equipped with all the buttons you'll need to navigate the device, as well as power and volume buttons to control the TV. There's a navigation pad and buttons for "home," "menu," and "back." The playback buttons you can use are "play/pause," "fast forward," and "rewind." There's also four preset app buttons you can use as shortcuts to streaming services. The four app buttons are Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Disney+, and Hulu.

    Above the navigation pad is a blue button that controls the Alexa voice function, which lets you quickly search for apps and programs with the sound of your voice. The microphone you speak into is at the very top of the remote. You will still need your regular TV remote to complete some tasks, like changing the input source on your TV to the correct HDMI port.

    Streaming Quality

    The streaming quality is up to 1080p with the Fire TV Stick's regular model. HDR, HDR 10, HDR10+, HLG are all supported. This is Dolby Atmos audio supported, which is a step up from the HDMI audio passthrough that comes with the Fire TV Stick Lite model. The big shortcoming with the streaming quality is the lack of 4K, which this model does not support. If you have a TV that supports 4K streaming, we recommend looking into the Fire TV Stick 4K model.

    Streaming Titles and Apps

    The Fire TV Stick gives you access to the Amazon Appstore where you can download popular streaming apps like Netflix and Hulu. You'll find all the major streaming services, as well as music streaming services, games, and some of the more niche streaming services, like Crunchyroll, Shudder, Criterion Channel, and more.

    A few of the top streaming services you can watch using Fire TV Stick include HBO Max, Sling TV, fuboTV and YouTube TV. You'll also have access to free streaming services, such as Pluto TV and Xumo. Most of the major sports streaming platforms are available with Fire TV, including NFL, NBA, MLB, as well as ESPN+.

    If you use traditional cable, you may enjoy downloading channel apps and logging in with your cable credentials. Some networks with an app include NBC, TLC, Hallmark, Lifetime, ABC, PBS, and others.

    Amazon Fire TV Stick Compared

    Two other comparable streaming devices to the Fire TV Stick are the Roku+ and Google Chromecast. In terms of price, the Roku Streaming Stick+ costs about $45, while the Chromecast goes for about $30 -- which makes it the cheapest option. However, if you want your Chromecast to have a remote, you'll have to spring for the Google Chromecast with Google TV model, which retails at $50.

    All three of the devices are very easy to set up and use, and all three will give you similar options when it comes to what streaming services you can watch. One big leg up that the Roku Streaming Stick+ has on the competition is the ability to stream in 4K, while both the Fire TV Stick and the Google Chromecast are limited to streaming in up to Full HD 1080p. But if you want 4K streaming, you can also opt for the Fire TV Stick 4K model. 

    All three of the streaming devices also have voice control. As you might expect, the Fire TV Stick is built to work with the Amazon Alexa, while Chromecast is geared towards Google Assistant. The voice command that comes with the Roku Streaming Stick+  works well with both Alexa and Google Assistant. 

    Our Final Take

    The Fire TV Stick (third generation) is a solid choice for streaming movies and TV shows in HD. However, if you have a 4K TV, we recommend going with the Fire TV Stick 4K model. But if you just want to try out a Fire TV Stick, we recommend going with the Lite version, because it can do everything that the standard model can do, but without the TV controls.

    For more information on how the Fire TV line of streaming devices and TVs stacks up to the competition, check out our roundup of the best streaming devices.