It’s taken some time, but owning a 4K HDR TV and the hardware to use it with makes a lot of sense now. There is a lot of ultra-HD and HDR content now available, and owning the best TV is the first step towards a much better home seeing experience. As soon as you have the TV however, there is a bit more to do. If you have a clever TV, chances are you currently have access to the material you desire. But what if you do not like the smarts in your clever TV, or your TV isn’t smart at all?
The most convenient method to gain access to high-resolution, high-quality content is through a streaming device, such as the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K that we are reviewing here. Priced at $85 USD, the Fire TV Stick 4K is the most recent in Amazon’s Fire TV series of items, and the more pricey of the two Fire TELEVISION items you can currently buy in India. As the name recommends, this device brings 4K streaming to your TV, but there’s a lot more to it too, which we’ll talk about in our evaluation.
Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K style and specifications
The Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K isn’t large, and is rather plain to take a look at. This is the point of this gadget; it’s meant to be plugged in at the back of your TV and will be out of sight for most of its working life. The device is plain, black, and rather chunky, with an Amazon logo design at the top, the HDMI port at the front, and a Micro-USB port for power on the side. Its size may indicate that it does not quickly plug in to some HDMI ports on some Televisions, but Amazon has actually usefully consisted of an HDMI extender in the sales bundle to overcome this issue.
Likewise in package are a USB Type-A to Micro-USB cable television, a wall adapter for power, and the Alexa voice remote to manage the Fire TV Stick 4K with. You do not require to use the wall adapter if your TV has a USB port that can provide sufficient power to the Fire TV Stick 4K. The device has 8GB of internal storage for apps, a quad-core 1.7 GHz CPU, and Bluetooth 5.
In comparison, the routine Fire TV Stick does not support 4K resolution, HDR and Dolby Atmos, utilizes Bluetooth 4.1 and has a slightly lower-clocked 1.3 GHz CPU. However, the interface and apps are the same on the more cost effective gadget, with the Fire TV Stick 4K only giving you the benefit of streaming 4K and HDR content.
Bluetooth is utilized to connect to the remote (because there might not be a line-of-sight between the remote and Fire TV Stick 4K) and also to link cordless speakers to the streaming device. The device supports video streaming at up to 4K resolution (3840×2160 pixels), in addition to popular HDR formats including Dolby Vision, HDR10, HLG, and HDR10+.
Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K remote
The Alexa voice remote is offered on its own for $28 USD, however the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K includes this in the box. The styling of the remote matches that of the Fire TV Stick 4K itself, with the same color and texture. It’s compact, streamlined, and well developed, with buttons that feel good to press. It’s powered by 2 standard AAA batteries (also included in the sales plan).
The remote has a handful of buttons for playback, navigation, volume, and power, in addition to a voice button and a microphone at the top for voice commands. The remote also has an IR emitter to communicate with your TV if suitable. It combined easily with the Philips 55PUT6103 TV we used for this evaluation and might manage power and volume on the TV in addition to navigation and playback on the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K. It would also change to the HDMI port utilized by the Fire TV Stick 4K on the TV when used to manage power. This is an especially useful feature, considering that it gets rid of the requirement to utilize 2 remotes when utilizing the Fire TV Stick 4K as the content source with your TV.
Voice commands resolve Alexa on the Fire TV Stick. You can speak straight into the remote, making navigation and discovery of material a bit simpler if you know what you’re searching for. If you’re using it to gain access to material from Amazon services such as Prime Video or Prime Music, a voice command can take you directly to the video or track.
The device uses your watching history to find out what episode you require to be on if you’re trying to view a TV series. You can likewise browse within particular fields with commands such as ‘Show me 4K movies’ or ‘Discover comedies’, but the best outcomes can be seen only with Amazon content. What we liked the most was the capability to play audio tracks straight through the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K, using Amazon Prime Music.
If you’re trying to use Alexa with a lot of other apps, the experience isn’t quite as great. Searching within Netflix or other streaming services wasn’t possible, and our voice commands typically only filled the app up at finest. At other times, it would trigger us to download the app, or program similar or recommended search results from Amazon Prime Video.
In basic, we discovered it much easier to browse and bring content using the directional buttons, but voice commands serve as a good approach of searching for specific material or music, and is better than typing out your search queries if you’re trying to find something that an Amazon streaming service can offer.
Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K user interface
As is usually the case,, the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K has a tiled interface that reveals numerous TV shows and motion pictures as posters, enabling you to hover over each tile for more information. Horizontal lists sort the tiles by category, and these include not only content however likewise apps and services. You’ll see recommendations and existing apps, along with other apps that you might not have installed. However, the Fire TV Stick 4K does promote Amazon material over whatever else.
The interface looks exceptional, and is divided into Home, Motion pictures, TV shows, Apps, and Settings, however it’s easier to seek specific content through the search functionality. In addition, material is marked with UHD and CC badges for all titles that can be streamed in 4K or have subtitles readily available, respectively. It’s worth pointing out that the majority of the 4K titles are Amazon original series, but there are lots of popular films offered at ultra-HD resolution on Amazon Prime Video also. Other common functions seen on Amazon Prime Video such as X-Ray and the capability to rapidly scrub through video exist also.
Perhaps the only concern with the interface is the suggestions, which discover as too ‘random’ and not truly user-friendly or learning from your watching routines. We have actually been utilizing Amazon Prime Video for a while now and there’s lots of seeing history for the system to deal with, but the recommendations for us still consisted of a great deal of local material in languages we don’t even comprehend.
For users who are looking beyond Amazon Prime Video and Prime Music content, there are lots of choices. There are dedicated apps for streaming services such as Netflix, Hotstar, Zee5, Jio Cinema, Hungama Play, Sony Liv, Gaana, and Voot, to name a few. Additionally, apps such as Firefox, Silk web browser, NDTV, BBC, and The Washington Post also offer you extra performance for browsing Web pages, fetching brief topic-based videos, or in some cases, streaming live feeds of regular TV channels. 4K material is just offered through Amazon Prime Video and Netflix (assuming your Netflix supports 4K) in the meantime.
There is no proper YouTube app; the one that can be found serves as a Web browser to bring YouTube videos that are optimized for TV watching. It’s a functional workaround, however there is a guaranteed difference in functionality in between what we got here and a correct app as discovered on the Android TELEVISION or Samsung clever TV platforms. It also limits resolution to full-HD with basic dynamic range, so you can’t see 4K and 4K HDR videos at full resolution on the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K.
The Settings menu provides you a reasonable quantity of control over the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K, including establishing the Wi-Fi network and conserved connections, data controls, streaming resolution, adult controls, personal privacy settings, and controlling paired Bluetooth devices. It’s finest to leave the streaming resolution on ‘Vehicle’ because this permits the Fire TV Stick 4K to set the resolution according to your Internet connection speed, permitting smooth streaming rather than the possibility of consistent buffering disruptions.
Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K performance
The seeing experience and image quality depend heavily on the TV you utilize, however for its part, the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K pulls its weight. Assuming you have a fast Internet connection above 15Mpbs for 4K and over 8Mbps for 1080p– you’ll get a clean feed from the Fire TV Stick 4K that leads to a sharp, clean, and enjoyable image. We utilized the Amazon Fire TV Stick with the Philips 55PUT6103 TV, which has a 4K screen and supports HDR content.
Amazon’s original 4K content is outstanding in regards to quality, and the Fire TV Stick 4K communicated it capably enough onto our TV. We viewed The Grand Trip and The Splendid Mrs. Maisel at 4K HDR, as well as many other shows and videos on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hotstar, and Youtube at HD or Full-HD resolutions. No matter what we utilized, the hardware carried out well with no serious concerns.
When viewing Ultra-HD material, the gadget will only stream at the greatest resolution if the Internet connection is much faster than 15Mbps. If your speed drops, the Fire TV Stick 4K will immediately change to a lower resolution to guarantee a buffer-free stream, which substantially enhanced the seeing experience thanks to the lack of disturbances triggered by buffering. While we could tell the difference in picture quality when it dropped from 4K to 1080p or 720p, the image remained mostly constant and great even at lower resolutions.
However, sometimes when we were facing Internet problem and the stream dropped to listed below HD, photo quality was inappropriate. At these times, we ‘d need to wait till the connection got, since it ended up being tough to keep viewing a rough low-resolution stream. However, with an excellent big-screen TV and a quick Web connection, you will not be dissatisfied with the performance of the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K.
HDR will automatically set off when readily available and when the Fire TV Stick 4K is being utilized with a suitable TV. It is likewise offered works individually of 4K. You could therefore be seeing HDR material even at 720p or 1080p resolutions, however the quality of the HDR image was most visible to us when we were enjoying at the Ultra-HD resolution.
A huge advantage that the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K has over the Google Chromecast is that it works individually, instead of as a bridge between your smart device and TV. The Fire TV Stick 4K is easy to set up and handle due to the fact that of its remote, and can also deal with an Amazon Echo speaker, if you have one in the house.
The Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K is, in our viewpoint, the best streaming device readily available today, all things considered. While some may argue that the Apple TV and Apple TV 4K are much better than their Amazon counterparts, these devices also cost a lot more. For its asking cost of $85 USD, the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K is definitely worthwhile.
Some of the Fire TV Stick 4K’s features may discover as gimmicky and the concentrate on Amazon Prime Video and its spotty recommendations are rather annoying, but these things are quickly worked around. With that said, the absence of an appropriate YouTube app makes this gadget inappropriate for anybody that counts on YouTube as a primary source of material.
Nevertheless, what you do get is an easy-to-use user interface with lots of properly designed apps, a good remote, good efficiency, and the hardware abilities to give you access to 4K and HDR video material. If you do not have a 4K TV, it might make sense to go with the routine Amazon Fire TV Stick, or maybe even the Google Chromecast 3.