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Best Fire TV Stick in 2022

This story is part of Gift Guideour year-round collection of the best gift ideas.

Streaming devices are one of the most important parts of consuming content today. These little sticks are inexpensive and have the power to turn almost any TV into an easily accessible entertainment center all your favorite shows. While Roku is one of the most popular streaming player makers, big companies like Apple, Google, and Amazon also make their own streaming boxes and sticks.

Amazon, in particular, has pushed into the streaming space aggressively by producing tons of Fire TV brand streaming devices. We looked at them all and found that we liked Roku products best because of their ease of use and platform-independent approach – Roku menus do not favor one service (e.g. The best video) over others. That said, Amazon Fire TV devices are also very powerful, especially if you want to Alexa
voice integration.

Read more: Best of the Year to buy in 2022

The Amazon range is solid, ranging from the entry-level Fire TV Stick Lite to the mid-range Fire TV Stick 4K Max to the top-of-the-line Fire TV Cube, as well as a few models in between. If this sounds confusing, don’t worry. Our guide to the best Fire TV streaming device will help you choose the right model.

Sarah Tew / topwatchbest

If you’re looking for the best Fire stick on the market, this Fire TV Stick 4K Max is it. Max is fast and loads apps almost instantly, and getting around your system is quick and smooth. Moreover, Max supports Wi-Fi 6 and almost all the latest playback standards, incl Dolby Vision. The downside to Max is the Fire TV platform and the fact that the ads are visible throughout. We just underestimate how the TV in screensaver mode becomes a giant spinning billboard with content or ads. But it’s a good choice for those looking for the best and fastest Amazon Fire TV stick.

Read our Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max review.

Sarah Tew / topwatchbest

Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite is our favorite inexpensive streaming device it beats Roku Express. Lite beats Express when it comes to features for the money. The biggest advantage of this Fire TV is the remote with built-in search and voice control powered by Alexa. Cheapest of the Year with Voice Remote is Express Plus 4Kwhich uses the more basic Roku voice system rather than Alexa. The Fire Stick also doesn’t need line of sight to operate. If you want to spend as little as possible on a streaming player, Lite is your best choice.

Read our Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite review.

Sarah Tew / topwatchbest

The Fire TV Cube does more than most media streaming devices do. It gives you access to all the standard movies, shows, and streaming services, but also has a built-in microphone, speaker, and Alexa features. This means that it can act as a smart home hub. You can use your voice to search for programs, adjust volume and inputs on your TV, dim lights, make zoom calls, stream music and check the weather – all hands-free, without using a remote control. It also has a six-core processor and 2GB of memory for lightning-fast 4K streaming, as well as Dolby Atmos audio support.

Read our Fire TV Cube review.

Sarah Tew / topwatchbest

Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K debuted in 2018 and is available today. While we generally think it’s worth upgrading to the Max version, the original Fire TV Stick 4K is still a good choice for those looking to stream 4K without paying for the latest bells and whistles, namely Wi-Fi 6 and blazing speed. The voice features are impressive, and Echo and Dot owners can control them with Alexa. Its selection of apps and games is excellent and the responses are still quick, though not as quick as with Max. The remote can control the volume and power of TVs and soundbars. Ultimately, if the Fire TV Stick 4K’s price tag is close to the Max, we’d recommend passing that over and getting a newer and faster Max.

Read our Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K review.

Amazon

While Lite is a better value, the Amazon Fire TV Stick is another good choice for those who are still rocking their regular HDTVs. The main difference between the Fire TV Stick and the cheaper Fire TV Stick Lite is the remote. The Fire Stick remote has volume, mute and power buttons, allowing you to control these functions on your TV. Lite does not have these capabilities and is therefore a bit cheaper. If you have a 1080p TV and you don’t mind paying a little extra for a remote that can control your TV’s volume, the Fire TV Stick is a good choice for you.

Read our Amazon Fire TV Stick review.

Ry Crist / topwatchbest

The Fire TV Recast is not a streaming device, but it is an important accessory for cable cutters who have a Fire TV Stick and are looking for a wireless DVR – basically a box that allows you to record aerial television broadcasts with channels like ABC, CBS and PBS in your area. Fire TV Recast is our favorite OTA DVR period due to its combination of features, flexibility and no monthly fees. It is a network recorder for streaming data, which means it doesn’t connect directly to your TV. Instead, it streams to TVs, mobile device, and more. Fire TV Recast is relatively expensive, but if you want to record programs from an antenna, it’s a great choice.

Read our Amazon Fire TV Recast review.

How we test Fire TV devices

Each Fire TV Stick we review receives hours of practical testing. This typically involves installing the device on multiple TVs, evaluating the setup process, adding popular streaming channels, and using the product as if it were our own. We use all the main features available and notice how they stack up against the other Fire TV models in the company’s lineup. To do this, we connect multiple Fire TV streaming devices to the same TV so we can easily switch back and forth to compare experiences.

Our metrics that we analyze to evaluate a device include hardware design, distinguishing features between models, remote capabilities and design, overall ease of use, efficient layouts and design, search capabilities, privacy settings, number of applications and their performance, and overall system speed and reliability .

Frequently asked questions about Fire TV

What’s the difference between a Fire TV device and a Fire TV?

A Fire TV device like the ones on this list are tiny, stick-shaped or square-shaped pieces that plug into the HDMI port on the back of your TV. This gives your TV access to Amazon Fire TV software and content, regardless of the brand of TV you own.

Amazon also makes it Fire TVs, that is, TVs with Fire TV software pre-installed. This means your TV will automatically access the Fire TV interface without the need for an additional streaming device.

What streaming apps are available on Fire TV?

Fire TV offers a long list of streaming apps including Netflix, Disney Plus, Apple TV, Hulu, HBO Max, Paramount Plus, Peacock TV, Tubi, Pluto TV, Showtime, Discovery Plus, and others. However, Spectrum cable users cannot access the Spectrum app on the Fire TV.

Do I need an Amazon Prime membership to use Fire TV?

No, but you’ll need a free Amazon account to organize something device. While you don’t have to pay for a Prime membership to use Amazon Fire TV, it’s useful and recommended. Membership includes a selection of Prime Video content, including access to shows like The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, The Expanse, and Wheel of Time. This and other Amazon-branded content is heavily advertised on the Fire TV system, and Prime Membership makes it easy to check out everything Amazon has to offer.

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