With 4K HDR, Amazon Alexa, and very peppy performance, the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K is the best media streamer
Design and Voice Remote
The Fire TV Stick 4K is slightly larger than the quality Fire TV Stick, measuring 3.9 by 1.2 by 0.6 inches (HWD). it is a simple rectangular matte black plastic bar with a male HDMI connector on one end and a micro USB port on one side. If it’s slightly overlarge to sit comfortably during a port on your TV, a short, flexible HDMI extender allows you to reposition it at a special angle.
Amazon has updated its Alexa Voice Remote with some new tricks. The second-generation remote remains a slim rectangular wand with a prominent circular navigation pad and a pinhole microphone near the highest for using Alexa. It still has menu and playback controls, and now power and volume buttons join them.
The hearth TV Stick 4K can directly control your TV’s power and volume, letting you jump directly into watching streaming media without learning a second remote. It currently only adjusts volume and toggles power, so you cannot navigate your TV’s menus or change inputs, but if your Fire TV Stick is that the primary device you are going to observe, it is a very useful upgrade.
Setting up the hearth TV Stick 4K is straightforward, and works a bit like fixing the other Fire TV device. Plug it into your TV, connect the facility adapter, then follow the instructions on your TV to attach the stick with Wi-Fi. then, you’ll log in together with your Amazon account and you’re set.
You don’t need a paid Amazon Prime account to use the hearth TV Stick 4K; a daily, free Amazon account will work. If you’ve got Amazon Prime, though, you’ll automatically get access to streaming media through Prime Music and Prime Video.
Fire TV OS
The Fire TV experience is usually consistent across all Fire TV devices, from the non-4K Fire TV stick with the hearth TV Cube to fireside Edition TVs. the most menu is arranged in large rows of apps and media, both personally organized by you and suggested by Amazon. Suggestions are obviously very Amazon-centric, but many third-party apps and services are available, and therefore the content search function aggregates across Amazon and a number of other of these third parties.
Apple and Google services are noticeably absent ablaze TV, but nearly every other big video name is present including Crackle, Crunchyroll, HBO Go, Hulu, Netflix, Sling TV, Twitch, and Vudu. YouTube doesn’t have its own app, but because of the Firefox and Silk Web browsers ablaze TV, you’ll get an equivalent experience through a YouTube shortcut that loads the online version of the service employing a lean-back interface almost like the Android TV and Roku apps.
As a fireplace TV device, the hearth TV Stick 4K has Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant. Just press the microphone button on the remote and speak into the mic at the highest to speak to Alexa (if you would like hands-free Alexa during a media streamer out of the box, you will need to urge the hearth TV Cube). you’ll ask Alexa for general information or to look for media to observe or hear on the hearth TV Stick 4K. Your connected TV will display visual information to travel with Alexa’s spoken responses, like weather forecasts with cloud and rain icons, sports scores with team logos and individual period scores, and lists of flicks with summaries and listings of availability by streaming service.
Alexa also enables voice control of media playback, your TV, and any compatible smart home devices you’ve got. you’ll tell Alexa to play, pause, and navigate through Amazon streaming media and a little few third-party services. Alexa also works with over 20,000 different home automation devices including smart lights, thermostats, and locks. you’ll even mention live feeds of home security cameras just like the Amazon Cloud Cam and Nest Cam IQ.
In the other direction, you’ll pair your Fire TV Stick 4K with an Amazon Echo device like an Echo Dot to enable hands-free voice control. Once they’re paired, you’ll simply say “Alexa,” (or “Amazon,” “Echo,” or “Computer,” counting on your tastes) to play media or show information on your TV.
4K Streaming and Performance
The hearth TV Stick 4K’s biggest feature is true to its name: It can stream 4K media. Specifically, the hearth TV Stick 4K can stream ultra high definition (UHD, or 4K) video, including high dynamic range (HDR) media in HDR10 or Dolby Vision. This makes them stick even more capable than last year’s Fire TV, which only supported HDR10. consistent with Amazon, the stick is additionally faster than the previous Fire TV.
In terms of hardware, the hearth TV Stick 4K uses a quad-core 1.7GHz CPU with 8GB of memory. it’s MIMO 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.0 with BLE. The Wi-Fi specs are important because unlike the larger Fire TV, there’s no Ethernet adapter included with the hearth TV Stick 4K.
When you stream Daredevil in 4K HDR on Netflix with the hearth TV Stick 4K connected to my home 5GHz FiOS network. It loaded almost instantly and jumped to 4K resolution with Dolby Vision in seconds. Media playback was clear and snappy in testing, and you’ll reliably expect a 4K video if you’ve got an honest wireless network.
Menu navigation is quick as well. Browsing through different rows on the main screen and switching between different apps feels very responsive. Alexa also responds to queries quickly, and the voice remote reliably activates Alexa and controls TV volume with little to no delay.