Amazon streaming devices review: Amazon Fire TV Stick, Cube & more

Amazon Fire TVs have become increasingly popular in the streaming world. In 2014, the Amazon Fire TV Stick became the fastest-selling device in Amazon’s repertoire. Amazon Fire TV Stick ‘s base model takes up almost no space and plugs into your TV’s HDMI port like a flash drive. At $40, Amazon’s bottom-tiered Fire TV model costs less than Roku’s $50 entry-level Streaming Stick —giving it a $10 cost advantage. The Amazon Fire TV Cube also acts as a smart home hub. 

Let’s start with the basics: what is Amazon Fire TV? Amazon has three streaming devices —  Amazon Fire TV Stick, Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K and Amazon Fire TV Cube — that let you stream content directly to your TV. If you’re already an Amazon Prime member, investing in a Fire TV casting device is a more than sensible choice — these products work seamlessly with Amazon Prime Video and Amazon Music Unlimited. However, even non-members will appreciate the lack of messy wires, impressive home screen interface and wide range of accessible apps. 

In this Amazon Fire TV review, we’ll dive into the deeper aspects of Amazon’s streaming devices to help you decide which is best for your needs. 

Here are the best Amazon streaming devices based on your needs:

  1. Amazon Fire TV Stick – Best value
  2. Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K – Best of both worlds
  3. Amazon Fire TV Cube – Best smart home hub

Compare streaming devices

Amazon has created an effective distribution of capabilities across its devices. For example, the Amazon Fire TV Stick and Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K both have 8 GB of storage. And the Fire TV Stick 4K possesses the same exceptional audio and visual quality as the Fire TV Cube. 

Amazon Fire TV StickAmazon Fire TV Stick 4K
Price39.9949.99
Device styleStickStick
AudioDolby AudioDolby Atmos
Video resolution1080pUp to 4K UHD and supports HDR, HDR 10, HDR10+, HLG, Dolby Vision 
Storage8 GB8 GB
RemoteAlexa voice commandAlexa voice command, volume and mute controls
Available TV episodes + movies 500,000+500,000+

Picking the right Amazon streaming device for you 

When shopping for a streaming product, it’s important to consider features, cost and how do you plan to use your Fire TV device. If you’re looking for a smart home hub, make sure to factor in storage and network capability. Below we highlight the primary features for all three models to give you a feel for what you can do with each.

Best value: Amazon Fire TV Stick 

The entry-level Amazon Fire TV Stick is discreet in appearance, heavy on functions and easy on your wallet. Navigating its home interface is surprisingly fast, and the device has a powerful algorithm that keeps track of what you watch and anticipates selections to speed loading times. The Fire TV Stick supports the same number of apps and titles as the premium models. The newest generation’s remote even features Alexa voice commands. As the smallest casting device of the three, it fits nicely in tight spaces. 

Best of both worlds: Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K

The Fire TV Stick 4K is the older sibling of the Fire TV Stick. It lets you stream content in up to 4K Ultra HD and comes standard with hi-definition protocols. Your internet speed will need to be close to 25 Mbps for optimal video quality. The 4K Fire Stick use to be the only Amazon product that supported Dolby Vision. But the new Fire TV Cube now features the same capability.

Only slightly larger than the original Fire TV Stick, the Fire TV Stick 4K plugs into your TV’s HDMI port — the device won’t take up surface space like the Fire TV Cube does.

Best smart home hub: Amazon Fire TV Cube

The Fire TV Cube shines when used as a smart-home hub. And it comes with an Ethernet port for expanded connectivity. While the other models also use Alexa voice controls, only the Amazon Fire TV Cube works as an Alexa speaker. The device lets you give commands without bothering with a remote. Amazon’s premium option permits you to control connected products, such as smart lights, programmable outlets, thermostats, security cameras and more. And of course, it also works with streaming apps.  

Best Amazon streaming services and apps 

Amazon’s Fire TV models support a wide variety of apps and streaming services. Here are some of the most popular options that work with Amazon Fire TVs. 

  • Amazon Music Unlimited
  • AT&T TV Now
  • DAZN
  • ESPN+
  • fuboTV
  • Hulu + Live TV 
  • MLB.TV
  • NBA League Pass
  • Netflix 
  • Philo
  • Plex
  • Sling TV 
  • Spotify
  • YouTube TV

The takeaway 

The entry-level Amazon Fire TV Stick will suit anyone who wants to save a few dollars or who owns a TV with a 1080p upper limit. The 4K model delivers superior audio and video quality and only costs $10 more than the base option. A nice middle ground between the three models, Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K, delivers an attractive balance of price and features. However, if you’re an Amazon Prime member who already owns Amazon devices like the Amazon Echo speaker and you’re interested in smart-features, the Amazon Fire TV Cube is probably the best option. 

Zack Kulm

Zack Kulm is a writer and contributor of soda.com. He covers a variety of topics from entertainment and gaming technologies to pop culture commentary. Kulm received a degree in English from Penn State University and Film Studies from Pittsburgh Filmmakers Institute. He also produces award-winning documentaries.