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Best Fire TV 2022: The best streaming sticks for Prime subscribers

Amazon’s Fire TV devices have always impressed us with their convenience and cost effective means of turning a basic TV into a smart one.

The retail giant offers a broad range of streaming devices at different prices and for different types of customers. If you’re someone who wants a cheap upgrade to their TV or wants to add more entertainment options to a bedroom set then there’s an option available. If you want hands-free Alexa control over your home cinema equipment then Amazon offers that too.

So you won’t want to make the mistake of investing in the wrong Fire TV streamer. You’ll want to make sure whichever version you opt for suits your needs. There’s little reason in investing in a 4K streaming stick if your TV doesn’t support 4K resolution of HDR, nor would you want to purchase a HD streamer when you’ve got a 4K TV and subscribe to 4K streaming services.

Our team of experts have compiled this list detailing the best Fire TV streamers we’ve tested that are on sale. Our reviews gauge everything from set up, streaming quality, features and value for money, so you can trust our buying advice.

Before you scroll down, keep in mind that a number of TVs already have Alexa smarts, so if Alexa’s ability to talk with other smart devices in your home is what you’re after, we’d suggest checking if the TV you have already supports the digital assistant. And if it’s not Alexa that you’re ultimately interested in then there are other streaming sticks available, whether they’re the platform agnostic devices from Roku or perhaps you’re invested in the Google ecosystem, in which case the Chromecast with Google TV is another option to pursue.

How we test

Learn more about how we test Fire TV streamers

We use every Fire TV we review for at least a week. During that period we check to find how easy it is to set up, how intuitive its UI is and what its app selection is like.

During the test period we will see how well it performs running a variety of different content types. Where applicable this will include content mastered in various HDR standards and resolutions. 

We will also monitor how stable the device’s Wi-Fi connection is and reliable its voice command functionality are where applicable.

Amazon Fire TV Cube

The best for home cinema fans
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Pros

  • Excellent picture and sound
  • Control over a wide range of home cinema devices
  • Simple set-up
  • Hands-free Alexa

Cons

  • HDMI cable not included
  • Double the price of the Fire TV Stick 4K
  • Focus on Prime Video content

If you want the best Amazon has to offer then the Fire TV Cube (2nd gen) is our top pick. It’s bigger than the Fire TV Sticks but takes up less space than the Apple TV 4K box, and is equipped to act as a control hub for your home cinema set-up.

During testing we were impressed by how easy it was to set up. Once plugged in and signed into their Amazon account, our reviewer was able to connect it to their other audio/home cinema products in a short amount time.

From there it’s easy control everything from a TV or soundbar, down to a satellite box, AV receiver, games console by plugging the packaged IR receiver to control other products connected to the TV itself. This makes it a fantastic option for people who want a one-stop control system for their entire home cinema set-up.

Even if you don’t connect it to a secondary TV box, the Fire TV Cube’s app support features all the UK catch-up apps and the big SVOD options in BBC iPlayer, All 4, ITV Hub, Prime Video (naturally), Netflix, Disney+, YouTube and Apple TV+ as well as Spotify, Tidal and Vevo.

Picture performance is up there with the best we’ve seen, but this does depend on the quality of your TV’s screen. The Cube does at least support widely adopted HDR standards in HDR10, HLG, HDR10+ and Dolby Vision to produce the best images possible.

For people with a decent sound system, the addition of Dolby Atmos, Dolby Digital Plus and Dolby Digital is welcome, allowing the Cube to stream compatible content from the major streaming services to your TV or connected sound system.

The only real downside we found is that, like all the Amazon Fire TV products we test, the Cube’s UI can make it difficult to differentiate between paid and free content. This is one reason we prefer the current Chromecast’s Google TV UI, which is much clearer and intuitive to use.

Reviewer: Kob Monney
Full Review: Amazon Fire TV Cube

Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max

The best Fire TV Stick 4K streamer
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Pros

  • Excellent picture and sound
  • Control over a wide range of home cinema devices
  • Simple set-up
  • Hands-free Alexa

Cons

  • HDMI cable not included
  • Double the price of the Fire TV Stick 4K
  • Focus on Prime Video content

If you can’t stretch your budget to accommodate the Fire TV Cube but are after a similar level of performance and features, then your best among Amazon’s Fire TV line-up is the Fire TV Stick 4K Max.

Cumbersome name aside, the Fire TV Stick 4K Max is Amazon’s latest streamer, and the difference between it and the ‘standard’ Fire TV Stick 4K is the addition of Wi-Fi 6 (futureproofing it for next-gen routers), a faster processor, more storage and the Live Picture-in-Picture view that allows you to check your smart camera without interrupting what you’re watching.

We found the picture performance to be of similar quality to the Fire TV Cube, great colours, good detail and few issues in terms of buffering. HDR support hits the right notes with Dolby Vision, HDR10+, HDR10 and HLG available where supported. Where the Fire TV Cube edges the 4K Max is with darker scenes where there’s less compression to be noted. Audio is also very good with Dolby Atmos support and a sound that is more nuanced and detailed than the similarly priced Roku Streaming Stick 4K. Despite the similar specification of the Roku and Amazon streamers, we feel this gives the edge to the Fire TV Stick 4K Max.

Also in the favour of the Fire TV Stick 4K is the number of apps available on the Fire TV platform, which is slightly more than what we found on the Roku. With Alexa you also get her smarts and ease of navigation, in a number of cases it’s easier to ask her to fetch something than use the remote yourself.

Like every other Fire TV streamer on this list, you’ll need to be within the Prime ecosystem to make the most of it, but if you want 4K HDR support at a realistic price, the Fire TV Stick 4K Max is one of the best options available.

Reviewer: Kob Monney
Full Review: Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max

Amazon Fire TV Stick with Alexa voice remote (2020)

The best option for most people
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Pros

  • Excellent picture and sound
  • Control over a wide range of home cinema devices
  • Simple set-up
  • Hands-free Alexa

Cons

  • HDMI cable not included
  • Double the price of the Fire TV Stick 4K
  • Focus on Prime Video content

If you’re looking to give your bedroom/kitchen TV a smart upgrade, we recommend most people check out Amazon’s Fire TV Stick with Alexa Remote as their first port of call.

The Fire TV Stick doesn’t boast the same breadth of features as Fire TV 4K Max as it tops out at 1080p resolution and not 4K – but for the money we found it offered great value. During testing we felt the remote was easy to grasp and use, the setup process as simple as plugging the stick into a TV’s HDMI port, connect it to the mains, sign into your Amazon account and you’re on your way to watching your favourite apps.

It shares the same selection of apps as the Cube, which are available across the Fire TV range, and it supports HDR and Atmos sound. The app selection is a key selling point with it letting the base Fire TV Stick turn everything from a gaming monitor to an old 32-inch flatscreen into a fully functioning smart TV.

If you really like the idea of talking to your TV, the remote also has Alexa support via the remote, which proved suitably accurate during our tests. We found the mics easily picked up our reviewer’s vocal commands in most instances but we did find the more expensive Chromecast with Google TV’s remote performed better during our tests, at being able to better discern vocal commands in busy environments.

The only downside is that it doesn’t feature 4K resolution support, so wouldn’t be the best fit for use with 4K TVs. If you still have an old HD TV and have even a little bit of cash spare, we’d recommend checking out our best 4K TV or best cheap TV guides to view the number of affordable Ultra HD sets on the market.

Reviewer: Kob Monney
Full Review: Amazon Fire TV Stick with Alexa voice remote

Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite

The best option for people on a budget
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Pros

  • Great selection of apps
  • HDR10+ dynamic metadata
  • HDR10+ dynamic metadata

Cons

  • Only 1920 x 1080 resolution
  • No volume control
  • Some very capable alternatives

The Fire TV Stick Lite is the cheapest Amazon stick available, so if you just want the basics then this is the one to get.

Though it’s slightly cheaper than the Fire TV Stick with Alexa remote above, the only real difference we noticed during testing was its lack of Dolby Atmos audio, which will only be an issue if you have equipment that supports it or intend to upgrade your audio options in the future.

Outside of this the UI and app offering are the same across the board, boasting the all-new Fire TV experience that appeared in 2020, and the Fire TV stick it is limited to 1080p resolution. While we found this limits its usefulness on 4K sets where it has to rely on the TV’s upscaling to improve image sharpness considering that performance varies from TV to TV, the price is a key factor we can’t ignore.

At the moment the only device on the market that beats it on functionality is the stellar Roku Express 4K, which as the name suggests, supports the higher resolution. While we would recommend this above the Lite, and Fire TV in general, to people not completely tied to Prime, if you are mainly reliant on Prime Video then the Fire TV is undeniably better thanks to its Alexa support, a more reliable remote and generally better integration with Amazon’s ecosystem.

Reviewer: Simon Lucas
Full Review: Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite

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FAQs

Are Amazon TV sticks worth it?

Based on our experience reviewing them, Fire TV sticks are a quick and easy way to turn any display into a functioning smart TV. Though the sticks push Amazon’s services front and centre, occasionally making it difficult to tell which content is free or paid for, we generally recommend them to most Prime subscribers on the hunt for a streaming stick.

Do Amazon Fire TV Sticks stream in 4K?

Not every Fire TV stick can stream in 4K. The 3rd Gen Fire TV stick and Lite version are limited to 1080p, while the Fire TV 4K Sticks can stream at 4K resolution.

Do Fire TV Sticks support non-Amazon video services?

Fire OS lets you stream content from multiple services outside of Prime Video but you will need to pay a separate subscription fee to access them.

Comparison specs

You can see a comparison of all the products mentioned in this guides’ specs in the table below.

UK RRP
USA RRP
EU RRP
CA RRP
AUD RRP
Manufacturer
Size (Dimensions)
Weight
ASIN
Operating System
Release Date
First Reviewed Date
Resolution
HDR
Ports
Connectivity
Colours
Audio Formats
Remote Control
Smart assistants

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