Amazon Fire TV Stick Review

When Amazon announced their Fire TV Stick, I immediately snagged one. Unboxing and first thoughts below.

Unboxing

Facts

On first boot, my wireless was easily detected and a software update was downloaded.

wireless

On reboot, I was treated to a cute 5-minute video explaining the Fire TV Stick‘s operation.

cartoon

The Amazon Fire TV Stick does a good job playing Netflix, Hulu, and of course Amazon Prime videos. The UI while navigating through Amazon’s content is silky smooth.

fire_home

But swiping through Netflix and and Hulu’s titles is a little sluggish; better than my Samsung Smart TV but nowhere near as nice as my Roku. Nonetheless, all the streaming video plays in HD without hiccups.

netflix

 

There is a fairly wide selection of games, but most of them require Amazon’s Fire Game Controller (sold separately). Those that work with the included Bluetooth remote (no line-of-sight required) work well.

flappy

The Verdict

In short, the Fire TV Stick is…. pretty much exactly what you’d expect: a solid, cheap entry into Amazon’s content library. If you caught the special $20 pricing for Prime members, it’s a steal. At the normal $40 price, I’d probably pay a little more for a Roku.

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