O Fire TV Stick 4K is the first Amazon’s Ultra HD dongle to land in Brazil. In addition to the high resolution, the device, responsible for making your TV smarter, now features a new remote control with dedicated streaming buttons. The gadget still has Dolby Atmos, Dolby Vision, supports HDR10 + and 8 GB of internal space. To take the 4K version, you will have to pay R $ 449. Is it worth it?
Did Amazon get it right? I spent a few days with the Fire TV Stick 4K and share my experience of use in this review.
Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K video review
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The Fire TV Stick 4K was provided by Amazon by donation and will not be returned to the company. For more information, visit tecnoblog.net/etica.
Kit and installation
If you are already familiar with Amazon’s dongles, you will then realize that the company has not changed the design of the product much. It is bigger than the Fire TV Stick Lite, but it remains discreet, portable and, as it has Bluetooth, it is possible to leave the equipment hidden in the back of the TV or monitor. Unfortunately, Amazon kept the microUSB input of power, however, in practice, the connection should not hinder you.
The highlight of this generation is the new remote control. In addition to the more modern design, Amazon has finally added a button for its own streaming service (Prime Video) and you still have quick access to Netflix, Disney + and Amazon Music. There is also a button to turn the TV on and off, and the dedicated button to activate Alexa, is now more prominent.
In the box, the company sends the microUSB cable to power the dongle; an HDMI extender cable and a 9 watt plug adapter. That is, in addition to the easy installation, being able to adapt to each situation, Amazon gives the possibility of connecting the equipment to the USB port of the TV or directly to the outlet.
The setup step is quick. The Fire TV Stick 4K first asks to connect to the internet and you can do this over 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz networks. Then, my test unit took the opportunity to update the software, asked for my Amazon account and, within minutes, it was ready to be used.
Software and performance
Recently, Fire TV has had a good makeover. In relation to the other version, the new software brings a more modern layout, with well positioned shortcuts and several suggestions for content for you to watch at the bottom. I honestly think it is very similar to Google TV, due to the round buttons on the screen; both, incidentally, are more beautiful than Android TV. Finally, it is worth mentioning that the Fire TV settings area is more organized and easier to navigate.
My device already came with Amazon Prime Video and Amazon Music pre-installed. In the app store you will find: Netflix, YouTube, Telecine Play, Apple TV +, Disney +, Paramont +, Funimation, Plex, Vix, Vivo Play, Dazn, Starzplay, Facebook Watch, DirecTV Go, Spotify and TuneIn. Globoplay and HBO Go remain unavailable on Fire TV.
Asphalt 8, Red Ball 4, PAC MAN, The Crossing Dead and Stranger Things: The Game are some of the games available in the catalog. There are titles that require the use of a joystick, such as Hell and Back, but you can connect a Bluetooth model. In fact, thanks to Bluetooth 5.0, the user has the freedom to pair a headset or speaker with Amazon equipment.
I have emphasized that when it comes to performance, the new Fire TVs are ahead of the competition. Amazon seems to have worked a lot on this issue and the result appeared: the navigation, in general, is fluid and I did not see any bottlenecks during the tests. The 4K version has the same hardware as the Fire TV Stick Lite, with a 1.7 GHz quad-core processor and IMG GE8300 GPU. It would be a plus to have an upgrade here, but this configuration should suit most people.
Switching between applications is quick, the experience is even better if you use the dedicated buttons on the controller; leaving an app and returning to the main screen doesn’t take too long; the Amazon browser is not a fluent show, however it works well and loads pages quickly; for those who play, Asphalt 8 it even runs well with very few gagging, but playing with the controller sent in the box is not so easy.
The big draw of the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K is 4K playback: resolutions range from 720p (50 Hz) to 2160p (60 Hz). If you prefer, you can leave it in automatic mode, for the system to choose the best resolution. The device still stands out for having support for Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos, HDR 10, HDR10 + and HLG.
Last but not least, Alexa is always available to answer questions, open and close applications, play music and more. Voice commands are made from the dedicated button on the Fire TV Stick 4K control. And with a 4th generation Amazon Echo, I was able to control the dongle even at a distance.
Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K: is it worth it?
Despite the absence of streamings such as Globoplay and HBO Go, the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K is a good device for anyone thinking of boosting that old smartTV. The new software, similar to Google TV, brings a more organized layout, easy to navigate and concentrates the main services on the home screen. The remote control, with Alexa, Netflix and Disney + buttons, is very complete and independent: it works via Bluetooth, can turn the TV on and off, and allows you to control the volume.
The Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K only makes sense, even, for those who already have a 4K TV or monitor, and can be an alternative to Xiaomi’s Mi Box S, which appears a little more expensive in stores. Of course, if your TV does not support Ultra HD resolution, the Fire TV Stick Full HD becomes the best option in this case. The good news is that the new generation already has the same control as the 4K variant. Still, I also would not fail to look at Roku Express which, in addition to bringing a very friendly interface, delivers a portfolio of applications superior to Amazon’s equipment.