When choosing a new streaming device, you often argue about Roku vs. Amazon Fire TV stick. And while Amazon wants to offer discounts on its Firesticks, price isn't the only factor to consider when making your purchase.
While Roku and Fire TV have a ton of apps, there are some notable differences between the two platforms. Whichbest streaming devicefor your home will depend on a number of different decisions
After reading our in-depth analysis of Roku vs. In the showdown with the Amazon Fire TV Stick, you'll have a pretty good idea of which family of streaming sticks to buy.
Here's everything you need to know to choose between Roku vs. Amazon FireTV.
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roku vs amazon fire tv stick: streaming devices
Both Fire TV Sticks and Roku devices start at $29. For the money you getexpress of the yearof die eneFuego TV-stick Lite, and each has its own set of drawbacks and benefits. The Fire TV Stick Lite's comparative advantage comes from its Alexa remote, but Prime Video's over-promotion might annoy people. As for the Roku Express, it's a pretty smart performer for its price, but the signal quality at a distance isn't perfect and took some extra effort in our testing.
When things get a bit more expensive, you'll see Roku outperform Amazon when it comes to UHD streaming. $40 at Amazonfire tv stickmaximum at 1080p, while the cheapest is $35of the yearbroadcasts in 4K. While the Premiere has the same remote control problem as the Express, it's still a better buy than the regular Fire TV Stick.
All of Amazon's Fire Sticks simply hide behind your TV, and that's a great design feature - they exist without reminding you they're there. Your experience with the Roku Express and Premiere might not be as smooth as they are so light that they might have a hard time sitting on a surface.
Those who can spend $50 get the best streaming device both companies make:Amazon Fire TV-stick 4KjRoku Plus streaming device(Hebest streaming devicein our book). Both stream in beautiful 4K HDR, offer fast navigation and voice-activated remotes, and hide behind your TV like all Amazon Firesticks.
To help us decide this exciting battle, we've averaged the ratings we give to Roku and Fire TV devices. Roku's Streaming Stick Plus (4.5 stars), Premiere and Express (3.5 stars each) averaged 3.8 stars, beating the 3.3 star average of all 3 Amazon Firesticks: Fire TV Stick Lite and Fire TV Stick (3 stars each) and Fire TV Stick 4K. (4 stars).
roku vs Amazon Fire TV Stick: home screen and interface
Roku is the clear winner when it comes to home screen streaming. People who like their Fire Stick might find it a convenient way to watch a lot of Amazon videos (the home screen promotes a lot of Prime Video and Amazon Channels content), but it lacks customization.
This is a problem for anyone who bought their Fire TV Stick because of its affordability, but finds themselves not wanting to know what Prime Video has to offer. For now, you get a face full of Prime Video content.
Amazon has released a slightly updated interface for its non-4K Firesticks, but it's not enough to change your mind. Sure, the interface looks a bit nicer, but it's still packed with a lot of Amazon content and few options to customize and control what you see.
Roku has a much cleaner and simpler home screen: a grid of icons that you can rearrange, and a list of menu options. This is all we really need and allows you to see more apps at once than on Fire TV where you scroll through a carousel.
Roku vs. Amazon Fire TV Stick: apps a channel
Amazon Fire Sticks and Roku devices can access ita lot ofof content.42 Sagerclaims Fire TV has 11,101 apps, butRoku has 21,011 apps. But most people don't need that many apps, let alone a small fraction of the huge numbers. The story of apps on streaming devices is more about what's missing.
Longtime streaming device owners have often spent some time missing a new streaming service here and there. Often this is because it takes time for companies to settle contracts, and we, the consumers, lose the brunt of that. For example, YouTube TV took much longer to arrive on Fire TV than other platforms, finally arriving in 2019.
In 2020, Peacock and HBO Max launched, both of which took time to come to Roku. And while HBO Max has arrived on Fire TV Sticks, Peacock isn't on Fire TV yet. Walmart-owned movie streaming service Vudu is also not on Fire TV.
When the Tom's Guide staff compiled a list of 33 popular apps (and 3 niche apps) we need on our streaming devices, we found that Roku had all but one niche app (NJPW World, a Japanese wrestling app professional only on Brand TV). The Fire TV lacks Peacock, Vudu, and the built-in media player (with DLNA) you get on Roku. That media player is also categorized as a niche app that many could live without, using Plex instead (available on both platforms).
The absence of Peacock on Firesticks might be a big deal to you, but it isn't (yet). Perhaps that will change once the WWE Network doesn't become available on Peacock until mid-March.
Roku vs. Amazon Fire TV: Special Features
Fire TV units take advantage of Amazon Alexa skills and connected smart home devices. This means you can view live cameras connected to your smart home throughout the house, check the weather forecast and even order a pizza, all with your voice. These features work on all Fire Sticks.
Roku has third party options such asIP-cameraviewer - Pro, but it's still much more of a device for streaming than being part of your smart home. That said, the Roku platform supports both the Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa for commands.
roku vs Amazon Fire TV Stick: Control Panel
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roku vs amazon fire tv stick: review
And there you have it: our battle between Roku devices and Amazon Fire Sticks has a winner. When it comes time to stream, you'll want to use Roku.
This showdown between Roku and Amazon Fire TV Stick clearly explained how the former wins. It has the cheapest 4K disc, better overall hardware, and an interface that you control (and not one that just spams you with Prime Video content).
Plus, Roku isn't lacking in the apps section (thanks HBO Max), not that the lack of Peacock on Fire TV is a big miss. Sure, people addicted to the smart home lifestyle might prefer the connectivity of Firesticks and Amazon's ecosystem, but in our book you're buying a streaming stick to stream content, which is why Roku wins.
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