Skip to content
Amazon Fire TV Stick With Alexa Voice Remote Review

Amazon Fire TV Stick With Alexa Voice Remote Review

Pro's  Con's
  • Inexpensive
  • Missing some notable streaming services
  • Comes with improved voice remote that can control your TV
  • Voice search and Amazon Alexa are very useful
  • Fast performance

If you haven't moved up to a 4K TV yet, it's only logical that you don't need a 4K media streamer. In the non-4K field, the $39.99 Amazon Fire TV Stick is easily one of the best. It's a powerful little device that features Amazon's robust Fire TV platform and Alexa voice assistant. The remote has a built-in microphone for controlling the stick with Alexa voice commands, and it was upgraded to let you directly control your TV's power and volume. Despite a few omissions in streaming apps, the Fire TV Stick With Alexa Voice Remote easily offers enough in the way of features and value to make it an Editors' Choice for budget media streamers. Of course, if you do have a 4K TV, the Fire TV Stick 4K adds 4K HDR video support on top of everything else for just $10 more.

Streaming Stick

The Fire TV Stick is just a hair wider than the previous model, at 3.4 by 1.1 by 0.5 inches (HWD), but otherwise looks identical. It's a plain black plastic rectangle with an HDMI plug on one end and a micro USB port on one side. As a stick intended to plug into the back of your television, it doesn't need to look impressive or have any real controls or display.

The new Alexa Voice Remote included with the Fire TV Stick is the same one found with the Fire TV Stick 4K and the Fire TV Cube. It keeps the same simple, flat black plastic wand design of the previous voice remote, but adds three new controls. To start with the basic design, the remote is dominated by a round direction pad with a large select button in the middle. A microphone button and pinhole mic sit above the pad, along with a new power button. Menu and playback controls sit below the navigation pad, with a volume rocker and mute button below them.

App and Accessories

You can use the Amazon Fire TV Remote app for Android and iOS if you prefer to control the Fire TV Stick with your smartphone or tablet. It's much simpler than the remote app used with Roku devices, mostly providing a touchpad for menu navigation, a handful of playback controls, a voice search function with your device's microphone, and (most useful if you need to enter login information) an onscreen keyboard. It doesn't offer private listening like the Roku app does, which streams audio through your smartphone or tablet so you can listen to what you're watching with a set of headphones plugged into it. Since the Fire TV Stick supports Bluetooth, however, you can simply pair a set of Bluetooth headphones directly for a similar function.

Besides the voice remote, the Fire TV Stick comes with a short HDMI extender cable (handy if the HDMI ports on your television are recessed), a micro USB cable, a USB power adapter, and a pair of AAA batteries for the remote. It's everything you need to start streaming media, short of the TV itself.

Fire TV OS

Amazon uses a heavily modified version of Android in the Fire TV Stick, the same as you'll find in all other Fire TV devices. It's similar to Android TV's interface, with large rows of icons showing apps and content, arranged in different categories like your most recent picks and suggested shows. It's visually friendly and easy to navigate.

Like other Fire TV devices, the Fire TV Stick uses a limited version of Amazon's app store rather than Google Play for all of its apps and services. Most major streaming services are available, including (of course) Amazon, Crunchyroll, HBO NOW, Hulu, Netflix, PlayStation Vue, Sling TV, Spotify, and YouTube. It's missing a few prominent services, though, like Google Play Movies & TV, Google Play Music, and Vudu, all of which are available on Roku.

CredIt: Pcmag 

Previous article The Xbox Series S is a next-generation console with a couple of caveats