The Firestick is the most affordable of Amazon’s internet TV lineup, but don’t let the price fool you: it still packs enough power for the average user.
The Firestick can be considered the entry level streaming box. It does not provide nearly as many features as other options out there, but if all you plan on doing is streaming at home and maybe surfing the internet, then there’s no need to pay for anything more.
How It Works
This small device plugs into your TV’s HDMI port and allows you to stream content through different services like Netflix, HBO, etc… as well as third party programs like KODI and Gears TV. All you need is a Wi-Fi connection, and you have access to pretty much any TV show, movie, or event that you could think of.
The Firestick features Amazon’s easy to use operating system. It’s sleek and intuitive to navigate. However it is built for Amazon’s programing and the main search function does not always integrate the content from non-Amazon apps.
This means can sometimes be difficult find content you are looking for. For example if you want to find something streaming on the NFL Sunday Ticket app, you would have to open the app and search from there. Not a huge issue, but definitely can get annoying at times.
It’s fast, considering it’s price and size, but not nearly as powerful as higher-end models, such as Fire TV or Nvidia Shield. Still, for around $30, you get plenty of power for most things. We never had too many issues with lag while streaming most content.
The Firestick comes with an Alexa-compatible remote if you want to control via voice command. It works pretty well in most cases, but sometimes doesn’t always hear you correctly.
The Firestick is powered by a micro USB charger, which comes included.
The main drawback of the Firestick is that it only supports up to 1080p resolution, so if you are looking for 4k HD quality video, you would be better off with a different option.
Another issue to consider is that there are no inputs for anything other than the USB you hook to the TV and it’s power supply. You cannot connect to your router via Ethernet for faster speeds (bummer), and you cannot run your sound system, DVD player, or anything else through it. This limits it’s functionality, but again, if all you want is to watch some TV, you probably won’t mind.
On the flip side, because the Firestick is so minimal, it’s super portable. You can take it anywhere, even on vacation, and if you have a laptop or TV with a USB port, you can simply plug and go. You can use the micro USB adapter to power it through other devices, which is great if you aren’t around an outlet.
All in all, the Amazon Firestick is a perfectly capable device for anyone who just wants to stream on their TV, doesn’t need a lot of bells and whistles, and doesn’t want to break the bank.