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Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Review: The Backlog

Black movies are a focus area for Blerd this month, so the timing for this review made sense. I have to admit, the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K felt like a luxury purchase to me.  With all of the devices in my house that can do streaming (xbox, ps4, tablets, iphone, smart tvs, you get the picture), the Fire Stick felt unnecessary, but I’m a sucker for tech and gadgets.  During Amazon Prime day this year, I decided to take the plunge.  Here is my unboxing of the device:

Monthly column on the games, tech, anime, comics, movies and shows that I was interested in, but just didn’t find the time to get to.  Once per month, I write this column about items that I finally cross off.  Fortunately / unfortunately, this list never ends.  

First, if you’re not an Amazon Prime member, sign up for a free trial immediately. 

To the point, the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K felt like a bit of a luxury purchase to me. However, black movies are a focus area for Blerd this month, so the timing for this review made sense. With all of the devices in my house that can do streaming (xbox, ps4, tablets, iphone, smart tvs, you get the picture), the Fire Stick felt unnecessary, but I’m a sucker for tech and gadgets.  During Amazon Prime day this year, I decided to take the plunge.  Here is my unboxing of the device:

As you can tell, I like to get to the point.  If you do not have a way to stream video content, this is a great purchase, especially for the low $40 price point.   If you do already though…ehhh…it’s a maybe.  The Amazon Fire Stick interface is extremely intuitive and easy to use, but so are most other platforms.  One this I did notice that is nice vs the Roku products that I have used is that the user experience is much snappier.  The remote is also high quality and gives you that “feels good” moment when you touch it.

Amazon Fire Stick 4K

When you first power on the Fire Stick, you are greeted with a simple tutorial to get your wifi and audio setup correctly.   They literally walk you all the way through.  One part that was slightly annoying at the beginning is that Amazon makes you watch a 2 minute advertisement before letting you into the main dashboard, but I respect the hustle (we have Amazon ads on our site and in this post to be fair).  After the ad, you are presented with a clean card / kanban style interface that you are most likely used to from Netflix.

amazon entertainment offerings

Amazon has been pumping out high quality content lately (The Boys, Jack Ryan, and The Tick are all great), so I do see value of being in the Amazon ecosystem.  For $40, it’s a yes for me and it’s an easy way to provide entertainment in my guest room for my friends and family. You can try out Amazon Prime Free for 30 days, so why not peep some of the shows?  If you have one, let us know what your thoughts are in the comments.

Tech Specs

Size

99 mm x 30 mm x 14 mm (only housing) | 108 mm x 30 mm x 14 mm (including the connector)

Weight

53.6 g

Processor

Quad-core 1.7 GHz

GPU

IMG GE8300

Storage

8 GB

Wi-Fi Connectivity

Dual-band, dual-antenna Wi-Fi (MIMO) for faster streaming and fewer dropped connections than standard Wi-Fi. Supports 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi networks.

Bluetooth

Bluetooth 5.0 + LE. Pair with compatible Bluetooth speakers, headphones, video game controllers, and more.

Voice Support

Yes, with the Alexa Voice Remote (included) or free Fire TV app (available for download on Fire OS, Android, and iOS)

IR Device Control with included Alexa Voice Remote

The included Alexa Voice Remote can control the Fire TV Stick 4K and certain functions (such as power and volume) on a wide range of compatible IR-enabled devices, including TVs, soundbars and A/V receivers. Note: Certain functions may not be available on some IR-enabled devices.

Cloud Storage

Free cloud storage for digital content purchased from Amazon

Ports

HDMI output, micro USB for power only

Audio Support

Dolby Atmos, 7.1 surround sound, 2-channel stereo, and HDMI audio pass through up to 5.1. Dolby Atmos is not currently supported on Netflix titles.

4K Support

To watch movies and TV shows in 4K Ultra HD, you need a compatible Ultra HD TV. All services may not be available in 4K/HDR. Certain services are subject to change at any time, may not be available in all areas, or in 4K/HDR, and may require separate subscriptions.

Content Formats Supported

Video: Dolby Vision, HDR 10, HDR10+, HLG, H.265, H.264, VP9 Audio: AAC-LC, AC3, eAC3 (Dolby Digital Plus), FLAC, MP3, PCM/Wave, Vorbis, Dolby Atmos (EC3_JOC), Photo: JPEG, PNG, GIF, BMP

Output Resolution Supported

2160p, 1080p and 720p up to 60 fps

System Requirements

High-definition television with available high-speed HDMI input, high-speed internet connection via Wi-Fi

TV Compatibility

TV must support minimum HDCP requirements for protected content playback. Compatible with 1) 4K ultra high-definition TVs with HDMI capable of 2160p at 24/25/30/50/60 Hz and HDCP 2.2 or 2) high-definition TVs with HDMI capable of 1080p or 720p at 50/60 Hz. 

Warranty and Service

1-year limited warranty and service included. Optional 2-year and 3-year extended warranty available for U.S. customers sold separately. Use of Fire TV is subject to the terms found here.

Regional Support

Certain services may not be available outside the U.S.

Accessibility Features

VoiceView screen reader enables access to the vast majority of Fire TV features for users who are blind or visually impaired. Watch videos and TV shows with closed captioning displayed. Captions are not available for all content. You can also listen to Fire TV with compatible Bluetooth headphones.

Included in the Box

Fire TV Stick 4K, Alexa Voice Remote (2nd Gen), USB cable and power adapter, HDMI extender cable for Fire TV Stick 4K, 2 AAA batteries, Quick Start Guide

Rell
Written By

CEO & Founder // Blerds out about: Video Games, Tech, Anime & Sneakers // He has a B.A. in Sociology with a minor in Social & Economic Justice from the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill

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