Amazon Fire TV Stick or the Fire TV 4K: Which Amazon Fire streaming device is right for you?

Amazon Fire TV Stick or the Fire TV 4K: Which Amazon Fire streaming device is right for you?
Amazon's Fire TV devices are the company's fastest selling products of all time, beating both the Kindle and Fire tablets.
The range allows you to access and stream a variety of content, including Amazon own The Grand Tour with Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May, but also through apps such as Netflix and BBC iPlayer.

There are a couple of options available to you if Amazon is the route you have chosen - the Fire TV 4K set-top box and, shipping from 6 April, the all-new Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote. You might even find the older, standard Fire TV Stick for sale on eBay or other resellers for cheap, but which is the right one for you?

We have explored each of the three Fire TV devices to explain what each one offers, how they differ and help you work out which Amazon Fire TV device you should choose.

Amazon Fire TV 4K

The Amazon Fire TV 4K is the latest and greatest second-generation model of the Fire TV set-top box. It succeeded the 2015 first-gen model, which is no longer available to buy, bringing Ultra HD video streaming and other features to the party.

There is a quad-core processor under the hood, 2GB of RAM, a microSD slot for expanding app-download storage and 802.11ac Wi-Fi for greater range, more stability and higher bandwidth than former Wi-Fi standards.

Like the Amazon tablets and Fire OS, the Fire TV 4K features an Android-based user platform with a heavily personalised touch. There is a huge range of music, movies and TV shows through the Amazon Prime Video subscription service, but you can also access Netflix content both through its own dedicated app and integrated into the latest user interface. BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4 and Demand 5 are available through the apps section, which has plenty of others to download too.

The biggest thing going for this Fire TV option is the large selection of 4K Ultra HD video. You can purchase or rent a selection of 4K content to play through the box to a compatible TV. Prime subscribers can also stream 4K versions of Amazon's original TV series at no extra cost.

Amazon also offers games through the Fire TV 4K set-top box and this second-generation model has a new Voice Remote, which connects via Wi-Fi rather than Bluetooth to offer lower latency. An optional game controller is available too.

Like the Fire TV Stick below, it will get Alexa virtual assistant integration in the coming weeks.

Also See:Top 10 Alexa devices to buy: Enjoy your connected home


Buy the Amazon Fire TV 4K because you have a 4K TV and you want to find and watch higher resolution content easily.

PRICE: £79.99 from Amazon  Refurbished by Amazon £74.99

Amazon Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote

The Amazon Fire TV Stick is Amazon's slimline, dongle-style streaming device, in the same vein as the Chromecast and Roku Streaming Stick. It has also been refreshed recently and offers a similar experience to the main set-top-box save for one major absence: 4K video.

The second-generation device is now almost as powerful as the Fire TV set-top box mentioned above, with a quad-core processor but only 1GB of RAM. It can do everything the set-top box can, bar deliver 4K content, as mentioned. One or two of the most graphically intensive games will also struggle on the Stick.

It offers 1080p output with 7.1 audio and has the latest version of the Fire TV operating system.

That means, while the Fire TV Stick is best matched with Amazon services, such as Prime Video, Amazon Music and Amazon Cloud, it still has Netflix integration, so search results will offer shows from the Amazon rival as well as its own.

All the other apps from the set-top box are available on the Stick too, including BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4, Demand 5 and Plex.

Importantly, the new Alexa-supporting remote control is exactly the same as the one that comes with the 4K box. Not only can you search for content using your voice, but the full Alexa experience is available too. That means you can find out the weather, sports results and many other facts and nuggets of information. And as well as have them spoken to you in Alexa's dulcet tones, you can see visual cards on screen with supporting info.

There is dual-band, 802.11ac Wi-Fi on board and Amazon has made it possible for you to take the Fire TV Stick on holiday as it has found a way for you to input room and log-in details for connection to hotel Wi-Fi. Clever.


For those without a 4K TV but an Amazon Prime subscription, the Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote is an inexpensive way to access a variety of content. It's also the cheapest way to get Alexa working through a telly.

PRICE: £40 from Amazon  (pre-order now, ships 6 April 2017)

Amazon Fire TV Stick

The original Amazon Fire TV Stick is no longer available from Amazon directly, but you might be able to snag one for cheap either second-hand or in a stock clearance.

It comes without voice controls and is considerably slower than the new model.

There is a dual-processor, 1GB of RAM, dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth all on board, as well as 8GB of storage like the other Fire TV Stick, along with a range of games and content. It doesn't have Alexa though, and many of the super slick new UI features won't be quite as super slick on the old Stick.

You do get access to tens of thousands of TV episodes and movies though, from the likes of Amazon Video, Netflix and BBC iPlayer, as well as games including Crossy Road, Sonic The Hedgehog 2 and Hill Climb Racing.


If you want an even cheaper way to access and stream a wide variety of content to your TV but you're not as bothered about 4K, speed of use or Alexa, this is effective and fuss-free. Definitely worth considering if you have an Amazon Prime subscription and little cash.

PRICE: £39.99 from Amazon

See also: Amazon’s new Fire TV Stick with Alexa finally arriving in April in the UK

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