Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K review: Dolby Vision for cheap(er)
Streaming video players are everywhere and they all have pretty much the same apps including Netflix, Hulu, HBO, and the rest.
That means they can be pretty tough to tell apart.
Amazon wants to separate its newest This model, the Fire TV Stick 4K, from the pack.
And, it's using Alexa, a new remote, and Dolby Vision 4K video to do it.
This Fire TV is a chunky stick with a built-in HDMI plug that hangs out of sight behind your 4K TV.
And Amazon throws in a little adaptor for tight fits.
The power cable can connect with USB port on your TV.
You should plug it into the wall to avoid waiting for it to boot up.
Just like the standard stick, 4K version is packed with voice control goodness courtesy of Alexa.
You can give commands to the remote or you can pair with an Alexa speaker like this Echo-Dot.
Voice commands apply to a bunch of apps, not just Amazon's own catalog.
And the array of stuff you can do seems to grow everyday.
Show me scary movies.
Getting scary movies from Fire TV.
The remote is all new.
And just like Roku's clickers it has the ability to control your TV's volume and power.
Dedicated keys are programmed automatically.
I love that I didn't have to do anything aside from just confirm that it worked.
Amazon will also sell the remote, which worked with other Fire TV streamers, separately for 30 bucks.
Amazon Stick is the cheapest 4K streamer to handle Dolby Vision HDR My comparison is Double Vision doesn't really improve image quality much compared to standard HDR 10.
But you might consider it worthwhile anyway if you have a Dolby Vision TV.
Amazon's selection of Dolby Vision titles isn't as broad as Apple TV 4K.
But that box costs more than three times as much as this stick.
The Fire TV's closest competitor is the Roku TV Stick Plus, and I like it better overall.
One of my biggest issues with Fire TV is that it devotes too much menu real estate to Amazon's own TV shows and movies.
It's nice to see little thumbnails instead of app tiles, and fo course, Fire TV has plenty of apps too, but in general, the Fire TV, like its predecessor, has that distinct Amazon feel, while Roku feels much more neutral.
Even so, the Fire TV Stick does a lot of things that Roku can't, and for fans of Alexa and owners of Dolby Vision TVs, it makes perfect sense.