The arrival of 4K-ready streaming sticks means more devices to choose from, and potentially more confusion. But if you do not want to spend more than $ 50 on a device, the choice is quite simple: you get an Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K ($ 50) or a Roku Premiere ($ 40). The two devices can deliver UHD content from dozens of channels and full HD content from thousands.
Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K is a much better device on most points. While Roku Premiere has a few hands in its service, it's generally not worth the savings of $ 10, but for a certain subset of users it may fit the bill.
Read on to find out which one fits your current lifestyle.
Physical design is usually not all that is important to streaming devices; after all, a small black box or stick is quite big as another. But Roku Premiere goes beyond looking unattractively; It's functionally disgusting.
Credit: RokuInstead of a stick or solid drawer, Premiere is a small, lightweight small cylinder, the size and weight of a small cigar. It does not connect directly to an HDMI slot, dongle-style. As such, the power of the average HDMI cable lifts it up and makes it tremendous. You can use a supplied self-adhesive strip to tape down the Roku Premiere, but if you ever need to move it after that, good luck.
Credit: AmazonOn the other hand, the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K is good, a streaming stick. It connects directly to an HDMI port. But at 4.1 x 1.2 inches, the device is a bit on the large side (most streaming pins are about 3 inches long) and an external power source is required to work properly. Neither design decision is ideal. But it's still a better experience than trying to finagle the little Premiere in place.
Winner: Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K. A simple flowing stick design saves users a lot of headache, especially if they ever want to transport the device.
The only area in which Roku Premiere has a big advantage over the Fire TV Stick 4K is in the interface. Roku has had the best interface in the streaming game for a few years now, with only Apple TV that gives it a serious run for the money. (And it costs $ 180 for a 4K variant – not exactly a budget unit.) Roku has clear, clean, easy-to-use menus that allow you to customize your homepage with your favorite apps and a variety of attractive themes. The system could not be more attractive or easier to use.
Credit: RokuIn contrast, Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K is about the Amazon Prime content. Do you have a Prime subscription? Because the first thing that Fire TV Stick does when you set it up, you'll show a video about how much better your life would be if you did. Last two first lines of apps, the home screen is just a long string of Amazon recommendations. Almost all other tabs are a long line of Amazon-curated TV and movies, while the music and photo apps are common to you – you guessed it – Amazon. It's functional, but it's a little too strong.
Winner: Roku Premiere. The premier has a clean customizable interface that prioritizes what you want to watch, rather than what Amazon wants you to watch.
Content and Apps
Both Roku and Fire TV Stick 4K have access to more than 5000 apps. It includes Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Video, Spotify, Pandora, PlayStation Vue, Sling TV, Google Play TV, and movies and so on. You can even access movies you bought via iTunes, provided you have enabled your movies to any account.
Credit: AmazonThere are only two major differences between the platforms: Roku Premiere has no decent games; The Amazon stick does it. But Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K does not have a dedicated YouTube app like Roku due to Amazon's splash with Google. Because you can still use YouTube via a browser, it's not a big loss. Having a great selection of thoroughly decent games, from Shovel Knight to Knights of the Old Republic, is quite cool.
Winner: Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K. The content selection on the two platforms is almost identical, but having some killer games does not hurt.
Rocus search is top class; In fact, if not for Apple's surprisingly sophisticated voice recognition, Rokus search would be positively unmatched. Using either text input or your voice, you can trawl hundreds of different services, which will then lead you to the best place to look at only some content that is conceivable – or show you strange behind the scenes that you did not even know existed.
Credit: AmazonOn the other hand, Amazon's search is much easier. It can find dozens of apps, true, but only if you have installed them first. As such, the primary feature is not really finding things for you to look at – just to show you where to get it at the cheapest price. Again Amazons focus on their own content Four TV Stick here, as there are some extra steps involved in finding non-Amazon sources.
Winner: Roku Premiere. Roku wins this with both pure numbers and ease of use.
Remember when I said that Roku Premiere design was a serious mistake? Part of the reason is how the device interacts with the remote control. If you do not penny up $ 50 for Premiere + you will get a simple remote control. This is, of course, a problem if you're holding Premiere behind your TV, or if you're not sitting directly in front of your entertainment center.
Compare and contrast the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K remote control. It not only comes with a voice search feature, but it can also be connected to your TV to control power and volume. And you do not need a direct term to use it.
Winner: Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K. More buttons and better functionality make it easy to win for Amazon.
Roku Premiere is cheaper than Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K, that's true. But your extra $ 10 buys you a better design and a much better remote. Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K feels cheap; Roku Premiere feels cheap.
Winner: Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K. Ten extra dollars for a remote control that controls your entire TV is worth the cost increase.
After testing both devices to a large extent, I found that the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K is simply a better experience where it matters. The design and remote control alone make it a better device. They count a lot, considering that 90 percent of your experience with a streaming stick just choose something to watch and play.
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Roku Premiere is not a bad choice if you have a perfect viewpoint to place it, but there's just no reason to recommend when a much, much better product costs just $ 10 more. Granted, you can upgrade to $ 60 Roku Streaming Stick +, which is probably still the best streaming device on the market – but it's another facial freedom.
Credit: Tom's Guide