Amazon Fire TV Stick: Unboxing & Review

by birtanpublished on April 11, 2021

Hey guys Mike here the Detroit pork with my review of the amazon firetv stick essentially a scale down and cheaper version of the Amazon fire TV set-top box similar to the Roku streaming stick and chromecast this is a thumbdrive size device that plugs into an HDMI port and essentially disappears from view behind your TV this is priced at $39 and the $49 Roku the fire TV stick is most similar to the Roku stick providing a full on-screen interface with an included remote controller however the fire TV offers features like voice search and some gaming options the chromecast lacks an on-screen interface

And is dependent on the mobile device running Android or iOS for its content and control now the fire TV stick has some fairly low specs with a one gigahertz dual-core CPU one gig of ram eight gigs of internal storage and abroad comm GPU the Amazon fire TV is Specht closer to a modern tablet with a quad-core Snapdragon processor clocked at 1.7 gigahertz two gigs of RAM and 8 gigs of internal storage along with an adrenal 320 GPU now this means that the fire TV stick is limited to very lightweight casual gaming unlike the set-top box although both devices fully

Support 1080p HD video and Dolby Digital Audio over HDMI inside the packaging will find the fire TV stick which is very similar in size to the competing products fire TV stick requires external power so we'll find a microUSB port on the side we also have the included Bluetooth remote controller which features a d-pad with a center click and the essential navigation controls right below that which includes back home and options and of course we have a row of standard media control buttons this remote is a scaled-down version of the fire TV remote and lacks the voice

Search button but you can purchase the voice capable remote separately for $30 which will enable voice search on your fire TV stick alternately you can also use the free fire TV app on your phone which I'll demonstrate in this video now as always we have a QuickStart guide explaining the accessories controls and features and how to connect everything up to get it started below that we'll find a fairly long microUSB cable to power the stick which should cover the distance from your TV to the power source pretty easily we also have an HDMI extender which will allow you to

Connect your fire TV stick if the hdmi port is in a hard-to-reach location as it is on my TV we also have a fairly compact 5 watt power adapter with folding prongs now you can use a USB port on the back of the TV the power the stick but they do recommend connecting the power supply to the wall for best results and lastly we have a set of triple-a batteries for the remote controller now if you're powering your fire TV stick through the TV's USB port like I am you will get a warning encouraging you to use the included power supply the chief consideration is

The fact that the power to the USB port is cut when the TV is powered off which means no background updating and the device has to boot up every time you turn on your TV otherwise performance of the device is unaffected by the power source you select now the first thing we need to do is to select and log in to our Wi-Fi network first order of business is to update to the latest software which will take a few minutes and involve a reboot and oddly in my case I'm asked to log in to my wireless network again after the software update next up we have to log in to our Amazon

Account which will be done automatically for you if you purchase your amazon firetv stick through amazon instead of a third party retailer like Best Buy as I did in my case and lastly you're treated to a lengthy video tutorial explaining core features of the fire TV stick and how to use it now looking at the user interface again is pretty much identical to the full-size Amazon fire TV you can see we have search up here at the very top on the left side in this case it just text search because we do not have the voice enabled remote controller active here so you can start typing in

Your search in this case it just searches Amazon content and apps so for example final is search for star trick here let's go ahead and select star trek it will search the Amazon store for star trek not Netflix and Hulu Plus and stuff like that which the Roku player will do for you so in this case I can select star trek into darkness you can see I already own this so I can resume playing back I can watch from the beginning add it to the watch list watch the trailer or more ways to watch so if I click on more ways to watch you can see this is available on Amazon Prime

Now we begin playing back video it does take a while for the resolution to ramp up so kind of buffers it but it does play it right away and you will see sharper resolution if you just give it a minute of course it all depends on your internet speed of course I can pause video resume it I also have the options button here so that gives me options to things like caption and watch from the beginning so if I select watch from the beginning jump it back to the front we have several captions here which has some additional options so you can change your font size or subtile presets

You can change the coloring of the fonts and that sort of thing you can also tap and hold to scrub for no doesnt scrub live while you're watching it but you get a little preview window in the lower corner here if you want to speed up your scrubbing just hit the fast-forward button again and continue clicking until you get to the speed you want when you're done to select and it resumes where you scrub to now somewhat similar to the Amazon fire tablet you have a recent room which is basically a carousel of all your recently accessed media and app so you can see we have

Music TV shows apps like Netflix games and best everything will all appear here in chronological order so you can quickly access them now if you select one of these items like American Horror Story here I can remove it from recent or if I go to one of the example I clicks I can go to more info to find out more about this app so I can see an overview I can see the app details I can see reviews for this app and similar apps the home screen also includes things like featured apps and games recommended movies and TVs based on the content we've watched you can also see

We have featured movies and TV best of prime HBO collection on prime top movies TV and TV on prime shop new releases top free games and recommended apps and games so getting back to our left column under prime video will find everything that's available to prime customers you can see recommend the TV shows that we can watch with our Prime membership so we can watch sons of anarchy orphan black gram and that sort of thing and of course you can also search for content you may want instead now if you're a Prime member you can watch these free of charge or they're included with your

Subscription to prime so you can see we can resume this episode we can buy the entire season but that's not necessary because I can watch it live right now nuns or movies will find things that we can rent or purchase so for example I have recommended movies based on stuff up watch recently and as you can see because I was watching American Horror Story I get all these horror related titles you can see best of prime movies here so these are all prime movies if we select this I can wash these without paying for them but if you're not a Prime member you can

Rent them or purchase them now if we get to some newer releases like under top movies here like guardians of the galaxy if you select this you can see we have to purchase that right now it's not available to rent but you can watch the trailer or add it to your watch list so let's go ahead and add it to our watch list so we can take a look at that a bit later now if you get to a movie like Maleficent here which I can rent for $5.99 in HD resolution or I can buy it for $19.99 we also have TV and things that are now available under Amazon

Prime you can purchase so for example under latest TV we have let's go to let's go to American Dad here if you select that you can see you can purchase the episode but you can't watch it free of charge with Amazon Prime same with Walking Dead over here so you can see the episode is $2.99 but if you go to more ways to watch you can see you can actually buy in two different resolutions HD or standard definition now sit them buy in one episode at a time you can also buy entire seasons here so for example if you want to buy season four you can see it's $39.99

Under watch list you'll find everything we've added to our watch list like guardians of the galaxy and the wolf of wallstreet under video library you'll find everything you've purchased with your account here so not a lot I just have this one movie so I can resume playback in that sort of thing take a look at games again our selection is more limited this time because we're using lower powered Hardware so you're not going to get the same game selection from the Amazon fire TV in fact all the games are purchased for the Amazon fire TV are not even available here so you

Can see my game library is empty now you can see that when I'm logged in with my Amazon account them automatically logged into my game circle profile which is Amazon's sort of network for gaming stats so this allows you to connect with other people and to keep track of your game stats and scores from your games on Amazon if you go down to the categories you can see we have action adventure arcade board games cards casino casual kids puzzles and trivia racing role playing sports strategy and that sort of thing now if I go to a racing category you can see we don't have games like

Asphalt 8 which is a game I like to play that's because it's too demanding for this hardware now if you look at the top here you can select games that work with the fire TV remote or the game controller and as you can see here it does limit your game selections when you select one or the other now let's go ahead and select a game here so let's go with this one this one is highly rated it's only a dollar 99 or 199 coins and I happen to have 2500 coins so this is free to me so it's going to spy that so when you have one of these game after you can see your game circle

You can see an overview of this app you can see game details reviews of this game and similar games as well so this is a pretty basic game that works with the included remote controller but of course you could also use the game controller as well of course we also have our apps and this is where we can access apps we already own so we can go to the apps in our existing library you can see apps that are not yet installed on our device by their available with our account have these little cloud icons in the lower right corner that means we can just download them and add

Them to our device and use them so for example if we want Pandora here just select it downloads it for you now if you want to uninstall one of these apps just select it go to uninstall and it'll remove it for you and it's still available in the cloud and if you want to remove it from your cloud as well you can select remove from cloud now go on the purchase additional apps you can see they curated into popular lists spotlight and categories so under categories you can see apps by cooking education entertainment finance games health and fitness kids lifestyle music

News and magazine photography productivity sports travel and weather so if you select weather let's go and just like the weather app here so we select this weather app you can see it is a free app and we can download it so there you go you have a weather app for your current conditions now category vamps that work particularly well with a TV are these ambience apps so if you want a fireplace with sound effects and everything you can actually download apps for that we also have our music categories you can see everything you've purchased on your

Device or on your Amazon account so you can see your album art you can select your songs and begin playback now you can leave this and continue playback music about doing other things and you can jump back to it from your recent apps and thanks to the dedicated media controls right on the remote you can pause or resume playback anywhere we also have our photos so if receiving all your folders who Amazon's Cloud Drive you'll be able to access them here that also includes videos and then finally we have settings now understanding geophone displays and sounds and this is where

You can adjust your screensaver so you can see we can select our screensaver galleries so we can use amazon's collection of 194 images or we can use images from our camera roll so you can see most recent and camera are basically the same these are the photos taken on my Amazon fire phone which I reviewed quite a few months ago you can see we have our slide style so we have pan zooom dissolve in mosaic we have our speed as well as our start time from five minutes to all the way up to never if you prefer and then you have your shuffle whether you want that on or off

Under display you can see we have video resolution set to auto or you can calibrate it manually under audio we can turn off our navigation sounds we can also select our Dolby Digital output and here we can turn on Dolby Digital Plus automatic which will automatically select the best audio for whatever device are connected to notice have Dolby Digital Plus offs if you want to turn off entirely you can and you can also manually turn on Dolby Digital Plus over HDMI we can also enable display mirroring mode for the fire TV this will allow you to use miracast devices like a

Samsung Smart TV to broadcast the display of that phone and the audio run on your Amazon fire TV so this works really well now fortunately this does not work with Google casts or Apple's AirPlay what else have our second screen notifications which you can turn on and off so if you're using the NamUs on tablet or an Amazon fire phone you will receive notifications while watching content on your fire TV and you get some remote controls automatically we can also manage our game controllers and add new ones such as the Amazon fire TV remote with the microphone or the

Bluetooth game controllers and we'll do that in just a moment now under controllers this is where we can add additional controllers like the Bluetooth game control as well as the more full-featured controller with voice command and I'll do that in just a moment under applications this is where we can turn off app usage daily collection we can manage our Amazon game circle here as well we also have our App Store and under App Store we can enable automatic updates you can see we can also enable external market links so I'll make the open external market links

With Amazon App Store you can select this and go to additional options so you can see don't open or ask before opening we also have in-app purchases which you can turn off if you prefer and we also have managed my subscriptions which is basically directs you to amazon.com we could also manage our installed applications here so for example if we go to one of the apps we've purchased installed we can select it and we can force stop it uninstall a clear data or clear cache and you can see how much resources that app is taking up under system will find things like sleep so we

Can put the device to sleep about our network configuration quiet time so if we enable quiet time we'll turn off any notifications on our amazon firetv with your developer options our time zone so again you select it and you can select whether you want the 24 hour clock select your time zone well so have our legal and compliance information and we can reset this to factory defaults from here now under help you'll find a lot going on here so you have help videos which will give you little tutorials and how to use your device or troubleshoot it we have quick tips as well and then

You have contact us for additional support and then you also have your feedbacks if you want to submit feedback you can as well and then under my account you can go to your Amazon account and deed register this device or sync your Amazon content all right so let's going to set up our game controller here so I'm going to select the Bluetooth game controllers and Bluetooth controllers and what I wants me to do now is press and hold the home button for 10 seconds on the Amazon fire game controller to start the pairing process so the game controller is added

You can see my battery status is okay but the next thing I want to do is add the remote controller with voice command so let me go and select that and again we're just going to press and hold the home button on that remote controller to begin the pairing process now with a voice enabled remote controller active you can see the search screen has been updated with voice search capabilities so let's go and try this out watch American Horror Story and it takes me right to those search results and I can click here to watch whatever I want now internally you can use the remote

Controller app that's available on Android or the Amazon products and of course you have controllers like your me the controllers back home and options as well and you have a trackpad here for mouse tune around on the interface you also have a virtual keyboard here so instead of using the on-screen keyboard you can use the one in the app which works much better we also have voice search enabled through the sample I have to do is swipe down on the microphone start speaking release it and it performs the search star trek into darkness go ahead and select it and it

Finds it for me right away so in conclusion the amazon firetv provides the full suite of media and music consumption apps the only drawback here is gaming of course which is dialed back quite a bit compared to other set-top boxes like the Nexus player and the Amazon fire TV so if gaming is important to you this is not the version to get but otherwise for movie and music watching you have the same experience on this device as you do on every other device you have full 1080p full Dolby Digital surround sound and it sounds and looks great now the Amazon fire stick is

Still a low power device and you will know some lag in the user experience but level wise the media plays just fine so that's going to do for me in this video thanks for watching and I'll see you again in the next one

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