The Fire TV Stick 4K is my favorite streaming device in 2022

I am a fan of everything smart in the home. It’s obvious to anyone who has ever set foot in my apartment – the whole place is connected via Alexa. That being said, I don’t like any unnecessary appliances in my bedroom, but I don’t like shouting loud enough for the Echo Show in my kitchen to hear me when I want to turn off the lights in my bedroom. Enter the Fire TV Stick 4K. With this handy little device, I can ask Alexa to turn off the lights with the remote instead of raising my voice so the device in the room can still hear me. It also has the added benefit of not having a built-in speaker, so the remote won’t wake me up with announcements or pre-packaged deliveries, unlike the Echo Dot.

Amazon

Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K

$35$50Save $15

Access over a million movies and TV shows with an easy-to-use and intuitive device. Installation and setup are also easy! No wonder the Fire TV Stick 4K is my favorite new device this year.

$35 on Amazon

On second thought, I picked up this handy little streaming stick. I wanted to test video game streaming through Amazon Luna and the easiest way was to use a Fire TV Stick. Since I already had a Roku, I didn’t expect the Fire TV Stick to be of much use to me. Turns out I was wrong. It has become one of my favorite purchases this year and solves the problem of screaming at my smart devices in my kitchen. best news? It’s only $35 on Amazon right now.

Fire TV Stick 4K features and performance

Right from the start, the main feature of the Fire TV Stick 4K is the inclusion of Alexa. There is a blue button on the top of the remote which, when pressed, activates the listening function on the remote itself. All I have to do is tell Alexa to turn off the lights, and all the lights in my house dim – an easy fix if I forget to flip the switch in the kitchen before I go to bed.

Plus, the Fire TV Stick 4K gives you incredibly easy access to all my favorite streaming services. Of course, Prime Video is the most recommended service on the device (I mean, who would have thought?) Well, one of my favorite shows – Mental — is on Prime TV. Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, and every major streaming service available. In fact, the only app I can’t find on the Fire TV is Peacock.

However, it doesn’t just stream content. Any old streaming device can do it. The Fire TV Stick 4K supports Dolby Atmos, Dolby Vision, and HDR10+, which virtually guarantees a viewing experience almost on par with a trip to your local IMAX (as long as you have a TV that can run those specs).

Turning on Alexa also gives you many other benefits. I can search for a show by simply asking Alexa to play it, and I can also display the security camera image on the screen, check the weather, and much more. Have you ever heard the doorbell ring while you’re still in bed? You can just ask Alexa to show who is at the door! Trust me, it’s great. It outperforms the Roku in this regard, and installation is just as easy.

My favorite type of device is one that doesn’t make me think about it, and I’ve never had to think about a Fire TV Stick 4K beyond a few basic upgrades. Anyway, most of it is done automatically – I’m just a stickler when it comes to making sure everything goes the way I want it to. In other words, this streaming device is plug-and-play, install it and forget it.

Fire TV 4K Stick in front of the TV

The Fire TV 4K makes streaming my favorite shows as easy as asking Alexa. (Photo: Amazon)

Fire TV Stick 4K issues

Okay, I may have stretched the truth small earlier. The only downside is that the remote control does not have a backlight. The design is simple enough to use (and you can even use an Echo Dot or similar to control your Fire TV if you can’t find the remote), but I’d even prefer dim lighting for nighttime use. There are four buttons at the bottom of the remote that quickly load Prime Video, Netflix, Disney Plus and Hulu without having to navigate through the menus, but sometimes I hit them by accident.

The other problem with the Fire TV Stick 4K isn’t really with the device but with the app. (I’m looking at you, HBO Max!) I, like thousands of others, turn on the TV because of background noise, and most often it’s just playback Friends over and over. For whatever reason, HBO Max sometimes loses video while continuing to play audio. The screen goes blank or the Fire TV displays an error message, but I can still hear the episode in the background.

So far I haven’t found a solution for this. A quick Google search shows that I’m not the only user encountering this error, but the suggested fixes (updating the operating system, removing and reinstalling apps, etc.) don’t seem to yield results. Fortunately, I can get around this by simply going to the home screen and resuming playback. No problem. If it really freezes, my go-to solution is to unplug the Fire TV and plug it back into the HDMI jack.

One final note: I mentioned that I picked this up to test game streaming. While this is a certified device that is compatible with Amazon Luna, I found the experience less than satisfactory. I suspect most of this is to do with the Luna itself rather than the Fire TV Stick. It doesn’t drop Wi-Fi or struggle to stay connected, and most of the lag comes from the games themselves. Just remember that Amazon Luna is not a game console replacement.

Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K: Is It Worth Buying?

I absolutely love the Fire TV Stick 4K, but that’s because I’m almost the perfect use case for this device. My smart home is completely controlled by Alexa, I do most of my shopping through Amazon, and I’m a Prime subscriber. However, if I didn’t fit so precisely into the box, there isn’t ton the benefits of using this over a Roku or Apple TV. In fact, I think the Apple TV has a better interface.

But like I said, if you’re an Amazon user, the Fire TV Stick is a great addition. The ease of controlling the smart home, the simple yet sophisticated remote, and the sheer quality of streaming and viewing options make it a great choice.

Amazon

Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K

$35$50Save $15

Access over a million movies and TV shows with an easy-to-use and intuitive device. Installation and setup are also easy! No wonder the Fire TV Stick 4K is my favorite new device this year.

$35 on Amazon

If you have Amazon Prime, of course you get free shipping. Not a member yet? No problem. You can sign up for a free 30-day trial here. (By the way, those without Prime still get free shipping on orders of $25 or more.)

Looking for more great Amazon tech deals? Check out these:

Headphones and earbuds

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televisions

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  • 40 inch TCL Class 3 HD LED Smart TV with Android

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  • Hisense 50-inch 4K UHD Roku Smart TV

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  • Amazon Fire TV 50-inch Omni Series 4K UHD Smart TV

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Tablets and technology

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Originally published

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