UNILAD Tech checks out the Amazon Fire TV Stick.
Streaming devices like the Fire Stick have been on the market for a couple of years now, they allow users to either transmit/cast their phone or tablet to the screen or have a built in user interface and app store for consumers to take advantage of.
Amazon launched their Fire TV Stick in late 2014 and it has been one of the most popular choices on the market.
Is this popularity deserved, or have people allowed the power of branding and marketing to cloud their judgment?
Out of the box
Once removed from the sleek packing you are faced with the simplistic device, remote (with batteries), HDMI extender for wall mounted units and some handy usage information.
Setting the device up is literally one of the easiest you will find, as is the software on the user interface too.
It is pretty much just plug and play.
Using the Fire Stick
The menus are intuitive and easy to navigate, Prime content finds itself at the top of the list as you would expect and the search function is quite snappy too.
The quality of the streams are top notch, only a couple of times did the device sink into a low-quality mode whilst a show was playing (probably due to the laptop, phone, Xbox and Fire Stick all downloading on the same network at once)
More common were quality drops at the start of streams, however this usually fixed itself before the intro credits had ended so it didn’t affect the viewing experience on the whole.
The device can sometimes get a bit lost and stutter on the menus, this is probably an issue with the amount of RAM in the Fire Stick.
Games from the app store can be quite sluggish at times too, any game that requires a lot of graphics processing or is fast-paced can see frame drops and full on crashes quite often.
Red Ball 4 for instance, saw a few of these issues and the remote was also a bit fiddly to control.
Is it worth the money
Finding itself on the cheaper end of the scale, the Fire Stick is not overly expensive and comes well equipped to deal with almost all of the requirements asked of it.
For a person who doesn’t have the money to shell out on a smart TV or more expensive streaming devices like Apple TV and the Roku 4, which do have more functionality but are over double the price. The Fire Tv Stick does the job perfectly.
The Fire Stick ticks all the right boxes for people who want premium content at a reasonable price and the user interface works really well.