Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K review: Elevates any TV, old or new | Mobile Reviews

Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K review: Elevates any TV, old or new

Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K is known for bringing smart features to ageing TVs, but what benefits does it offer for those with a new TV? Let's find out in this review.

By: SHAURYA SHARMA
| Updated on: Jul 03 2024, 16:15 IST
amazon fire tv stick 4k review
Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K is available on Amazon India for 5,999. (Shaurya Sharma - HT Tech)

Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K review: The Fire TV Stick is known for its ability to make any old TV or projector have smart features, such as OTT apps, an intelligent OS, and more. Having these apps and features has almost become a necessity at this point, thanks to our rapidly changing consumption habits. However, while the Fire TV Stick breathes life into old displays, one might wonder why to buy it if your TV already has smart features with OS like Google TV, WebOS, and more. I believe I can explain why people with an ageing TV, or even with a TV like a Hisense and its VIDAA OS, should consider buying it. In this review, I will discuss my use case, what you get in the box, the setup process, my thoughts on the UI, and ultimately, if it's really worth it.

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Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K: What's in the retail box and how is the setup process

When you unbox the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K, you have everything you need to get started. You get the Fire Stick itself, an HDMI extender, an Alexa Voice remote, two AAA batteries, a micro USB power cable, and an Amazon-branded power adapter. This is all you need to get the Fire TV Stick 4K up and running. Simply plug the stick into your TV's HDMI port, connect the power, pair it with your TV, and connect to a network to complete the setup process via the Fire TV app or directly on your TV.

Here's what comes inside the retail box.
Here's what comes inside the retail box. (Shaurya Sharma - HT Tech)
image caption
Here's what comes inside the retail box. (Shaurya Sharma - HT Tech)

I dislike that it still ships with a micro USB cable in 2024. While it's not something you frequently plug and disconnect after the initial setup, not having USB-C after multiple generations is a miss, I believe.

That said, the setup process is quite simple: just follow the on-screen instructions, and if you have fast Wi-Fi and an Amazon Prime account already set up, you can complete it in less than 7-8 minutes. Plus, during the initial setup, you are asked which OTT apps you want, which is a nice touch as you won't have to download them individually later. Do note that you should use the supplied power adapter; initially, I plugged it into my TV's USB port, but that failed to provide enough power.

Setting up the Fire TV Stick 4K barely takes any time.
Setting up the Fire TV Stick 4K barely takes any time. (Shaurya Sharma - HT Tech)
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Setting up the Fire TV Stick 4K barely takes any time. (Shaurya Sharma - HT Tech)

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Who is the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K for?

I've used multiple generations of the Fire TV Stick. My first experience was with the collaboration between Tata Play and Amazon called Tata Play Binge. I remember buying the 250/month subscription that allowed me to rent one back in 2019. It breathed new life into my ageing Vu TV, which had no smart features. Later in 2023, I upgraded to a Hisense QLED TV, which is smart but comes with VIDAA OS, which I'm not a fan of. The TV came with the first-generation Fire TV Stick 4K, which felt much faster than the first-generation model I got with Tata Play. Now you know that using the Fire TV Stick is the only way I use my TV. With the latest model I'm reviewing here, the experience has become even better.

However, I still believe that if you have a high-end TV with fast internals, buying the latest Fire TV Stick models may not make sense, especially if you use Google TV or LG's WebOS. But there are still factors with the Fire TV Stick 4K that may entice you to buy it, mainly its supremely simple UI and Alexa capabilities.

Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K
Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K comes with a minimal, easy-to-use remote with most Alexa support, and quick access to the most popular OTT apps. (Shaurya Sharma - HT Tech)
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Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K comes with a minimal, easy-to-use remote with most Alexa support, and quick access to the most popular OTT apps. (Shaurya Sharma - HT Tech)

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Amazon Fire Stick 4K: Smooth and easy

One thing I appreciate about the Fire Stick 4K is its smooth performance. If you buy it for an old or mid-range TV, you will immediately notice the difference in both fluidity and picture quality. It comes with a 1.7 GHz quad-core chipset, and coupled with a lightweight OS, the overall experience is lightning quick—be it launching apps or searching for something using Alexa voice commands with the supplied remote.

Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K review: Elevates any TV, old or new
Fire TV Stick 4K's new UI makes navigation effortless, and is more user friendly than some TV platforms like VIDAA OS. (Shaurya Sharma - HT Tech)
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Fire TV Stick 4K's new UI makes navigation effortless, and is more user friendly than some TV platforms like VIDAA OS. (Shaurya Sharma - HT Tech)

During my testing, I used the Fire Stick to watch multiple shows, including The Rings of Power on Amazon Prime, and the experience was fantastic. The picture quality was sharp, and the stick outputted in Dolby Vision, making for some impressive visuals. Other apps like Apple TV were also a joy to use. I used the Fire Stick to binge on Dark Matter over the weekend, and it was a good experience.

However, it's the fluidity compared to your average mid-range TV that I really like. Sifting through menus and deciding what to watch isn't a pain anymore because it barely takes any time at all.

Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K review: Elevates any TV, old or new
It presents the user with an easily accessible menu that clearly lays out the options. (Shaurya Sharma - HT Tech)
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It presents the user with an easily accessible menu that clearly lays out the options. (Shaurya Sharma - HT Tech)

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More additions are welcome, but Alexa features are what make it special

Apart from the improved fluidity and UI changes, I also appreciate the switch to Wi-Fi 6 dual-band support and the support for Dolby Vision, HDR, HLG, and HDR10+. However, it's the Alexa integration that impressed me. Not only is it quick to trigger using the remote, but you can also control your smart home devices right from your TV. This makes controlling things like Echo devices, cameras, and even getting a live feed of Alexa-compatible cameras directly on your TV screen a breeze.

Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K review: Elevates any TV, old or new
Shows like Rings of Power are available in Dolby Vision. (Shaurya Sharma - HT Tech)
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Shows like Rings of Power are available in Dolby Vision. (Shaurya Sharma - HT Tech)

In India, the Fire Stick 4K retails for 5,999 on Amazon India, and if you ask me, there's still no better way to breathe new life into your old and ageing TV. Many of you have perfectly working TVs with excellent picture quality, but not having OTT support hurts. In this case, it is ideal to buy the Fire Stick 4K and make the best out of it without spending another half a lakh on buying a decent TV.

Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K review: Elevates any TV, old or new
Amazon Fire TV Stick, for 5,999, is the ideal way to upgrade an old TV. (Shaurya Sharma - HT Tech)
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Amazon Fire TV Stick, for 5,999, is the ideal way to upgrade an old TV. (Shaurya Sharma - HT Tech)

Having said that, it would have been better if the device shipped with a USB-C converter, in case you ever lose your micro USB cable (I don't have an extra, and many people I know don't have one either)

Rating
3.7 out of 5
Price
₹ 5,999/-
Product Name
Fire TV Stick 4K
Brand Name
Amazon
Pros
  • Makes any TV smart
  • Easy setup process
  • Minimal UI
Cons
  • Still comes with a micro USB port
  • Could have been priced 500-1000 cheaper
Specifications
  • Processor
    Quad-core 1.7GHz MT8696
  • Storage
    8GB RAM
  • Output resolution Support
    2160p, 1080p and 720p up to 60 fps
  • Bluetooth
    Bluetooth 5.0 + BLE
  • Wi-Fi
    Wi-Fi 6: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax (2.4GHz, 5.0 GHz dual band)

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First Published Date: 29 Jun, 14:17 IST
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