(Updated 2019)

amazon logo: fire stickAmazon is by far the biggest retailer on the planet, surpassing Walmart recently (as of May 15) and for many good reasons.

Still… it’s crazy to think since Walmart has been around for so long.

They house some the largest brands, third party sellers, private label products, affiliate programs and their own successful Amazon product and service lines.

So in this ultimate resource guide, we’ll be covering the Amazon Fire TV products.

We’ll go over some the basics of an Amazon Fire TV Stick, different models, features, comparison, apps and price breakdowns of the device.

What is an Amazon Fire TV Stick?

Amazon fire tv stickAn Amazon Fire TV Stick is a streaming media player that access content through various channels and apps.

The media content could be movies, TV shows, subscription services, photos, music and even games.

It’s an awesome device to utilize, especially if you’re breaking into realm of cord cutting. It gives you ALMOST everything you need to get rid of cable.

Just tackle on a HDTV antenna, add a relatively cheap streaming service and use a couple of free apps. You’re good to go!

The one unique thing about the Fire Stick is the ability to use Alexa with the Amazon Alexa remote. It allows you to search for movies and TV shows, control video playback, control a Fire TV and other similar misc commands.

The Fire stick is very similar to their leading competitor, Roku. However, with all the updates and improvements, Amazon isn’t very far behind in taking the lead.

whats in the amazon fire stick box : unboxedBest Amazon Fire TV Model to Get?

(UPDATED MAY 2019)

There are currently 3 models out right now that you can purchase at the moment.

  • Amazon Fire TV Stick – (2nd generation with new Alexa remote)
  • Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K – (3rd generation, 4K, much faster overall)
  • Fire TV Cube – (Premium Fire TV model with all the bells & whistles)

The Amazon Fire TV line has gone through a few generations with each new generation having major upgrade improvements.

Check out the quick review below of each model

Amazon Fire Stick 4K

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐(Editor’s Choice, Highly Recommended)

amazon fire stick. stock pictureThe Fire TV Stick 4K, being the 3rd released version, is ultimately what the Fire Stick should have been in the 1st generation of devices.

The remote has improved drastically giving you the ability to power on your TV, control your TV volume and having Alexa Voice control.

You can check out our guide on the Firestick vs Firestick 4k.

This is the best model to get out of the 3 models currently on sale. The price point is reasonably low but packed with all the right features.

Amazon Fire Stick 4k: Pros & Cons

👍🏼 Pros

  • Light & portable
  • Fast & smooth (improvements over the 2nd gen)
  • Dolby Atmos
  • Alexa Remote Control
  • Dual-band Wi-Fi

👎🏼 Cons

  • It’s a bit warm after hours of usage
  • No ethernet connection (optional upgrade)

Amazon Fire TV Cube

amazon fire tv cube guideThe Fire TV Cube is supposed to be the flagship product, combining both features of a Fire TV stick with Echo functions and more.

To be honest, it does fall short in those areas and you’re probably just better off using the Fire stick and echo together rather than purchasing this device.

There are some quirks with the device such as the voice control not recognizing certain commands, streaming issues, smoothness of navigating through the menu

It’s a hit or miss.

Our recommendation?

Amazon Fire TV products go on sale quite often. It might be worthwhile to get at a discounted price. You’re better off with the Firestick 4k Model + Echo instead.

Amazon Fire TV Cube: Pros & Cons

👍🏼 Pros

  • Ethernet connection available
  • Control home entertainment equipment
  • Alexa voice search

👎🏼 Cons

  • Not recognizing voice commands (hit or miss)
  • Limited functionality
  • Ads on home screen

Amazon Fire TV Stick (2nd Generation)

Amazon Fire TV Stick: 2nd generationThe Amazon Fire TV Stick (2nd generation) was released back in 2016 with major hardware improvements over their 1st generation Fire Sticks

They upgraded the processor from dual to quad, Bluetooth and Wi-fi. It was noticeable much faster and smoother versus clunkier and slower.

Now with the Fire TV Stick 4K (3rd generation) released at the end of 2018, they upgraded the remote from a 2nd generation to a 3rd generation remote.

2nd generation fire stick remote vs 3rd generationThe Fire TV Stick is cheaper only by a few bucks. If you had a choice between the a Fire TV stick (2nd gen) versus a Fire TV stick 4K.

I would totally pick the 4K version.

Amazon Fire Stick 4k: Pros & Cons

👍🏼 Pros

  • Light & portable
  • Fast & smooth (improvements over the 1st gen, slower than 3rd generation)
  • Alexa Remote Control (3rd generation)
  • 802.11ac (MIMO)

👎🏼 Cons

  • Runs really hot after a few hours of heavy usage.
  • No ethernet connection (optional upgrade)

Are you confused with the different generations? Check out Amazon’s Guide on determining which Amazon Fire TV Generation you have

How Does the Amazon Fire TV Stick Work?

The Amazon Fire TV stick is a very simple to setup. It comes with the basic Alexa remote, Fire TV stick (resembles a USB thumb drive), HDMI adapter and charging adapter.

Amazon Fire TV stick works similar to a Roku device. It a streaming media player that pulls content through various apps and displays it on your TV.

These apps could be free and paid streaming services with addition of games and other non-media content.

Setting Up Your Firestick

setting up your firestick

  • Plug in power cord to your Firestick
  • Plug your Fire TV stick into your TV’s HDMI port
  • Let it boot up
  • Connect to your Wi-Fi Network
  • Create a new account or log into your current Amazon account
  • Download some apps and start streaming!

The Amazon Home Screen

Amazon Fire Stick Home screen

The Amazon Fire Stick Home Screen is self-explanatory. It’s simple and very easy to navigate. There isn’t anything hidden that makes it hard to find something.

Either way, you can use Alexa’s search function to find a movie or TV show title as well.

The menu is broken into specific sections

  • Home
  • Your Videos
  • Movies
  • TV Shows
  • Apps
  • Settings

Keep in mind, it’s very Amazon-centric meaning that Amazon wants you to use their products and services first over others.

If you click on a movie or TV show, it doesn’t directly show you your variety of streaming options. It will first show that you can buy or rent on Amazon.

You would have to scroll to the right and select “More ways to watch” to see your other streaming options.

It’s not a bad thing if your world revolve around Amazon. I personally am one of those Amazon type users. 🙂

Fire TV Stick Apps

If you scroll over to the App section of the menu. You’ll find that it’s broken in 3 subsections

  • Featured
  • Games
  • Categories

Its very simple to navigate. Featured would have all your featured or popular based apps.
The games section obviously contains games, which are pretty decent to play by the way.

The category section is very useful as it breaks down your apps in more specific sections, making it much easier to find things.

Side-loading Third Party Apps

If you didn’t already know, Amazon Fire TV stick is known to be able to side-load third party applications easily.

It’s just a ticking on a few options in your setting menu and you can start installing third party applications.

However, we don’t recommend it unless you know what you are getting yourself into. The official apps are enough to provide all the entertainment that you need.

We do understand the urges of stepping outside the box 🙂

Here are some other useful guides on people who sideload/install third party applications