We thought it is never too late for reviewing the Amazon Fire TV Stick especially since there aren’t many adopters. This write-up will focus more on the usability of the device rather than its tech specification. We have been using this device for over six months and have lots of tips to share with our readers.
The Fire TV Stick is a digital media player from Amazon which comes with a voice remote. This is actually the smaller variant of their Fire TV with a hardware downgrade. All you have to do is plug it into your TV’s HDMI port, power it up and log in to your Amazon account. With Prime Video and other premium subscriptions, the endless world of entertainment is now at your fingertip. However, since the Fire TV device is based on Android, you can also access the so-called free contents. In addition, you can also mirror the contents on your smartphone, laptop etc on to your big screen.
The Fire TV Stick is about the size of a WiFi dongle but will take more space with the HDMI extender and power connector. It runs FireOS 188.8.131.52 and is powered by 1.3 MHz Quad-core MediaTek CPU + Mali450MP4 GPU with 1GB RAM. The device also comes with 8GB inbuilt memory for loading apps, but you can also utilize OTG and Cloud storage (media).
For wireless connectivity it uses, RF for remote, Bluetooth 4.1 for accessories and WiFi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac for data. It has two ports for physical connectivity a micro-USB(power/OTG) and HDMI output. The Fire TV Stick supports 720p/1080p video output and 2.1/5.1 /7.1 audio channels. The remote that comes along has an inbuilt mic for providing voice control feature. Inside the package, you will find Fire TV Stick, Voice Remote, USB cable, power adapter, HDMI extender, 2 x AAA batteries and a quick start guide.
There is no scarcity of apps since the device is based on Android 5.0/7.0. You can install loads of apps from Amazon Appstore which includes entertainment, utilities, books and games. It is also possible to sideload ‘APK’ files via 3rd party apps like “Apps2Fire” and ADB Toolkits. As mentioned earlier, by installing HLS or FTP streaming 3rd party apps like Terrarium, you can get the most out of the Fire TV Stick.
Recently, Google pulled the plug on YouTube app for Fire TV Stick following a clash. However, we can still access the website version using Silk or Firefox browser for Fire TV. Another useful app is the Fire TV Remote app which comes handy in case you misplace the Fire TV’s Physical Remote.
Amazon Prime Video & Music
You will be missing the big picture without Amazon Prime Video and Music (yet to launch) content. Amazon India is offering Prime subscription which includes fast shipping, early access to deals and Prime Video-Music content at just Rs 999 per year. The Prime Video-Audio content can be viewed in their app, desktop and Fire TV devices. There is no limit on the number of devices you can link to a single Prime account, however, only two devices can stream the content simultaneously from it.
Even though Fire Stick has limited I/O ports, you can use a ‘Micro USB Host OTG Cable with Micro USB Power‘ to hook it up with a USB hub, card reader, USB to ethernet and other accessories. Software enhancements are possible with the help of pre-rooted stock images and Google Play services mod. You can find the appropriate guides and tutorials in XDA or other parts of the internet. If you own an Alexa-enabled Device like Echo, you can access contents and control certain features of the Fire TV Stick with voice commands.
Amazon’s Fire TV Stick is packed with loads of entertainment and the good thing is you can carry it around in a handbag. All you need is an HD TV/Monitor with HDMI port, a good internet connection and the time to spend. You can also download the prime or other contents to your smartphone and watch it offline with the Fire TV Stick on a big screen. So if you haven’t purchased a media streaming device yet, the Fire TV Stick from Amazon is the best budget device that money can buy. Hope, the review was useful, Peace!