So 4K has been all the rage in the industry for a long time now, and now Amazon Fire Stick has a 4K 10 bit HDR capable version. So it is kind of self-explanatory, It’s a firestick, and it plays 4K. But there’s more to it, as it is the fastest performing firestick, and it comes with voice remote with Alexa integration.
So we are going to see how it performs, how versatile it is, and whether it is worth buying for your 4K display. Hey guys, I am Siddharth, and this is Fire Stick 4K review. In the box, you get an HDMI extension, so it can fit at back of your TV in case it doesn’t have enough space.
Then you have the power adapter, triple A batteries from Amazon basics, you have the voice remote, and finally, the fire stick itself. The firestick is actually not shaped like a stick. It’s a rectangular block with an HDMI port on one side, and a microUSB port on one side for power.
You might be tempted to power this with your TVs USB port, but the power adapter supplies 1 ampere of current, which I really don’t think you’ll find in your TVs USB port, so you will have to use the power adapter supplied, and have a wire hanging from the stick.
Installation to my TV required the use of Extension cable provided, and I’d have preferred them also supplying a female to female HDMI adapter. The Alexa voice remote that comes with the firestick is really nice, it feels really premium in hand, the buttons are very tactile, and it’s designed very well.
It has a raised direction pad ring, which is very easy to feel, and its glossy finish also makes this look very classy. The remote also has extra buttons for skipping forward or backwards, and for playing and pausing.
They are very useful, and they also help in navigating through the interface as they work as shortcut buttons. The remote pairs with your TV, so the power and volume button on the firestick actually control the volume and power on your TV.
This is really great as you can basically operate everything using just the firestick remote, but this also means that it cannot control volume of Bluetooth devices that are connected to firestick. The setup is pretty easy, just plug it in to your HDMI port with power, and switch your TVs input.
It’ll connect to your WiFi and download updates if it needs to. Then you have to log in with your Amazon account, and you get to see a very nice intro video. The interface of firestick is surprisingly great, it is very fluid, and the UI makes a lot of sense.
Amazon Prime Video takes up most of the homescreen, but you can go to app sections in one of the tabs. Still, on the homescreen, the apps and video content are mixed up, which is something I am not a fan of, but you can access the app drawer by holding the home button, and then selecting the apps icon.
And you also have a shortcut to the settings menu here. The settings menu is pretty good, it’s simple and fast navigating through it, and it also has some advanced features without complicating the menu system.
You can attach Bluetooth devices like keyboards and speakers, and I would strongly recommend that you use a Bluetooth keyboard if you don’t want to feel like killing yourself while entering text. I was hoping that you would be able to type using voice, but that isn’t possible with Alexa, which sucks, you can only give it the commands it understands, otherwise, it’ll just search for whatever it doesn’t recognize as a command.
You can ask it to do the usual Alexa stuff using the voice remote, including checking weather, news, your Amazon orders, playing music and movies. I found it to be somewhat limited than Alexa on Echo speakers, but it can still do much more than what you would want from your TV.
If you have an Echo device, you can ask it to play anything you want on the TV, including music and TV shows, you can also do this with the remote, but doing it using the smart speaker will make the speaker seem more useful.
It’s also the cooler way of doing it, and you also help Jeff Bezos stay the richest man on planet. Coming to the performance, the firestick has a MediaTek 8695 quad core CPU running at 1.7 GHz, with 1.
5GB of RAM, and 8 GB of on boardstorage. and I never found the interface slowing down, and 8 GB of storage is also okay for this kind of device. But I wish there was more RAM on this device, as I expect at least 2 GB of RAM from something costing 6000 Rs.
Still, I never found it hanging or slowing down, so I won’t say that it affects the performance. But I don’t think it handles more than 2 or 3 apps at the same time, so they will get killed, and will have to be reloaded.
You can browse internet using Silk browser, which is surprisingly silky and can handle complex web pages, and it also doesn’t require a mouse to browser websites. Other services like NetFlix and JioCinema are also available, depending on which area you’re in, and it is also pretty well localized for different areas.
But youTube on firestick is the biggest concern for most people, including me. While you don’t have the full YouTube app anymore because Google and Amazon are not very good friends, you can access YouTube using the silk browser which basically takes you to YouTube.
com/leanback, and the experience is surprisingly great, it really doesn’t feel like you are running it through a browser, and it feels identical to the full app. And even when you select to play a video on your phone on the TV, it will open YouTube through silk browser, and it’ll play just like it gets played on the app.
So you really no issues there. But if you’re like me and you prefer using the actual Android TV app, don’t worry, because you can install Andoird apps on firestick, including Kodi, YouTube, or the SmartYouTube app for an even better experience.
There are multiple ways to install apps, which you can google, but the simplest way I found was using the Apps2Fire app from play store. You have to enable unknown sources and ADB on the firestick in developer options.
Then you have to note the IP address of firestick on your network, then use that in the app while it’s connected to the same wifi network, and install applications from your phone. So being able to install Android apps makes the firestick very versatile, and I am glad that they went with Android 7.
1, instead of some proprietary software. You can also upload and download files using the FTP protocol, so if you don’t have any other option, you can play your local video files on it using MX Player, but wireless transfer is kind of slow, so transferring bigger files will take a while, and you may not be able to play those big blue ray files if they are larger than 4-5 GB.
It supports all the formats you will likely encounter, like HEVC and VP9, and also it supports all the audio codecs including Dolby Atmos. Firestick also supports all video standards, and is also HDR enabled, supporting HDR10+ and HLG, so you can enjoy HDR content on your HDR enabled panels.
And it also supports Dolby Vision, which isn’t available with the competition. You can also game on the stick by connecting a Bluetooth controller, which I consider an insult to gaming in general, but you can play some simple games, or keep your kids entertained with this poor man’s dark souls, which is actually harder than Dark Souls, so that is interesting.
You cannot cast your phone or computer screen to Firestick like Miracast or Chromecast enabled devices, which is weird, but I never used that feature as I always find the video to be very visibly compressed.
So in conclusion, I can say that the new FireStick 4K is a really great addition to your 4K TV. It is not the cheapest solution, but it actually offers great value when you consider that it supports all kinds of audio and video codecs available, along with newer HDR standards, which makes it future proof, it is also pretty fast and fluid, and feels better to operate than my Mi TV Box 3.
I also really like the interface, and prefer it over the new Android TV Oreo interface, because it’s simpler while still being functional. Amazon Prime video and music are extremely cheap in India, and it is not easy to play Amazon prime on other smart TVs and boxes, and requires some workarounds with mouse which is just too complicated for a comfortable viewing experience, but firestick also integrates well with other services like Netflix and even JioCinema, so you have everything covered.
Alexa is also very powerful, and can help with many things outside of the TV. And you can also install apps like other Android devices which makes it very versatile. The only drawback here is that you cannot plug in pen drives like Android boxes, so you will have to do some advanced wireless file transfer if you want to play those pirated episodes of Game of Thrones.
So I hope this video was helpful for you in in deciding whether it’s worth going for the Firestick 4K. You can buy it from my affiliate links in the description below. Give this video a thumbs up if you liked it, and subscribe to the channel with bell icon for more videos like this, and I will see you, in the next one.