Amazon’s Fire Stick and Roku are two of the most well-known streaming devices in the market. But which is superior?
There are plenty of similarities and differences between them. However, one is not better than the other. They both have their ups and downs.
AT A GLANCE
Amazon Fire Stick
They both give you a convenient way to hold all of your entertainment apps in one place. You can access apps like Hulu, Disney Plus, YouTube, Netflix, and much more.
Music is also supported through Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, and other streaming apps. Apart from that, you can have many other apps free of charge to stream from.
Let’s get into what they differ in and what should not affect your decision.
Amazon Fire TV Stick has been a hit in the market. Apart from affordable and useful, you also gain many features from your purchase.
There are currently two versions available for purchase, apart from the multiple streaming apps and games Amazon allows you to download.
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The Fire Stick’s home screen includes all your most recently used apps.
Making it easy to find and pick up wherever you left off. Holding down the home button will allow you to see the list of Apps and is a quick way to have access.
It can also show you what is new in many Apps and recommend movies from the genres you tend to watch the most. Therefore personalizing your experience with the Fire Stick.
The Fire Stick remote is one of its best features included. It can be accessed through an app, making it easy to take with you and utilize it.
However, there are two controllers that are sold by Amazon, therefore, two versions of the Fire Stick.
To begin with, the 4K version costs extra as it works with higher quality video. At the same time, the standard Fire TV Stick has a 1080p resolution, which is exceptional.
The buttons are also different. Making it simple to distinguish between the two. For instance, the 4K version has volume control buttons and a muting button.
The version also includes an on and off button and an LED light that you will not be able to find these in the standard version.
However, both include the control wheel, Alexa voice control, home, back, and more options. You will also have a handy forward and back button, and a pause/play button too.
Additionally, the Fire Stick can control any soundbar when utilizing the 4K version, while Roku can only control HDMI supported soundbars.
The Fire Stick remote is small and straightforward. With a sleek design, it allows you to have full control with just a couple buttons.
While Roku has a bulkier remote with plenty of buttons.
Roku included extra buttons on a larger control. Making it more of a disturbance than a useful device as you will need to drag it constantly around.
Amazon’s fire stick is also lightweight, and its the perfect balance between size and buttons.
It is no secret that Alexa is one of the most widely used assistants. Why not add Alexa into your TV watching and streaming experience.
But if you do not own an Echo Dot, you do not have to worry! Alexa is included withing your Fire Stick and can control much of your watching experience.
Alexa can even control the timing of what you are watching and rewind or fast forward, whatever you are streaming!
From traveling to the home screen or opening an app, Alexa is quick and easy to operate when holding down the microphone button.
However, if you own an Echo product, you do not have to touch your controller.
You can simply operate utilizing your home assistant, and no longer need your controller. Making your experience that much better and hands-free as well.
Your kids can do it too! By merely showing them, they can ask Alexa to play their show. It is easier than letting them loose with the controller!
The Fire Stick allows you to download plenty of free apps that will enable you to stream various genres of movies and TV shows.
Though some require you to have a subscription, such as Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney+, while others are totally free to stream.
There are plenty of these apps! If you want to take a look at which Fire TV apps are free, click here!
You should also keep in mind that Amazon’s Fire Stick can have games. You can play them either with a controller or a particular gaming controller sold by Amazon.
Listening by yourself
With private listening, you can connect your headphones and relax as you will be the only one turning into the movie or TV show.
This is a fantastic feature, especially if you do not want to be loud or bother someone who lives with you. However, with the Fire Stick, you will need Bluetooth headphones.
This is because the Fire Stick remote headphones because the Fire Stick remote doesn’t have a headphone jack. Though there might be some audio delays, it is still a fun feature to explore!
So you took a look at the Fire Stick, but could the Roku have some strong points that Amazon cannot compete with? Let’s dive in.
Organization is a big part of life for countless people; therefore, Roku includes an arranging feature in which you can move your apps around. Much like a phone!
For instance, the Fire Stick will show you the most recently used app, yet Roku will leave your app where you placed it.
Giving you quick access to Hulu if it is what you placed in the first row. Therefore, you do not waste time looking all over for what you want to play.
With Roku, you can still access voice control as there is also a microphone button available and shortcuts.
Though shortcuts are an available feature, there is no way to reprogram it, so keep that in mind. Therefore, it can outweigh the endless amounts of buttons.
Unlike the Fire Stick’s sleek look, the Roku controller is bulky and has an abundance of buttons that are entirely unnecessary as the Fire Stick only contains a couple buttons.
Especially as the Fire Stick remote is lightweight and straightforward. The controller for Roku is a big downside. I don’t know about you, but more buttons, more problems.
In fact, it is a more massive controller with more buttons; however, for the most part, they both include the same amount of features.
Therefore, there is no need to have a bulky and heavy controller to drag around.
It might have the downside of constantly having to tell Google to control your Roku. As you will have to repeat the word multiple times, which can get quite annoying.
For instance, with the Fire Stick, you can ask Alexa to pause by holding the microphone button or controlling it through the Fire TV App.
However, when asking Google, you will need to say, “Google, pause Roku” or “Google, open Netflix on Roku.”
If you do not have Google nor Alexa, you can still utilize voice control through the Roku remote.
With thousands of TV shows and movies available for streaming on-demand in so many platforms and apps, it can be hard determining which streaming stick is the best one.
Games are also available and can be played through the remote. There is so much to explore as well, such as virtual sceneries that can be found!
However, keep in mind that Roku does not have as many apps available for download compared to the Fire Stick.
Roku offers the Roku Channel to their customers in which you can find a variety of movies and shows.
Though it is ad-supported, there are plenty of genres to pick from and even somethings for the kids’ entertainment too!
Other channels are also available such as news and free channels.
Listening by yourself
Roku allows you to watch your shows despite the time. The controller has a headphone jack, in which you can plugin and keep from bothering anyone in the house.
This can be a better alternative for people who do not own wireless earbuds and do not want to invest more money to utilize the Fire Stick with private listening.
You can also plug into your phone and utilize the app as a connection for your sound.
While both are great options to choose from, they each win over different categories. Let’s go over each of them now!
Best Home Screen
Roku gives you the option to organize your home screen, which is better than your recent watches from the Fire Stick.
Best Remote Control
Out of both, the Amazon Fire Stick has both a sleeker look a better usage than the Roku remote.
Best Voice Control
Roku can be controlled with both Alexa, Google Home, and the Roku assistant. Therefore, Amazon Fire Stick forfeits this round.
Though both provide plenty of apps and games, Fire Stick has a greater variety and will give you more bang for your buck!
Roku includes an easier way to listen, both though the remote or app, utilizing headphones and plugging them in.
However, the Fire Stick will give you a better experience as you can move around.
Which Stick to Buy?
Amazon Fire Stick
Both are affordable choices; however, with the Fire Stick, you will be able to access many free Apps to watch TV as well as games. While with Roku, users have found it easier to use.
In the end, it comes to what you prefer and your needs. They both have a range of free channels and movies that can be accessed easily.
The bottom line
Whichever side you are on, you will surely get an amazing device. Both the Fire Stick and Roku are easy to set up and will give you plenty of genres to choose from.
Let us know which one you prefer down below!