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Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K vs Roku Streaming Stick+: Battle of the Streaming Sticks

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Source: ZDNET Streaming sticks have become an increasingly popular way to access streaming services on TVs, monitors, and laptops. These compact devices plug into any available HDMI port and provide easy access to a range of streaming services, helpful apps, and games. This article compares the two most popular 4K streaming sticks from Amazon and Roku. The Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K boasts more games, Dolby Vision, a voice-centric app, Alexa integration, and better video quality. Meanwhile, the Roku Streaming Stick+ has more free apps, HDR10, a more versatile app, and voice searching without an assistant. The quality of the stream is the most important factor to consider when comparing these two models. Fortunately, both models support 4K video playback, but there are slight differences in HDR support. The Roku does not include Dolby Vision but includes HDR10, just like the Amazon Fire TV Stick. [caption id="attachment_74962" align="aligncenter" width="1200"]Amazon Fire HD 10 Tablet & Fire TV Stick 4K Bundle amazon[/caption] Neither of these devices has Ethernet connectivity, but both come equipped with MIMO 802.11 Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, providing them with all the necessary bandwidth for seamlessly streaming at 4K. Unlike Google's Chromecast devices, the Roku and Fire TV Stick have a straightforward stick adapter design that allows them to fit behind almost any screen. However, while the Roku Stick is marginally smaller than Amazon's option, it doesn't come with an extender dongle, which could cause issues with limited clearance around your TV's HDMI port. The remotes for both models are similar in shape, with the Firestick remote being slimmer and more modern in its aesthetic. They each feature dedicated volume and playback controls, multi-function directional buttons, and run on a pair of AA batteries. The most significant difference is the addition of quick access buttons to the Roku remote that allow you to quickly switch between Hulu, Netflix, Sling, and PS Vue. [caption id="attachment_74961" align="aligncenter" width="1200"]Amazon Fire HD 10 Tablet & Fire TV Stick 4K Bundle Amazon[/caption] Both options include built-in Wi-Fi and voice search, with the Fire TV Stick 4K being slightly more responsive. It also has Alexa support, making it a valuable addition, especially if you already own any of Amazon's smart hubs. Mobile apps are available for both devices, but they differ in their approach. The Roku app is more impressive, serving as an ad-hoc remote if your original goes missing and allowing you to search for apps and media quickly using your phone's keyboard. The Fire TV Stick app offers the primary home, menu, and back buttons, allowing you to perform a quick voice search, but it lacks the private listening feature offered on Roku. Also Read: Roku Advances Into Smart Home Gadgets The Fire TV Stick requires an Amazon account before you can use it, and it nudges users towards an Amazon Prime subscription if they don't already have one. While all the most popular streaming services are available on both platforms, there are differences. For example, the Fire TV Stick doesn't have access to YouTube, which currently doesn't have a native Fire TV app, and it doesn't have access to any Google Play apps. [caption id="attachment_110466" align="aligncenter" width="1200"]Roku Streaming Stick+ Roku Streaming Stick+ |  Image: ROKU[/caption] Both players cost around $50, so choosing one should come down to your needs and what you expect from your streaming device in terms of available apps and channels. The Roku platform hosts a more extensive library of apps and channels and has a more versatile companion app, making it the clear winner in this comparison, unless you need Alexa functionality built into your remote or are already invested in the Amazon ecosystem. Streaming sticks are a great way to add streaming services to your TV, and both the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K and Roku Streaming Stick+ offer excellent features and functionality. When comparing these two models, it's clear that the Roku Streaming Stick+ offers more in terms of versatility and available apps and channels. However, if you're already invested in the Amazon ecosystem and need Alexa functionality built into your remote, the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K may be the better choice for you.

By Monica Green

I am specialised in latest tech and tech discoveries.


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