What is a Fire TV Stick (2017)?
The new Amazon Fire TV Stick is a service’s second era of a cheapest video streaming device. It aims itself precisely during rivals such as Google Chromecast Ultra and Roku Streaming Stick, squeezing all of a streaming expertise into a dongle-sized device.
You can tide full HD video from Amazon Prime, as good as Netflix and a full register of a UK’s locate adult services. There are copiousness some-more apps besides, including Prime Music and Spotify, and entrance to Amazon’s flourishing games library.
So, what’s new? For a start, a interface has had a finish renovate to make it demeanour a lot prettier and easier to use. This will filter down to comparison inclination over time though, as will a Alexa voice control, so a genuine advantages of a new Stick are a faster processor and softened Wi-Fi.
Related: Amazon Echo review
Amazon Fire TV Stick (2017) – Design and build
The Amazon Fire TV Stick looks a bit like a memory hang on steroids and is designed to block true into an HDMI pier on your TV. It’s a neat all-in-one pattern housed in plastic. It will creak a small if squeezed, nonetheless feels tough adequate for purpose.
At 9cm prolonged and around 3cm deep, it will need a bit of room on your TV behind row though, utterly when we cruise creation room for a micro USB wire energy supply. Thankfully if this is too many of a squeeze, Amazon includes an HDMI extender in a box to giveaway adult some space.
The concomitant remote is a same one that you’ll find enclosed with a pricier Fire TV box. It’s flattering simple, charity a D-pad for navigation, a handful of playback controls and a all-important voice submit key. It’s good that this is enclosed now, nonetheless a iOS and Android app does an equally good pursuit and can activate a same Alexa commands.
Amazon Fire TV Stick (2017) – Set adult and interface
Setting adult your Fire TV Stick is unequivocally simple. Just block it into a gangling HDMI container on your TV, and a USB wire into a energy source. Some on-screen instructions will get your Alexa remote interconnected and a Fire TV Stick bending adult to your home network. Once you’re sealed into your Amazon account, you’re prepared to go.
If you’re informed with a prior Fire TV Stick, you’ll notice immediately that a interface has been redesigned. The categorical navigation menu has changed from a side to along a top, and a new picture-led carousel with suggested calm dominates a tip half of a screen. The thought is that a Fire TV Stick will learn your observation habits over time and tailor this to you, with video teasers to pull we in. During a week’s testing, a preference it flush softened to embody programmes and films I’d be some-more expected to choose, including calm from other providers like Netflix.
Detail pages have been softened too, with a vast design backdrop and some-more in-depth programme information. Once we start to watch a show, clicking upwards on a remote will open adult Amazon’s X-Ray IMDb feature, for anticipating about some-more about a cast.
Besides downloading apps, we found a homepage was a usually place we indispensable to be. In a side-scrolling menu underneath a carousel, you’ll find your new shows and apps for discerning access. Beneath that, we can crop and organize your downloaded apps, corkscrew by several menus of Prime suggested content, and even one for Netflix (subscription dependent).
That’s what’s utterly lovely about this chronicle of a Fire TV Stick. While Amazon Prime calm is still a bread and butter (and dominates a menus) it’s not as formidable to find calm from other providers as it was before.
For example, Amazon Prime offers Breaking Bad as a paid-for box set, since it’s giveaway to watch on Netflix. If we hunt for it, Fire TV will advise we watch it on Netflix first, with a choice to buy it in a “More Ways To Watch” menu. It feels some-more like it’s operative for a user, and not for itself, that is how it should be.
It’s still unequivocally many a device directed during Prime subscribers though, and I’d positively suggest signing adult for a use to get a many out of it. With a new monthly subscription choice (£7.99/$8.99 per month), it’s many some-more permitted now too. If you’re not meddlesome in Prime, we competence good find you’re softened serviced by a Chromecast or identical streaming stick.
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Amazon Fire TV Stick (2017) – Features
Alongside a new interface, a Amazon Fire TV Stick has seen some hardware upgrades too, including a new quad-core processor and softened Wi-Fi.
The new chipset promises to be 30% quicker, while a 802.11ac Wi-Fi ensures some-more quick streaming, quicker downloads and faster buffering. You’ll unequivocally notice this alleviation if your Fire TV Stick is a small serve divided from your router too, interjection to a softened opening range.
There’s still 8GB of on-board storage for apps and games and a same 1GB RAM as a predecessor, that is enough.
Amazon Fire TV Stick (2017) – Performance
Scrolling by a menus, it’s transparent that a new quad-core processor has given a Fire TV Stick a acquire boost of power. It positively feels slicker to crop and faster to load, as we crack in and out of menus and hunt for content.
Voice commands work unequivocally good for this too. Rather than regulating a Alexa arise authority as we would on a Amazon Echo, we press a symbol on a remote, reason it in and speak.
While I’ve seen voice remotes before, with a likes of a Fire TV Box, this is a initial time that Alexa has been built into a Fire TV product. She’s a lot cleverer than your customary voice authority system, so there’s now many some-more we can do.
The formula are quick and for a many partial accurate. You can hunt by actor, genre or film name, and during my tests, Alexa hasn’t misunderstood a singular command.
That said, some of a returned suggestions aren’t always as useful as they could be. A hunt for Brad Pitt offers adult 5 TV shows and cinema that don’t underline a actor during all, before bringing adult cinema like Seven and Inglourious Basterds. Similarly, a hunt for Jeremy Clarkson suggests a array of unfriendly films and shows before it surfaces Amazon’s possess The Grand Tour series.
Specific film or TV uncover searches transport many softened though, and offer adult identical titles as good approach matches. Searching for The Grand Tour this approach brings adult Top Gear as suggested watching, that creates many some-more sense.
Alexa’s talents don’t stop there though. You can also ask her about a weather, sports scores, check in on a news or get her to set a timer. New functionality also means we can ask her to quick brazen or rewind during Amazon shows, that works seamlessly.
The denunciation we can use to control her is also flattering flexible. She’ll respond to “fast brazen 5 minutes” in a same approach she does “skip forward 5 minutes”, that creates regulating it feel many some-more healthy than prior voice control systems.
No matter what you’re watching, playback is quick and buffering is quick – you’ll usually have to make do with a hairy design for a second or dual before a full fortitude kicks in and cinema demeanour crisp. By comparison, Chromecast takes a small longer to even out a design and isn’t utterly as quick to bucket content.
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Should we buy a Fire TV Stick (2017)?
The new Fire TV Stick doesn’t do anything revolutionary, nonetheless it does make a good product even better. And during £40, it’s usually £5 some-more than a original, and that’s firm to dump once Black Friday comes around.
The Alexa voice commands are a good approach to navigate, and a additional speed from a new processor and softened Wi-Fi creates regulating it a breeze.
With a new interface set to come to comparison inclination after down a line, and Alexa support too, owners of a strange Fire TV Stick competence not find a ascent immediately necessary. However, any Prime subscriber that hasn’t done a burst as nonetheless competence find themselves unequivocally tempted now.
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They competence be pointed improvements, nonetheless a new Fire TV Stick is all a softened for carrying them.