Amazon Fire TV Cube vs. Fire TV Stick vs. Fire TV Stick 4K vs 4K Max: What should you buy?

Amazon Fire TV units both offer a very easy gateway to all of content material in the Amazon ecosystem — from Amazon's channels for cord-cutters to the entire apps you could ask for — and an inexpensive value besides. But when there are 4 other models — and three are all Fire Sticks — it can get confusing to determine which you should buy. 

The 4 distinct Amazon Fire TV units get started with the preferred 1080p Amazon Fire TV Stick and the new Fire TV Stick Lite, two inexpensive tactics to start streaming. Check out our Fire TV Stick vs Fire TV Stick Lite comparability for the main differences if you're searching for one thing affordable. 

For those that need UHD streaming, the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max and Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K are quite an identical, while the  Amazon Fire TV Cube is the bizarre egg out. All three, regardless that, offer UHD streaming. All of those units now be offering the similar Fire TV OS, thanks to an replace that took its sweet time to roll out.

With a Fire TV tool, you can get right of entry to nearly all of your favorite apps, like Netflix and Hulu.

We at Tom's Guide have examined and reviewed all of those Fire TV units (including the newly-updated Fire TV Stick 2020), and whilst one is arguably the most productive for the buck, they're all at least worth taking into account — especially for dedicated Amazon Prime subscribers. 

In terms of content (to not be puzzled with streaming high quality), the Fire Sticks and Cube all offer the same programming and apps. And since budgets are getting tighter and we are all in search of extra to circulation, Amazon lately added a Free tab to the highest of the Fire TV interface, that collects stuff you do not wish to pay to look at. 

An Amazon Fire TV Stick or Cube could be a tremendously helpful funding, particularly if you're stuck inside for an extended period of time. Not most effective can you watch TV and movies from Amazon, however you too can download various different streaming apps, keep an eye on your wise domestic with Alexa functionality and maybe even experience a couple of first rate games.

With the brand new Fire TV OS, you can set up personal profiles in order that your watchlist doesn't get mixed up with your kids' favorite displays. 

Here's how the Amazon Fire Cube vs. Fire Stick (in both of its configurations) shakes out:

Fire Cube vs. Fire Stick deals

At the time of publishing all five of the Fire TV streaming gadgets are on sale at Amazon, and the Cube has the largest sale of all of them. The Fire TV Cube is just $79, savings of $40. All of the sticks are some distance less expensive, regardless that.

That starts with the Fire TV Stick Lite at $17 ($12 off), and the Fire TV stick at $19 ($20 off) — tipping Amazon's hand that larger savings come on higher-priced units.

The Fire TV Stick 4K is now $25 ($25 off), a 50% bargain, and the Fire TV Stick 4K Max is $34 ($20 off). Of some of these streaming gadgets, Tom's Guide recommends the Fire TV Stick 4K Max essentially the most.

Fire Cube vs. Fire Stick: Size and design

One of the most important differences among the units is how they look (no less than between the Sticks and Cube). The Fire TV Stick is the smallest of the bunch: a small black rectangle measuring 3.3 x 1.Zero inches — and the Fire TV Stick Lite is just a bit better, at 3.4 x 1.2 inches. 

The Fire TV Stick 4K and 4K Max have the similar general design, however a bit larger, at 4.25 x 1.18 x 0.55 inches. To grasp Amazon's most cost-effective Fire TV streamer, take a look at our information for how to use the Fire Stick.

As the identify suggests, the Fire TV Cube includes a other appearance solely: a 3.4-inch sq. box. All four require consistent connection to a wall outlet; your TV can't supply enough energy for even the tiny Fire TV Stick through its USB ports.

While all five products are reasonably small, it is value taking into account how a lot house you have around your TV. If you have a lot of room, a Fire TV Cube will have compatibility simply fine; if now not, one of the most dongles should suffice.

Finally, best the Fire TV Cube helps Ethernet connections out of the box. You can buy an Ethernet adapter for both the Fire TV Stick or the Fire TV Stick 4K, however it is a bit of a daisy chain. Just keep that in mind if your Wi-Fi is not robust sufficient for 4K streaming (about 25 Mbps down).

Fire Cube vs. Fire Stick: 4K and HDR

Simply put: The Fire TV Cube, Fire TV Stick 4K and 4K Max give a boost to 4K resolutions and HDR protocols. The Fire TV Stick does now not. If you have a TV that maxes out at 1080p, the usual Fire TV Stick is okay; otherwise, you'll without a doubt want one of the vital other two gadgets.

Both the Fire TV Stick 4K, 4K Max and the Fire TV Cube toughen 4K solution and the HDR 10 and Dolby Vision protocols, which provide a far richer color gamut. Previously, this capability was once to be had best in the Fire TV Stick 4K, but a more moderen model of the Fire TV Cube has corrected the oversight.

Fire Cube vs. Fire Stick: Alexa integration

Like with regards to each Amazon system available on the market in recent times, all three Fire TV Sticks characteristic complete Alexa integration. This means that you can check the elements, manage your buying groceries list, glance up sports activities scores, research visitors stipulations and create impromptu playlists using most effective your voice. All four Fire TV models include voice remotes, so you can get started the use of Alexa as soon because the setup is complete.

However, the Fire TV Cube handles those options just a little bit better than its dongle opposite numbers. That's because in addition to being a streaming instrument, the Fire TV Cube may be a full-fledged Alexa speaker. That signifies that you can speak to it and provides it commands with no need to hold down a button on the faraway.

Furthermore — and it is a larger deal for folks with smart-home gadgetry — that implies that the Fire TV Cube can also regulate your lighting fixtures, thermostats and different IoT devices right out of the box. The Fire TV Stick and Fire TV Stick 4K can also do that, however you have to first connect them with an Amazon Echo speaker.

Briefly, then: If you need an Alexa-enabled speaker and a streaming instrument, however have neither, the Fire TV Cube is your most straightforward solution. If you already have an Echo speaker, or do not want one, one of the Fire TV Stick variants will likely be superb.

Fire Cube vs. Fire Stick: Remote controls

If you need a fancy faraway regulate, you're going to need to pay extra for it. The usual Amazon Fire TV Stick comes with a voice far flung, but that is about the most cutting edge factor about it. (Old-timers would possibly remember the fact that when it first got here out, the Fire TV Stick didn't have a microphone in any respect.) Otherwise, all it's got is the usual array of d-pad, confirm, play/pause, rewind, fast-forward, home, again and choices buttons.

The Fire TV Stick Lite remote drops the TV controls for energy and volume, so you might not want that instrument if you're looking to reduce down on clutter.

Both the Fire TV Stick 4K and the Fire TV Cube come with Amazon's upgraded Alexa far off. (Don't let the title confuse you; you can nonetheless use Alexa features with the regular voice far flung.) This faraway features four important buttons lacking from the fundamental voice far off: power, volume up, quantity down and mute. The Alexa far flung syncs robotically with your TV, and you can use it to keep an eye on the whole TV set — not simply the Fire TV participant.

While you may buy the Alexa far off for $30 by itself, considering that the Fire TV Stick prices $40 and the Fire TV Stick 4K $50, it's a a lot smarter idea to only buy the 4K stick if the far flung is a large deal to you. In my own tests, I discovered it lovely helpful.

Fire Cube vs. Fire Stick: Price and worth

As said above, the Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite is the most cost effective of the bunch at $30, adopted by way of the $40 Fire TV Stick, the Fire TV Stick 4K at $50 and the Fire TV Cube at $120. And at $55, the Fire TV Stick 4K Max is looking for a bit of greater than the 4K.

To put it bluntly, there may be virtually no explanation why somebody should put money into the Fire TV Stick, when the 4K variant is handiest $10 more and comes with a significantly better remote keep watch over. Not best will you be future-proofing your acquire, however you'll actually have a higher peripheral proper off the bat. And if performance and app open instances matter to you, get the Fire TV Stick 4K Max.

The Fire TV Cube, however, is a bit of dear unless you in particular want Echo-like speaker capability. If you have a smart-home setup, or want your very own digital assistant built into a versatile streaming field, the Fire TV Cube is sensible. But that is almost definitely a restricted market, particularly since I believe a large number of Amazon aficionados have already got an Echo speaker, or something equivalent that can respond to Alexa instructions.

In the battle of Fire Stick 4K vs. Fire Stick vs. Fire TV Cube, the $50 Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K represents the practical midpoint that should paintings easiest for many viewers. It has the most productive stability of value and capability.

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