Which one’s better, Roku or Amazon Fire Stick? This debate divided fans into two groups. I am on Roku’s side and I have been pairing this streaming player with my Spectrum packages for years. But hey, this won’t be a biased review, I promise.
On the surface, both streaming players have a lot in common. They are affordable, both make streaming easy and both are compatible with a range of streaming services. On digging deeper, you will realize Roku is based on simple features whereas Amazon has flashy features.
Without further ado, let’s dig into the comparison:
Ease of Use
Launching apps in the Roku device is pretty simple. Its main menu displays a grid of icons and lets you quickly launch any compatible app. Use the channel store section to find an app you would like to launch.
When it comes to the home screen menu, Amazon Fire is a little cluttered. There are separate rows for the recent and favorite app along with a list of master app. Some people might enjoy this clutter but for a newbie or a non-tech savvy person, this can be overwhelming.
Roku and Fire Stick support all major streaming services. You will be swimming through a whole river of content. Both devices support Sling TV, Crackle, Netflix, Hulu Live TV, HBO, PBS, PBS Kids, PlayStation Vue, and more. Neither players support Apple content so far. However, you can add Apple podcasts as a private channel to Roku.
Ask anyone and they will say Roku has a better content collection. It’s even better than Android TV and Chromecast. The service has recently expected their lineup by adding free live channels and children’s genre.
Amazon Fire Stick has a modern interface. However, some critics have argued that this interface pushes the content too aggressively. Even if you haven’t subscribed to Amazon Prime Video, you will see content from it appearing on your home screen. This can be a bit annoying.
Roku allows you to customize the interface. All channels appear in a list, which is scrollable. You can also create shortcuts for the channels you watch frequently. Channels can also be placed into a group for smooth navigation.
Both platforms support voice control features. But hands down, Fire Stick wins here. It lets you launch videos and even music through the voice remote. The best part is if you have Echo speakers, you can easily launch shows and movies without even touching the remote.
If you are using Alexa, it will let you control your smart home devices, view the feed of your security camera, and let you ask general questions by using the fire TV remote. Roku players don’t offer that kind of control.
Amazon’s Basic Fire Stick costs $40. On the other hand, Roku’s basic model Roku Express costs $30. Its top model called Roku Ultra costs $50. It’s the Roku streaming stick.
Here, even if you settle for the cheapest deal which is Roku Express, it’s going to be a fair deal. You aren’t compromising on content at all!
4K TV Streaming
The comparison is Roku streaming stick plus and amazon fire TV stick 4k since they are designed for 4K streaming. The competition is close, like always, but Roku has the edge.
Roku lets you buy or rent 4K movies. Fire TV stick 4k is compatible with Dolby Vision HDR format. The users whose TV performs better with DV instead of HDR will find this useful.
The Key Differences
Apart from the differences mentioned above, let’s discuss some technical differences between the two. Roku supports HDR10 format. Amazon Fire TV devices support HDR10, HDR10+, and Dolby Vision.
Roku’s key selling point is it doesn’t care which streaming you are using. It now offers Roku Channel, a free ad-supported streaming service. This is a great option for cord-cutters.
There’s no winner in this Roku and Amazon Fire Stick comparison. Which streaming device to choose depends on your personal preference. Roku certainly has the edge when it comes to content, pricing, customization, and ease of use. On the other hand, if you don’t mind a learning curve, you will find Amazon Fire Stick is a nice option too.
Both streaming players support dual-band Wi-Fi. To connect the fire stick to a router, you can always purchase an Ethernet adapter. Nevertheless, pick any streaming device you like and start making the most of your Internet plans and streaming services.