- The Roku Streaming Stick 4K is the best alternative to a Fire Stick, offering a different experience with comparable pricing and performance.
- The Chromecast with Google TV 4K is a stylish alternative with a clean user interface and streaming capabilities, although it is more expensive than the Fire Stick 4K.
- The Apple TV 4K is a premium choice with a powerful A15 Bionic chip, smooth UI, and access to a wide range of streaming apps.
- The Fire TV Stick Lite is a budget-friendly alternative for HDTVs, offering all the essential features and access to major streaming apps.
- The NVIDIA SHIELD Android TV Streaming Media Player is the best choice for gamers, with access to GeForce Now and Google Play Games, AI-enhanced upscaling, and full HDR support.
The Amazon Fire Stick is one of the top-selling streaming devices on the planet, but is it the best? We aim to answer that question in our search for the best Fire Stick alternatives on the market now. Amazon’s streaming stick has a major advantage with Alexa but is far from a perfect device. After reviewing the options, our top picks for the best Fire Stick alternatives are:
- Best Overall: Roku Streaming Stick 4K
- Best User Interface: Google Chromecast with Google TV 4K
- Premium Pick: Apple TV 4K
- Best Budget Pick: Fire TV Stick Lite
- Best for Gamers: NVIDIA SHIELD Android TV Streaming Media Player
Best Overall: Roku Streaming Stick 4K
- Hides behind your TV
- Streams in 4K, Dolby Vision, and HDR10+
- Start streaming channels like Disney+, Netflix, Apple TV+, and more quickly
- Long-range Wi-Fi
- Voice search and control with Alexa
Roku is one of the more prolific manufacturers of streaming devices, and the Roku Streaming Stick 4K is the best alternative to a Fire Stick. While it provides a completely different experience, pricing and performance are comparable.
From a design standpoint, this streaming dongle isn’t much different from the Fire Stick. It’s a bit sleeker, although still designed to stay out of sight when connected to a TV. It has a voice remote and streams in 4K with Dolby Vision and HDR 10+ support. While you won’t get Dolby Atmos, there’s a wealth of content available to enjoy.
One of the perks of a Roku streaming device is the Channel Store. It’s filled with entertainment apps, including popular options like Disney+, Apple TV, and Crunchyroll. More than 300 live channels are also available on the Roku Streaming Stick 4K. You can use the device with all three major voice assistants as well.
If you’re accustomed to Amazon’s layout, the Roku Streaming Stick 4K can take some getting used to. That’s the only drawback, however, unless you need Dolby Atmos support. The HD version of this streaming stick is cheaper, or there’s a premium version with a rechargeable remote. Check out the Roku Streaming Stick 4K on Amazon.
|It streams in 4K with Dolby Vision and HDR10+.
|It doesn’t support Dolby Atmos.
|The Roku Channel store is filled with entertainment apps.
|Roku’s UI can be an acquired taste.
|It’s compatible with Google, Alexa, and Siri.
|There is a Private Listening mode.
Best User Interface: Chromecast with Google TV 4K
- Streaming in up to 4K HDR quality
- Dedicated Google Assistant button on the included remote
- Stream over 700,000 TV shows and films
- Supports Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Instant Video, Google TV, and YouTube
- Compatible with most TVs with an HDMI port
Chromecast with Google TV 4K is the best alternative to a 4K version of the Fire Stick when you appreciate a clean UI and clever integration. It’s also the most stylish streamer to make the cut, even if it will largely remain out of sight.
The latest version of Google’s Chromecast is their best to date. While larger and around 10 grams heavier than comparable streamers, it has a distinct style that matches the remote. It’s also one of the only media streamers of this nature that’s available in unique colors like Sky or Sunrise.
Chromecast with Google TV doesn’t disappoint with its streaming capabilities. It’s a 4K streamer with Dolby Vision and HDR10+. The audio is crisp with Dolby Atmos support, and it’s just as smart as Amazon’s stick. Chromecast is designed around Google Assistant with voice control and easy access to Google TV.
The Chromecast is typically more expensive than the Fire Stick 4K and doesn’t have a massive channel store like Roku. With that in mind, it does provide a much smoother interface and works with all major streaming apps. The HD version of Chromecast with Google TV has the same style and features but is half the price. Check out Google Chromecast with Google TV 4K on Amazon.
|You can expect excellent image quality and audio.
|It’s one of the pricier streamers.
|It has Dolby Vision and HDR10+ support.
|It’s larger than the Fire Stick.
|There is a clean, easy-to-use interface.
|It’s available in multiple colors.
Premium Pick: Apple TV 4K
Streaming sticks will get the job done, but when you want a device designed for home entertainment, the Apple TV 4K is the best choice. Apple’s streaming box is a fantastic streamer and has considerably more power than comparable devices.
Apple’s streaming box may look simple, but looks can be deceiving. This Apple TV 4K is powered by Apple’s A15 Bionic processor. It’s snappier than streaming sticks or boxes from Roku and Amazon while designed around entertainment. That means you’ll have access to every major streaming app under the sun, along with Apple’s original content.
Apple TV is integrated into this box, which has arguably the best UI around. It’s easy to navigate with full HDR10+, Dolby Vision, and Atmos support. The Sire-based remote is another perk of this streamer. Enjoy games on the big screen? That’s also possible with Apple TV courtesy of Apple Arcade.
Apple’s media streamer carries a premium price tag like most of their products but is well worth it if you want the best. It’s larger than a Fire Stick but smaller than Fire TVs and comes in two different sizes at 64GB or 128GB. As a bonus, the 128GB Apple TV 4K also has an Ethernet port. Check out the Apple TV 4K on Amazon.
|It has Apple’s fast A15 Bionic chip.
|The price tag is a bit steep.
|There is a smooth UI and Apple integration.
|It’s not a great choice if you don’t like Apple.
|You have access to a wealth of streaming apps, including Apple TV.
|It’s the cheapest version of Apple TV 4K yet.
Best Budget Pick: Fire TV Stick Lite
- Stream in 1080p Full HD
- Over 300,000 free movies and TV episodes from ad-supported apps like Freevee, Tubi, and Pluto TV
- Supports Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+, Peacock, and more
- Alexa Voice Remote Lite
- Stream music with Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, and others
The Amazon Stick is an excellent streamer, but the Fire TV Stick Lite is a better fit for consumers with an HDTV. It’s also the cheapest way to turn a dumb TV smart, which makes it a fine alternative to the company’s other streaming devices.
Amazon’s cheaper Fire Stick looks just like a regular one, but there are some important changes. Despite the “Lite” name, it still comes with the Alexa voice remote. You can use it to search for content on the company’s platform, although it’s not quite as smart as their standard remote. The biggest change is resolution, as the Fire TV Stick Lite isn’t geared for 4K sets.
This streaming stick caps the resolution at 1080p, just like the regular Fire TV stick. The difference is the audio and remote. The Lite version doesn’t have TV controls on the remote or Atmos. Dolby is only available via pass-through on this streamer. It still has HDR support, however, and the same internal specs as the more expensive Fire Stick.
If you’re just getting started with streaming and don’t mind Amazon’s ecosystem, you’ll love the Fire Stick Lite. It has all the features you could want, including access to all the big streaming apps. The Alexa voice remote is a bonus for the price, and the streaming quality is just as good as it is on their pricier streaming stick. Check out the Fire TV Stick Lite on Amazon.
|There is a budget-friendly price tag.
|The UI can feel sluggish at times.
|It comes with an Alexa voice remote.
|There are no TV controls on the remote.
|It’s easy to set up and use.
|You get access to all major streaming apps.
Best for Gamers: NVIDIA SHIELD Android TV Streaming Media Player
- Stream in 4K HDR
- Supports Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos
- AI-enhanced upscaling
- GeForce NOW cloud gaming
- Built-in Google Assistant and compatible with Alexa
If you’re a gamer interested in a streaming device, the NVIDIA SHIELD TV is the best alternative to the Fire Stick. NVIDIA designed their streamer with gamers in mind, but it’s a great addition to any entertainment system as well.
While this streaming device will fit behind a TV, you may want to show it off. This cylindrical streamer is around 6.5 inches long and powerful. A Tegra X1+ processor handles the load with some help from 2GB of RAM. It also has 8GB of expandable storage, dual-band Wi-Fi, a microSD card slot, and an Ethernet port.
The connectivity options are strong on the Shield TV for a good reason. You can use it to access GeForce Now and play high-end games from the cloud. You’ll also get access to Google Play Games. The Shield TV streams in 4K with support for all major HDR formats and voice control through Google Assistant.
From its unique design to its sheer power, there are a lot of reasons to love the revamped NVIDIA Shield TV. The upscaling and streaming capabilities are top-tier, and the only real drawback is the price. It’s more than Apple’s streamer, although that box doesn’t allow you to game from an RTX 3080. Check out the NVIDIA SHIELD Android TV Streaming Media Player on Amazon.
|You get access to GeForce Now and Google Play Games.
|It has a premium price point.
|The device uses NVIDIA’s Tegra X1+ processor and 2GB of RAM.
|It’s overkill if you want a simple streamer.
|This option has Google Assitant with smart home integration.
|It has AI-enhanced upscaling and full HDR support.
How to Pick the Best Fire Stick Alternatives: Step by Step
Streaming boxes and sticks are relatively simple devices with one purpose, they allow you to cast content to a TV. While they all have that in common, areas like the user interface and content make a huge impact on the overall experience.
- Ease of Use
Let’s look at each of these considerations in more detail.
Ease of Use
There are more ways to cast content to TVs and other displays than ever before. Devices like the Fire Stick help make things easy, and so do voice remotes. It’s a standard feature on most, but not all, streaming sticks along with shortcut buttons.
Many remotes have buttons dedicated to services like Netflix or Disney+. This allows you to quickly access platforms with the touch of a button. The UI or user interface also plays a large part in ease of use. Some platforms have cluttered UIs, while others take a more seamless approach.
If you’ve shopped for Fire Stick alternatives, you may have noticed most companies have more than one model. You can choose a streamer based on resolution, so there are HD models and 4K streaming devices.
Any streaming stick that casts in full HD will be cheaper but can have the same features as pricer models. That means you can still enjoy HDR and voice remotes while streaming content in 1080p. Alternatively, 4K streaming devices cast at a much higher resolution and are geared towards 4K TV sets.
One of the reasons devices like the Fire Stick are so popular are the apps that come along with them. Roku, Apple, Amazon, and Google all have their own storefronts where you can download streaming apps.
The amount of content you can obtain through these platforms is staggering, even if they all provide access to the same services for the most part. You’ll find Max, Disney+, Hulu, and Netflix on every popular streaming device, and even Apple TV has become a common app.
While some apps are missing from certain streamers, you shouldn’t let content dictate your choice of streaming device. If there’s a certain app you’re interested in, check the device’s app store beforehand.
What to Know Before Buying Fire Stick Alternatives
Streaming devices like the Fire Stick all work in a similar fashion, but some are snappier than others. You don’t need to look for a device with high-end specs, but there’s a huge difference in performance between something like the Fire Stick and the Apple TV 4K.
It’s also important to keep form factor in mind. Streaming sticks don’t take up much space, but they could require power or block an HDMI port. All the top Fire Stick alternatives will come with a voice remote, and most allow you to control these devices with a mobile app.
Using Fire Stick Alternatives: What It’s Like
If you’re transitioning from using a Fire Stick to a Roku or Chromecast, you should have no trouble figuring things out. The biggest change will be the interface. It can take some time to adjust to the location of the apps and the settings. You may also notice a difference in performance if upgrading to a premium streaming device.
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