Roku Stick vs Amazon Fire Stick 2017 Review

Roku Stick vs Amazon Fire Stick 2017 review

Thinking of buying a streaming media stick? Streaming media sticks are a very portable inexpensive way to turn any dumb TV into a smart TV. Media sticks are portable versions of a media player. They have many of the features that set-top media players do with fewer options and limited memory. Lets have a closer look with our Roku Stick vs Amazon Fire Stick 2017 Review

Streaming Sticks are ideal for students on the go or for a second portable streaming device to use in your home. Two major players on the market are the Amazon Fire Stick and the Roku Media Stick. We will compare in this Roku Stick vs Amazon Fire Stick 2017 review which one is right for you.

If you are a spec guy below is a full chart. You can look at the specs but this article will focus more on the actual user experience by comparing side by side performance experience and usability.


Our Test

We set up two TVs side by side one with the Roku Stick and one with the Amazon Fire Stick. We went through different Apps and streaming providers and compared speed and user experience.

First Start Up

At first startup, the Roku Stick launches faster than the Amazon Fire Stick. But it can lag occasionally with certain apps loading.

Amazon Fire Home Screen

Streaming Provider Apps at start up

Netflix

Cold start Amazon Fire Stick launches faster and starts programs slightly faster than the Roku Stick.

Futurama

Cold start Roku is faster, but overall once started up the Amazon Fire TV is slightly faster at launching programs and apps.

PlayStation View

Cold start the Roku is faster-running programs and apps.

Amazon Prime TV

Cold Start Amazon Fire is faster and navigation with the built in amazon prime app makes the Amazon slightly faster than the Roku.


Remotes:

Both android streaming devices come with a smart remote for ease of navigation. Both are very different in style. Whereas the Amazon Fire remote is sleek and modern with a heavy apple influenced style reminiscent of the first iPods. The Roku is more colorful and playful. I believe they did this for the gaming apps. So the remote would have a more Wii feel.

The first impression is the Amazon remote has a better quality feel than the Roku. Voice command app needs to be downloaded for the Roku on your smartphone.The Amazon Fire sticks come preinstalled with voice command and the remote comes with a built-in microphone. Note: the voice command on the Amazon Fire Stick only works in the Amazon Prime environment. The Roku app works with most media services. But you will have to use your smartphone as a controller.

Overall reviews and feedback I have read is the Roku is a better remote with four quick-launch buttons for Netflix, Amazon, Blockbuster On Demand and M-Go and once voice command is loaded it works better than the Amazon Fire Stick


Available Content.

Both sticks support about every major streaming provider. See chart bellow for listing Omitted from Amazon Fire Stick is HBO GO. Roku has been in the business longer and supports just about everything. If there is not and official Roku support channel chances are that an unofficial version is available and can be manually downloaded.

Games

From feedback and reviews, the Amazon Fire Stick works better for games than the Roku. In the last year, Amazon has increased their game library to more than 200. If you are a serious gamer Amazon fire gaming edition offers a gaming version complete with game controller.

Features

The Roku Stick has an extra feature that the Amazon Fire Stick does not have. The Roku will remember where you where on another an App. Whereas the fire TV Stick does a cold start and exits out of the App. This feature navigates from one app to the next without having to reboot the app making the Roku better to navigate if you like to jump from one streaming provider to another. When using the Roku voice command app you can search through many apps at once.

One thing that the Amazon Fire TV stick has that is a big bonus is basically you are getting a fully functional Alexa Voice Control that can do much more then just surfing channels. The same full system as on a Amazon Echo that sells for around $100 dollars.   

Both Media Player support many streaming services

Both media Player support Apps like Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Videos, and Spotify. See Chart below Since they are both powered by android, KODI can easily be installed.

If you subscribe to Amazon Prime TV and live in the States then the Amazon Fire Stick would be a good choice. Being that it costs $10 less than the Roku and has more features and memory the Amazon Fire Stick would be your best choice.

For Canadians, the Amazon Fire Stick is only available on the US Amazon site and will not deliver to Canada. It can be done by signing up with a US mailbox Site but there would be additional delivery fees. Here is a complete guide How to Buy Amazon Fire TV if you live in Canada if you are bound and determined to get Fire TV in Canada to make it worth it I would move up to the Amazon Fire TV .Click to see our review.

Conclusion 

  • If speed is a major factor and you live in Canada the Roku Stick is your best choice
  • If you need internal storage to download files the Amazon Fire would be a better choice with 8 GB of storage versus 256MB on the Roku Stick
  • If you are an Amazon Prime subscriber and use it often then the Fire TV Stick will work better for you.
  • Both models are ideal for a portable compact device for that second TV in your home.
  • But if you need more features and memory then moving up to a set top box for a few dollars more may be a better choice as your main player in the house.

Overall the two devices are pretty well equal in performance. If you are familiar with Roku and have Roku products now, a Roku stick would be a great second media device in your home. They can also be purchased in Canada, unlike the Amazon Fire TV.

If you like the idea of having voice commands to search for produces and other cool features like turning lights on and making grocery lists then the Amazon Fire TV with Alexa Voice Control is a great choice to start building your smart home. 


Features Included

Roku Stick

Amazon Fire Stick

Memory


Comes with remote

Controller app

Voice Search

Cross platform Search

Bluetooth

Wireless Networking 

Audio outputs

Video sound outputs

Online Streaming Video

Quad-Core 512/256 MB


Yes

Android, IOS,Windows  Phone, BB10


Yes

Yes

No

802.11 (b/g/n) dual-band 

Up to 1080p

DTS Digital Surround 

AOL On

Break

Dailymotion

DISHWorld

Livestream

M-Go

Plex

Popcornflix

Redbox

Twonky

Vimeo

VUDU

Yahoo Screen

YouTube

Quad-Core 1 GB 8GB


Yes

Android, IOS

Yes via app or remote upgrade.

Alexa Voice Control

Limited

4.1802.11 (b/g/n) dual-band

Up to 1080p

Dolby Audio 5.1 Surround 

AOL On

DailyBurn

Frequency

Plex

Vimeo

Yahoo Screen

YouTube

Movies and TV

Amazon Instant Video

Blockbuster on Demand

CinemaNow

Crackle

Fixter

Hulu

Netflix

Sling TV

Snagfilms

Crackle​

Fixter

Hulu

Netflix

Sling TV

Snagfilms


Sports

CBSSports.com

DishWorld Sports

ESPN

MLB.TV

Golf

MLS.LIVE

NBA Game Time

NHL GameCenter

SEC Digital Network

UFCTV

WatchESPN

WWE Network

ACC

Golf

MLB.TV

NBA Game Time

WatchESPN

WWE Network


Streamingpete

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Streamingpete

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