So 4K has been all the rage in the industryfor a long time now, and now Amazon Fire Stick has a 4K 10 bit HDR capable version.
So it is kind of self-explanatory, It’sa firestick, and it plays 4K.
But there’s more to it, as it is the fastestperforming firestick, and it comes with voice remote with Alexa integration.
So we are going to see how it performs, howversatile it is, and whether it is worth buying for your 4K display.
Hey guys, I am Siddharth, and this is FireStick 4K review.
In the box, you get an HDMI extension, soit can fit at back of your TV in case it doesn’t have enough space.
Then you have the power adapter, triple Abatteries from Amazon basics, you have the voice remote, and finally, the fire stickitself.
The firestick is actually not shaped likea stick.
It’s a rectangular block with an HDMI porton one side, and a microUSB port on one side for power.
You might be tempted to power this with yourTVs USB port, but the power adapter supplies 1 ampere of current, which I really don’tthink you’ll find in your TVs USB port, so you will have to use the power adaptersupplied, and have a wire hanging from the stick.
Installation to my TV required the use ofExtension cable provided, and I’d have preferred them also supplying a female to female HDMIadapter.
The Alexa voice remote that comes with thefirestick is really nice, it feels really premium in hand, the buttons are very tactile, and it’s designed very well.
It has a raised direction pad ring, whichis very easy to feel, and its glossy finish also makes this look very classy.
The remote also has extra buttons for skippingforward or backwards, and for playing and pausing.
They are very useful, and they also help innavigating through the interface as they work as shortcut buttons.
The remote pairs with your TV, so the powerand volume button on the firestick actually control the volume and power on your TV.
This is really great as you can basicallyoperate everything using just the firestick remote, but this also means that it cannotcontrol volume of Bluetooth devices that are connected to firestick.
The setup is pretty easy, just plug it into your HDMI port with power, and switch your TVs input.
It’ll connect to your WiFi and downloadupdates if it needs to.
Then you have to log in with your Amazon account, and you get to see a very nice intro video.
The interface of firestick is surprisinglygreat, it is very fluid, and the UI makes a lot of sense.
Amazon Prime Video takes up most of the homescreen, but you can go to app sections in one of the tabs.
Still, on the homescreen, the apps and videocontent are mixed up, which is something I am not a fan of, but you can access the appdrawer by holding the home button, and then selecting the apps icon.
And you also have a shortcut to the settingsmenu here.
The settings menu is pretty good, it’s simpleand fast navigating through it, and it also has some advanced features without complicatingthe menu system.
You can attach Bluetooth devices like keyboardsand speakers, and I would strongly recommend that you use a Bluetooth keyboard if you don’twant to feel like killing yourself while entering text.
I was hoping that you would be able to typeusing voice, but that isn’t possible with Alexa, which sucks, you can only give it thecommands it understands, otherwise, it’ll just search for whatever it doesn’t recognizeas a command.
You can ask it to do the usual Alexa stuffusing the voice remote, including checking weather, news, your Amazon orders, playingmusic and movies.
I found it to be somewhat limited than Alexaon Echo speakers, but it can still do much more than what you would want from your TV.
If you have an Echo device, you can ask itto play anything you want on the TV, including music and TV shows, you can also do this withthe remote, but doing it using the smart speaker will make the speaker seem more useful.
It’s also the cooler way of doing it, andyou also help Jeff Bezos stay the richest man on planet.
Coming to the performance, the firestick hasa MediaTek 8695 quad core CPU running at 1.
7 GHz, with 1.
5GB of RAM, and 8 GB of on boardstorage.
and I never found the interface slowing down, and 8 GB of storage is also okay for this kind of device.
But I wish there was more RAM on this device, as I expect at least 2 GB of RAM from something costing 6000 Rs.
Still, I never found it hanging or slowingdown, so I won’t say that it affects the performance.
But I don’t think it handles more than 2or 3 apps at the same time, so they will get killed, and will have to be reloaded.
You can browse internet using Silk browser, which is surprisingly silky and can handle complex web pages, and it also doesn’t requirea mouse to browser websites.
Other services like NetFlix and JioCinemaare also available, depending on which area you’re in, and it is also pretty well localizedfor different areas.
But youTube on firestick is the biggest concernfor most people, including me.
While you don’t have the full YouTube appanymore because Google and Amazon are not very good friends, you can access YouTubeusing the silk browser which basically takes you to YouTube.
com/leanback, and the experienceis surprisingly great, it really doesn’t feel like you are running it through a browser, and it feels identical to the full app.
And even when you select to play a video onyour phone on the TV, it will open YouTube through silk browser, and it’ll play justlike it gets played on the app.
So you really no issues there.
But if you’re like me and you prefer usingthe actual Android TV app, don’t worry, because you can install Andoird apps on firestick, including Kodi, YouTube, or the SmartYouTube app for an even better experience.
There are multiple ways to install apps, whichyou can google, but the simplest way I found was using the Apps2Fire app from play store.
You have to enable unknown sources and ADBon the firestick in developer options.
Then you have to note the IP address of firestickon your network, then use that in the app while it’s connected to the same wifi network, and install applications from your phone.
So being able to install Android apps makesthe firestick very versatile, and I am glad that they went with Android 7.
1, instead ofsome proprietary software.
You can also upload and download files usingthe FTP protocol, so if you don’t have any other option, you can play your local videofiles on it using MX Player, but wireless transfer is kind of slow, so transferringbigger files will take a while, and you may not be able to play those big blue ray filesif they are larger than 4-5 GB.
It supports all the formats you will likelyencounter, like HEVC and VP9, and also it supports all the audio codecs including DolbyAtmos.
Firestick also supports all video standards, and is also HDR enabled, supporting HDR10+ and HLG, so you can enjoy HDR content on yourHDR enabled panels.
And it also supports Dolby Vision, which isn’tavailable with the competition.
You can also game on the stick by connectinga Bluetooth controller, which I consider an insult to gaming in general, but you can playsome simple games, or keep your kids entertained with this poor man’s dark souls, which isactually harder than Dark Souls, so that is interesting.
You cannot cast your phone or computer screento Firestick like Miracast or Chromecast enabled devices, which is weird, but I never usedthat feature as I always find the video to be very visibly compressed.
So in conclusion, I can say that the new FireStick4K is a really great addition to your 4K TV.
It is not the cheapest solution, but it actuallyoffers great value when you consider that it supports all kinds of audio and video codecsavailable, along with newer HDR standards, which makes it future proof, it is also prettyfast and fluid, and feels better to operate than my Mi TV Box 3.
I also really like the interface, and preferit over the new Android TV Oreo interface, because it’s simpler while still being functional.
Amazon Prime video and music are extremelycheap in India, and it is not easy to play Amazon prime on other smart TVs and boxes, and requires some workarounds with mouse which is just too complicated for a comfortableviewing experience, but firestick also integrates well with other services like Netflix andeven JioCinema, so you have everything covered.
Alexa is also very powerful, and can helpwith many things outside of the TV.
And you can also install apps like other Androiddevices which makes it very versatile.
The only drawback here is that you cannotplug in pen drives like Android boxes, so you will have to do some advanced wirelessfile transfer if you want to play those pirated episodes of Game of Thrones.
So I hope this video was helpful for you inin deciding whether it’s worth going for the Firestick 4K.
You can buy it from my affiliate links inthe description below.
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