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Amazon Fire TV devices are designed to deliver easy access to all of the best streaming services. Fire TV products are some of the top streaming devices you can buy, and you can choose between different stick, cube, and full-fledged smart TV models.
Entry-level Fire TV devices, like the budget-friendly Fire TV Stick Lite, offer full HD playback, while the best Fire TV models, like the new 2023 Fire TV Stick 4K Max, support 4K video and Dolby Vision for enhanced color and contrast. Amazon also sells actual smart TVs that have the Fire TV operating system (OS) built right in. Though these sets don’t rank among the best TVs you can buy, they are decent budget options for fans of Amazon’s ecosystem.
But with so many different Fire TV models to consider, it can be tricky to figure out which one is the right for your needs. To help you pick the best Fire TV for your entertainment setup, we’ve detailed all the ins and outs of each model.
How to get a great deal on the best Fire TV devices
The best Fire TVs often drop to all-time low prices during sales like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Prime Day. Ahead of Black Friday 2023, we’re already seeing big discounts on the entire lineup, including 50% off the latest Fire TV Stick 4K, and a Fire TV Stick Lite for just $16.
Sale prices could drop even more once Black Friday officially rolls around on November 24. Check out our Black Friday deals roundup for all of the latest discounts throughout the sale.
Fire TV Stick Lite
The Fire TV Stick Lite is the best Fire TV you can snag on a budget. Like the company’s other Stick models, this compact dongle plugs right into your TV’s HDMI port.
When it comes to general performance, the Fire TV Stick Lite matches the quality of the more expensive Fire TV Stick. The only real difference between this model and the regular Fire TV Stick is its remote. The Lite includes an Alexa Voice Remote Lite, which lacks TV controls, like power and guide buttons. Other than that, both models are basically the same.
The Fire TV Stick Lite offers streaming at up to 1080p resolution, which is a perfect fit for an HDTV. The device also supports high dynamic range (HDR) using the HDR10 and HDR10+ formats. This feature delivers enhanced colors and contrast when streaming HDR videos on apps like Disney Plus. That said, most TVs that support HDR are 4K models, and if you have a 4K TV, we highly recommend you pay a bit more for one of Amazon’s 4K sticks.
If your TV doesn’t support 4K, the Fire TV Stick Lite will suit your streaming needs just fine. Keep in mind, however, the standard Fire TV Stick occasionally goes on sale for even less than the Lite. When that happens, there’s really no reason to consider this model.
Fire TV Stick
The standard Fire TV Stick matches the 1080p streaming quality of the Lite model but has an improved remote with controls for your TV and extra buttons for Netflix, Disney Plus, Hulu, and Prime Video.
The base Fire TV Stick will meet the HD streaming needs of most people, unless you own a 4K TV, in which case we recommend spending the extra money for one of Amazon’s more advanced 4K streaming devices.
Fire TV Stick 4K
As the name suggests, the Fire TV Stick 4K streams at a higher resolution than the Fire TV Stick or Stick Lite. With 4K support, you’ll get a sharper, more detailed image when watching 4K content on a 4K TV.
This model carries over high dynamic range (HDR) playback but adds support for the more advanced Dolby Vision format, which is missing on the Lite and standard Fire TV Stick. It also comes with more memory.
The latest version of the Fire TV Stick 4K was released in September 2023, and it now features a slightly tweaked design with rounded edges and an improved processor that Amazon says is around 25% faster than the first-gen model. It also now supports Wi-Fi 6 if you have a compatible router.
If you have a 4K TV, this model is a good fit. However, if you’re willing to spend $10 more, the Fire TV Stick 4K Max offers slightly better performance.
Fire TV Stick 4K Max
The Fire TV Stick 4K Max carries over everything you’ll get on the regular Fire TV Stick 4K, while offering a faster processor and GPU, as well as more memory. This makes navigation a little snappier and lets you store more apps and games.
Amazon updated the Fire TV Stick 4K Max in September 2023, and the newest model has rounded edges, an upgraded processor compared to the previous generation, double the amount of storage, and new support for Wi-Fi 6E routers. Unlike other Fire TV Sticks, the 4K Max also supports Amazon’s Fire TV Ambient Experience, which lets you display art and photos, along with widgets for things like weather and your calendar.
The Fire TV Stick 4K Max is typically just $10 more than the standard Fire TV Stick 4K, so we think it’s the best Fire TV choice for people with 4K TVs.
Fire TV Cube
The Fire TV Cube is the best Fire TV device when it comes to pure processing power. It incorporates all the features of the Fire TV Stick 4K Max, but has a beefier CPU and is meant to be a more traditional home theater device. Instead of a stick you plug directly into your TV’s HDMI port, the Cube is a compact box that sits on your TV stand.
The benefits of the larger device include built-in voice controls without using a remote. In other words, the Cube can act like an Echo Dot. The newest model also has an HDMI passthrough port to control cable boxes, twice as much storage space as the Stick models, 4K upscaling to make HD videos look better, and overall faster performance.
The Fire TV Cube is a premium streaming box designed to compete with devices like the Apple TV 4K and the Roku Ultra, so it’s best suited for home theater enthusiasts who want the absolute best quality and fastest technology.
Fire TV 2-Series
Amazon now sells its own lineup of full-fledged smart TVs, and they all use a built-in version of the Fire TV OS found on other Fire TV products. This means you can stream you favorite apps without an extra device. The 2-Series is Amazon’s entry-level HDTV model designed for people who just want a basic smart TV for casual viewing.
The 2-Series is available in 32 inches with a 720p screen, or 40 inches with a 1080p screen. Both models support HDR processing using the standard HDR10 format, but the 2-Series can’t deliver the brightness or color performance needed to really take advantage of high dynamic range playback. For this reason, we only recommend this model for people who want a cheap TV that doesn’t take up too much space.
Fire TV 4-Series
The 4-Series makes the jump from HD to Ultra HD with a 4K resolution screen. Models are available in 43-, 50-, and 55-inch screen sizes.
Though it supports 4K playback, the 4-Series still has very basic HDR picture performance and it lacks advanced features like wide color support and Dolby Vision. It’s a decent TV for buyers who want a smaller, affordable display for a bedroom, but it’s not suited for home theater use.
Fire TV Omni Series
The Omni Series Fire TV steps things up with built-in support for hands-free Alexa voice control without needing to use the remote. You can control power, volume, navigation, and search with spoken commands though the TV’s built-in microphones. And the TV can also serve as an Alexa smart home hub even when the display is off.
Models range in size from 43 to 75 inches. Every model supports 4K resolution and HDR, and the 65- and 75-inch models add support for Dolby Vision.
Unfortunately, the TV’s picture quality and navigation speed are underwhelming for its price. There are simply much better looking smart TVs from brands like TCL, Hisense, and Vizio in this price range. That said, the Omni is a decent buy when it’s on sale during deal events like Black Friday and Prime Day. We only recommend picking up the 65-inch model when you can snag it for under $500.
Check out our Amazon Fire TV Omni review.
Fire TV Omni QLED Series
Amazon’s Omni QLED is the best Fire TV display you can buy, and it offers a big step up from the regular Omni Series. It carries over hands-free Alexa support, while adding advanced picture features like quantum dots and local dimming. These feature enable it to deliver much better color and contrast performance.
The TV also has a smart ambient mode that can display art and widgets when it senses that someone has walked into the room. Sizes range from 43 to 75 inches. The 65-inch model’s list price of $800 is a bit high for what you get, but when it’s on sale for $600, it’s a solid value.
Check out our full Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED review.
Fire TV Soundbar
Amazon’s latest Fire TV-branded product isn’t actually a streaming device at all. Instead, it’s a soundbar.
The Fire TV soundbar is a compact 2.0-channel speaker that’s designed to rest in front of your TV. It features an HDMI eARC and optical port for easy connection to most modern TVs, and it also supports Bluetooth for wireless music playback from a mobile device.
At 24 inches wide, the soundbar is relatively small, which should make it easy to set up on most TV stands. Though it doesn’t include a subwoofer or integrate advanced features like upfiring audio drivers, the Fire TV Soundbar does support DTS Virtual:X to simulate surround sound. That said, buyers shouldn’t expect too much from this feature in this price range.
And despite the Fire TV branding, this is a soundbar only. It does not feature built-in support for streaming video apps. The base model only includes a standard remote, but you can pay more to get a package that includes an Alexa Voice Remote Pro.
Based on the specs and affordable $120 price tage, it looks like Amazon is positioning this as an entry-level soundbar for people who just want a simple, compact, and inexpensive upgrade for their TV’s speakers.