As we wrote a few weeks ago we just received an Amazon Fire TV Stick to our office and we promised than in the coming weeks we would publish several articles related to the Amazon Fire TV Stick. After a few weeks of using it on a daily basis we are ready to share our first impressions of the Amazon Fire TV Stick, so in other words this is our Amazon Fire TV Stick review.
The Amazon Fire TV Stick has quite a lot in common with the Amazon Fire TV, but still we are focusing on the Fire TV Stick in this review. It is important to tell that the price for the Fire TV Stick is 39 USD, but it can not be bought worldwide, but only in a few selected nations (where Amazon Prime is available). In other words you will not be able to order the Amazon Fire TV Stick if you live in Norway, Hungary, Spain and so on. There are of course solutions to the problem still, and you can read more about ordering the Fire TV Stick abroad here.
It is natural to compare the Amazon Fire TV Stick to the Google Chromecast, because they are in the same price category and they are doing mostly the same for you. However, in our opinion the Amazon Fire TV Stick is way more practical than the Google Chromecast and the keyword is the remote control. It is not at all an advanced remote you get with the Fire TV Stick, but it is a remote, and it means that you do not at all need to stress with casting your screen from a mobile device, a tablet or a computer, but with the remote you can do mostly anything. You can of course cast your screen as well, but you do not need to do so for Amazon Instant Videos, Prime Videos, Netflix and similar services to work.
With the remote you can easily start up everything, download applications, listen to the radio, take a look at your Amazon Photos, watch an Instant Video, start Netflix and find the film you want to watch and download a screensaver which will turn your TV into an aquarium, if you want to. The prices are somewhat similar, but the Amazon Fire TV Stick is much more powerful than the Chromecast with better hardware on the inside.
Installing Android apps on the Fire TV Stick
One major advantage with the Fire TV Stick is that you can upload Android apps from your Android device to the Fire TV Stick. Since the amount of apps originally setup for the Amazon Fire TV Stick is limited, you might long for some other applications to be added to the Fire TV Stick, and it is possible. You can read more about uploading Android apps to your Fire TV Stick here. It works, but not perfectly though, because most Android apps are not made for working with the Fire TV Stick and the remote, but with some modifications and a virtual mouse, you can still get this working.
Other aspects of the Fire TV Stick
Many reviews written about the Amazon Fire TV Stick says that it is almost worthless without an Amazon Prime subscription. We do not agree, because without an Amazon Prime subscription it still works great, you can just not enjoy the advantages of your Prime subscription (such as the free TV shows and films, free photo storage and more). However, you can still download Amazon Instant Videos and enjoy all the other apps available with the Amazon Fire TV Stick. We also read that someone found it hard to differ from content included in the Prime subscription and content for which you would need to pay (Instant Videos), but that can be seen quite easily as you look around inside the menus, so no need to worry about that. But, if you should give the remote to your kids, then you might want to activate the PIN code, which makes them have to enter the PIN before buying content from Amazon Instant Video or from the Amazon Store (apps etc).
Fire TV Stick review conclusion
After using this for a couple of weeks we are really happy about it and we have in fact not used the Chromecast for a couple of weeks as a result of the Amazon Fire TV Stick arrival. The main difference is the remote which simply makes life much easier, especially when dealing with VPN connections or SmartDNS solutions. If you have your router setup properly you just start the TV and with the remote you start whatever program you want to easily. Go ahead and try it if you need such a device. If you have tried it or maybe you have a question, feel free to write in the comment field beneath.