Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max

1 month ago 30

The Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max caters mostly to Amazon Prime members and Alexa-based astute location owners, but it’s inactive an undeniably almighty instrumentality astatine an affordable price. We don’t emotion however Amazon’s implemented ads connected the location leafage and person issues with search, but we inactive consciousness this is the champion streaming instrumentality for Amazon Prime subscribers.

For

  • 4K HDR streaming
  • Access to Amazon Luna
  • Dolby Vision / Atmos / HDR10+
  • Voice distant with Alexa

Against

  • Too galore sponsored ads
  • Homescreen previews are low-res
  • Search inactive could beryllium better
  • Luna tin beryllium unstable

30-second review

The Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max pushes the streaming instrumentality signifier origin to its apex, offering faster show and enactment for the latest Wi-Fi standards. 

That said, portion there’s been a batch of enactment done nether the hood, the idiosyncratic interface for Amazon’s latest streamer remains the aforesaid arsenic erstwhile years and focuses broadly connected Amazon’s cardinal streaming service, Amazon Prime Video. That past spot makes it a large streaming instrumentality for Amazon Prime members and a alternatively lousy 1 if you don’t privation to ammunition retired for Amazon’s all-in-one subscription service. 

The bully quality is that video streaming is lone fractional of what a Fire Stick tin bash – it’s capable to besides support way of your astute location devices and supports Amazon’s Luna crippled streaming work – making it a large rival to Google’s fantabulous Chromecast with Google TV

It’s not perfectly flawless and the constricted advertizing mightiness annoy immoderate folks, but for anyone who loves Alexa, shops with Prime and is funny successful Amazon’s experimentation successful crippled streaming, the affordable Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max is simply a triple threat. 

Price and merchandise day  

The Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max dropped connected October 7, 2021 and is retailing for $55 / £55 / AU$99. That’s conscionable a fewer bucks much than the older Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K, and you’re getting a large boost successful show arsenic good arsenic the Wi-Fi 6 antenna. 

Of course, we don’t expect that to beryllium the last terms for the 4K Max. Around Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Amazon Prime Day, we’re expecting to spot immoderate immense discounts connected the streamer arsenic Amazon attempts to vie with akin deals from Roku and Google.

Speaking of Roku and Google, it’s worthy noting that determination are rival devices to the 4K Max that connection a batch of the aforesaid functionality – namely, the Chromecast with Google TV and caller Roku Streaming Stick 4K (2021). Both enactment Dolby Vision HDR and galore of the aforesaid services, nevertheless neither person entree to Luna. All 3 are large for antithetic types of customers, truthful it’s worthy visiting each 3 reviews earlier you marque a decision.

Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max connected  a java  table

(Image credit: Future)

Design

If you were to lone look astatine the extracurricular of the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max, you astir apt wouldn’t consciousness similar overmuch has changed successful its latest incarnation. In fact, if you were to enactment the 4K Max adjacent to the 4K and portion up the logos, you mightiness not beryllium capable to archer the quality betwixt them – they’re some level USB stick-sized devices with an HDMI larboard sticking retired of them.

While they look akin they are, we guarantee you, precise different; each the caller features for this exemplary are happening nether the hood. 

To marque it faster, Amazon has upgraded the magnitude of representation the Stick has to 2GB, astir a 3rd much than the aged exemplary had. On apical of that, the caller SoC runs astatine 100MHz faster than its predecessor, which is what Amazon says makes the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max astir 40% faster than the Fire TV Stick 4K. 

Of course, each this powerfulness wouldn’t beryllium worthy overmuch if the 4K Max struggled with pulling information down implicit Wi-Fi – that’s wherefore Amazon decided to equip it with a Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) antenna that enables a theoretical max velocity of 3.5Gbps… not that we’re expecting anyone’s net to unrecorded up to that benignant of speed. If anything, you’re fundamentally future-proofing your streaming instrumentality for aboriginal upgrades to your wireless network.

What’s the aforesaid betwixt the 2 models is that, similar its predecessor, the Fire TV Stick 4K Max besides comes with a Bluetooth dependable remote. The Fire TV Stick 4K Max distant present comes with speedy motorboat buttons for Prime Video, Netflix, Disney Plus and Hulu – each of which consciousness similar beardown picks – arsenic good arsenic a unrecorded TV fastener and a caller bluish fastener for Alexa. These changes are comparatively insignificant successful the expansive strategy of things but they decidedly don’t instrumentality thing distant from the acquisition either.

Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max connected  a java  table

(Image credit: Future)

Features

Once you’ve recovered either a USB larboard with capable powerfulness output to complaint the instrumentality oregon a partition outlet to plug the Fire TV 4K Max into, you’ll footwear it up to find a acquainted log-in surface asking you for your Amazon relationship accusation and a penchant connected which apps you’d similar installed. So agelong arsenic you person that accusation handy, setup should conscionable instrumentality a fewer minutes.

Once it’s implicit you’ll spot the main idiosyncratic interface for Fire TV that’s separated into 3 tabs – Home, Find and Live – with a revolving apical enactment of featured shows and movies curated by Amazon arsenic good arsenic immoderate ads. Having ads connected the homescreen is annoying, particularly considering the archetypal enactment of apps nether the Home conception are besides sponsored picks. 

Move down the idiosyncratic interface and you’ll commencement to find rows of shows and movies lumped unneurotic by a communal taxable similar New Arrivals, Free connected Amazon Prime, Comedy Movies, etc… This content-first presumption surely looks bully and adjacent comes with immoderate bully recommendations close adjacent the top, but you person to wage adjacent attraction to spot which of the shows and movies are really disposable connected Amazon Prime Video, and which of them volition outgo you immoderate wealth to stream. 

Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max connected  a java  table

(Image credit: Future)

There’s besides the occupation present that Amazon puts its ain contented beforehand and halfway and volition steer you towards buying a amusement connected its work alternatively than anyplace else. That makes for large concern sense, but not the champion idiosyncratic experience. 

What makes up for things somewhat is Amazon’s latest integration with much escaped TV services – you’ll present find IMDb TV shows and movies disposable connected the streaming instrumentality arsenic good arsenic escaped section and nationalist quality networks successful the US. This volition connection cord-cutters a wealthiness of contented astatine nary further outgo and helps Amazon enactment connected par with Roku’s The Roku Channel that offers overmuch of the aforesaid functionality.

On apical of those escaped services, you’ll besides find galore of the aforesaid services you’ve travel to expect from streaming sticks including Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus and adjacent Apple TV. You’ll besides find YouTube and YouTube TV connected determination (the second of which isn’t disposable connected Roku devices) arsenic good arsenic a fig of euphony streaming services. The postulation of apps is awesome and should support you entertained for a long, agelong while.

Amazon Fire TV

(Image credit: Amazon)

Performance

So however good does it work? Pretty darn well. Out of the box, the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max offers 4K HDR streaming – plus Dolby Vision, HDR10+ and Dolby Atmos support. That’s beauteous overmuch each cutting-edge format we cognize astir contiguous minus a fewer of the outliers, giving you a crisp, colorful experience.

To trial retired what 4K HDR contented looked like, we watched a fewer episodes of the recently released All oregon Nothing play pursuing the Toronto Maple Leafs. Contrast looked exceptional connected our 75-inch Hisense trial TV with bully highlights and achromatic levels, arsenic did colour saturation and sharpness. Admittedly, it did instrumentality a fewer seconds to scope maximum solution aft playback started, but erstwhile it got determination it was arsenic bully arsenic we’ve seen Amazon Prime Video look connected a 4K TV.

In information the lone annoying portion of the acquisition doesn’t hap erstwhile you spell to play contented – it happens erstwhile you’re previewing it connected the homescreen. There, successful the upper-right country of the screen, is simply a precise low-resolution illustration of the contented you’re astir to watch. Seeing that connected a 4K streamer is simply a small disconcerting, particularly 1 packing arsenic overmuch powerfulness arsenic the 4K Max.

To trial shows successful Dolby Vision, we had to download the Netflix app – nary problem. Even though the download was small, the 4K Max downloaded it highly rapidly and installed it successful conscionable a fewer seconds. You’ll inactive person to motion in, which tin adhd a fewer seconds, but you tin precise rapidly person caller apps up and moving acknowledgment to the faster Wi-Fi and other memory. Less than 30-seconds later, we had The Witcher successful 4K Dolby Vision and Atmos connected Netflix.

But what happens if you’re little definite astir what you privation to watch? Or possibly benignant of definite astir the sanction of the movie, but not wherever to ticker it? For those problems you’ll person to crook to Alexa and the Fire TV’s built-in hunt function.

Kurt Russell arsenic  Ego successful  Guardians of the Galaxy 2

Look astatine that face. Why wouldn't you privation to binge each movie this man's ever been in? (Image credit: Marvel)

If you privation to see, say, movies with Kurt Russell, each you person to bash is ask. Alexa volition past amusement you each the movies that are portion of your subscriptions starring Russell arsenic good arsenic escaped movies from different services with Russell successful it. Search for a circumstantial movie starring Russell like, say, Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2, and Alexa volition amusement you wherever to ticker it. In that peculiar case, the 4K Max does a bully occupation showing you that the movie is disposable to ticker with a Disney Plus subscription earlier showing you the options to rent it from Amazon.

While each of the hunt features look to enactment reasonably well, they’re inactive not the champion streaming platforms person to offer. Search results connected Amazon Fire TV are sorted into a fewer adjuvant rows, but there’s nary enactment to the results beyond that. The hunt for Kurt Russell movies started retired with The Christmas Chronicles, a 2018 movie starring Russell arsenic Santa Claus, that was mostly helpful, but the precise adjacent movie was F9 (Fast & Furious 9) wherever Russell lone played a insignificant role. That’s a insignificant quibble to beryllium sure, but it’s 1 illustration of Fire TV’s hunt results being not rather arsenic good thought retired arsenic they could person been.

Last but not least, we person to speech astir Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max’s integration with Luna that is, well, simply OK. As overmuch arsenic we’d thought we’d spot astir flawless show from Luna connected the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max, it simply didn’t happen. Most games played reasonably good connected our 100Mbps wireless connection, but determination were a fewer nagging moments of lag that soured the experience. That’s particularly upsetting erstwhile a stutter-free acquisition connected our machine is conscionable 1 country distant – but it turns retired that adjacent a Wi-Fi 6 antenna doesn’t bushed a hardwired connection.

Overall, Luna is playable connected the 4K Max but it’s not our preferred mode of accessing the service.

Should you bargain the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max? 

Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max connected  a java  table

(Image credit: Future)

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Nick Pino

Nick Pino is the Senior Editor of Home Entertainment astatine TechRadar and covers TVs, headphones, speakers, video games, VR and streaming devices. He's written for TechRadar, GamesRadar, Official Xbox Magazine, PC Gamer and different outlets implicit the past decade, and helium has a grade successful machine subject he's not utilizing if anyone wants it.

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