Amazon Fireplace TV Stick 4K Max evaluation: High canine for streaming?

(Pocket-lint) – The Amazon Fireplace TV Stick vary appears to be spawning new fashions on a regular basis. That is obvious from the identify of this top-end 2021 mannequin: the Fireplace TV Stick 4K Max.

This is not simply any previous Fireplace TV, neither is it only a 4K model – as a result of that was already launched in 2020 – quite it is the maxxed out model of all of them.

However what does the ‘Max’ a part of the identify really imply and the way does this high canine of Amazon’s streaming sticks truthful?

Our fast take

Whichever you select out of the bunch, the Amazon Fireplace TV Stick presents among the best methods to stream content material. It is simple to make use of, there’s entry to a great deal of streaming companies, and integration with Alexa’s Expertise means it does slightly greater than some.

The Fireplace TV Stick 4K Max is high of the pile. It is sooner to navigate across the person interface and higher future-proofed due to faster Wi-Fi connectivity – however even when you do not have that Wi-Fi 6 router but then it is prepared for you went you do.

In order for you the most effective from the Fireplace TV Stick, then the 4K Max is the mannequin you need.

Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max review: Top dog for streaming?

Amazon Fireplace TV Stick 4K Max

4.5 stars – Pocket-lint really useful


  • Nice distant
  • Alexa integration
  • Helps the newest requirements
  • Actually slick and quick to make use of
In opposition to

  • No Google TV/Play Motion pictures
  • No assist for Google Casting
  • Discovery a bit heavy on the Amazon content material


Design, setup and connections

  • 99 x 30 x 14mm, 48.4g
  • HDMI dongle, HDMI extender included
  • Alexa distant with TV controls

Amazon has achieved so much to dominate the streaming stick market. Offering a easy resolution to including sensible companies to your tv, the reasonably priced sticks plug straight into an HDMI port in your TV and then you definately simply have to connect with the facility supply utilizing the provided plug and cable.


It is a USB energy provide, however the USB on the rear of your TV is unlikely to have the facility essential to run it, so you will must plug it into the wall socket.

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There’s an HDMI extender cable offered, so if the HDMI is sticking straight out the again of your TV and you do not have sufficient house behind then you should utilize the cable to bend it across the nook and out of the best way. We connected it to an AV receiver (AVR) on this case, utilizing the extender as a result of there wasn’t sufficient house with out the Stick 4K Max hitting the wall.

When it comes to set up, that is about all there’s to do. Plug it in, flip in your TV, and off you go.

To get related it should wish to firstly connect with your Wi-Fi community, then to your Amazon account. The Wi-Fi assist is among the modifications right here over the older sticks – with the 4K Max providing Wi-Fi 6 assist. You may want a Wi-Fi 6 router to reap the benefits of that, just like the eero Professional 6. 

Providing Wi-Fi 6 means sooner Wi-Fi, extra related gadgets, and larger vary. That additionally means much less lag in beginning a stream and it is going to be fast to step as much as increased high quality, quite than sitting in decrease high quality firstly of a stream.

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A lot of the setup might be achieved in your telephone to save lots of utilizing on-screen keyboards, however as you get into extra element you will end up utilizing that on-screen keyboard an increasing number of.

On-screen navigation is slick and quick, with the keyboard one of many best we have used as a result of it is responsive, due to the precision of the distant and the truth that that is probably the most highly effective Fireplace TV Stick but.

Throughout setup, the 4K Max will mechanically detect what it is related to, select the appropriate settings, then supply up a variety of companies you may wish to use to allow them to be downloaded and put in.

The ultimate step of setup entails setting the distant to manage your TV and audio. This may let you choose the model of TV so you should utilize the facility button on the distant to show it on and off, in addition to asking about your audio system.

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If, like us, you could have an AVR within the combine, that is no drawback, as a result of you possibly can choose audio system individually from the TV, so that you get quantity management on the Amazon distant too. In actuality, that is higher than most rival techniques and it was easy to setup LG TV management and Sony AVR management. As soon as achieved, you possibly can change quantity with Amazon’s distant which is nice, but in addition hit the facility button to show the whole lot off or the whole lot on – and in our setup that was each the TV and the AVR. It is impressively easy.

Apps and companies

  • Full vary of streaming companies
  • Alexa distant, Echo integration

As we talked about, once you setup the Fireplace TV Stick 4K Max you will be invited to put in a variety of various streaming companies. This focuses on the preferred stuff – and also you may need to go looking wider to get an entire set of what you need.

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The companies obtainable to you’ll differ from area to area, however within the UK there is a full set of terrestrial catch-up companies – BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4, My5 – in addition to different free companies like UKTV Play. You may must examine the regional companies supported in case you’re studying this from one other territory.

The mainstream subscription companies are all there too – Netflix, Disney+, Now, Apple TV+ – and naturally, Amazon’s personal Prime Video. You get entry to YouTube, permitting you to sign up so you possibly can entry subscriptions. BT Sport, Spotify, Britbox and plenty of others are additionally obtainable.

That is the attraction of a streaming stick for a lot of – it provides you with all of the companies in a single place, quite than having one thing lacking, which could be a drawback on some sensible TVs.

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On high of that there is entry to “reside TV”, which is a component public broadcasters you may need put in, half Prime Video Channels you may subscribe to. You may open up an digital programme information (EPG) to see what’s on and click on by means of.

That is kind of an odd association and we are able to see that, doubtlessly, you may have a setup sooner or later the place the whole lot is streamed quite than delivered by way of broadcast, however it does not really feel prefer it actually provides a lot in the intervening time – within the UK at the least. Since connecting the Fireplace TV Stick some 8 months in the past (on the time of writing), we have by no means been again to the Reside TV part, which reveals how irrelvant it most likely is.

Whereas there’s entry to loads of content material sources, there isn’t any native assist for Apple AirPlay 2 on any Fireplace TV Sticks, so Apple customers are much less properly supported. There’s an choice to activate mirroring, however we did not handle to reflect something – if mirroring and AirPlay is what you need, then Roku is a greater choice.

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There may be assist for Spotify Join, so you possibly can divert music out of your telephone to your Fireplace TV Stick, in addition to use Alexa to manage Spotify in your TV utilizing your voice.

You may solid from the Prime Video app in your telephone to the Fireplace TV Stick, however you possibly can’t solid from Netflix, YouTube or different frequent apps as you possibly can on different platforms.

There is a Fireplace TV app for smartphones which provides you with management features in your telephone, in addition to Alexa, and you may open up your app listing to leap straight to companies you may want. We desire the provided distant, it is simply less complicated to make use of for anybody who occurs to be on the controls.

Diving into Alexa management

As that is an Amazon machine, there’s integration with Echo. And because of Alexa on an Echo machine there’s heaps that you are able to do – but in addition potential for confusion. You may wish to group your Echo and Fireplace TV in a room within the Alexa app to make that affiliation between gadgets, so the Echo is aware of what it is controlling.

In the event you’ve setup TV and sound management choices on the distant (as we talked about above), you possibly can inform Alexa to “flip off Fireplace TV” and it’ll execute the identical command as it will in case you push the button on the distant, which means you possibly can flip the TV on and off along with your voice. That is a neat contact however it does not at all times work in terms of turning on, so it is a bit hit or miss.

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There are many instructions Alexa will perceive, reminiscent of “open Netflix” Snowpiercer”, or to play music. After all, all this stuff work each on an Echo machine and utilizing the Alexa button on the distant.

That is additionally the place a few of the confusion can are available in, as in case your Echo thinks it needs to be controlling your Fireplace TV, once you ask for music it should open it in your TV – and which may apply to issues like information programmes too – once you really need them in your Echo as an alternative.

You may must experiment and determine what’s greatest for you – and what phrases get your Echo to do the whole lot you need – however definitely there’s loads of enjoyable available in case you have an Echo in the identical room as your Fireplace TV.

Utilizing the Alexa distant means you possibly can faucet into all the opposite Expertise that Alexa has: from controlling your sensible house gadgets, by means of to the live-view of your related cameras. You can view your cameras, together with decreasing these to picture-in-picture so you possibly can maintain your eye each on the entrance door and your TV.

High quality and efficiency

  • 4K decision
  • Dolby Atmos audio assist
  • Excessive dynamic vary codecs: Dolby Imaginative and prescient, HDR10+, HLG

Some streaming gadgets do not assist Dolby Imaginative and prescient, however Amazon has supplied this for various years, together with on the decrease positioned Fireplace TV Stick 4K. Different excessive dynamic vary (HDR) requirements are supported, with HDR10+ and HLG, which means you are coated for the forms of HDR you will expertise on streaming companies.

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There may be an argument, after all, that in case you have a TV that provides 4K decision and helps Dolby Imaginative and prescient, then you definately’ll have these streaming companies in your TV already. That is true: in lots of instances, in case you can assist the whole lot the Fireplace TV Stick 4K Max presents, you most likely do not really need one, though we have discovered it simpler to make use of a tool just like the Fireplace TV Stick, than fiddle with built-in companies on the TV.

With assist for Dolby Atmos, 7.1 and 5.1 encompass sound, at the least this stick is delivering the whole lot you may have to get the most effective from streaming.

After all, you will want a system that helps Dolby Atmos in order for you that extra immersive soundscape, and you may want a TV that helps HDR to get the most effective visuals. In the event you’re connecting the Stick on to your TV you’ll have to move that audio by means of to your audio machine to decode these extra superior sound codecs – however for these utilizing an AVR, it is comparatively easy.

No matter what you are searching for and what you have already received at house, each the Fireplace TV Stick 4K and this new Max model assist these requirements, however the true promote right here is that this can be a extra highly effective machine, so it is sooner – and that makes for a greater expertise, whatever the {hardware} you join it to at house.

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The velocity, vast format and companies assist, mixed with an amazing distant, makes for an amazing expertise with the Fireplace TV Stick 4K Max. What actually comes throughout is how fast and quick it’s to maneuver across the person interface (UI) and get watching.

That may not be well worth the further worth over the Amazon Fireplace TV Stick 4K in case you already personal one, however in case you’re attempting to determine, the 4K Max is the higher machine of the 2.

A have a look at Amazon’s UI

Amazon has its personal person interface and it is a lot better on the Fireplace TV Stick than it’s in different areas – like on the Fireplace pill, within the Prime Video smartphone app, or certainly on different streaming gadgets.

Naturally, Amazon’s content material dominates the house display screen, with thumbnails to leap again into the Amazon reveals you have been watching, together with highlighted content material, a few of which could be to purchase. Then there is a line of “sponsored” reveals, which predominantly look like from Amazon channels or Freevee, which is Amazon’s ad-supported channel and residential to reveals like Bosch Legacy.

There’s then a combination of Prime motion pictures, alongside suggestions from different apps you could have put in, however the ratio is kind of Prime or Freevee will get three strains of suggestions and then you definately’ll get one other supply. It isn’t set in stone although, it does change. There are additionally adverts that get inserted, infrequently.

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It is visually participating, nevertheless, and simple to navigate, giving the chance to find new content material. After all, once you open an app, you will then get the interface you are extra aware of from every supplier.

There’s additionally choices so as to add parental controls, so you possibly can PIN defend purchases or set a PIN in opposition to rankings of content material, though this solely applies to Prime Video. You may must setup parental controls in every particular person app – though some (like Netflix) will simply carry by means of current profiles. You may as well setup profiles for anybody in your Amazon Family, together with a PIN to lock children into their space to allow them to’t escape into watching in your grownup profile.

Total, there are extra choices for customisation and management of the UI right here than you get on a Roku machine, much like the Chromecast with Google TV, though there are some apparent variations – the shortage of assist for Google content material being the plain one.


To recap

This stick presents among the best methods to stream content material: it is easy to make use of, there’s entry to a great deal of streaming companies, and integration with Alexa’s Expertise means it does slightly greater than some.

Writing by Chris Corridor.

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