Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K vs. Roku Streaming Stick+

Which one should you buy?

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Fire Stick vs. Roku

If you haven't bought a new TV in several years, streaming sticks are the best way to add streaming services to your TV, monitor, or laptop. These compact devices plug into any available HDMI port and allow you to quickly access a variety of streaming services and access plenty of helpful apps and games.

Even if you already have a smart TV, the interface provided by these devices makes them invaluable, allowing you to easily swap between streaming services and search for media without being forced to fumble through an on-screen keyboard. 

Here, we compare some of the most popular 4K models from Amazon and Roku to see who comes out on top.

Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Roku Streaming Stick+
More Games More Free Apps
Dolby Vision HDR10
Voice-Centric App More Versatile App
Alexa Integration Voice Searching / No Assistant

Video Quality

The quality of the stream is the most critical aspect when weighing these two models. Thankfully, both options support 4K video playback but have some slight discrepancies in HDR support. The Roku doesn't include Dolby Vision but includes HDR10, just like the Amazon Fire TV Stick.


Neither of these devices has Ethernet connectivity, but both come equipped with MIMO 802.11 Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, providing them with all the necessary bandwidth for seamlessly streaming at 4K.


Unlike Google's Chromecast devices, the Roku and Fire TV Stick adhere to a straightforward stick adapter design, allowing them to tuck themselves behind almost any screen. One minor consideration, however, is while the Roku Stick is marginally smaller than Amazon's option, it doesn't come packaged with an extender dongle, meaning that if you have limited clearance around your TVs HDMI port, you may have some issues with the Roku out of the box.

The remotes for both models are similar in shape, with the Firestick remote being a little slimmer and more modern in its aesthetic. They each feature dedicated volume and playback controls and multi-function directional buttons and run on a pair of AA batteries. The most glaring difference is the addition of quick access buttons to the Roku remote that allows you to quickly switch between Hulu, Netflix, Sling, and PS Vue.

Each streaming stick uses a separate micro-USB adapter for power and can be connected to either a wall outlet or directly to your TV for power.


Both options include built-in Wi-Fi, meaning they don't need hard-wired for anything to work, just an active wireless connection in your home. And while they both include voice search, the Fire TV Stick 4K is slightly more responsive. It has Alexa support, making it just a dash of added functionality, especially if you're already an owner of any of Amazon's smart hubs.

Both remotes can also serve as substitutes for your handy TV remote. The baked-in Bluetooth connectivity for each device effectively replaces the 3.5mm audio jack in some previous versions, allowing you to wirelessly pair headphones and listen to the TV without disturbing others.

Roku Stick

Mobile apps are available for both devices but drastically differ in their approach. The Roku app is easily the more impressive of the two, serving as an ad-hoc remote if your original happens to go missing and allowing you to quickly search for apps and media using your phone's keyboard. The Fires TV Stick app offers the primary home, menu, and back buttons, allowing you to perform a quick voice search, but it lacks the private listening feature offered on Roku.

The Fire TV Stick does have an additional barrier to set up, requiring an Amazon account before you're up and running. While it isn't required, the Fire Stick does its best to nudge you towards an Amazon Prime subscription if you don't already have one.

Channels / Apps

While all the most popular streaming services are available on Roku and Amazon's streaming platforms, there are differences. While the Fire TV Stick does have access to many of the same channels and apps, there are some glaring omissions, such as YouTube, which currently doesn't have a native Fire TV app. The Fire TV Stick also doesn't have access to any Google Play apps.

Fire Stick

The bottom line here is unless you're looking for a very particular game or app, it's most likely available with your Roku device.


Both players are effectively the same price, coming in at around $50, so choosing one should come down to what you expect from your streaming device in available apps and channels.

Final Verdict

The answer is evident if you're already living in the Amazon ecosystem. However, the Roku platform hosts a more extensive library of apps and channels. It has a more versatile companion app making it the clear winner in our matchup unless you need Alexa functionality built into your remote.

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