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Amazon Device Guide: Which Is the Best Fire TV Player? [Updated 2021]

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Fire TV is a popular streaming platform and especially for those already invested in Amazon’s ecosystem. However, with a number of different devices to choose from, picking the best Fire TV player can be complicated. After all, the most expensive device with the most features might not always be the best option for an individual or household. Choosing the right device to begin with will not only help to get the most out of the Fire TV experience, but it could save on the cost as well.

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There’s a number of reasons why it is worth choosing Amazon’s streaming platform and players over Android TV or Roku players, but the main one is Amazon’s ecosystem. With seamless access to Prime Video and a feature-rich interface, Amazon’s devices tend to offer even better value when paired with a Prime membership.

Current Fire TV players:

DeviceReason to buyCheck price
Fire TV LiteBest on a budgetAmazon
Fire TV 3rd GenBest 1080pAmazon
Fire TV 4KBest for most peopleAmazon
Fire TV CubeBest overallAmazon
Fire TV RecastBest for free TVAmazon

The list is above is not all of the Fire TV-powered devices that are available to buy, as there are other manufactures that also make Fire TV Edition devices, and these tend to mostly be smart TVs and soundbars. However, for those looking for the best Fire TV experience in general, it is probably best to opt for Amazon’s own products. Not to mention, they tend to be cheaper options as well.

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Popular Fire TV third-party devices:

  • Nebula Soundbar
  • Insignia Fire TV Edition smart TV (multiple models)
  • Toshiba Fire TV Edition smart TV (multiple models)

In this guide, we’ll be taking a closer look at each of the main first-party Amazon Fire TV devices to highlight what makes them worth buying and which type of buyer each one is ideal for. Hopefully, this information will help to make the difference between the various Fire TV players clearer, and make it easier to choose which Fire TV device is best for an individual or household.

Fire TV Cube – Best overall

Amazon Fire TV Cube

If you just want the best experience possible, then the Fire TV Cube is likely to be the device to consider picking up. While it is an expensive streaming player, that’s the point. The Fire TV Cube is designed to be Amazon’s best and most powerful streaming device. If you want the very best that Amazon has to offer, the Fire TV Cube is the best bet.

ProsCons
Most PowerfulExpensive
4KNot suitable for everyone
Built-in speaker
Smart home compatible
Hexa-core processor

What makes Fire TV Cube worth buying?

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The Fire TV Cube is designed to be the best Amazon streaming device. Amazon has specifically filled it with the best specs and internals to ensure a premium experience. This includes 16GB RAM and a hexa-core processor. In addition, the Fire TV Cube features a built-in speaker for listening to audio and responses from Alexa, as well as far-field microphone support for Fire TV and other connected devices.

Who is Fire TV Cube for?

The Fire TV Cube is for those who want the ultimate Amazon streaming player. It comes with all the benefits of Fire TV combined with additional smart home and voice assistant support. Essentially, it is a one-stop Fire TV device and the more invested someone is in Amazon’s ecosystem, the better this device will be.

How much is Fire TV Cube?

The Fire TV Cube retails for $119.99 in the US, making it an expensive streaming player and one that’s comparable on price to the Nvidia Shield TV and Apple TV. However, Amazon does routinely include the Fire TV Cube in various annual sales, so there are often opportunities to get it at a cheaper price.

Fire TV Stick 4K – Best for most people

Fire TV Stick 4K

While the Fire TV Cube is the best Amazon streaming player overall, the Fire TV Stick 4K is likely to be the best option for most people. It is the one that balances features and price the best, making it a great choice for just about anyone.

ProsCons
Reasonably pricedCheaper option available
4KBetter player available
CompactQuad-core processor
HDR10/Dolby Atmos

What makes Fire TV Stick 4K worth buying?

The Fire TV Stick 4K brings the full Fire TV experience but in a form factor that’s small and compact enough to be added to a home entertainment setup without being noticed. This is a dongle-based device which means it plugs directly into the TV instead of having a cable that connects the device and the TV.

Who is Fire TV Stick 4K for?

The Fire TV Stick 4K is pretty much for anyone and everyone. It is an ideal way to add a Fire TV-based streaming experience to any TV. While those looking for a more premium solution can opt for the Fire TV Cube, the Fire TV Stick 4K will be a great addition for families, for additional rooms in the home, as well as second homes.

How much is Fire TV Stick 4K?

The Fire TV Stick 4K retails for $49.99 in the US, making it a reasonably priced streaming player and comparable in price to the Xiaomi Mi Box S, Roku sticks, and other affordable streaming players. Similar to the Fire TV Cube, the Fire TV Stick 4K is often included in Amazon’s annual sales, so there are times when it can be picked up at a discounted price.

Fire TV 3rd Gen – Best when 4K doesn’t matter

Fire TV 3rd Gen
Amazon Fire TV stick

The Fire TV Stick is an even cheaper way to get the same benefits as the Fire TV Stick 4K, but without the 4K support. Making it an even better option for those looking to save while still getting access to Amazon’s streaming experience.

ProsCons
CheapLimited to 1080p
CompactQuad-core processor
Easy to use
Alexa Voice Remote

What makes the Fire TV Stick 3rd Gen worth buying?

This is not the best Fire TV device and even at the price, most consumers will probably be better off paying the slightly higher cost for the 4K version. However, if price matters and 4K doesn’t, then the Fire TV Stick is a great solution. In fact, it is actually a newer device than the 4K version, considering the 3rd Gen was released in 2021 and the 2nd Gen 4K model was released in 2018. This also means it comes with a newer Alexa Voice Remote as well.

Who is Fire TV Stick 3rd Gen for?

The Fire TV Stick is designed for those who want a solid and reliable streaming experience, but don’t need all of the best features or 4K support. In particular, the newer Alexa Voice Remote will make this model ideal for anyone that wants to take advantage of the various benefits associated with Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant.

How much is Fire TV Stick 3rd Gen?

The Fire TV Stick 3rd Gen retails for $39.99 in the Unites States. However, this is another Amazon product that can be subject to price drops and discounts, so there are times when it can be picked up for less than its retail price.

Fire TV Stick Lite – Best on a budget

Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite

While the Fire TV Stick 3rd Gen and 4K models are not massively expensive, the Fire TV Stick Lite is a great option for those that want to spend even less. In fact, it is currently the cheapest Fire TV device around.

ProsCons
CheapestLimited to 1080p
CompactNo Dolby Atmos
Easy to useQuad-core processor
Alexa Voice Remote Lite

What makes the Fire TV Stick worth buying?

Put simply, the price is what makes this Fire TV device worth buying. At under $30 it is a cheap and affordable way to start streaming. Similar to the standard 3rd Gen model, the Lite won’t come with quite as many features and lacks 4K support. However, it is a great way to add a basic streaming experience to a home.

Who’s Fire TV Stick Lite for?

The Fire TV Stick Lite is designed for those who don’t want to spend any more than they need to on a streaming player. While it doesn’t come with quite as many features, the low price makes it ideal for those switching to streaming for the first time. Alternatively, for use in a bedroom or for use in a secondary location.

How much is Fire TV Stick Lite?

The Fire TV Stick Lite retails for $29.99 making it the cheapest Fire TV device available to buy today, and one of the cheapest streaming players in general. Similar to the other products on this list, consumers may find Amazon drops the price even further at different times of the year.

Fire TV Recast – Best for free TV

Amazon Fire TV Recast

Technically, the Fire TV Recast is not a Fire TV player at all as it doesn’t offer the same streaming benefits as the other devices on this list. Instead, it is designed to work with a Fire TV device, and extend its functionality. Due to this, the Fire TV Recast should not be purchased as a streaming device, but as an extension of one.

ProsCons
Free OTA TVExpensive
DVRRequires antenna for OTA TV
Alexa supportRequires separate Fire TV device
Wide Amazon device support

What makes Recast worth buying?

The Fire TV Recast is a DVR device purposely designed to work with Fire TV players. Once set up, users will be able to stream local over-the-air live TV for free. In addition, they can also record local live TV as well, and access those recordings back on a compatible device. All of which makes it a great solution for cord cutters.

Who’s Recast for?

The Fire TV Recast is not for everyone. For starters, it requires another Fire TV device to take advantage of the Recast’s main benefits. In addition, those that already subscribe to a live TV streaming service might find this device to be less useful. However, for those with an existing Amazon device and looking for access to local live TV channels, this might prove to be a solution.

How much does Recast cost?

The Fire TV Recast retails for $279.99 making it the most expensive first-party Fire TV device you can currently buy, and an expensive streaming device in general. What’s more, it typically requires the purchase of additional hardware, such as an antenna and a Fire TV device.

Updated July 2021

John Finn

By John Finn

John started Streaming Better to help consumers navigate the live TV streaming and subscription service landscape. John has been writing about technology and TV-related services and devices since 2014 and believes the best streaming approach is to bounce between services as needed. Contact John via email at john@streamingbetter.com or on Twitter

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