Faster hardware and a refined OS
Amazon has been refining the Fire TV platform for many generations, and the latest Fire TV Stick is the culmination of all those years of refinement. It plugs right into the HDMI port of your 4K TV and also includes the functionality of Alexa.
- Support for 4K, Dolby Vision, and Dolby Atmos
- Fire TV interface is really simple to use
- Remote is well-designed
- Faster Wi-Fi (802.11ac)
- No support for Google apps besides YouTube
4K for less than the rest
The Roku Premiere is a compact 4K streamer that offers quite a lot of value for a low price. Roku supports all the major streaming services, including Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime, along with a vast library of free channels offering varied content.
- Great value for a 4K streaming device
- Support for streaming services and user channels
- Easy to set up and use
- Free channel content is hit and miss
- Slow Wi-Fi (802.11n)
When comparing the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K vs. the Roku Premiere, your choice might just be down to your allegiance to Amazon's broader ecosystem of products and services because they both offer a ton of great content to stream with user-friendly interfaces. Both can deliver 4K HDR quality where available, while the Fire TV Stick offers a remote with built-in voice controls. In addition, both offer support for Alexa — but only the Roku is compatible with Google Assistant for searching for and playing content.
Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K vs. Roku Premiere: Let's break it down
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The first thing you'll notice is that there are some distinct differences in design between the two. The Fire TV Stick 4K is a compact dongle that plugs right into the back of your TV, with an included HDMI extender cable if space is pretty tight. The Roku Premiere is similarly compact and includes an HDMI for connecting to your TV, but it's light enough to be mounted to the back of your TV.
|Header Cell - Column 0||Fire TV Stick 4K||Roku Premiere|
|Remote with microphone||Yes||No|
|Works with Alexa||Yes||Yes|
|Works with Google Assistant||No||Yes|
On the software side of things, you're bound for a similar experience no matter which device you choose. Both devices let you customize your home screen with your favorite content sources, and the interfaces are intuitive and familiar if you've ever used a streaming service before.
Amazon does a predictably good job pointing you towards its own video streaming and Alexa's built-in functionality on the remote. Of course, if you want, you can also control your TV through Amazon's minimalistic Fire TV app. You'll be able to find the most popular streaming services on this, the best Fire TV stick, including YouTube and Apple TV+. Who would have thought that when this product came out?
Roku also makes some of the best streaming products, but it has no direct stake in the streaming service game. It isn't competing so head-to-head with Google, so there are a ton of streaming services and channels under the Roku umbrella. Each service gets equal weight on the Roku platform, but the remote does prominently feature hotkey buttons for Netflix, Sling, Hulu, and DirecTV Now, so that's a convenient inclusion if you're a subscriber to any of those services.
While there is no microphone on the remote, you can control your TV with the Roku app. From here, you can control everything from your phone, plug in headphones for private viewing sessions, and use a mobile keyboard when you're searching for content to watch. You can also conveniently cast content from your phone to your Roku-connected TV, which might come in handy the next time you're able to have a party.
Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K vs. Roku Premiere: Which should you choose?
The first question is whether you should buy either of them. While these two streaming devices get the job done and offer 4K support, they are without a doubt, the budget 4K options. In fact, the Roku Premiere doesn't even feature in our best Roku list as it has been replaced by other picks with a few more bells and whistles.
For those considering the Fire TV Stick 4K, it's worth considering if your TV supports 4K at all. If not, you might be better served by a cheaper device as we saw in our Fire TV Stick and Fire TV Stick Lite review. You also might find the upgrade to Wi-Fi 6 and faster CPU to be worth the extra money like we saw in our Fire TV Stick 4K Max review.
These two streamers are pretty evenly matched in the most important area. Still, we must pick a winner, and ultimately we feel that the Alexa Voice Remote and slicker interface weigh in Amazon's favor. Amazon's streaming stick also comes with faster Wi-Fi support so you see fewer loading bars when starting up a new show. However, if you're not heavily invested in Amazon's ecosystem, or if you want access to Google Play apps, then the Roku Premiere might be the better option for you. Either way, you're going to be entertained!
A simple TV upgrade with Alexa
Powered by Fire TV OS with Alexa available at your beck and call, the Fire TV Stick 4K is your best streaming option from Amazon. It's a full-featured dongle with support for HDR 4K and Dolby Vision that can also be controlled by your Amazon Echo speakers.
An easy-to-use smart TV upgrade
Roku managed to undercut Amazon in price but came up a bit short in terms of features. Having said that, Roku devices are both easy to set up and use, and there are a ton of great content channels available. If you haven't already bought into the Amazon Echo ecosystem, it's a strong budget pick.
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