It's been a while since that first Fire TV Basic Edition, which cost $ 59.99. Today Amazon offers the user a certainly greater range of offers to access multimedia content from various streaming platforms, and in fact allows for a few euros to have a real multimedia center in the living room in just 8 cm. On test today the Fire TV Stick Lite, not to be underestimated, even in anticipation of the Black Friday Amazon, which we bet will allow you to buy it at a discount even at 19.90 euros, as happened in the past.
The philosophy of the Fire TV Stick hasn't changed at all from the past. It is an HDMI “pen”, with a very small size, equal to 8.6 x 3.0 cm, to be connected to the HDMI input of the TV. Particularly small, it will disappear behind the TV, and you will forget you have it, were it not for the large window of contents it offers.
Despite the extremely competitive price, 29.99 euros (probably 19.90 euros during Black Friday 2020) the package has everything you need for use, and even more. In addition to the Fire Stick, also the remote control, which we will discuss shortly, an HDMI extension of a few centimeters, the USB cable and the wall power supply, and two AAA batteries to power the remote control.
The first configuration is extremely simple. After connecting pen stick to HDMI and power adapter to power outlet. In our tests we connected the USB to the TV itself to power it, and despite some message of insufficient power, we were always able to use it correctly. At the first start we will be asked to enter Amazon credentials, or to create an Amazon account for those who do not have one. After doing this, and choosing the wireless network to connect to, we will be ready to use the Fire TV.
In reality, talking about the technical characteristics of this Fire TV Stick Lite is quite useless, considering that it is a streaming device optimized to perfection, and therefore performing beyond what it sings. Either way, the Fire TV in question enjoys a 1.7Ghz quad-core processor, 8GB internal memory, Bluetooth 5.0, HDR 10, HDR10 +, HLG, H.265, H.264 and VP9 support, Dual-antenna dual band Wi-Fi (MIMO), HDMI audio pass-through for Dolby Digital and Dolby Digital +.
The remote control of this Fire TV Stick Lite offers commands for the management of the stick only, and not for the TV. Back button, Home and options will be used to navigate within the UI, as well as the directional stick, with a large multifunctional central button. Similarly, the Play, FF and Rewind multimedia buttons will be used to manage the playback of video content. Likewise, the button with the TV icon will give access to the vast Amazon Prime Video catalog.
Last, but certainly not least, the Alexa button. Yes, because even this cheapest TV from Amazon comes with the integrated Alexa assistant, which offers the user the ability to manage the search for multimedia content by voice, as well as the various requests that can be made to the assistant: from the results of sporting events to the weather, from the ability to search for films, comedies, rather than music stations on the fly.
How does it work
Beautifully. There is nothing to say, if you are looking for a basic multimedia center, it is probably the choice that cannot be compared in terms of quality / price ratio. Yes, because this Fire TV Stick Lite lacks nothing at all and it runs like a marvel. For this reason, reading the technical data sheet is useless. The graphical interface is extremely fluid, as is the transition from one app to another. The reproduction of multimedia contents is always ready, and we have never recorded a lag or an indecision in the use of any content.
Of course, one of the added values of this Stick is the presence of fully integrated Prime Video. For this we recommend subscribing to an Amazon Prime Video subscription to be able to fully enjoy the Fire Stick, even if it offers access to other streaming apps, from Netflix to Tim Vision, from RaiPlay to Spotify, from Youtube to DAZN. Not even Apple TV or Disney + is missing. From this point of view, Fire TV is one of the most complete solutions, which embraces any existing platform.
Interface and channels
As already mentioned, the big advantage of the Fire TV is the complete integration with the Prime Video service. From this point of view, it works even better than any Android TV, which does not have such an integrated service for watching movies or TV series. And then, Fire TV is more of a competitor to Apple TV than Google TV or Android TV, while still having the same access to a world of third-party apps and services.
The Home screen, in fact, in addition to presenting the icons of the third-party applications downloaded, and most used, already shows the user the contents visible from Prime TV. Already in the first screen there are icons, divided by line, in which films and TV series are proposed to the user from Amazon Prime video.
This first screen is comparable to the Android TV interface, where there are also third party apps and services.
If you change the tab, however, by scrolling to the right, you will have access to the My Videos, Movies, and TV Series library. These only show content from Amazon Prime Video, with a line-by-line interface, where each line features different content, such as movie types, including comedy, drama, and more. It is also true that for each section there is a banner at the top that also shows the most recent contents of other services, such as Netflix, RaiPlay: in short, as much as Amazon points to its own contents, it does not hide third party services at all, which are always accessible in an instant.
It might seem nonsense, yet we particularly appreciated the internet browser: with great surprise it turned out to be functional and efficient, certainly much more than any integrated browser, even in the latest generation TVs. That is to say, the Fire TV Stick Lite adds an effective way to access the web.
Limits of the Lite version
It has been said that for the price it has, this Stick is the perfect streaming machine. It is also true, however, that it has obvious limitations. First of all, the maximum resolution of 1080p. Using this Stick on a 4K TV will not allow you to take full advantage of the resolution of the movies. Also, this model does not support Dolby Vision standard for images, while Dolby Audio is only supported HDMI pass-through. In short, it is a basic HDMI key, which will provide universal access to content from virtually any audio video platform available on the market, but with some hardware limitations. Furthermore, as already mentioned, the remote control of this version, despite having Alexa, does not offer controls for the TV or other multimedia devices in the house; Alexa, therefore, will not be able to manage them.
If you are looking for boxes to access any video audio streaming platform this is the ideal solution. Really cheap, the Fire TV Stick Lite offers a lot for a small price. Everything works perfectly, with always responsive controls and content available with a simple click on the remote. The advice is to subscribe to a Prime subscription to have access to the Amazon Video library.
Prices and availability
Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite can be purchased on Amazon for 29.99 euros. It is hoped that for Black Friday it will be discounted at 19.99 euros, a price at which you could decide to buy two or three, depending on the number of TVs in the house.