This was one of the announcements from IFA 2019: the availability in UK of the Amazon 4K HDMI key, ordered by Alexa. This “stick” simply plugs into a TV (and a power outlet) to take advantage of an interface that provides access to a variety of online content services. We could compare it to what Apple TV 4K offers from the company side of Cupertino.
Once all the connections have been made, we somewhat regret the installation phase. Unlike a Chromecast for example which offers to go through an application on your smartphone for configuration, with the Amazon key everything is done on the screen. You must then enter your Wi-Fi credentials and those of your Amazon account with the remote control via a keyboard displayed on the screen. Of course, these steps will only be done once, but we have known more friendly as an introduction.
Very pleasant and successful interface
However, we are delighted once the interface is displayed. It is clear and highlights not only the icons of the applications, but also the content they offer. So when you install the Netflix app, a series of the SVOD service will be displayed directly on the home screen. Same thing with a documentary taken from the Arte application. A line of the interface is dedicated to the views in progress, to resume reading easily.
Although in limited number, the proposed applications are varied. So there are Netflix or Arte, but also Molotov, YouTube, Twitch, RMC Sport or UK 24 for the video. Music is not outdone with Deezer and Spotify. Obviously, Prime subscribers of online merchants will be able to access Prime Video and Amazon Music content.
Not at all cut for 3D games
There are even video games in the Fire TV offer. For example, we installed the Asphalt 9 racing game. Unfortunately, the result is far from convincing. The device’s 1.7 GHz quad-core processor is clearly not designed to handle graphical calculations. Aliasing is legion, as are clipping effects. Not to mention the awful handling offered by the remote control. We can therefore indulge in casual gaming at best, but certainly not in action games.
For its part, the remote control is rather ergonomic if we limit ourselves to piloting the interface. In addition, she integrates a microphone to formulate her oral requests to Alexa. We can thus ask the assistant to display movies in 4K or to launch a specific series on a particular service like “Alexa, launch Mindhunter on Netflix”. We will limit ourselves to simple requests that simply contain the name of a series or a type of content, but Alexa requires, we can also dictate to our remote control all the other features available from the wizard, such as home automation. If your bulbs are connected, it will be possible to control them by speaking … to your television. 2019 is a really great time.
Video quality to match
In use, both the interface and the launch of the videos prove to be responsive. The speed of the 802.11 ac Wi-Fi connection seems sufficient to quickly play 4K content without unwanted loading and to support the maximum resolution of the device from 2,160p at 60 frames per second. It decodes both Dolby Vision, HDR10 and HDR10 + content. In audio, we can enjoy Dolby Atmos.
If the services provided by the Fire TV Stick 4K prove convincing, this device is not free from defects. First of all, the 8 GB storage seems somewhat paltry if we want to install a multitude of applications. Certainly, sold less than 60 euros (excluding promotion), the product is affordable, but it is a limit that it is good to have in mind. On the other hand, we regret the absence of the two very popular offers in UK, Canal + and OCS. Amazon has told us that discussions are open, but nothing concrete can be announced at this time.
One can also wonder about the availability of new SVOD services. Admittedly Apple TV + appeared on the Fire TV Stick 4K, but one wonders if this will be the case of Disney +. Finally, there is a technological gap at Amazon. The brand does not offer any wireless broadcasting system equivalent to AirPlay or Chromecast. It is therefore absolutely impossible to stream content from your smartphone or tablet to the device. It’s a shame, because some applications, like that of Canal + precisely, are compatible with these two systems.
The Fire TV Stick 4K is sold for 59.99 euros on the Amazon site, but it currently benefits from a reduction of 20 euros.
Buy Amazon’s Fire TV Stick 4K here.
AMAZON FIRE TV STICK 4K REVIEW
Amazon Fire TV Stick 4k - Hands On Review
Amazon 4K Fire TV Stick
Fire Stick vs Fire Stick 4K - is 4K worth the extra $15?
FireTV STICK 4K by Amazon - Full Review & Tutorial [Alexa, Bluetooth Audio, TV/Stereo Controls]