Streaming sticks from the likes of Amazon, Google, and Roku are a dime a dozen. With so many in the market, finding the right one can be a bit of a chore. What separates the wheat from the chaff often comes down to a single feature. If you’re looking for the absolute basement in terms of cost, you can’t get much lower than the Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite. We’ll let you know if this inexpensive streaming stick is worth your $30 in the Android Authority Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite review.
What is the Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite?
- Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite: $29/£29/€29/Rs. 3,999
The Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite is the simplest, least expensive streaming option from Amazon. Like most streaming sticks, it resembles a thumb drive and plugs directly into your TV’s HDMI port. It may be hidden from view, but it’s still got the streaming smarts that get the job done. It competes directly with the likes of the Google Chromecast and the Roku Express HD.
The price. Seriously, $30 is about as cheap as it gets for a streaming stick. That makes the Fire TV Stick Lite great for a den or guest room TV where you want to keep costs down.
The content is all there. It may be inexpensive, but the Fire TV Stick Lite doesn’t skimp on movies and shows. The streaming stick offers the same menu and user interface as the more well-endowed Fire TV Cube but not quite all the performance. It has a quad-core processor and does lag from time to time.
The Fire TV Stick Lite is one of the most affordable streaming devices on the market.
It’s all in there. Everything you need is in the box, nothing is missing. You get the stick, the remote, the batteries, the power cable, and, most importantly, an HDMI extender. The extender is vital if your TV set’s HDMI ports are crammed together and there’s not enough room for the Fire TV Stick Lite. This ensures you can fit the streaming stick in your setup.
The Stick Lite supports up to Full HD resolution with HDR/HDR10/HDR10+ aboard, as well as Dolby Atmos passthrough. This means the picture and audio are great for your middle-aged TV sets and audio gear.
What’s not so good?
The remote is where all the differentiation rests. One of the biggest differences between the Fire TV Stick Lite and the Fire TV Stick is the remote’s ability to control your TV set. The Lite’s remote does not interact with your TV directly as it does on every other Fire TV Stick product. This means you need to rely on your TV’s remote to power on the set and perform actions such as adjusting the volume. The good news here is that if you really want a TV-controlling remote, the regular Fire TV Stick is only $10 more. It’s great to have options.
The push-button Alexa assistant is a little slow.
The push-button Alexa assistant is a little slow. In order to use the remote’s voice-activated controls, you have to press the little mic button. I noticed some lag when interacting with Alexa that’s not present on the Fire TV Cube (which has a more capable processor.) Moreover, if you’re playing the TV really loud the mics on the remote aren’t quite sensitive enough to always hear you even though you’re speaking directly to the remote.
Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite review: Should I buy it?
The Fire TV Stick Lite is what the name implies: a stripped-down version of the Fire TV Stick that delivers the basics and nothing more. I don’t recommend the Stick Lite for your main TV, particularly if you have a home theater system and watch lots of movies. Get the more fully-featured Fire TV Stick, or, better yet, the Fire TV Stick 4K for the improved remote and picture experiences.
The Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite is basic, but that doesn't mean it's not a very capable streamer.
That said, there’s still room in your life for the Stick Lite. I think it works well in bedrooms, basements, dens, garages, and other spaces where you may have an older, less capable secondary TV. Just because the Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite is basic, that doesn’t mean it’s not a capable streamer.