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Roku Streaming Stick Plus review: The perfect mix for 4K streaming

The Roku Streaming Stick Plus brings 4K, an easy-to-learn UI, and so much more. Here's our review!
October 3, 2021
Roku Streaming Stick Plus 1
aa2020 editors choice
aa2020 editors choice

Roku Streaming Stick Plus

The Roku Streaming Stick Plus is easy to learn, priced fairly, and offers plenty of features. The fact you also get 4K support is just extra icing on the cake for what is arguably the very best Roku model available.

What we like

Full 4K HDR
Fairly priced
Excellent performance

What we don't like

Limited Assistant/Alexa support

Roku offers devices of all shapes and sizes, and at plenty of price points. However, the classic streaming stick is what made Roku a household name. The segment has become increasingly crowded in the last few years, so how does Roku stand out? Find out everything you want to know about the Roku Streaming Stick Plus right here in our review.

You can tap into all of the apps you know and love with Roku’s latest stick, but we’ll have to see if it’s still a class leader. Here’s the good, bad, and our take on if the Streaming Stick Plus deserves a space in your living room.

Read more: Roku buyer’s guide

A newer version of this device is now available. The Roku Streaming Stick 4K jumps to a new quad-core processor for smoother performance and more reliable Wi-Fi streaming. Learn more about Roku's update in our Roku Streaming Stick 4K review.
Roku Streaming Stick Plus
$49.99 at Amazon

What you need to know about the Roku Streaming Stick Plus

Roku Streaming Stick Plus 2
  • Roku Streaming Stick Plus: $49.99/£49.99/

The Roku Streaming Stick Plus is a device that plugs into one of your spare HDMI ports on your TV. You can use it to enjoy pretty much every major streaming service, both free and premium. It also packs support for music streaming apps like Spotify in addition to the major video platforms.

The Streaming Stick Plus is small enough to take with you when you are traveling to a friend’s house or even staying in a hotel room. It measures just 3.7-inches long by 0.8-inches wide and 0.47-inches tall.

Roku’s powerful stick supports up to 4K video resolution with HDR support. It comes with a remote that can also be used to control the TV’s power and volume control. You can also control your device with voice commands through either Amazon’s Alexa or Google Assistant.

What’s good?

Home menu of the Roku Streaming Stick Plus connected on a Philips TV.

Portability is a key feature of Roku’s Streaming Stick Plus. Not only is it great for frequent travelers to shove in a pocket, but it fits perfectly in most TVs, even if they’re wall-mounted. You simply have to plug the stick into a free HDMI port and attach it to power. If your TV has an open USB-A port, then you don’t even need a wall outlet.

Portability is where the Streaming Stick Plus makes its name.

The Roku OS is also a breeze to navigate. You will find nearly all major streaming services on the service, including Roku’s own free channel of movies, TV shows, and live TV content. It’s aptly named the Roku Channel. If an app is not available on the device, you can mirror your smartphone or tablet’s screen to the TV instead. Thanks to newfound AirPlay 2 support, you can cast from your iPad or other iOS devices now too.

See also: The best Roku streaming players

What’s not so good?

Top view of the Roku Streaming Stick Plus remote against a white background.

Unfortunately, Roku’s Streaming Stick Plus has a limited amount of onboard memory and storage. That means occasionally you may run into a reloading screen when you have not accessed a Roku streaming app in a while. If your TV does not have a free USB port, it’s a bit of a pain to power the stick with the included short power cord. You might end up searching for an extension cord or a power strip just to add some extra outlet space.

Be ready to see a lot of ads while you browse the Roku's interface.

The remote needs to be connected to an Alexa or Assistant device for voice commands to work. However, most people already have a preferred smart assistant, so that’s just a smaller issue. Finally, be prepared to see lots of ads on the home screen and screen savers. Some of the ads might help you find a new favorite show, but they’re not always useful or wanted.

See also: Can you use Roku to watch Disney Plus? Here’s the answer

Roku Streaming Stick Plus review: Should I buy it?

Top view of the content of the box of Roku Streaming Stick Plus.

The Roku Streaming Stick Plus has the perfect mix of design, features, and price. It’s small and highly portable. It offers excellent wireless range and 4K resolution support. Finally, the price of $49.99 hits the sweet spot. The only really bad thing is its use of ads on the home screen and screen savers. If you can ignore them, this is an excellent streaming device.

If you want an even cheaper option for your 4K TV, the Roku Premiere is worth a look — it costs $39.99 and does nearly everything the stick does. There’s no voice remote, however, and it’s not as portable.

For those of you without a 4K TV or who are strapped for cash, the Roku Express is basically the same device as the Roku Premiere. However, it only supports 1080p resolutions. If you want to hook up your box to an Ethernet network, check out the more expensive Roku Ultra set-top box.

Roku isn’t the only game in town, so you might want to consider the Amazon Fire Stick 4K or the Google Chromecast with Google TV depending on your preferred assistant. Both offer most of the same features as the Roku stick, but the Amazon product lacks Peacock, while the Google device lacks Apple TV Plus.

Roku Streaming Stick Plus
Roku Streaming Stick Plus
Get access to thousands of apps with this affordable 4K streaming stick
The Roku Streaming Stick Plus brings 4K and HDR in an affordable and easy-to-use package. The UI is easy to use, the remote is easy to use, and there are plenty of apps too.

Check out the review on Gary Explains

Prefer to watch a video review? Our sibling channel, Gary Explains, originally reviewed the Streaming Stick Plus back in 2019. You can see his thoughts below: