Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max review

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Erin Lawrence

Amazon, fire TV Stick, review, 4K Max, compareThere are all kinds of reasons you might need a streaming TV stick like the Amazon Fire TV stick. Maybe you have an older TV, or a smart TV that’s not as fast and fancy as the new ones. Maybe you just want more content or your own favourite settings on a device you can bring anywhere with you. Maybe you want specific content you can’t get from your smart TV— I know in our house, the MLB app wasn’t available on our new Samsung Smart TV, and we could get it on the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max. Those are a few of the reasons you might be looking at something like the Amazon Fire TV stick, Fire TV Stick 4K or 4K Max.

5

Summary

The Amazon Fire Stick 4K MAX is a powerful device. If you already have a Fire TV Stick, will you notice the speed improvements? Maybe; it depends what you’re doing. But if you’re looking for a device to bring additional speed or streaming power, particularly to older TVs in your home, you can’t go wrong fire TV stick 4K, or fire TV stick 4K Max.

Pros

  • Support for UHD and 4K video stream
  • WiFi 6 support for improved speed performance
  • Alexa voice assistance support
  • Powerful device

Cons

What is Fire TV Stick 4K Max?

The Amazon Fire TV Stick Max 4K is simply a USB stick that turns any TV with an HDMI connection into a Smart TV for streaming shows and Apps directly —and without cable TV. You simply plug the Fire TV Stick into your TV’s HDMI port, connect it to wall power and follow the steps to link it up with your Wi-Fi, and you’ll be wirelessly streaming content in no time.

See my hands-on review

Depending on the channels you choose, you may need to pay monthly fees for streaming subscriptions.

What’s in the Box?

The box contains the Fire TV Stick 4K MAX, which is about 1.2 by 3.9 inches, and the Alexa remote, which is 1.5 inches by 5.6 inches. The Fire TV Stick 4K MAX connects to the included power adapter with a USB cable (also included). You’ll also get 2 AAA batteries for the remote and an HDMI extender, in case your TV placement (like wall mounting) makes it tricky to plug the Fire TV Stick 4K MAX directly.

Amazon, fire TV Stick, review, 4K Max, compareThe MAX comes with a one-year warranty and service, and you can extend that to two or three-year service. Amazon also guarantees software security updates for a minimum of four years from the time the device is last available for purchase on their website.

Key Features: Fire TV Stick 4K Max

Speed improvements

The Fire TV Stick 4K MAX  is reportedly 40% faster than the previous model, partly because it uses Wi-Fi 6 support. (And by the way you need to have a Wi-Fi 6-compatible router to access the improvements here, like the Eero 6, which I’ve reviewed here). What will you see? This means faster loading of apps and shows, quicker switching between apps and channels and fewer stutters and stalls overall.

Higher resolution options

The Fire TV stick streams content in HD video, while the Fire TV Stick 4K and 4K max let you watch in higher resolution 4K or ultra HD video, which should be a huge improvement in clarity on your screen. And a quick aside by the way, both your TV, your stick and your content needs to be 4K or you won’t get the effects… if you’re wondering if you can get a 4K Fire TV stick and put that into your HD TV to get 4K resolution, the answer is, that’s not how this works.

The Fire TV Stick 4K max also has support for HDR —and another format which brings better colour and realism to your video.

Picture-in-Picture for Ring security devices

The new Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max also features live Picture-in-Picture to view your Ring Home security devices, which is otherwise only available from the Fire TV Cube. Take note, this feature does not allow you to watch two video streams at once; one of the options has to be your ring Doorbell or camera.

To access it tell A-lady to Show you your camera… You then have the option to minimize it to picture in picture

The Fire TV Stick MAX also has 2GB of memory and improvement on earlier modes. It also sports a quicker CPU and graphics processing unit, all of which means a better viewing experience with less lag and fewer hiccups, especially if you’re accessing gaming.
You can also connect to the MAX via Bluetooth 5.0, allowing you to use other speakers, headphones, video games controllers, etc.

Live and free TV options

Watch live TV, news, and sports with subscriptions to Bell Fibe TV, Sportsnet, CBC Gem, Red Bull TV, and others, or Stream for free with ad-supported versions of some of those apps like YouTube, CBC Gem.

Amazon, fire TV Stick, review, 4K Max, compareAlexa Voice Remote

The Fire Stick 4K MAX is equipped with Alexa digital assistant support; you can ask Alexa to do things like launch channels or apps or suggest movies for you. She can also turn the sound up or down, pause the show when needed, and update you on weather and traffic. You’ll also soon be able to connect your Fire Stick with any compatible Echo devices to give you a bigger home theatre sound. The Alexa interface wotks well and she seems to be able to handle most queries easily.

The remote has all the standard buttons you’d expect on a remote, as well as the preset channel buttons and an Alexa voice button.

TV Interface

Amazon, fire TV Stick, review, 4K Max, compareWhere the rubber meets the road for a lot of us is in how easy the user interface is to access and navigate. With Fire TV, it’s actually really easy. You get a well laid out home screen that keeps you organized. You can also view favourite channels at a glance, or see recently watched series and pick up where you left off. One of the other great features of this device is that there are plenty of Canadian channels.

Pretty much anyone can easily navigate this interface; from seniors to kids.

Overall review: Fire Stick 4K MAX

The Amazon Fire Stick 4K MAX is a powerful device. If you already have a Fire TV Stick, will you notice the speed improvements? Maybe; it depends what you’re doing.
But if you’re looking for a device to bring additional speed or streaming power, particularly to older TVs in your home, you can’t go wrong fire TV stick 4K, or fire TV stick 4K Max.

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