Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max review: A speedy streamer with messy menus

News Ever

Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max: The Best Streaming Stick for 2023

The Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max is the best streaming stick on the market. It offers a number of features that make it the perfect choice for anyone looking to stream their favorite movies, TV shows, and music.

One of the best things about the Fire TV Stick 4K Max is its support for 4K Ultra HD streaming. This means that you can watch your favorite content in stunning detail, with sharp images and vibrant colors. The Fire TV Stick 4K Max also supports HDR10+ and Dolby Vision, which provide even more immersive viewing experiences.

In addition to its support for 4K Ultra HD, the Fire TV Stick 4K Max also features a powerful new processor that makes it faster and more responsive than ever before. This means that you can switch between apps and load content quickly and easily. The Fire TV Stick 4K Max also has a new remote control with a built-in microphone, so you can use voice commands to control your streaming experience.

The Fire TV Stick 4K Max is compatible with a wide range of devices, including TVs, projectors, and soundbars. It also has a built-in speaker, so you can listen to music or watch videos even if you don't have a separate audio system.

The Fire TV Stick 4K Max is the perfect streaming stick for anyone looking for a powerful, feature-rich device that offers stunning picture quality. It's easy to set up and use, and it's compatible with a wide range of devices. If you're looking for the best streaming stick on the market, the Fire TV Stick 4K Max is the perfect choice.

Here are some of the key features of the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max:

  • Supports 4K Ultra HD streaming
  • Supports HDR10+ and Dolby Vision
  • Powered by a powerful new processor
  • Includes a new remote control with a built-in microphone
  • Compatible with a wide range of devices

Here are some of the benefits of using the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max:

  • You can watch your favorite movies, TV shows, and music in stunning detail.
  • You can switch between apps and load content quickly and easily.
  • You can use voice commands to control your streaming experience.
  • You can listen to music or watch videos even if you don't have a separate audio system.

If you're looking for a powerful, feature-rich streaming stick that offers stunning picture quality, the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max is the perfect choice.

Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max review: A speedy streamer with messy menus

While using Amazon’s new Fire TV Stick 4K Max, an unusual phenomenon emerges: Instead of scrolling through its many on-screen menus, you might find yourself leaning more on voice control.

That’s partly because Alexa is a snappy and capable voice assistant on Fire TV, and partly because Amazon’s menu system is an absolute mess. Either way, the resulting experience feels profoundly different from that of Roku, Apple TV, and Android TV devices.

If a voice-first streaming player sounds appealing, the $55 Fire TV Stick 4K Max has plenty to offer, including speedy performance, a feature-packed remote, and support for both Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos audio. But cord-cutters more inclined to navigate on-screen menus should look elsewhere for a simpler experience.

Faster than ever
As of now, Amazon is selling the new Fire TV Stick 4K Max alongside the existing Fire TV 4K, which lists for $50 but is often discounted. While both streaming players support 4K HDR video, Dolby Vision, HDR10+, and Dolby Atmos audio, the Max has a faster processor, 2GB RAM (versus of 1.5GB on the older stick), Wi-Fi 6 support, and a new remote with more buttons.

The new processor and added memory make a big difference compared to cheaper Fire TV models, which are prone to stuttering and lagging in Amazon’s recently-revamped menu system. The Max never stumbles this way or takes too long to load apps, and holding the remote’s Alexa button produces an instant response. (Compared to the Roku Streaming Stick 4K, performance is roughly comparable.)

The effects of Wi-Fi 6 will be harder to notice. While it’s better than Wi-Fi 5 at handling lots of simultaneous connections, its theoretically faster speeds won’t matter for streaming video, where even a 25Mbps connection is sufficient for 4K HDR. (Even Wi-Fi 5 can reach speeds well in excess of that number.) You’ll also need a Wi-Fi 6 router to take full advantage of the new tech.

Remote and accessory support
As for the remote, it’s the same one that now ships with Amazon’s standard Fire TV Stick, with a blue Alexa button, four preset app shortcut buttons, and a live TV button that takes you straight to the Fire TV grid guide. Its rubberized keys give off a satisfying click, and a little bump on the Home button helps your thumb land in the right place. Like most other Fire TV devices, the remote’s infrared emitter can control TVs or A/V gear, so you never need to keep a separate remote handy for volume or power. (Only the $30 Fire TV Stick Lite lacks this feature.)

The live TV button is especially useful if you subscribe to YouTube TV, Sling TV, or Philo, as Amazon’s guide can show you what’s on any of those services without your needing to jump into the app first. It also integrates free channels from Pluto TV, Plex, Tubi, and Amazon’s IMDb TV service, and you can customize the guide by filtering sources and setting up favorite channels.

As with Amazon’s other Fire TV Sticks, the Max has only a single microUSB port for power, but you can add more ports for ethernet or USB accessories by hooking up a powered USB-OTG cable. Also, the Fire TV software finally supports volume control over Bluetooth headphones, so you can pair them to the TV for private listening.

Navigating the fiery seas
The Fire TV interface has always been best-described as chaotic, and that hasn’t changed with the major update Amazon introduced last winter. While Amazon has streamlined some of the top-level menus that made the old interface even more cumbersome, the system still feels burdened by unclear organization and excessive advertising.

The basic act of launching apps is too difficult on Fire TV, because you can pin only six of your favorites to the top of the home screen. The rest live in a secondary menu that takes a lot of scrolling and clicking to access. Meanwhile, a separate list of recent apps lives further down the home screen, inaccessible without first scrolling past a row of sponsored content.

To its credit, Amazon’s home screen is more than just an app launcher. It also puts a heavy emphasis on helping you decide what to watch, with row upon row of movie and TV show recommendations that come from an array of streaming services. It even supports multiple user profiles, so everyone in the home can get personalized suggestions. But because Amazon provides no control over this recommendation system, it quickly becomes overwhelming.

Consider, for instance, the “Next Up For You” row that appears near the top of the home screen. For most of these recommendations, you can’t see which streaming service they come from without clicking on each one, and some of them come from services you might not be paying for. Being able to filter the home screen based on your actual subscriptions—like you can on the Chromecast with Google TV—would be a major improvement, but Amazon won’t allow it. (A “free to me” filter does exist in Amazon’s movie and TV show menus, but it’s needlessly hidden behind several menu layers.)

When it’s not trying to upsell you on new subscription services, the Fire TV interface aggressively pushes Amazon content above all else. The “Recently Watched’ row, for instance, only integrates with Prime Video and channels from Amazon’s live TV section. Scrolling down the home screen reveals rows for suggested Prime movies, popular Prime shows, genre-based Prime picks, add-on Prime Video Channels subscriptions, and suggestions from Amazon’s free IMDb TV service. You’ll find some recommendation rows from other services in here, but Amazon reserves so much real estate for itself that everything else feels buried.

Alexa with the save
On most streaming platforms, voice control is a nice-to-have feature, but on Fire TV, it feels essential for cutting through the menu clutter. Hold the blue Alexa button on the remote, and you can ask to launch apps, load specific videos, and tune directly to live TV channels in supported streaming services. All those controls work quite well, and they feel more efficient than scrolling around Amazon’s interface.

Voice control also comes in handy when you’re not sure what to watch. Ask for a genre, like “comedy movies” or “sci-fi shows,” and the first row of results will come just from your subscription services. You can even add shows to your Fire TV watchlist as you search, then jump directly to your watchlist with a voice command. (Getting to this list otherwise requires digging through a couple of menus, a recurring theme of Amazon’s interface.) Meanwhile, a neat new integration with Netflix lets you say “Play something on Netflix” to get a random recommendation from the catalog based on your viewing habits.

Alexa has other skills outside the TV realm as well. You can ask for music from services like Spotify and Apple Music, control smart home devices, check on Alexa-enabled security cameras, and ask for the weather or other information. Fire TV devices can also form speaker groups with other Alexa devices around the house, letting you play music in multiple rooms at once.

Those voice controls help redeem what is otherwise an exercise in interface frustration. By comparison, Roku devices offer a much simpler way to navigate your apps, while both Apple TV and Android TV devices (including the Chromecast with Google TV and Walmart Onn) do a better job focusing on content.

It’s a shame, because the Fire TV 4K Max hardware is an excellent value, and it gives Alexa a platform on which to shine. You shouldn’t have to contend with a bloated interface just to enjoy those benefits.

Note: When you purchase something after clicking links in our articles, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate link policy for more details.

Speedy hardware with Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos, and HDR10+ support
Powerful Alexa controls for finding and launching content
Live TV button and guide are great for seeing what's on

The full app list is a pain to access
Menus are cluttered with ads and Amazon self-promotion
Can't easily limit recommendations to just your subscriptions

Post a Comment

  • Latest Biss Key + Frequency
    • NHL Service - 10762 V 28800 (7E) - Biss : 12 24 01 D3 11 4B 97 F3 
    • Varzish Sport HD - Yahsat 1A Satellite - Biss Key: 12 34 00 46 EB CD 00 78
    • Bein Sport - Eutelsat 16A Satellite - Biss Key: 12 24 01 D3 11 4B 97 F3
    • Discovery HD UK / Sky One HD - 12188 H 29500 8/9 - Astra 28E
    • Fox Sports Eredivisie 1 HD - 12073 H 30000 - Eutelsat 9E
      • BBC Earth - 11064 V 27500 - Eutelsat 25E
      • BBC Red Button HD 2/3/4/5/6 - 12421 H 27500 2/3 - Astra 28E
      • beIN SPORTS HD NEWS 12604 H 27500 2/3 Nilesat 7W
      Cookie Consent
      We serve cookies on this site to analyze traffic, remember your preferences, and optimize your experience.
      It seems there is something wrong with your internet connection. Please connect to the internet and start browsing again.
      AdBlock Detected!
      We have detected that you are using adblocking plugin in your browser.
      The revenue we earn by the advertisements is used to manage this website, we request you to whitelist our website in your adblocking plugin.
      Site is Blocked
      Sorry! This site is not available in your country.