Amazon Fireplace TV Stick 4K Max overview: Immediate app supply is now not every little thing

Amazon Fireplace TV Stick 4K Max overview: Immediate app supply is now not every little thing


Sarah Tew/CNET

Amazon’s fresh Fireplace TV Stick Max is the company’s very top-priced and most worthy streaming stick but. A step up from the $40 Streaming Stick 4K, the fresh Max runs $55 and packs a faster processor, support for Wi-Fi 6 and near to the overall most up-to-date playback requirements from 4K, HDR10 and Dolby Imaginative and prescient to HDR10+ plus Dolby Atmos for audio. 

Spoiler: The Max is like a flash. For folk who merely want the quickest technique to circulation Netflix, Disney Plus, HBO Max, YouTube TV and the comfort, this streamer is (actually) hard to beat. That walk makes the Max value the upper mark in contrast with the distinctive Fireplace TV Stick 4K.

As for those debating between the Max and Google’s $50 Chromecast with Google TV or Roku’s upcoming $50 Streaming Stick 4K? That is a little more hard. Google’s verbalize assistant and search work better than Alexa, and Roku’s straightforward menu system is easy my favourite of the three. Amazon’s menu system is okay, but there are too many commercials and the search in general grew to turn out to be up surprising results. The Fireplace TV Stick 4K Max is my favourite Fireplace TV but, but except you might well also very smartly be intently invested within the e-Commerce big’s world of gadgets bask in Alexa audio system or Ring cameras, Roku’s and Google’s streamers are better alternatives.

Delight in

  • Rapid efficiency
  • Supports all predominant streaming apps
  • Shipshape dwelling control through Alexa

Don’t Delight in

  • Ads are prevalent on the dwelling display and screensaver
  • No Chromecast or AirPlay support
  • Search results are wonky
  • Luna lacks compelling games

A walk improve

Amazon touts the processor walk support as one of many great the reason why this streaming stick warrants the “Max” title. And in utilizing the machine in some unspecified time in the future of the final few days, I will chronicle that it’s, certainly, in actuality like a flash.

Opening and switching between apps had been among the many quickest I’ve ever encountered on a streaming stick. Or now not it’s now not continually instantaneous, particularly whereas you happen to have not opened an app in a couple of hours, but for the most share, every little thing from Netflix and Prime Video to Disney Plus, HBO Max and YouTube TV opened quick. 

Amazon Luna Gaming

The Fireplace TV Stick 4K Max and a long way off with an (optional, $70) Luna controller.

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There had been a couple of cases the effect the display would shuffle sad for longer than I anticipated, nevertheless. And utilizing Alexa to leap relief into YouTube TV as soon as in some time required grabbing the a long way off and restarting the circulation.

On Amazon’s menus? Too many Amazon commercials

Amazon’s interface runs the expose, and I esteem easy access to the “Recently Watched” tab. I accomplish now not, nevertheless, bask in that gentle below that’s a mountainous “subsidized” tab on the dwelling display, though I largely possess grown to ignore the overall many suggestions Amazon shoves from streaming companies and products below that now not too long within the past watched bar. 

It would maybe maybe be sizable if Amazon added a tab to quick behold all of your apps and channels. You furthermore mght can preset six to appear on the indispensable page, but having faster access to that elephantine list would maybe maybe be more precious to me than the tabs for “score” and “are living.”


Ads can with out mumble comprise up the screensaver on the Fireplace TV. 

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I additionally accomplish now not esteem the TV changing into a mountainous rotating billboard for tell or commercials when in screensaver mode. Or now not it’s one factor to throw in a little advert right here or there bask in Roku; or now not it’s one other to expose my total 65-go TV into a billboard for iFit or Nancy Grace’s Fox Nation expose. 

Most 4K HDR layout, Wi-Fi support


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The Max works with near to each predominant audio and video layout accessible. TV presentations and flicks accessible in 4K and/or Dolby Imaginative and prescient performed relief with out a components on my TCL 6-Sequence TV. Since that TV lacks HDR10+ support, and my Sonos Beam soundbar equally would not embody Dolby Atmos, I become as soon as unable to examine either of those components. As now we possess written within the past, whereas or now not it’s nice that Amazon helps all of those codecs we accomplish now not judge Dolby Imaginative and prescient or HDR10+ a have to-possess, in share because or now not it’s now not a predominant image quality support over current HDR.

Annoyingly, Amazon sticks a 4K icon on apparently one thing that’s accessible in 4K, despite the indisputable truth that or now not it’s a truly worthy to pay for it. To illustrate, scrolling throughout the dwelling display I noticed a 4K icon subsequent to Mistaken Me 2. The exciting movie is equipped within the upper resolution, but most efficient whereas you happen to also can very smartly be keen to rent it or maintain it from Amazon. Streaming for gratis through Amazon’s IMDb TV will likely be in HD.

For those in a more crowded household, Wi-Fi 6 support would maybe maybe be nice whereas you happen to would maybe even possess already upgraded or are planning to substitute your Wi-Fi router within the finish to future. The tiny condo in my New York house did not present a huge venue for checking out the bandwidth enhancements, but I experienced no problems streaming from an older Eero router within the identical room.

As with most streaming sticks, you might well also vitality the machine utilizing either the incorporated wall adapter or (in case your TV helps it) plugging the USB vitality cable straight into your television. Whereas some gadgets, alongside side the Fireplace TV Stick 4K, flash warnings when utilizing USB vitality, I had no components operating the machine from the USB port on my TV.

New blue a long way off button and shortcut keys


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Amazon’s up up to now a long way off provides the Alexa verbalize assistant a prominent blue button at the tip — you might prefer to press and support it to mumble verbalize instructions — as smartly as devoted keys for Prime Video, Netflix, Disney Plus and Hulu. Whereas some of us also can now not want logos cluttering up the accomplish of the all-sad controller, I stumbled on those keys convenient. Delight in other Fireplace TV remotes, the Max additionally ability that you simply can manipulate quantity and vitality to your TV or other gadgets. 

Fireplace TV helps near to the overall predominant streaming companies and products you might well also accept as true with. It does, nevertheless, lack AirPlay support (which Roku and the Apple TV offer) or the skill to Chromecast from Android gadgets (a feature supplied by Google’s Chromecast with Google TV).


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Ever-present but now not continually worthwhile Alexa

To score the many of the Fireplace TV Stick 4K Max you might want other Amazon gadgets for your household. Alexa stays a key share of the machine, functioning as now not most efficient a search helper for opening apps, movies or presentations by verbalize but additionally controlling your dapper dwelling

As soon as you happen to would maybe if truth be told possess a Ring doorbell you might well also query to “expose me the front door” and score a true-time behold at what is going on open air. New with the 4K Max is the skill to diminish Ring to a “image-in-image” field, allowing you to protect an gaze on the door whereas you watch one thing else. Alexa instructions into the a long way off are additionally in a position to controlling dapper lights or other appliances, and there is an Alexa Home Theater audio feature that ability that you simply can pair Fireplace TV with Echo audio system.

Unfortunately, Alexa on Fireplace TV wasn’t as gentle at providing relevant search results for true TV presentations and flicks. Asking to “play Pixar movies” displayed results bask in Luca, Finding Nemo and Monsters Inc. in a “from your subscriptions” row (recognizing that I had logged into Disney Plus) as smartly as non-Pixar exciting fare bask in “Cocomelon Halloween Songs.” For some reason, it additionally effect Dave Chappelle’s fresh Netflix special The Nearer on the identical row, sandwiched in between Ratatouille and Onward.

Asking to behold Shock movies additionally brought up the likes of Mountainous and Disney’s Muppets Terrorized Mansion alongside anticipated results bask in Murky Panther and the Avengers movies. 

Amazon largely does a nice job integrating Alexa with other apps. Asserting “play the baseball sport” on a Friday afternoon spread out YouTube TV and the White Sox-Astros sport airing on MLB Network. Delight in with search, that is now not continually working as you would quiz. 

Asserting “play the tips” wouldn’t raise up YouTube TV, but as a replace opened Amazon’s devoted News app that pulls in tell from ABC News Are living, CBS News and local info stations among others. 

Luna lags, lacks games

Amazon Luna Gaming

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With the Stick 4K Max and its fresh 750MHz graphics processor, Amazon is additionally making a new effort to present its $6-per-month Luna gaming provider a condo. After I performed a handful of games I also can behold the aptitude for a real cloud gaming expertise, though at cases Amazon’s provider felt more bask in an Xbox 360 moderately than an Xbox One or Xbox Sequence X. 

I’ve experienced tear, the effect the game would not answer quick, on all cloud gaming companies and products alongside side Google’s Stadia or Microsoft’s Xbox Cloud Gaming, and Luna become as soon as no exception. I had no problems enjoying Team Sonic Racing but enjoying Regulate and DiRT Rally 2.0 become as soon as more and more hard. I bought tear on Luna regardless of my Stick 4K Max being located gentle finish to my router with like a flash Net — my Spectrum connection confirmed get speeds above 350 Mbps (with add speeds of round 20 Mbps and a ping of 20 ms).

My largest mumble with Luna, nevertheless, is now not the machine and even essentially Amazon’s infrastructure but the games themselves. Even a twelve months in, the platform easy severely lacks in games. 

Amazon Luna Gaming

Luna’s sport selection is easy missing. 

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A handful of publishers bask in Ubisoft, Capcom and 505 Games possess titles for the platform but better publishers bask in Activision, Digital Arts, Epic Games and 2K easy are now not right here, so accomplish now not quiz to play Name of Accountability, FIFA, Fortnite or NBA 2K. (The indisputable truth that, at the time this become as soon as printed, Amazon it sounds as if lists Capcom as “Campcom” on its web pages raises questions to me on how serious the company is taking this endeavor.)

Getting the most out of Luna will price you. Ubisoft’s titles, bask in A ways Direct 6 and Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, are locked at the help of a subscription to Ubisoft Plus, which runs $18 per thirty days. Other titles bask in a SpongeBob sport from THQ Nordic and a Garfield Kart racing sport from Microids required an extra subscription to Luna’s Family Channel, which is one other $3 per thirty days. A Luna controller is $70, though you might well also spend an Xbox One controller or PlayStation 4 DualShock whereas you happen to would maybe even possess either laying round. 

If Amazon builds out its games platform or opens up the Stick 4K Max to other platforms (particularly Xbox Cloud Gaming) this machine would maybe maybe be priceless as an more cost effective technique to score games to your TV with out a console. For now, nevertheless, Google Stadia on the Chromecast with Google TV is a better wager, with more developer support and the skill to sport in 4K HDR.

The handiest Fireplace TV Stick you might well also score


Sarah Tew/CNET

As soon as you happen to also can score by Amazon’s bugs and interface quirks and are buying for a like a flash and worthy media streamer, the fresh Fireplace TV Stick 4K Max tests near to the overall containers. It has strong app support, opens acknowledged apps in actuality quick and would maybe perhaps control your dapper dwelling. 

Of us that are living in an Apple or Google world and put now not depend on Alexa would maybe maybe be at an advantage with a Roku or a streamer from either of those firms. And gamers? Smartly, Luna mustn’t be a reason to capture any machine in 2021. 

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