Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote | Streaming Media Player
“The next generation of our best-selling Fire TV Stick–now with the Alexa Voice Remote. Enjoy tens of thousands of channels, apps, and Alexa skills with access to over 500,000 movies and TV episodes from Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu, HBO, SHOWTIME, NBC, and more. Plus, access millions of websites such as YouTube, Facebook, and Reddit with browsers like Silk and Firefox. Launch and control content with the included Alexa Voice Remote. Simply say, “Play Game of Thrones” or “Launch Netflix” and Alexa will respond instantly. Plus, play music, find movie show times, order a pizza, and more—just ask. No cable or satellite? No problem. Watch the best of live TV and sports from AMC, HGTV, ESPN, FOX, and others with a subscription to DIRECTV NOW, Sling TV, or top-rated primetime shows with CBS All Access. Find the best way to watch with universal search results from over 190 channels and apps including Netflix, Hulu, and Prime Video.
Amazon Prime membership unlocks thousands of movies and TV episodes, including Thursday Night Football, Amazon Original Series, Prime Video Channels, and ad-free listening to millions of songs with Prime Music. Pick up where you left off. Bring hit shows and movies with you when you travel. Plug Fire TV Stick into any TV’s HDMI port, connect to Wi-Fi, and continue streaming. Play current favorites or quickly discover what to watch next directly from the Home screen.
The Roku Express is a 1080p streaming device that brings all means of streaming services to non-smart TVs with things like Netflix, Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer and Now Tv. It’s the most affordable unit in the company’s selection and the 1080p device is the sibling to the more expensive 4K Streaming Stick+. Currently, it’s in its second generation and it claims to offer five times faster than the previous generation Roku Express. It’s part of a competitive market, it goes up against other excellent streaming devices like Chromecast from Google and the Amazon Fire TV Stick. At just $30 in the US, Roku Express is one of the least costly ways to add Netflix, Youtube, Plex and other streaming apps to your TV.
Roku Express does things differently when it comes to its design, it doesn’t have the basic dongle design, it’s a small plastic box that sits right beneath the TV, leads connect with an HDMI port and into a USB socket for power. It’s not as tidy and tucked away a solution like some of its competitors but it can also be helpful if the back panel of your TV is a bit of a squeeze. It comes with a small remote to control all the normal navigation and playback functions with some shortcut buttons on the unit. This includes Netflix, and some weird choices such as Red Bull TV, Rakuten TV, and YuppTV. It would be a bit more useful to have buttons for things like Now TV, Amazon or even iPlayer but those companies probably paid to be on the device. The Roku Express black plastic shape isn’t going to be anything revolutionary but once you connect it, it will most likely stay untouched and unnoticed.
Setting up Roku Express and getting it running is super easy as plugging it in and following the on-screen instructions. The instructions walk you through setting up your Wi-Fi network and check for any firmware update. The screen might be a little fuzzy in the setup screens because it will be running at 720p but it will fix itself after the setup and once it is able to check your display and connection; it will optimize by itself. After everything is complete, you will be asked to register your device on Roku’s website. You can easily pick the services you want to download to your Express. You can add more later but it gives you a starter for six. There are plenty of choices to choose from like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, All 4, ITV Player and Demand 5 are all there and correct.
Unlike Amazon’s full-on home screen interface, Roku takes a simpler approach with a short-on screen menu and square thumbnails of apps that you have chosen. Move across to select an app. The programme suggestions are supposed to adapt to your liking over time. The menu is pretty straightforward and includes settings, a search function and a link to the channel store for browsing for more apps. The Roku Express interface is not the most stylish but it is clean, clear and easy to navigate. The Roku Express is way faster than the original version of the Express with way less waiting around and a much smoother browsing experience. The improvement is huge but falls a bit short to its competitors.
So, why would you want to but the Roku Express, well, for $30, it’s hard to beat the Roku Express and what it offers, with a pretty big selection of apps and a simple interface with a neutral look, it challenges other streaming devices like the Fire TV Stick.
Overall, the Roku Express is hard to beat because it is the cheapest of its kind on the market.
- Good app selection
- Easy to use
- Roku OS is amazing
- Easy to set up
- No Ethernet port
- No 4K
- Some apps look outdated
Fire HD 10 Alexa-Enabled Tablet
Amazon Fire HD 8 is one of the cheapest tablets you can buy from a known company, it is super affordable and unlike other similar priced Android devices, it is actually good for the price. If you are really into tech and aren’t buying for yourself, then you might want to consider buying something more expensive to get more features but if you are buying it for someone then, this makes a great gift. The Fire HD 8 is perfect for people with modest expectations and it’s pretty easy to recommend to family members that don’t want something fancy like an iPad. This tablet is an example of the perfect way to get on some Prime content while having the addition of Alex and that gives it something unique that a lot of tablets just don’t have.
One of the best things about the Amazon Fire HD 8 is that while it is a cheap tablet, it doesn’t look old or from 5 years ago like some other in this price range. It’s not thick or heavy and nor does it have an ultra-wide screen surround that makes a tablet seem bulky and old. The build is good for the price, there’s the tiniest bit of casing flex under significant hand pressure and the display doesn’t distort when you press down on the front. Amazon made a tablet that isn’t going to disappoint buyers because the build is amazing and especially for that price, you can’t complain.
The screen might bring some people down a bit because the specs are basic which is normal for all the low-cost Fire Tablets, but what is most noticeable is the lack of display contrast in the decently-lit room. The screen is highly reactive which makes the black appear a bit great. Amazon Fire HD8 will look low energy compared with your smartphone unless you increase the brightness by a decent amount and this makes the contrast look better.
Fire HD 8 runs Fire OS which is based on Android but looks different and feels complete. Not much as changed in the OS from the devices running it. Fire OS is the boldest service-driven software system anywhere. It’s plenty of homescreens which push Amazon-owned services like Instant Video, Kindle Store, Amazon, Audible and there’s more. The interface can be annoying sometimes and it won’t be for everyone but it’s still a great tablet. Amazon also has Alexa which is regarded as one of the best personal assistants out in the market. It can do many things from things like change music to things like controlling your smart lights.
The Amazon Fire HD 8 isn’t too fast but that’s due to the OS that makes it slower compared to normal Android. While playing some intensive games on the tablet, they ran fast enough to be fun. It has MediaTek processor which is comparable to low-end CPUs from Snapdragon, it has four 1.3GHz Cortex-A5x cores and the dual-core version of the Mali T720 GPU. They have also upgraded on Wi-Fi module and makes streaming a bit more reliable. The speakers a bit disappointing, there are 2 drivers, one at each end at the bottom edge. In games, this provides a bit of stereo effect. The tone is nothing special, it’s a bit thin and lacks the power that was in older and more expensive Fire models.
Amazon Fire HD 8 is good enough in every department but the camera, the 2-megapixel camera on the rear and the VGA camera on the front are the most basic cameras you can get on a mobile device. They barely look good at all on the screen of the tablet. Dynamic range is poor to where using HDR mode is necessary when taking shots outside but the mode is very slow. The cameras are basically here for your children who want to take pictures but you don’t want to give them your phone. The Fire HD 8 lasts up to 12 hours of battery life.
The Fire HD 8 is a good tablet at an affordable price, making an easy recommendation for anyone on a tight budget. The screen is decent, the build quality is decent and there’s plenty of storage and battery, plus you get Alexa which is the cherry on top. If you willing to live with some negatives that we’ve talked about and are looking for a nice first tablet and are on a budget then, this is a good tablet for you.
- Low price
- Good battery life
- Great Prime integration
- Loud speakers
- Dual-band Wi-Fi
- Easy to Use
- Ad-filled interface
- Slow basic navigation
- Poor cameras
- 8 in. 1280 x 800 LCD IPS screen
- Quad-core MediaTek MT8135 CPU
- VGA selfie camera
- 2 megapixel rear camera