Product Review: The Amazon Fire Stick

Caleb Conklin, Reporter

These days, if you buy a new TV, you’re probably getting a smart TV. A smart TV is a TV that comes equipped with internet compatibility and can run various apps such as Netflix, Hulu and other streaming apps. These TVs are getting much cheaper now, and have basically replaced normal TVs. What if you already have a TV and want the smart features, but don’t want to replace it just to get this functionality? Well, Amazon aims to solve this problem with their $30 Fire TV Stick.

The Fire Stick reviewed here is the new 2019 version with the 2nd generation remote. The Fire Stick is a small dongle with a similar form factor to a USB stick that you plug into the back of your TV. Once powered on, it will show you the Amazon app store where you can download any streaming apps that you want to use. All the streaming apps are here, including the network specific apps, and they all run incredibly smoothly at full HD with no stutters. 

The main menu of the Fire Stick is very pleasing to use, with smooth animations and quick navigation. The main apps section can be sorted to fit how you’d like them placed, and there’s a recently used section to show you the last five apps you opened. It supports casting, so you can project video from your phone, and it can even browse the internet with the included web browser.


The main feature of the 2019 Fire Stick is the new remote. The remote still retains it’s small comfortable design, with clicky buttons and a mic button to toggle voice controls, but it now has a highly requested feature. Previously the remote only controlled the Fire Stick, so you still had to use your TV’s included remote to turn it on and control volume. The new remote features a power button and volume buttons that automatically sync to your TV, allowing you to use just the Fire Stick remote to control everything, bringing it closer to that true smart TV experience. I would really appreciate the addition of an input button on it in the future, but besides that, it’s perfect. I think that this feature is what really pushes it over the top and makes it better than it’s competitors, the Apple TV and Chromecast.

So, if you already have a TV, but want those smart features, the Fire Stick is your best choice.