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Amazon's cheapest Fire TV Stick is simple but effective.
The first Fire TV Stick was released back in 2014, and since then, Amazon has upgraded and expanded its Fire TV range to include three smart TV sticks and the more sophisticated Amazon Fire TV Cube.
The Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite was one of the newest additions, having been released late last year, becoming the cheapest Fire TV Stick yet at £29.99. But does the price mean you're missing out? Or is there no need to spend any more?
In our opinion, the answer largely depends on whether you're willing to spend £10 more. If you are, the result is the Amazon Fire TV Stick, which was also updated last year. For the most part, the features, such as HD streaming and voice control, are the same, but the extra addition of power and volume buttons on the remote do make for a more enjoyable TV experience.
If you think having to swap between remotes to turn off the TV or change volume is going to bug you, you may want to think about paying that extra tenner. Otherwise, the Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite is more than capable of streaming all your favourite shows.
To find out how this smart TV stick compares to other devices, read our NOW TV Smart Stick review, Nvidia Shield TV Pro review and Roku Express 4K review. Or try our best streaming device round-up for more options.
Being the cheapest Amazon Fire TV Stick, you know that it isn't going to have the sophistication of the Amazon Fire TV Cube. After all, the bigger device is nearly four times the price. The Fire TV Stick Lite is simple but still gives you access to the Fire TV homepage, the same good choice apps and channels as all the other Fire TV devices, and HD streaming. The annoyance of having no volume and power buttons is lessened somewhat by circumnavigating it with voice control, but it is a little tiresome.
Price: Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite is available from Amazon for £29.99.
The Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite is the cheapest of Amazon's Fire TV devices. For £29.99, the streaming stick offers full HD streaming of on-demand and streaming services like Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video and BBC iPlayer. With the accompanying voice remote, you can use the Alexa voice button to control your TV and search the Fire TV homepage.
Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite gives you access to various on-demand and streaming services from one device. It is particularly useful for allowing you to stream on older TVs that do not have smart capabilities. Amazon makes four Fire TV devices, and the Fire TV Stick Lite is the cheapest at £29.99.
At £29.99, the Fire TV Stick Lite is the most affordable streaming stick Amazon has made to date. Despite being £10 less than the original Fire TV Stick, the Lite has many of the same key features. Both stream in HD and have the same Fire TV homepage and apps, making the Fire TV Stick Lite good value for money.
The one major difference is that the Fire TV Stick Lite does not have power or volume buttons on the remote. If you don't think it will bother you having to switch between remotes, buying the Fire TV Stick Lite will save you a little bit of money, and it is unlikely that you'll feel like Amazon has scrimped on any other areas.
Buying any smart TV device will mean another cable to contend with, but the Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite is one of the neatest. Like all the other Fire TV Sticks, the Lite plugs straight into the HDMI port in the back of the TV. This means that, for the most part, it is hidden and out of the way.
The Voice Remote Lite that comes with the smart TV stick is smaller than a traditional TV remote. The design is extremely simple, with a total of nine buttons, including pause/play and home and an Alexa voice button.
The voice control helps side-step the lack of volume buttons and makes the already user-friendly homepage easier to navigate. The Fire TV interface is dominated by Amazon's own apps and channels, especially when it comes to Prime Video shows. Anyone with an Amazon Prime Video membership will therefore find it extremely familiar and intuitive.
For voice search, Alexa is activated by the ‘microphone/voice’ button at the top of the remote. Fire TV is quick to respond to any request and had no trouble taking us to the requested app the first time. We found the voice search function made navigating the Fire TV homepage simple and quick.
As the cheapest Fire TV Stick, the Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite only offers HD streaming. However, we found that we still enjoyed watching TV shows via the smart TV stick and that there were no buffering or delays between apps.
It is worth noting that if you intend to use the Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite to bring an old TV back to life, it might not be worth spending any more. The price of more expensive smart TV devices is largely justified because they can stream in 4K – rather than HD like the Fire TV Stick Lite.
However, if you do not have a 4K TV, you will not be able to take advantage of these capabilities and therefore, saving some money with a cheaper device like the Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite or Roku Express is definitely worth it.
The Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite comes with all the equipment you need to get started, including AAA batteries and a power adaptor. You do not need to buy anything separately.
The whole set up process took approximately 15 minutes, although software updates took up a good chunk of that time. We suggest going to make a cup of tea while you wait.
Once the device is out of the box, the Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite slots into the HDMI port in the back of the TV, instructions will then appear on the TV screen, and you will be prompted through them. This includes entering the Wi-Fi password and logging into an Amazon account.
When you are through this initial stage, you can adjust various parental and privacy settings and restore any apps you may have had installed on previous Fire TV devices. The parental settings allow you to filter out any non-age appropriate shows that you may not want younger family members watching on their profile. This is also an opportunity to add any additional apps you may want from first use, although you can add and download additional apps at any time.
The Amazon Fire TV Stick and its cheaper counterpart, the Fire TV Stick Lite, are almost identical in design and features. For example, both will have the same apps and channels, including the newly-launched IMDb TV, which is free of charge to watch for those with a Fire TV device.
However, there are a few key differences that are worth highlighting.
The most obvious difference is the price. The Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite is £10 cheaper than the original Fire TV Stick. With the higher RRP of £39.99, the Amazon Fire TV Stick has additional power and volume buttons on the remote. This allows you to fully control the TV with the Alexa Voice Remote Lite, rather than switching to and from the main TV remote.
The lack of volume controls on the Fire TV Stick Lite's remote can be somewhat worked around with the voice controls. Activated by a button on the remote, you can request the Fire TV Stick turn up or down the volume, negating the need for the main TV remote.
If you have a lot of Amazon subscriptions and you want a cheap device to help you watch them all from one place, the Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite will do the job. The design of the smart TV stick and remote is simple but provides you with a way to stream a great range of apps and channels in full HD.
Because the Fire TV homepage is very heavily geared towards Prime Video content, the Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite will always better suit those with a membership. Still, there's plenty of other on-demand services to watch too.
The only slight annoyance is the lack of power and volume buttons on the remote. Many will be fine switching between remotes to change volume – or use voice control – but if you know it will bother you, you may want to consider spending just £10 extra for the Amazon Fire TV Stick.
Streaming quality: 3/5
Value for Money: 4/5
Ease of set-up: 4/5
Overall rating: 3.5/5
The Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite is available at several retailers.