Amazon Fire TV Stick Review – A Streaming Device That’s Easy to Use and Thrifty

This past October, my thrifty friend Charlie gifted me with an Amazon Fire TV Stick for my birthday. Not being as technologically advanced as he is, I hadn’t heard much about the device and what it could do.

When I opened it up and tried out the device, I was immediately hooked.

Streaming is the new way to watch TV

The trend these days seems to be that more and more of us are cutting the cable cord. But many of us still want a way to stream the shows and movies that we enjoy – when want. This is where streaming comes in. Instead of accessing cable, we are using our internet connection. 

Many devices have come onto the scene since streaming has gotten faster and more reliable. Among the most popular (besides the Fire TV Stick):

  • Google Chromecast
  • Roku
  • Apple TV
  • and even your video game console

The rise of these devices has allowed many folks to slash their cable bills and has given them more freedom to choose what they want to watch and when.

Fire TV Stick is one of the best

While I haven’t tried many of the other streaming devices (I’d like to hear if you have), I have read other reviews and many people put the Fire TV Stick at the top of their list. And, I can see why. Again, I’m not ultra-techie – but the device was very easy to set-up and get going.

It’s basically a 3-step process to install:

installation steps for fire tv

  1. Plug the stick into your HDTV
  2. Plug in an outlet
  3. Connect to your WIFI

Once you get it going, there is a prompt (an animated fella, actually) that guides you through the Fire TV Stick’s features and capabilities. It’s really a simple process and you are up and running in minutes.

If you are an Amazon Prime member, you will log in with your credentials and have access to 250,000 movies and TV shows. New programs are added all the time. (I will say this: I have been a subscriber to Netflix – and while Netflix’s selection is a bit better than what Prime offers – it is still a thrifty deal, being that you don’t have the monthly charge).

Among the other things you can stream with Fire TV stick:

  • Games
  • Music
  • Youtube (and other online video services)
  • Sports (like ESPN)
  • News

The stick also has 1GB of storage where you can upload your photos and videos and have access to them if you want to show friends/family. Very handy!

fire stick remote
Amazon Fire TV stick and remote

When you order the device, it also comes with a handy remote that takes a little while to get used to, as it has a radial dial. Once you get the hang of it, you’re off to the races.

There’s also the Amazon Fire TV

Amazon has also come out with the Fire TV. This device is a little larger, has more storage and features and (you guessed it), costs more. Here is a break-down on the comparisons between the stick and TV courtesy of Amazon.

fire stick vs tv

To be honest, I think the stick would be good enough for most folks. The biggest benefit of the TV is that it has voice recognition (which is a good benefit, as you will find out after using the stick for a period of time).

Win a Fire TV

We are giving away a Fire TV to one reader. All you have to do is comment below with your favorite movie or show and you’ll be entered. Contest ends next Friday (7/31) at midnight and a winner will be notified by email on 8/3. One entry per person/household please. US residents only. Being a subscriber to TTG does increase your odds of winning. :)

Congrats to Kent who was randomly selected as the winner of an Amazon Fire TV! Thanks for playing along everyone!

Have you tried the Fire TV or Fire TV stick? What are your thoughts on the device?

Purchase a Fire TV stick

Amazon Fire TV Stick

Amazon Fire TV Stick



    Ease of use







          • Easy install
          • Easy to use
          • Saves money / cut cable
          • Remote


          • Remote can be tedious at times
          • Streaming can drag with poor WIFI
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          1. Ruth Parcells says:

            I am interested in finding out more about the fire stick and would like to give it a try. My favorite movie is Fight Club, (anti consumerism) and I like Dr. Who TV series. I am subscribed to the newsletter.

          2. Shane C says:

            This has definitely peaked my Interest more. I’ve been debating over the Fire Stick or Fire TV version for awhile now and the Fire Stick looks as though It would be quite easy and handy to use. Although, I do like the overall specs better of the Fire TV and the fact that you can play more Intense games. Voice recognition Is a bonus as well. I think I’ll give the Fire Stick a try and see how much I like It. If I like It as much as I’m anticipating, I definitely get the Fire TV. At least this way when I finally decide to cut the cord for good, I have other options ready to go.

            One of my fave TV shows Is The Walking Dead. Thanks so much for the giveaway and the chance to win. =)

          3. Karma says:

            Fire TV stick sounds like a great idea. I’d have to find out where to watch The Fosters. One of the best shows on tv.

          4. Susie Carson says:

            My friend has been talking about the Fire Stick for some time now and she is loving it! She talked me into Amazon Prime and I love it, so I’d like to purchase the Fire Stick when I go back to work. I’d love to win one though! :)

            My current favorite show is Sense8 on Netflix! If you like sci-fi or thrillers, you’ll love this one! Along that line, my other favorite is Humans on AMC. Love the concept and it’s an exciting show!

            Thanks for all your good work Three Thrifty Guys!

          5. susan says:

            i have the apple tv which is ok, but would love to try the stick. my favorite show right now is “house” as we lived in the uk for 12 years and missed it because it wasn’t on there. we’re popping thru at 2-5 every day and haven’t been bored yet. i’m also a subscriber to the newsletter and want to say thanks for what you do–always interesting even if not useful to our needs.

          6. Forrest Bivens says:

            We also abandoned cable TV and now use rabbit ears for major area channels and Roku for access to additional options. Favorite show? BBC’s serial production of Pride and Prejudice.

          7. Kristen says:

            I agree that the Stick is probably good enough. The Amazon Fire TV app lets you do voice commands for your Fire stick, so if you download the app the Fire TV doesn’t really get that voice advantage you suggest. I do think that if your wifi stinks and you have a nearby ethernet (internet) connection then the Fire TV would be a better fit as the Stick is wifi only.

            I love Bosch, which is an Amazon Prime exclusive show (made for Prime). There are many Amazon Prime exclusive shows which are HUGE award winners, but I haven’t had the opportunity to see them all.

          8. ria says:

            I’m on the low side of high tech myself so I love this review and how simple you make the Fire stick sound. My favorite TV show is Antiques Road Show on pbs but I do enjoy a good movie. Thanks.
            PS I’m a new subscriber.

            • Debbie DiPietro says:

              I will have to really look into the Fire Stick. I still have Time Warner Cable & oh how I dislike them!!!!

          9. Doris Rhine says:

            One of my favorite movies is the quirky indie The gods must be crazy. I would like to win the Amazon Fire TV!

          10. Mayia says:

            Currently I’m enjoying a marathon of “Strike Back” on Amazon Prime while I wait for Netflix to bring back second seasons of Marco Polo and Daredevil. Currently using an older Roku and have been thinking about upgrading to a Kindle Fire TV. And I still don’t regret getting rid of cable service. Always enjoy your newsletter since I discovered it!

          11. Jason says:

            I’ll give it a try…

            Favorite TV show used to be Top Gear. Not sure if will be around anymore. Favorite movie, based strictly on number of times viewed, is Christmas Vacation.

            We are about to cancel our service (again) but I may have to wait until after college football season. How does the ESPN work? Subscription? Live or replay?

            Also, not the most frugal move, but many televisions now have the built in wifi and apps to stream video. Our older television does not, but the new one we bought has the service built in.

          12. Kent says:

            I like Person of Interest for TV. As for movies, there are too many to mention. But my favorite classic is Bridge on the River Kwai.

          13. Bjorn says:

            About a month ago the Walmart electronics associate recommended the Roku Streaming Stick – it is amazing. I would assume the Amazon Fire Stick is similar. I think they both have their pluses and minuses. Sometimes it does freeze up and the remote can be tedious at times too, but overall, an amazing amount of content for cheap. Oh, plus our wifi sometimes goes out on us, and then it is useless, so you really need reliable wifi.

            Favorite movie or show? Probably Gladiator/Braveheart or more kid friendly, The Incredibles :)

          14. Mandi Lancette says:

            My family and I enjoy watching “The Middle” and “Straight off the Boat” On Demand together. We haven’t cut the cable cord yet as my husband believes we would pay the same amount for Comcast WiFi as we pay for cable and WiFi bundled. I haven’t crunched the numbers but I’m wondering if other devices do not offer Fox Sports North, ESPN, etc and that is really why we haven’t gotten rid of cable.

          15. Chuck Stroup says:

            I really like “Buying Alaska” since it’s something I will never do but at least hope to visit there! I’ve used a Google Chromecast for about a year or so and we get a charge out of sending stuff to the big screen. We see the future – and it doesn’t include supporting channels we dislike at prices we despise!!!!

          16. Cindy says:

            I have been debating which streaming device to buy for my tv that is the furthest distance from my router. From the comparison you provided, sounds like I need the Fire TV. My favorite tv shows are NCIS and Madam Secretary. Thanks for all you do.

          17. Judi in NJ says:

            I am so low tech, but I hate skyrocketing Verizon prices. I wonder if you have to have a special kind of TV to use this set up. Is there a demo anywhere that I could use to see if this would work for me?

          18. Jodi says:

            My favorite show is House of Cards. Oh, and love Luther too!

            Love the idea of not being bound to cable. How do you watch sports on Fire Stick/TV and would that require an additional subscription?

          19. Sheila Laurence says:

            I am currently researching non-cable options, so I was so happy to see your post. Sports are still my biggest question. We love Top Gear here.

            • Aaron says:

              Sheila – I think sports is the biggest block for most to cut the cord. I know it is for me as well. Im hearing some things about Sling TV – they do have some sports options.

          20. Ellen says:

            This sounds like a good option for my in-laws who are tempted to get a new TV just for internet capabilities. My favorite show is Parenthood — I’m finally getting around to watching it on Netflix.

          21. MEL810 says:

            My favorite TV show is Scandal, although there are many others I like just about as much.
            I tend to like mystery and comedy and almost anything on PBS & MHZ.
            Movies:” “FX 1 & 2”, True Lies, and Burn After Reading.
            On cable I liked Dr. Who, Salvage Dogs & Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and many of the shows on the History Channel. I never got premium cable with HBO, etc.
            We cut cable. It was just too expensive for what they offer. And now the jerks have hiked our bill (Comcast phone & Internet) $20.00 in one month!
            I have an Amazon Fire Stick that I bought on Prime Day on sale. Haven’t set it up yet. I had Netflix but didn’t use it enough to keep paying a monthly charge.

          22. Karen says:

            My favorite show is Big Bang Theory.
            Thanks for the chance to win. I really am dying to try the fire stick. Looks awesome :)

          23. Bob says:

            I have enjoyed the CTV show Motive, broadcast here on ABC. ABC hasn’t picked up the third season yet, but CTV has already broadcast it in Canada! I wonder if the stick can grab that.

          24. Nancy says:

            What a amazing item this is! It would save so much money and that is a great thing! My favorite show of all time is NCIS NEW ORLEANS! Thank you so much for the reviews of these. Good luck to all! Huge blessings & Joy always

          25. Tracy Simms says:

            I heard about this but I am soooo use to cable that I don’t know if I can make a switch LOL..thanks for this review

          26. Becky B. says:

            I really like the idea of streaming, not sure how to do that and still have access to sporting events…we are HUGE sports fans. My husband would have withdrawals if he couldn’t get Sports Center. We enjoy House of Cards.
            Thanks for the insight!

          27. JC says:

            Fairly new reader here. I’d love to try Fire! Favorite shows are Last Man Standing, The Middle, and Big Bang Theory. Movies are My Cousin Vinnie, Blues Brothers, and Apollo 13. Thanks!

          28. lisacb says:

            I need to look further into streaming. There are several shows I watch live, but all others are on my DVR. My main question is how long is the wait between airing on the major networks and the availability of streaming. Also, I am a n NFL Redzone freak, and worry about missing important live football and my Gamecocks. I would be interested in exploring the Fire Stick further. I have a Kindle Fire and love it~

            • Aaron says:

              Hi Lisa – yeah, sports is the real block for most folks (and one of the reasons why I haven’t cut the cord). There are some online websites that offer online streaming – but can’t vouch for their legitimacy. Once this is resolved by someone – I think many folks will jump ship.

          29. Kent says:

            Hey folks, I’m the lucky guy who won the Amazon Fire TV box from Three Thrifty Guys. First of all, the contests are for real; the prize showed up promptly after I heard I won.

            I just got around to installing the Fire TV this week. We were delayed due to a house move. The images are fantastic. I love how it automatically knows everything (music, tv, movies) that I’ve purchased from Amazon in the past and they are available on the Fire.

            First of all, you’ll be shocked at how small this is. I’d say the whole package is the size of a paperback book and the Fire device itself is the size of an external DVD player for a laptop. The control can be hidden in the palm of your hand. We’ll have to be careful not to loose it in couch cushions.

            The voice search is amazing. I thought it would be one of those gee-whiz features that no one ever uses, but my wife loves that she has a minimum number of buttons to push to get to programming.

            There’s a huge selection of apps here. I’d say this is a must have streaming device if you are an Amazon Prime member. And there’s a broad selection of channel apps available, such as Netflix, Hulu, plus your favorite channels.

            I can’t quite cut the cord at home – I haven’t found an antenna that works for me yet – but DirectTV/Dish are gone and I’m scaling cable back to just the basic channels. The Fire TV is a big step forward to snipping the cable bill altogether.

          30. Janie Barton says:

            Firestick is just the thing i need to go with my tv antanna. Just bought clear tv. FAILED….only picks up within 35 miles. Headed to Amazon Prime membership to check on membership fee. My favorite show is Shameless.. I cant wait to see the next story line. Wonder if these writers do other shows……and i wonder where they get these stories?
            love to hang with these guys for a day

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