When it comes to binge-watching, perhaps a media player or a media streaming device does come in handy. While there are plenty of strong contenders in the market, Amazon’s family of streaming devices such as the Fire TV Cube and the Fire Stick are popular and for a good reason. If you find yourself struggling to decide which of these products that’s the best bang for the bucks, we analyzed its functionalities, pros, and cons thoroughly to help you make a better choice. So, are you ready to transform your binge-watching experience at home? Here is everything you need to know about the difference between Fire TV vs Fire Stick.
What Is the Difference Between Fire TV Cube and Fire Stick?
Fire TV Cube vs Fire Stick: The Price Points
- Amazon Fire TV Cube: $119.90
- Amazon FireStick: $29.90
Amazon’s Fire TV Cube is one of the higher-priced streaming devices. It provides you with 4K Ultra HD, HDR, and HDR+ features, offering one of the top-quality integrations among media-streaming devices. Fire TV is recognized as one of the best Amazon streaming players for comprehensive entertainment. With Fire Cube, you’ll have cordless movie streaming, access to more than 500,000 types of digital media, and smart home functionalities through its Alexa Voice Remote. You will have a complete package consisting of a Fire Cube media player, a power adapter and USB cable, two AAA batteries, and the 1st generation Alexa Voice Remote as well as a manual and a product guide.
For budget-friendly media-streaming devices, the Fire Stick is an excellent option. Despite the lack of HDR and 4K Ultra HD features, Amazon’s Fire Stick includes 1080p picture quality, integrated with Dolby Audio, live streaming without a cable, access to more than 500,000 movies, TV episodes, and films, and Alexa Voice Remote support. For $40, you’ll receive a complete media-streaming package consisting of a Fire TV stick media player, a power adapter and USB cable, an HDMI extender, two AAA batteries, and a quick installation guide.
Both Fire TV and Fire Stick are available through Amazon, Target, and Best Buy.
Fire TV vs Fire Stick: Design
One of the noticeable differences between Fire Cube vs. Fire Stick is its design and aesthetics. Amazon’s Fire Cube is roughly around 1 pound and this device is bulkier. However, the installation is fairly easy and straightforward. AAll you need to do is to place the Fire Cube at least 1 to 2 feet away from the speaker, then connect to your TV HDMI port and home internet. Follow the onscreen prompts to set up.
The Fire Stick is 1.1 ounces in weight and has 3.4”x1.2”x0.5” dimensions. Similar to a USB flash drive, Amazon’s Fire Stick has a rectangular shape. Since it’s more lightweight compared to the Fire TV, the Fire Stick is an ideal option behind HD televisions and can be used as a portable entertainment.
Similar to the Fire TV, you just simply plug into your HDTV, connect the power adapter, connect to your home network, and start watching your favorite movies, and TV shows. Amazon’s Fire Stick also comes with an Alexa Voice Remote, enabling you to surf through channels and digital media with just your voice commands. Also, the Fire Stick is compatible with Echo devices for smooth hands-free control when you’re binge-watching.
Fire TV Cube vs. Fire Stick: Interface
Since both media-streaming devices are powered by Amazon, the Fire Cube and Fire Stick pretty much have the same user interface. Your streaming device will immediately boot up as soon as you plug it into your HDTV. Once it has successfully booted for the first time, you’ll need to press a few buttons on the remote control to pair it with your Fire TV or Fire Stick. Once you’ve paired both devices successfully, you can choose your default language, connect to your Wi-Fi, and input your password using the on-screen keyboard.
After setting up everything, the Fire TV Cube and Fire Stick will prompt the user to log-in with an Amazon account. If you purchased the Fire TV or Fire Stick from Amazon yourself, the streaming devices already have an associated Amazon account. If this is the case, you’ll skip this process. Otherwise, you will need to create a new account or log out of the previous user account if you received it as a gift.
Once done with the account and initial setup, your Fire TV Cube or Fire Stick device will redirect you into the Fire OS home panel. From the Fire OS home panel, you can see Amazon’s recommended shows, movies, and apps. Navigating through the menus is extremely quick and easy. The user interface is organized in a seemingly straightforward layout. As such, it’s easy to navigate on the screen even if it’s your first time using the device. The recently opened apps and movies are displayed on the home screen. You can also scroll up and across to browse for different apps and movies.
The minor drawback for some is that numerous apps won’t display their content directly from the home screen. That said, you will have to open the app first on the HDTV and then search for the specific movies or content within the app itself. As such, streaming your favorite movies can take a while, especially if you’re simply browsing through the Fire TV Cube and Fire Stick’s search functionality.
Both streaming media packages already included a standard Alexa-enabled remote control. However, the first generation of Fire TV Cube and Fire Stick didn’t have the microphone feature at all when it was first introduced to the public. Now, the package for all devices already includes the standard Alexa remote control with basic buttons. It includes the home, rewind, menu/options, rewind, fast-forward, play and pause, back, confirm, and D-pad buttons.
For the newer generations namely Fire TV Cube and Fire Stick 4K, they’ll have the upgraded Alexa remote control. However, if you’re planning to purchase the 1st generation of Fire Cube and Fire Stick, both devices still have the regular voice control features of Alexa. With the newly-upgraded Alexa remote, it already includes the power and mute buttons as well as the volume up and down buttons.
With Alexa-enabled remote control, it’ll automatically sync with your HDTV and you can also control the whole HDTV set using this remote.
Fire TV Cube vs Fire Stick: Alexa
Similar to other Amazon gadgets available nowadays, both Fire TV and Fire Stick are well-supported with Alexa, the popular smart home functionality and voice assistant feature. As a result, you can verify traffic situations, lookup game scores, manage your grocery list, check the current weather, and create a new playlist just using your voice. Amazon’s Fire Stick and Fire TV have the voice remote controls. That said, you can immediately start using Alexa as soon as you have completed the necessary setup of the device on your HDTV.
Apps and Channels
Both bloodlines is the plethora of digital content access. Are you running out of good movies to stream? You’ll definitely not have this dilemma with the Fire TV Cube. You can watch more than 500,000 movies, documentaries, TV shows, and series. From popular streaming services such as Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, HBO, Starz, Showtime, Amazon Prime Video, and many others. If you want to play your favorite songs, Fire TV also provides you with music-streaming capabilities through Spotify, Prime Music, and iHeartRadio. With Fire TV, you can also check updates with your social media accounts such as YouTube, Reddit, and Facebook.
If you’ll be cutting the cord with your cable subscription, it’s possible with Fire TV Cube. It allows you to stream live channels in two different ways. You can buy an indoor HD antenna that’ll be connected to your HDTV so you can watch PBS, NBC, and other channels for free. On the contrary, you can watch programs with a paid subscription from Disney+, Sling TV, Hulu, PlayStation Vue, and DirectTV Now.
With Fire Stick, you’ll have the same experience and perks, just with more affordable pricing. That said, you can watch a diverse range of digital content from subscription-based platforms such as Prime Video, Netflix, Hulu, and HBO. Social media giants YouTube, Facebook, and Reddit are also accessible using Amazon’s Fire Stick. Similar to the Fire TV Cube, watching live TV using an HD antenna connected directly from your HDTV is possible with Fire Stick. You can also watch digital media from subscription-based services such as Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, and Hulu.
In terms of digital content subscription, both Fire TV Cube and Fire Stick don’t require a monthly subscription fee. A one-time payment will be made once you’ve purchased the device itself. To use the Fire Stick and Fire TV, you will need to register for an Amazon account; however, you don’t need to pay for a Prime subscription. Instead, if you have movie-streaming apps such as Netflix, Hulu, and HBO, you will need to pay a monthly subscription fee from their respective platforms. Otherwise, you will have access to a diverse range of digital content for free. If you have an Amazon Prime subscription, there are unlimited options to stream.
Which One To Choose?
If you want the ultimate binge-watching or movie-streaming experience at home, then the Fire TV Cube is your excellent choice. With Fire TV, you’ll enjoy theatre-like surround sound, HDR, HDR+, and 4K Ultra HD display quality. Also, it is an Alexa-supported voice remote for smooth and straightforward browsing, streaming, and launching of digital content. You will also have other functions with Alexa beyond streaming commands.
For more affordable yet similar perks, the Fire Stick is an ideal choice. Despite the absence of HDR and 4K Ultra HD features, you will still enjoy high-quality audio and picture when you’re streaming your favorite series, movies, and documentaries. Also, it’s the best portable media-streaming player that you can bring with you while traveling. It’s 100% compatible with HDTV with HDMI ports.
In terms of performance, both devices definitely deliver as they promise.
Pros and Cons For Fire TV Cube and Fire Stick:
- – 4K Capability
- – 100% Compatibility with a diverse range of movie-streaming apps
- – Elegant Design
- – Alexa-enabled feature
- – Free streaming services from selected platforms
- – Extremely easy to set up and install to HDTVs
- – Lightweight and portable
- – Excessive Advertisements
- – Limited coverage compared to other streaming contenders
- – No distinct streaming features
Fire TV Cube
- – Free service and no hidden fees unlike cable subscriptions
- – Hands-free voice control with Alexa
- – Voice control works for home theater and smart home devices
- – Connected to many other apps
- – Built for privacy
- – Limitations in scope
- – Complicated to browse for digital media content
- – Bulky
- – Excessive marketing promotions
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Fire TV Cube and Fire Stick From Amazon?
Both the Fire TV Cube and Fire Stick are popular media-streaming devices sold by Amazon. It is 100% free to use and set up. You can download the majority of popular streaming apps without fees. However, if you want to stream your favorite movies and series from subscription-based platforms such as Hulu and Netflix, you’ll have a monthly subscription that you need to pay separately.
Does Fire TV Cube and Fire Stick Have Similar Functions?
Yes, the Fire TV and the Fire Stick provide similar functions for every homeowner in terms of seamless and comprehensive entertainment access. Despite that, they offer distinct features and perks as we’ve highlighted in this article.
Which Is Easier to Set Up?
Amazon’s Fire TV Cube and Fire Stick are extremely easy to set up. You don’t need to purchase special tools to set it up on your HDTVs. Also, there’s no need to download third-party apps to configure your televisions. All you need to do is simply plug these devices, complete initial setup on your TVs, and start streaming your favorite content. However, with Fire Stick, it’s cleaner to place at the back of your HDTVs due to its flash drive-like design.
There you have it, our most comprehensive guide in highlighting the similarities and differences between Fire TV vs Fire Stick. Do you currently own any of these devices at home? If yes, we’d love to hear your real-time experience. You can comment below so our loyal readers will come up with their own verdict too!