Roku Vs. Amazon Fire TV: Which Is Better?

By Rick Gonzales | 8 months ago

roku vs amazon fire

There is a battle going on in your living room and you may not even be aware. Amazon Fire TV and Roku are duking it out for supremacy and the fight is much closer than you can imagine.

Roku and Amazon Fire TV are streaming sticks. By this we mean they are small devices that connect to your 4K television to provide users access to their favorite streaming channels. Many across our wonderful nation are looking for less expensive ways to get their fill of entertainment at home and with companies like Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO Max, Disney+, Hulu, and Apple TV+ seeking your business, a streaming stick makes it easy to keep everything in order.

On one side there is the Amazon Fire TV stick. It is made by one of the most powerful companies known to mankind. On the other side, there is Roku, a name that is immensely popular when it comes to streaming devices. Both devices are so popular that they have over 50 million users each. They both offer consumers a number of different devices with similar features and prices.

This decision could be a tough one, but that is why we are here.


roku ultra stats

When comparing both the Roku and Amazon Fire TV, the first thing you will see is that both devices work wonderfully well. They both have announced brand new models for the 2021 holiday season – the Fire TV Stock 4K Max and the Roku Streaming Stick 4K.

Also, when taking a look at both devices, you will find that they have more in common than not.

Both are extremely affordable, starting at around $30 for their cheapest version. You can also find them on sale for much less.

Both the Roku and Amazon Fire TV have access to thousands of TV apps, including all the popular ones mentioned above. The look and behavior of these apps are virtually the same on both devices.

The speed at which both the latest Roku and Amazon Fire TV models perform is quick and responsive as well as very reliable providing your internet connection is up to par.

Both devices offer remotes to control your TV’s power and volume so if you don’t care for the bouncing back and forth from remote to remote then using a Roku or Amazon Fire TV remote would be your best option.

Both devices offer multiple models beginning with their basic streamer all the way up to their impressive 4K-compatible devices that include voice control (Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant for Roku, Alexa for Amazon Fire TV) built into their remotes.

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So, how do you decide where these two devices separate? The difference can be seen once you have your Roku or Amazon Fire TV Stick plugged in.


amazon fire tv menu

If you are seeking a simplistic menu and ease in which to use it, the Roku offers a better one. Their menu system puts your favorite app’s front and center, allowing you to arrange them in whatever order you please. It wastes no time in getting the apps or shows you want, and it doesn’t fill your TV screen with useless junk.

When you use the Amazon Fire TV menu, you will find yourself slogging through a bunch of movies or TV shows as well as the apps themselves. Normally, this would be a find feature, if you were already in the middle of watching any of the TV shows or movies littering the screen. But most times, if not all, they are certain movies or shows that Amazon looks to be pushing. It can get somewhat frustrating if you want to get to your shows or movies quickly.

During his review on the Amazon Fire TV stick, CNET’s Ty Pendlebury gave his thoughts on both devices saying, “If you like to graze for content, the Fire TV might be more appealing. If you know what you want already, or at least what app you want to watch, a Roku is probably a better choice.”


Roku Search

Another advantage that Roku has over Amazon Fire TV is a better search function. Again, as with its menu, the Roku is very straightforward. They are also price-centric, which makes searching, finding, then pricing out your evening in front of the tube that much easier. The Roku will immediately show you just how much a TV show or movie will cost, and you can easily click through to watch or purchase. If the film or show also happens to be free because you are a Roku subscriber, then you will see that as well.

The Amazon Fire TV search can be quite confusing in its results. They offer multiple options and false positives. By that we mean you could put in one specific film you want to watch, and the search may come up with “similar” titles. If you happen to find what you’re looking for, you will be given one primary service to watch it on as the menu doesn’t show options unless you decide to click the “more ways to watch” option.


amazon fire tv stick

While we appear to be leaning toward the Roku in terms of recommendations, it may come down to the price point for many of you. Looking at both of the newest versions of the streaming devices, the Roku Streaming Stick 4K can be found for $39.99 on Amazon.

The Amazon Fire TV Stick is selling for $54.99 on Amazon.

Roku has seven devices in total to choose from while the Amazon Fire TV Stick offers four, but they also have a Fire TV Cube available.


roku streaming

Roku looks to have the upper hand in the key areas one looks at when purchasing a streaming device. For those of us who are technologically challenged and get frustrated easily, Roku’s ease of a menu is a clear winner. That in itself may be reason enough to make Roku your initial purchase.

The price point is another clear winner for the Roku (at least with their two top models). It should be noted though, if the difference in your mind isn’t that much, finding an Amazon Fire TV Stick at a reduced price is not impossible. They go on sale quite often.

Either way you go, you will have a solid streaming device.