Reviewed in India on 10 May 2021
Read till the end for a detailed review regarding fine points, and similar devices in this segment -
I am using it with a Sony Tv and its working fine for me. Purchased at Rs 3,200.
No Google assistant only Alexa.
Bluetooth 5.0 version.
It has Fire OS , not Android OS. So no Google Play Store, but own appstore.
No inbuilt Chromecast function, it has Miracast screen mirroring system.
Alexa is not as good as publicised - it doesn't support Complete voice search across all apps. Alexa button is there, it can only provide results, and doesnot have voice typing in search bar. Alexa can play things on amazon prime video/amazon apps, and a couple of other big apps like Netflix, Sony Liv, spotify apps,etc. BUT NOT ALL APPS. ( Its best if you individually check availability of movies on the not-so-popular/ small budget apps, because it woun't show up in alexa search results). Also, the voice recognition is not impressive.
Screen mirroring is not supported with stock android devices like motorola and pixel. Screen mirroring is supported only with devices with Miracast support, usually seen with devices with custom UI /android skins. Among these devices, screen mirroring is supported for almost all devices with Android version more than 7.1 .
Chromecast is available as a standalone device, or as an integrated function with some streaming devices like Mi, Moto and Nokia.
Apart from phone screen mirroring, Chromecast also has the added feature that you can mirror the entire screen of your laptop, not just content. - just like a wireless HDMI cable connection. This can be accessed by opening chrome --> option --> cast--> tab/ desktop/ content . With firestick, you will not be able to cast entire tab/desktop with laptops with version less than windows 10.
With firestick, for example - you can only cast a youtube video directly on the screen, but not the entire page with windows 7.
You need to have Integrated Chromecast function to give universal mirroring compatibility with all phones and laptops.
If you have a moto, pixel, any android ONE device with stock/near stock android, consider getting chromecast device as an addon to fire stick, since there is no remote for chromecast device ( also, not so good content experience), or a completely separate Xiaomi Tv Stick/ Moto media stick/ Nokia streamer, as they have inbuilt Chromecast function. (All features will get under one roof. For example, Chromecast device does not have bluetooth headset support. So while using Chromecast device, you have to use tv speaker only, but with Xiaomi/Moto stick , you can use your bluetooth headset while using integrated Chromecast function).
Reason for this -
Moto/ pixel/any android ONE devices have required hardware for miracast, but the feature is disabled at software level due to Google android's proprietary interests - To favour Chromecast purchases.
If you have a rooted moto/pixel/ any android ONE device, it may be possible to screen mirror with firestick, but better try on some one else's fire stick and confirm before purchasing.
These are the important things to be considered before purchase.
Overall, good content experience with this device.
Best content and browsing experience among present devices in market, esp in this price range - Rs 2,800 - Rs 3,200 .
Market assessment --
If you want to buy for Rs 4,000 , then reconsider, since Fire 4k stick(rs 6,000) is alo available (consider if your Tv has 4k, because if it doesn't have 4k, you may be wasting data unnecessarily for 4k streaming, which your tv will display as 1080p anyway). Check out Motorola Media stick(4k) - available @3,500 .
There are 4+1 notable streaming devices in the Indian market presently - Fire stick (fire OS), Moto Media stick 4k (Android), Mi Tv stick (Android), Nokia Media streamer (Android) , Chromecast device (honorary mention- started this league of devices). Basically, any streaming device with a proper Android tv OS usually has Chromecast integrated function.
If screen mirroring is an important feature for you, and you have a moto/pixel/stock android device / want compatibility with max devices, go for Motorola media stick (its 4k) , priced at 3,500 , or go for Mi stick @2,500 , or Nokia. They will give all the features to every phone and laptop and the best mix of max compatibility, price and content. They have Android Tv OS and google assistant, so would be an effortless experience. Also, Moto media stick has 2GB /18GB (single version from moto, unlike fire stick), whereas Mi stick, Fire stick, Nokia streamer have 1GB/8GB. Moto will be quite useful if you want more apps installed. But only downside to Moto media stick is apparently - Bt ver 4.2 , not Bt ver 5.0 . - ( I have read about it and not seen personally, so please verify if interested ).
The other media streaming devices also have their own set of issues obviously, because no device is perfect and can satisfy every customer.
If you want a casual good quality media streaming upgrade to your non smart tv and are not too particular with max compatibility with all phones and specs, Fire stick is a good option.
Fire stick advantages - Possibly good support, as it's direct selling by Amazon itself. Picture reproduction is very good and have not faced any issue so far like over saturation or unnatural colours. As for casual entertainment picture quality and UI smoothness is the most important, I would definitely give it 5 stars in that area.
Obviously Prime video is best supported in Fire stick, when compared to other devices. Remote is also well designed, smooth in hand, ergonomic, handy, unlike other remotes.
Pleasant and seamless content experience for the casual user.
Take care of the remote because replacement is costly. Also, there is a remote app available in playstore , which you can use to control firestick instead of the remote. It will work only if firestick and phone are connected to the same wifi network.
Also, for your info, Google Chromecast Tv will also be coming, which is the ultimate - full Android OS with chromecast functionality, with remote, from Google itself (already available in the US from Oct 2020) - expected to be costlier.
I will try and keep updating my review for the best info compilation to help you in your purchase.