Tech reviews

Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite review: the best budget streamer?

The Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite is the cheapest way to get a smart easy-to-use interface on any of the best TVs, giving you access to all the best streaming services including Prime Video, Netflix, NowTV, Disney+ and Apple TV+. As well as that, you’ll get a lot of what the Alexa assistant has to offer.

Out of all the top streaming devices, this is the best Amazon streamer for a tight budget. The Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite only costs £34.99 although some Fire Stick deals have seen it drop to £20 or less during sales like Amazon Prime Day and Black Friday.

I’ve been using the Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite for a couple of months with my bedroom TV and in this review, I’ll sum up all my thoughts about the design and setup, apps and software and the streamer’s overall performance.

Amazon Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite with Alexa Voice Remote Lite

Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite with Alexa Voice Remote Lite

Amazon Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite with Alexa Voice Remote Lite

Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite key specs

Dimensions 8.6 x 3.0 x 1.3cm
Weight 32g
Maximum resolution 1080p Full HD

Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite review: design and setup

A small black device, the Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite plugs discreetly into the back of your TV via HDMI. The stick has the HDMI connector and a glossy Amazon tick across the front, as well as a USB-C port to plug the power cable into. There are no fancy frills or even any lights on this, it keeps things very stripped back and simple.

When I plugged it into the back of my small 32-inch TV, it wasn’t visible from the front. The only evidence of it being there is the power cable which is long enough to reach down to the floor from the shelf I have my set placed on.

amazon fire tv stick lite

Digital Spy/Yasmine Crossland

In the box, you’ll find the Alexa Voice Remote Lite along with the Fire Stick and the cable. The most basic of Amazon’s remotes, you can use it to navigate through the system, skip forwards or backwards through shows, visit the home menu and there’s a microphone button to voice search or speak to Alexa. But unlike other Alexa remotes, you won’t be able to use it in the place of your regular TV controller because there are no volume controls and you can’t use it to control your TV’s power either.

Setting up the Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite is speedy and easy. You plug it in, put the batteries inside the remote and follow the on-screen instructions to connect to the WiFi and log in to your Amazon account. The whole process took me about five minutes.

​​Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite review: apps and software

The ​​Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite uses the Fire TV user interface which has a wide selection of apps to choose from including Netflix, Disney+, Apple TV+, NowTV, Sky News and so on.

When you turn the streamer on for the first time, the Home screen has some apps ready to go including YouTube and Netflix.

Below your apps, there’s a continue-watching carousel, your most recently used apps and loads of TV and movie recommendations. The majority of that page is taken up by Prime Video content, which is great if you’re a Prime member but could be annoying if you’re not. As you scroll down, you will find occasional rails with suggestions from your other apps too, like BBC iPlayer, as well as some sponsored recommendations.

amazon fire tv home screen

Digital Spy/Yasmine Crossland

Finding new apps is very straightforward in the Amazon app library. There aren’t just streaming apps to choose from either, there’s a selection of games, fitness apps and utilities like screen mirroring services and VPNs.

Clicking through the software works well, but thanks to the Voice Remote, you can search using vocal commands too. I had no issues finding what I was looking for quickly and easily. Just as you would any other Alexa device, you can also ask the assistant to answer your questions and use it to control your smart home gadgets like your lights.

As this is a budget bit of kit, some features are missing. For example, there’s no Live View Picture-in-Picture which allows you to view the feed from your security cameras and doorbells through your Fire TV. You’ll need to splash out on the Fire Stick 4K Max or the Fire TV Cube if you want that functionality.

Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite review: performance

The Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite can only stream in resolutions up to 1080p Full HD which will be fine for most small bedroom or kitchen TVs but if you own a big 4K set, you won’t be able to make the most of the picture quality with this stick.

During my testing, I watched lots of TV shows like old Sopranos episodes, The Morning Show and Baby Reindeer as well as movies like The Idea of You and Moana. I was generally pleased with the results. The Fire Stick Lite has HDR10+ to improve the difference between light and dark areas of the shot on screen which makes dimmer TV shows like Game of Thrones come across well. But there’s no Dolby Vision for even richer colours and upgraded contrast.

amazon fire tv stick lite

Digital Spy/Yasmine Crossland

Similarly, it only supports Dolby encoded audio, not Dolby Atmos surround sound like the more expensive Amazon Fire Sticks. In my experience, the sound wasn’t as three-dimensional as I’ve previously had — it does a good job as long as you aren’t expecting an impressive cinematic experience.

Given this TV streamer is so affordable, you’d expect to make some sacrifices and it’s worth mentioning that the Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite runs more slowly than others. Occasionally apps would crash or they would take a few seconds to load. That could be down to the fact that it uses an older version of WiFi, a basic processor and it only has 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage.

Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite review: verdict

If you’re looking for a cheap way to transform your TV with all your favourite streaming apps in one simple system that works more smoothly than most built-in telly smarts, the Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite is a top choice. You get a lot for your money and the software doesn’t differ much from Amazon’s pricier gadgets.

Comparing it to the Fire TV Stick 4K (2nd gen), you miss out on 4K streaming, Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos surround sound and speedy Wi-Fi 6. I also found it frustrating that I couldn’t use the Voice Remote Lite to control my TV’s power and volume, it meant I always had to have two controllers nearby.

In saying that, the Fire TV Stick Lite is perfect for smaller TVs like in your kitchen, office or bedroom because you’re less likely to need impressive picture and audio quality in those spaces.

Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite review: also consider

For a 4K living room TV, we would recommend the Amazon Fire Stick 4K Max because it will deliver the best possible picture and audio quality. It has a few extra features as well like the Fire TV Ambient Experience which transforms your television into an Alexa smart display when you aren’t using it.

If you have Google Assistant around your home, you’ll be better off buying Chromecast with Google TV (HD). It’s the same price as the Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite (£34.99) and it’s just as discreet but it’s powered by Google’s ecosystem instead.

Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite with Alexa Voice Remote Lite

Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite with Alexa Voice Remote Lite

Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite with Alexa Voice Remote Lite


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