Review: Amazon Fire Stick Lite. Making your dumb TV smart, for $60.

By now, many of us have upgraded the TV in our living room to a 4K Smart TVs that are full of connected apps, delivering our favourite streaming services....

By now, many of us have upgraded the TV in our living room to a 4K Smart TVs that are full of connected apps, delivering our favourite streaming services. The problem is, most homes don’t just have one TV, there’s likely two or three. Many of these TVs are found in rumpus or kids rooms, out in the alfresco or even in the back shed. There’s a good chance these TVs between 3 and 10 years old.

With TVs of that age, it’s likely they are HD quality and if they had any kind of app platform, it likely suffers from terrible performance. Thankfully there’s a great, affordable option to bring that old TV, up to date with Amazon’s Fire Stick Lite. While they offer 4K options, this Lite version is specifically targeted at making 1080p displays smart and connected, transforming your TV into a modern experience.

DESIGN

Small device, big on features

The Fire TV Stick Lite is really an oversized HDMI adapter, with a USB power port in the side. The stick is relatively efficient in size, being  86 mm x 30 mm x 13 mm, which is amazing for the capabilities this offers.

In terms of the design, its really straight forward, just black in colour, comes with a black USB cable to supply power from a TVs USB port and the remote control.

The design of the interface is a very familiar up, down, left, right model, making navigation nice and easy and the interface is fast and responsive, thanks to the Quad-core 1.7 GHz processor inside.

 

 

FEATURES

Stand out features of this device.

Alexa Voice Remote Lite

You can press and hold the voice button on the remote command your TV via Alexa. While not as convenient as a far-field microphone you can yell at from across the room, it is handy to have the voice option. This can be used to search, launch and content playback.

This device unlocks thousands of movies, TV shows, apps, and games and once you’ve got a few apps installed, Alexa can be a great way to access services like music, news, weather, and set alarms.

200,000+ movies and TV episodes

The application support doesn’t include every single IPTV service you might dream up, but does include a very healthy range including tier 1 apps like Netflix, YouTube, Prime Video, Disney+, Apple TV+. There’s some local favourites in there like Stan, 7plus, SBS On Demand.

There’s also more than just movie and TV streaming services, there’s also millions of songs through services like Amazon Music and Spotify.

Stream for free your favourite Australian TV apps

There are lots of Australian services on offer as well, ABC iview, SBS On Demand, 7plus, 9Now and 10 play are all available for free, however some apps are ad-supported.

ISSUES

Not everything’s perfect

While the Fire Stick would typically be described as a small device, its actually fairly large which can be an issue. I found that on at least one of my TVs, the HDMI inputs were located in a recessed section that didn’t actually allow the device to be inserted. Potentially you could get get a right-angle HDMI adapter, but that then points the stick towards the wall and in some installations this may not work.

If you’re TV has a HDMI port in the side, then you’ll be fine (as long as there’s also a USB port in reach of the cable length). I’d guess a majority of TVs won’t have this issue, but its definitely worth a quick check on the TV you’re planning on adding it to, before making the purchase.

PRICE & AVAILABILITY

How much and when can you get one ?

The Fire TV Stick Lite is available now for A$59.00 from Amazon directly. For that price, it’s really a bargain for what it offers. This device takes a really old TV and makes it usable in 2021. Throw your TV on HDMI and it’s likely the interface will be far superior than what shipped on your TV and it’ll definitely be faster.

The streaming services apps available will enable you to extra many more years out of your previous investment.

OVERALL

Final thoughts

Reflecting on what you get from this (relatively) small device is really impressive for its value. Despite the challenges with connecting it to the back of some TVs, I really like the form factor, particularly when compared to the more typical hockey-pick style over-the-top box.

The interface is really slick and fast and its extremely likely that it’s better than any 3 year old display. The streaming app support is probably the main reason you’ll buy this device. Having the lineup of YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Music, 7+, 9NOW, ABC iView, Ten, Disney+, Stan, SBS On-Demand, and many more, is really impressive for the price.

If you’ve got a 4K TV, and find it lacking, then Amazon have the Fire TV 4K for that, but for those of us who still have a HD TV in a secondary room, the Fire Stick Lite is a brilliant option to extend the life of that TV.

8.7
Review: Amazon Fire Stick Lite
The Good
  • Interface
  • Performance
  • Value
The Bad
  • Won't fit in all TVs
  • Design
    7
  • Performance
    9.5
  • Value
    9.5
Categories
Reviews

Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis. Disclaimer: Tesla Shareholder from 20/01/2021
One Comment

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  • Ahmad
    21 February 2021 at 3:39 pm

    amazon australia should release the fire tv stick 4k ASAP

    they are losing sales

    as most of people buying the google chromecast with google tv

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