Amazon's leading model, the Fire TV Stick Lite is a small streaming box sold at a rock bottom price. It nevertheless supports the majority of popular streaming applications (Netflix, myCanal, Prime, Disney…) for execution on Full HD TVs.
Amazon's family of streaming boxes is enriched with an entry-level reference with the Fire TV Stick Lite. Sold for around thirty euros - with recurring promotions at € 20 - this small box uses the "HDMI key" format inherent in the entire Fire TV Stick series. You connect the box directly to the television, on an HDMI socket. However, with its 8,4 cm long, 3 cm wide and 1,3 cm high, it is possible that it spills over to the adjacent HDMI sockets. Amazon has planned for the occasion and provided a 5-inch HDMI extender for cases where installation is problematic.
The power supply to the box goes again and again through a micro-USB connector positioned in the middle of one of the sides. A five-foot-long USB cable is provided and can be plugged into a USB connector on the TV or the included 5W power adapter - note that some TVs are not capable of delivering 1,5-2,5W requested by the Fire TV Stick Lite. In this case, the use of the AC adapter is mandatory.
The Fire TV Stick Lite does not stand out from the rest of Amazon Sticks in terms of connectivity: the latter is simply non-existent, and you cannot connect either a network cable or a USB key. There is also no possibility of expanding the storage space. The 8 GB present - including approximately 5 GB accessible to the user - remains sufficient to accommodate the various streaming applications.
Wireless connectivity focuses on supporting wifi 5 (802.11ac) and Bluetooth 5.0. It is also possible to add an Ethernet adapter, sold separately for about fifteen euros, for cases where the wifi capture would be laborious.
Inside is a Mediatek MT8695D SoC similar to the one used on the Fire TV Stick 4K. Featuring a quad-core processor (1,7 GHz), it also integrates a PowerVR GE8300 graphics circuit. RAM, on the other hand, is limited to 1 GB.
The Fire TV Stick Lite only supports Full HD (1080p) and HD (720p) televisions with a maximum frame rate of 60 fps. HDR is supported in its HDR 10, HDR10 + and HLG versions, but Dolby Vision streams will not be taken into account (they run in SDR). Finally, the frequency of the video output can adapt to that of the video, an autoframerate option being offered in the options.
At this point, the most assiduous may wonder what differentiates the classic Fire TV Stick from the Fire TV Stick Lite. The answer is simple: the remote control. On this Lite version, the zapette is lightened. The slimming diet is not to be blamed on the format: we find the same black plastic dress of any quality as on the other Fire TV Sticks and still a power supply via two AAA batteries (supplied). No, the economy is simply the lack of power buttons and dedicated to control the sound volume, as well as the four quick launch buttons. The lack of adjustment of the sound volume is also quite annoying in use, forcing to juggle between different zapettes.
The absence of a power button and sound volume control also results in the inability to control the rest of its equipment (sound bar and television in particular) using the HDMI-CEC protocol. It's a shame, but the reverse is still possible by controlling the Fire TV using your TV remote.
However, the microphone is always present, which can be activated on demand by pressing the dedicated button. This has the effect of launching Alexa, Amazon's assistant. The Fire TV Stick can then become a control center for your Alexa-compatible connected objects, but also allow you to launch multimedia content: "Alexa, start the next episode of Squid Game"; "Alexa, show me romantic movies" etc.
Amazon also offers an Android / iOS app. This eliminates the need for the remote control while adding the possibility of using any smartphone or tablet to enter text. An appreciable point for entering identifiers in the different applications.
Amazon has redesigned the interface of its Fire TVs. The initial goal was apparently to get rid of the monopoly of Prime Video in order to open up a little more to other SVoD services, and this in order to better stick to the codes established by the Apple TV 4K and the boxes. Android TV such as the Chromecast with Google TV and the Nvidia Shield TV.
This results in a home page with a banner that groups together the user's main streaming applications - a choice that can be rearranged by the user. On some of these applications, a simple hover over the icon produces a banner located below the first one. This then allows you to continue viewing (continuation of a film, next episode) and to view personalized content for the application in question. At the time of this writing, Prime Video, Netflix and even Disney + were compatible with this system, unlike myCanal.
A Find tab - which can also be accessed by pressing the TV button on the remote control - is also present to aggregate the content of the different platforms to which the user is subscribed. A very good point which raises the Fire TV interface to the same rank as that of Android TV from Apple tvOS. The system allows you to find all of your content in one place, without having to juggle between apps. Some content is offered on different platforms, so you can choose the one you prefer to start viewing.
The catalog of applications is also now expanded and more in line with the Spanish market. The main streaming offers are present: Netflix, Prime Video, OCS, myCanal, Disney + or Molotov, YouTube and Apple TV +.
The playback of content stored on the local network (NAS, computer) is possible with applications such as VLC, Plex, DS video or MX Player. Finally, audio streaming platforms are also part of the game with Spotify, Deezer or TuneIn.
If the interface is now well thought out and complete, this is not fully palpable with the Fire TV Stick Lite. The limited RAM of this streaming box gives rise to jerky transitions and not really smooth scrolling. An annoying slowness when you want to navigate quickly from one application to another, a certain latency that can sometimes lead to false operations (double press of a button thinking that the first has not been taken into account). Last regret: the presence of advertising banners that lead to commercial videos when clicked.
Advertising banners are present. © Itopdroid
On the other hand, the execution of the videos is done without a hitch. Viewing Full HD content runs smoothly, including those with a bitrate of 60 fps. On this definition, wifi 5 is also sufficient - assuming, however, that the wifi coverage of the accommodation is correct.
Some applications (Prime, Netflix and YouTube at the time of this writing) also offer cast functions like Chromecast or AirPlay. The display of content from a smartphone or tablet via Miracast is also available. Not very practical to implement - you have to go to the device settings each time -, the method also gives rise to lag which makes handling sluggish.
Interface with streaming content aggregation system.
Simple and intuitive to use.
Box that does not take up space, because it is placed behind the television.
Integrated Alexa voice assistant.
"Cast" function on some applications.
Banner ads in the interface.
Remote control without sound volume management.
The Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite is a basic entry-level streaming box that takes care of the essentials for playing videos on Full HD TV or HD TV. Inexpensive, it offers a rich interface, bringing together in one place the content of the various streaming services (SVoD) to which the user is subscribed. Reading goes smoothly, but it does not come without concessions: this Lite version is slow to use and its remote control is sparse in buttons.Sub Notes
- Remote control