Amazon Fire, Impressive debut, but room to grow

Last Updated on April 1, 2020 by Cassie Lyons

The Good The Amazon Fire TV is best way to watch Amazon Instant movies and TV yet, and Prime subscribers can stream thousands of titles for no additional charge. Voice-search feature is cool and works well. The interface is zippy, and Amazon content streams lightning-fast. Supported third-party apps include Netflix, YouTube, Hulu Plus, Watch ESPN, and Pandora, as well as hundreds of games. Amazon also offers flexible parental controls, and the kid-friendly Free Time platform is coming to the Fire TV soon. And setup is incredibly simple.

The Bad The user interface strongly favors Amazon Instant content over other services, and the voice-search feature doesn’t comb through Netflix or most other non-Amazon apps. Some major apps are missing, including HBO Go and Spotify. The $99 price feels relatively expensive, especially since you really need the $40 Fire Game Controller and a Prime subscription to get the most out of the box.

The Bottom Line The Fire TV streaming-media box is an impressive living room debut for Amazon, with standout features like voice search, gaming, and superfast video streaming, but it falls short of being an elite streamer — at least for now.

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