Roku or Firestick? It is one of the biggest questions before any purchase is made in the tech world. And, you might think that there don’t exist many differences between both streaming devices, especially since you can access Netflix, Spotify, and the likes. Still, there are major differences to spot, and we will point them out in this article.
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What you need to know about Roku and Firestick
There are certain categories we will consider in choosing which streaming service serves you better.
A Roku might be a better choice if you are all about your home screen navigation. Roku allows you to arrange all the apps on your home screen. So, whatever app you use frequently, you will be able to place it on the top row, instead of spending time to search for it.
Asides this, the Roku home screen contains all the tabs on the left side of the screen. And so, you can easily browse the Featured Free tab for free movies and TV shows, or head down to Search to look for movies and TV shows. And in case you forget the title of a movie, you can search by actor or director.
The Amazon Fire TV gives convenient home screen navigation as well, but not equally.
The Fire Stick will provide you a list of your frequent and recent apps instead of you arranging your apps. If you want to get access to a list of master apps, just hold down the home button.
The Fire Stick also gives you recommendations based on your previously viewed movies and TV shows, and it shows you new films on any channels you are subscribed to.
If you simply wish to stay updated on new films or discover movies from any genre you want, then the Fire Stick might be a better option for you.
Best Remote Control: Amazon FireStick
Below is the best remote replacement for both Roku and Firestick we recommended.
Roku remote contains a microphone button, and it lets you search for movies and play them using voice commands. It (Roku) also contains shortcut buttons for popular channels like Netflix and Disney. These shortcut buttons, however, are not reprogrammed for other channels, making it useless if you don’t use the channels on your Roku remote.
The Fire Stick remote, on the other hand, does not contain these shortcut buttons. What it does have is a mute button. The Fire Stick remote can also control any soundbar as against the Roku remote that can only control HDMI-supported soundbars.
In terms of comfortability, Amazon Fire Stick remote feels good in your hand while Roku has big buttons that may be hard to push.
Best Voice Control: Amazon FireStick
Of course, there are times when you will need your voice to do the controlling, and both Roku and Fire TV Stick allow you to control your TV with voice commands. What to choose between Roku and the Amazon Fire Stick depends on the voice assistant you have.
Roku operates better with both Google and Alexa. Google does not work with the Amazon Fire Stick. So, in case you have Google Home smart home speakers in your possession, Roku is the better choice for you.
You have to say “Roku” every time you want Google to launch apps or play movies on a Roku device. It goes like this, “Google, open Netflix on Roku,” or “Google, pause Roku.”
You can also launch apps that are not Google or Alexa and search for what you want by using the microphone button on your Roku remote or by using the Roku mobile app.
If you have an Amazon Alexa smart home speaker, then Fire Stick is the best streaming device for you. All you have to do is to connect Alexa to your Fire TV Stick, and it becomes easier for you to watch whatever you want and not reach for the remote.
You just have to say, “Alexa, watch Simpsons,” and it will play Simpsons. Fire Stick even also has a rewind feature that lets you rewind the movie when you say “Rewind 20 seconds.”
Alexa can do other things via your Fire Stick, like using your remote to control your other smart home devices. Alexa responds to you through your TV speakers. So, the Roku vs. Fire Stick debate in this category depends on what smart speaker you have installed.
Best Apps for Roku
Roku and Firestick, apart from their primary function of letting you stream movies, can let you play games. Check out the Games page on their website today to browse through hundreds of games available.
You can also switch to the Apps tab on the Roku site and find a lot of apps.
Roku does not give you as many games and apps as the FireStick does, but you can get access to The Roku Channel. The app has varying selections of movies and series. So, you are naturally into Roku if you prefer movies and shows to games.
Best Apps for FireStick
With Fire Stick, you can watch cable channels, and you also have access to movies from Amazon Originals. But to access this, you must be an Amazon Prime member.
Fire Stick has a website for games and apps, and just as we have shown in the Roku explanation, you can play more games with Fire Stick.
So, if you are for the games and not movies shows, go for a Fire Stick.
Who Wins The Debate? Roku or Firestick?
In the end, your personal preferences will be the ultimate decider in whether you go for FireStick or Roku. Roku is much easier to use, though if you are new to streaming. And you may want to opt for a FireStick if you have an Amazon Prime membership, and you have an Amazon smart home speaker.