When you look at the companies in the digital streaming device space, you’ll find many of the biggest names in tech. For instance, Apple, Google, and Amazon are all major players, with each product being among the most used. However, we’re going to focus on two of the most important: Apple and Amazon.
The Apple TV is a digital media player made one of the biggest companies in the world. It gives its users the ability to access videos, whether movies or TV series on demand. They can also use music apps, view their photos, and even download applications from the App Store. Of course, this simplifies the amazing things this tech can do. In the last quarter of 2020, they sold nearly 4.5 million of their devices, which says a lot about the quality!
On the other hand, we have another tech giant, Amazon, with their Fire TV line of products, including the very famous Fire Stick. Considering that more than 150 million Fire TV devices have been sold in 2022, the consumers are definitely having a great time. The Fire Stick can do most of what the Apple product does, so it can be really tough for you to decide between these two.
Fortunately, you won’t need to give yourself a headache trying to pit Apple TV vs. Fire Stick. I’ve put that all together for you in a form that will be very easy to understand. Now, let’s dive into it.
Do you have a particular question about the comparison of Apple TV and Fire Stick? Then use the table of contents below to jump to the most relevant section. And you can always go back by clicking on the black arrow in the right bottom corner of the page. Also, please note that some of the links in this article may be affiliate links. For more details, check the Disclosure section at the bottom of the page.
Here's what we'll cover:
- The main difference between Apple TV and Fire Stick
- Apple TV 4K vs Fire Stick 4K
- Fire Stick vs. Apple TV: specs and features
- Apple TV or Fire Stick? Which one is the best?
The main difference between Apple TV and Fire Stick
Apart from the fact that Apple TV is made by Apple and the Fire Stick by Amazon, you’ll find the major difference when comparing the Fire Stick vs. Apple TV in their form factor and the pros and cons that come with that.
For instance, the Apple TV is like a small box, which gives it enough space to hold an ethernet port. The Fire Stick, being just a little stick that fits into the back of your TV, does not have one of those.
The Apple TV is several times more expensive than the Fire Stick. Still, if you’re big on the Apple ecosystem, it might make more sense to bite the bullet and go for the Apple product.
Apple TV 4K vs Fire Stick 4K
With UHD or 4K becoming such a widely adopted resolution by TV manufacturers, it is vital that companies that design electronics keep up with the standards. That’s why it’s no shock that there are 4K versions for both the Apple TV and the Amazon Fire Stick.
Most people will consider the 4K versions when buying either of these products. With either of these, you will get UHD 4K quality at 60FPS and HDR10 video. However, for the Amazon Fire Stick, you will also get HDR10+, which is a minimal upgrade but still great to note.
Fire Stick vs. Apple TV: specs and features
Now then, while the spec list of any product doesn’t give the full picture, it does help a lot in the purchasing decision.
When it comes to storage, the Apple TV has four times the space for you to download your favorite movies and shows, with 32GB instead of the 8GB on the Fire TV Stick. In addition, you can get a Full HD (1080p) or UHD (4K) version of either one.
When comparing the sizes of the Amazon Fire Stick vs. Apple TV, you’ll find that the Fire Stick is smaller in two dimensions and equal in the last. It measures 3.9 x 1.2 x 0.6 inches, compared to the 3.9 x 3.9 x 1.4 inches of the Apple TV.
The Apple TV runs on Apple’s own A12 Bionic chip, while the Amazon entry runs on a Mediatek processor.
Channels and apps
While you probably won’t regret picking one over the other for these two digital streaming devices, you’ll probably like to know that the Apple TV has over 15,000 channels and applications to pick from, compared to just under 13,000 on the Fire TV Stick.
There are a few of the major streaming platforms that you won’t find on either device. However, the major benefits you get from apps at this point are those which are manufacturer-specific. For instance, Amazon Music, Kindle, and Luna.
With your Apple ID, you can access media that you have on any of your other Apple devices on Apple’s device. So it makes it an excellent fit for their ecosystem.
Interface and remote
Both devices come with great remote control. However, if you want one that’s less complicated and more pleasing to look at, Apple’s option is for you. It has a wide circular button for navigation and basic controls for Play/Pause, Mute, Volume controls, Back, and Power. It also has a button for voice commands using Siri.
In the Fire TV vs. Apple TV comparison, though, the former offers all the same, with more buttons for Home, Menu, Fast Forward, and Rewind and shortcut buttons for popular apps like Hulu, Netflix, and Disney+. You also get a voice command button using Alexa.
To put it simply, no Fire Stick comparison can put the interface of the Amazon product above that of Apple’s little media device. But, of course, Apple has always been great with software, so it’s not a surprise here.
Apple’s interface is clean, and you can move apps around as you want. However, for Fire TV, you don’t have any control and will frequently be bombarded with suggestions to watch Amazon content.
Apple TV vs. Fire Stick: audio and streaming quality
Both of these devices are very evenly matched when it comes to video quality. Both support HDR10, Dolby Vision, and 4K video at 60FPS. However, the Fire Stick also offers HDR10+, a superior standard but yet to achieve wide support in displays.
Audio-wise, both have Dolby Atmos and Dolby Digital Plus 7.1 support. In addition, Apple’s offering also gives you Spatial Audio and Dolby Digital 5.1 support.
Amazon Fire TV Stick vs. Apple TV: design
When it comes to design, these devices are pretty different. The Fire Stick is an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ device, as it slots into the back of your TV, unobtrusive. However, the Apple TV will likely sit on the counter behind or in front of the television.
In this Amazon Fire Stick comparison, it is the better choice if you’re low on physical space around the TV to put the little Apple TV box. However, if that’s not a problem and you want a wired internet connection, the bigger dimensions of Apple TV let it have an ethernet port.
Which one is more eco-friendly?
Amazon is definitely doing its part in making sure its Fire TV products are sustainable by using varying degrees of recycled materials, like aluminum, magnesium, plastic, and fabric.
The Apple TV 4K also makes similar strides, with recycled packaging, 100% recycled aluminum and tin in specific components, and remains PVC, Beryllium, and Mercury-free.
Amazon Fire Stick vs. Apple TV: price and availability
The Apple TV vs. Fire Stick comparison has a clear winner when it comes to price. At launch, the cheapest Apple TV 4K came out at $180. When you make the Amazon Fire Stick comparison, you learn that the device costs comparatively cheap, $55 at launch.
As of now, prices have dropped somewhat, but the Amazon media device will always be cheaper when it comes to Fire Stick vs. Apple TV.
Apple TV or Fire Stick? Which one is the best?
In the fight between Amazon Fire Stick vs. Apple TV, it’s hard to pick out a winner. As it depends on what you’re looking for.
Personally, with the much lower price and very similar feature set, I’m all for the Amazon Fire Stick. Especially considering how it has HDR10+.
However, I’d easily say the Apple TV is the better choice for those deep into the Apple ecosystem who don’t mind spending a few extra bucks.
Credits: Thanks for the photo to Canva.
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