Android Box VS Firestick – Which Is Better For Streaming?

Android Box VS Firestick

With all the current devices coming out that are capable of streaming videos it can get quite confusing. There’s such a large variety of android capable devices that can run Kodi, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney + and the list goes on. With so many streaming apps and so many android devices which one should you choose?

In this comparison, I’m going to do a generic rundown of what I would consider an acceptable android box for anyone’s streaming needs and compare it to the amazon fire tv stick. We will look at the specs of both devices, quality of said products, user-friendliness, and a cost comparison.

Hopefully, this article will point you in the right direction in choosing which device you would like to use as a media streaming center. So let’s get started!

 

Amazon Fire TV Stick Specs

  • Processor – Quad-core 1.7 GHz – This is okay for video streaming as most android boxes come with this or higher.
  • Storage – 8 GB – I find this to be lackluster the bare minimal android boxes come with 8 GB of storage and an option of an sd card port.
  • Dual-Band Wifi – This is a good feature to have and most Android boxes come with dual-band wifi as well these days.
  • Bluetooth 5.0 – The fire stick beats android boxes on this one since most android boxes I would consider for my home entertainment only come with 4.0 Bluetooth compatibility. 5.0 is much more stable.
  • Voice Support – The Alexa remote allows you to use voice control to use your amazon fire stick. This is a great feature to have and I’ve only seen higher tier android boxes coming with this option.
  • IR Remote Support – This allows you to control certain buttons on your TV such as power and volume. Android tv box remotes also come with this feature but I find them to be hit or miss.
  • Cloud Storage – The device comes with free cloud storage for any amazon media but cannot be used for anything else otherwise which is unfortunate if you would like to load your own video library to access while using your amazon fire stick.
  • Ports – Ports are lacking that’s for sure but that’s probably because of the compact size the fire stick is. Definitely unfortunate that it only comes with an HDMI out port and a micro USB port that is only used for power.
  • Surround Sound Compatible –  Great feature to have, but depending on where you get your videos such as Kodi some videos just aren’t surround sound compatible because of the digital encoding. Most Android boxes come with this feature as well!
  • RAM – Another important thing to look at when purchasing any device as low ram = poor video streaming. The amazon fire stick comes with 1.5 GB of DDR4 ram which is great for power consumption but is basically equally as fast as DDR3. There isn’t much of a difference between ram.

Android Box Specs

For my comparison, I will be using one of the android boxes I’ve previously reviewed as I consider the ones I’ve reviewed to be the best boxes out there for my readers. Here is the comparison to the H96 Pro Plus

  • 3 GB DDR3 ram – This beats the firestick, it has been should in comparisons of DDR3 ram and DDR4 ram is that the DDR4 four has a longer life and requires less power to perform. The comparison is the same for speed and since the fire stick only comes with 1.5 GB of DDR4 ram it would be considerably slower than the H96 Pro Plus.
  • Dual-Band Wi-Fi 2.4/5.8G – The two tied with this feature, it’s a must if you need faster wifi speeds.
  • Bluetooth 4.1 –  Unfortunately the H96 pro + hasn’t kept up to date with the latest Bluetooth version, whether or not it makes a difference in the functionality of the android box is unknown to me. But usually newer versions means better so I have to give it to the firestick on this one.
  • CPU: Amlogic S912 Octa-core – This has twice the power of the Firestick for CPU which may be a little overkill but still I would rather have more power than less. This ensures a better streaming experience.
  • 32 GB internal storage –  The H96 pro plus has more internal storage, four times more to be exact. This is a no brainer. Also, it has the option of using an SD port which adds more storage to your device. The amazon fire stick really fudged up storage wise in my opinion.
  • 4k resolution – Matches the firestick with 4k compatibility but I believe the H96 would be able to stream in 4k resolution better just because of the better hardware.
  • Voice control remote- This Box is one of the few boxes that come with a voice control remote. So it’s on par with the amazon fire stick accept for the fact that you can’t use Alexa.

As you can see the H96 pro + definitely beats the amazon fire stick with its hardware specs alone, but is that enough to persuade you into not buying it? Let’s move onto the cost of the devices.

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Android Box VS Firestick – Cost

For the quality of the amazon fire stick, the cost is relatively low especially if you can get it while a sale is going. The cost for an amazon fire stick ranges from $ 34.99 to $50. This is for the 4k version if you don’t need 4k you can get it even cheaper. For the quality, specs and Alexa voice control the device is definitely worth the price.

The H96 pro plus on the other hand isn’t too expensive and for a few dollars more you have a device that can do everything the fire stick does and more. Such as gaming with emulators. The cost of the H96 pro plus ranges anywhere between $50 – $100 depending on where you get it from.

 

What I like Amazon Fire Stick

What I like about the amazon fire stick is the size and user-friendliness. You don’t have to be a wiz with technology to use this device. You literally plug in and go, it is definitely as advertised and anyone can use it. Even if you’re not a Kodi fan this device is great for watching any paid video streaming service. It also comes with the most popular services already installed.

The voice control function is awesome since basically you’re turning your dumb TV into a smart TV by just plugging in a device. Amazon definitely made a well thought out device that caters to everyday people and it can be used for more advanced things if you are a tinkerer.

What I Don’t Like Amazon Fire Stick

I feel they really blew it with the storage options. Amazon should’ve included an SD card port so you could add more memory to the device. I know they probably justified that issue with allowing free cloud storage of their media but that limits you to only their content. I think with this day in age a minimum of 16 GB of storage should be the default. We are way passed the days when operating systems or videos took up less than a gigabyte of space.

The amazon fire stick also doesn’t come with an ethernet port, this is an optional feature that has to be ordered separately from what I understand. Not being able to stream video with a hardwired internet connection could bring problems to some. I don’t know about you but I hate my programs buffering while I’m in the middle of an episode or movie it just ruins the experience for me.

I’m not a big fan of the Amazon integration either. This reminds of apple’s business model where they try and limit the things you can do with your device while shoving their product down your throat. Don’t get me wrong I’m an avid Amazon user but this is one of the reasons I made the switch to android a long time ago. It’s unfortunate that I have to sideload apps such as Kodi to use the firestick. The apps should be available right through the store but they are not. This could cause issues with people that don’t have the technical know-how to sideload apps and then they can’t stream Kodi.

What I Like About The H96 Pro Plus

The h96 pro plus is definitely a capable device. It does everything the amazon fire stick does and more. It allows you more freedom to install the apps you want without having to do any extra steps. The storage and sd card port make it more appealing to me than the amazon fire stick only because I won’t have to worry about running out of memory downloading apps and loading video on to the device. I am free to do what I want when I want and I truly believe this is how the Android operating system should be.

I like that the box comes with voice control remote as this isn’t really a feature with other android boxes. It gives it a leg up on other android boxes while also trying to match certain features of the fire stick. As time changes so does technology and I’m glad to see that they are trying to keep up with the times.

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What I don’t Like About The H96 Pro Plus

I don’t like that the logo on the top of the box is bright red I find it a distraction.  Also, the android box doesn’t come with a lot of apps pre-installed. When you take a minute and look at all the apps the amazon fire stick has pre-installed and ready to use it makes you wonder why the manufacturers of android boxes haven’t followed suit and put default apps on the device.

There’s not much else that I don’t like about the box, it’s a quality device and I would recommend it to anyone.

Would I Suggest Buying The Amazon Fire Stick?

Absolutely! There is nothing wrong with this device looking at it from an every day user’s standpoint. The amazon fire stick does what is advertised and is really easy to use. It doesn’t take long to set up and you don’t have to get into anything to technical.  I suggest this box for anyone that’s just looking for an easy way to access all their paid streaming services on one device. This is for an everyday user that doesn’t have the technical know-how to dive into Kodi while still being able to run Kodi if need be.

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Would I suggest Buying The H96 Pro +?

Yup, I would. Not only does it have better hardware then the amazon fire stick it only costs a few dollars more. It allows you to use Kodi without having to jump through any extra steps having to install it. You have the freedom of installing and app you want.  This box is recommended for anyone with the technical know-how to set up and run an android device and tailor it to their needs.   The H96 Pro Plus can be used for anything the amazon fire stick can be used for and much more. The only downside is you have to put in a little bit more to get the job done.

I would suggest this to anyone looking for good All in one media center for your home.

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