The Buyer's Guide

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79 Engadget Score
A good product that falls short of greatness.
79

A good product that falls short of greatness.

How we score

The Engadget Score is a unique ranking of products based on extensive independent research and analysis by our expert editorial and research teams. The Global Score is arrived at only after curating hundreds, sometimes thousands of weighted data points (such as critic and user reviews).

Engadget Review

The Fire TV should be impressive -- it's faster and better equipped than most of the other media streamers out there, and does it all at a decent price. Right now though, features like gaming, voice search and ASAP are barely helping it keep pace with the competition. Maybe with a few more apps (HBO Go, Vudu), some great games and an extra layer of polish it could push ahead.

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Pros
  • Fast performance
  • Impressive list of apps, even at launch
  • Voice search is convenient, fast and accurate
Cons
  • Voice search doesn't work within apps
  • Onscreen keyboard is offensively bad
  • Inconsistent gaming experience
  • Carousel UI doesn't work as well on Fire TV as it does on tablets
  • Many apps and games are buggy ports from other platforms
79 Engadget Score
A good product that falls short of greatness.
79

A good product that falls short of greatness.

How we score

The Engadget Score is a unique ranking of products based on extensive independent research and analysis by our expert editorial and research teams. The Global Score is arrived at only after curating hundreds, sometimes thousands of weighted data points (such as critic and user reviews).

Scores

Engadget

79
 

User Reviews

80
JohnDishpo
The Amazon Fire TV is my favorite streaming device so far! I find it to be...read more
90
asteenbuck
I use the Fire TV almost every night as long light noise to fall asleep to....read more
100
rancour
Simply put. I love this device. The responsiveness is unparalleled by my Roku...read more
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Score Breakdown

 
79
Average Critic Score
Product Review
Time
A couple of days ago, there were only two viable competitors in the market for small, simple, affordable TV boxes: Roku and Apple. Now there are three–and it’ll be fun to see where Amazon, which takes categories seriously when it gets into them, goes from here.
 
60
ReadWriteWeb
For the same price, you might as well buy an Apple TV right now, or, better yet, wait until Apple releases its major update to the Apple TV within the next few months.
 
80
Gizmodo
Let's make one thing perfectly clear: if you pay $100 for Amazon Fire TV, you are essentially paying for the speed, voice search, and games (especially the games). If that's what you want, then fine, sure, go for it. But be sure you know what you're getting.
 
90
The Verge
Thanks to features such as X-Ray, voice search, photo and music integration, the Fire TV is by far the best way to watch content from Amazon’s own Instant Video service.
 
70
ChipChick
If you are invested in the Amazon eco-system, a heavy Amazon Prime user, or if you’re looking for a streamer that also offers a near console-like experience on a budget – than you’ll be really happy with the Fire TV.
 
80
Engadget
The Fire TV should be impressive -- it's faster and better equipped than most of the other media streamers out there, and does it all at a decent price. Right now though, features like gaming, voice search and ASAP are barely helping it keep pace with the competition.
 
90
Sound and Vision
Given Amazon’s resources and the Fire TV’s likely commercial success despite its initial failings, it has the potential to quickly become one of the top players out there.
Product Review
Wired
Just like iPhone did to the dedicated handheld gaming market, Fire TV (or something like it) could seriously disrupt consoles over the next generation. Out of the box this week, it’s not exactly setting the world on fire immediately.
Product Review
Android Central
With a footprint roughly half the size of a Nexus 7 sitting on a table and twice the thickness of the tablet, the Fire TV isn't exactly small. It is nicely designed to just get out of the way, though. There's no crazy shape, port layout or flashy branding.
 
80
TechHive
Fire TV is the best set-top box for watching Prime Instant Video and other Amazon content, and it's a solid option for Netflix and Hulu Plus too.