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Roku vs Firestick – What You Should Know Before Buying

roku vs firestick

This in-depth article will compare Roku vs Firestick to determine what is the best streaming device available.

Two of the most popular media streamers on the market today are the Amazon Firestick and Roku Devices.

Both devices provide users the ability to stream content directly to their television in High Definition.

This article compares the devices’ features, capabilities, price, and more to help you decide which is right for you.

While Roku devices are a popular choice for “cutting the cord”, they do not offer the accessibility and content that a Fire TV device will.

Because Roku operates using a closed source system, we can only install apps or channels to this device from the Roku Channel Store.

This means Roku users are missing out on tons of free content that those using a Firestick or Fire TV have access to.

TROYPOINT always suggests using Android-powered devices such as a Firestick or Fire TV for streaming.

This is due to the jailbreaking abilities these devices provide that allow users to install various 3rd party applications not available in the Amazon App Store or Google Play Store.

These “secret” apps serve up Movies, TV Shows, Live TV, and more for FREE.

Roku vs Firestick – Quick Comparison

Roku vs. Firestick, how do they compare? If you’re shopping for a streaming device, you’ve probably come across one or both of these options.

roku vs firestick

The Fire TV Stick 4K was released by Amazon in 2018, which is an upgraded version of the previous model.

Along with the 4K streaming feature, the device now comes with an Alexa Voice remote control.

This is one of the most prominent features of the Firestick or Fire TV.

With this addition, users can simply use their voice to open apps, play movies and shows, and much more.

In late 2021, Amazon also released its latest version of the Firestick which is the Fire TV Stick 4K Max.

This new option offers the same Fire TV capabilities with upgraded power and faster Wi-Fi.

Fire TV Stick 4K Max Review

firestick 4k max review

While the Fire TV Stick 4K Max is the most popular Firestick option, there are tons of variations available suited for different preferences.

You can learn the difference between each of these devices at our resource guide below.

Firestick Comparison Guide

Roku, on the other hand, released the fourth generation of its players in 2015 to match the market’s demand for inexpensive streaming devices.


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It has several versions of the device that vary in size, power, price, and more.

While the most popular Roku choice is the Roku Streaming Stick 4K, there are cheaper options that can still provide an enjoyable streaming experience.

If you choose to purchase a Roku, you may pay less upfront but will eventually spend more on content that you won’t need to purchase with a Firestick or Fire TV.

To learn more about Roku devices, see our complete Roku resource guide.

Listed below are some notable factors to look at regarding Roku vs Firestick.

Firestick Highlights

  • Sideloading Capabilities
  • Higher Storage Capacity
  • Personalization options (3rd Party Launchers)
  • Alexa Capabilities
  • Gaming Options

Roku Highlights

  • Ad-Free Interface
  • User-Friendly remote
  • Simple Screen Mirroring

Roku vs Firestick – Technical Aspects

Below is a table that compares the technical aspects of the Roku Streaming Stick 4K vs. the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max.

roku vs firestick 4k max
Roku vs amazon firestick
Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K MaxRoku Streaming Stick 4K
ProcessorQuad-core 1.8 GHzQuad-core
GPU750 MHzARM Cortex A53
BluetoothBluetooth 5.0 + LEno information available
Storage8 GB4 GB
PortsHDMI output, micro USB for power & OTG connectionPower, HDMI 2.0b, USB for power & Long-range Wi-Fi receiver
System RequirementsHigh-definition television with available high-speed HDMI input, high-speed internet connection via Wi-FiHigh-definition television with available high-speed HDMI input, high-speed internet connection via Wi-Fi
Content FormatVideo: Dolby Vision, HDR 10, HDR10+, HLG, H.265, H.264, VP9
Audio: AAC-LC, AC3, eAC3 (Dolby Digital Plus), FLAC, MP3, PCM/Wave, Vorbis, Dolby Atmos (EC3_JOC)
Video: MP4, MOV, M4V, MKV, WebM
Video Codecs: H.264/AVC, HEVC/H.265, VP9
Photo: HLS/CMAF, Smooth, DASH
TV CompatibilityTVs that stream in HD, Ultra HD and 4K, or any TV with a HDMI portHD TVs, 4K UHD TVs and 4K UHD HDR TVs
Networking802.11ac MIMO dual-band wireless receiver802.11ac MIMO dual-band wireless receiver
Power Consumptionabout 4WLess than 3.5W
Power Input5V – 1A5V – 1A

The Better Choice? Amazon Firestick

While Roku may cost less upfront, users will not be able to enjoy apps such as Cinema, Kodi, and more.

This can end up costing much more in the long run as owners must purchase subscriptions for streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, etc.

Roku uses a closed operating system that does not allow for the installation of 3rd party applications.

Because you technically can’t Jailbreak a Roku Device, the Firestick is a superior choice.

Firestick owners can use the Downloader App to install various applications not available in the Amazon App Store.

These apps provide access to Movies, TV Shows, Live TV, games, and much more, all for FREE.

This is often referred to as “jailbreaking” and is popular for devices such as the Amazon Firestick and Fire TV.

We highly recommend the Amazon Firestick as the preferred streaming device because of its low price point and side-loading capabilities.

Roku vs Firestick – More Important Features

The following features compare the differences between Roku vs. Firestick.

Remote Control

The Firestick’s remote control is one of the most prominent aspects of a Firestick or Fire TV.

Firestick remote for 3rd gen fire tv stick

In 2021, Amazon released an all-new Alexa Voice Remote with added features and dedicated app buttons.

These new dedicated app buttons rival that of the Roku Remote that also has various buttons for instant app launch.

roku remote

Set the device to mute or adjust the volume, return to the previous page, move forward to the next track or activate voice command using your remote control.

The Firestick remote is synced with Alexa and can be paired with other devices for a completely hands-free experience.

This is one of the biggest factors when debating Roku vs. Firestick.

The firestick remote control with Alexa separates itself from Roku as these devices don’t have any hands-free capabilities.

Firestick Remote Resource Guide

The Roku stick’s remote control features the same buttons but also comes with shortcut buttons where selected channels are assigned on each.

This is convenient for users who want to switch from one favorite channel to another.

However, the Firestick remote stands above Roku in this department because of its voice control capabilities.

TV Compatibility

Firestick is compatible with any high-definition television with available high-speed HDMI input, high-speed internet connection via Wi-Fi.

roku vs firestick - tv compatibility

Roku is compatible with HD TVs of up to 1080p, 4K UHD TVs of up to 2160p, 4K UHD HDR TVs that support HRD10.

Roku vs Firestick – Storage

Firestick allows you to store data with its 8 GB capacity. Cloud storage also comes free for all content purchased from Amazon.

The Roku stick, however, has limited storage at only 256 MB and only 512 MB memory.

You may connect external devices to the Fire TV Stick such as additional storage via an OTG Cable.

Check out our in-depth Firestick storage guide below for more information on that.

Expand Firestick 4K Internal Storage

Device Setup

Firestick and Roku both have a simple setup process. Just plug it into the HDTV and start connecting to the network to start streaming.

Take note that if you’re a new user, you need to first create an account to get started.

How to Setup Firestick/Fire TV

Roku Setup

Parental Controls Feature

Firestick allows parental controls to be activated to prevent unwanted content or those that are inappropriate for children to be accessed.

A 5-digit PIN is needed to safeguard access to the device as well.

The Roku stick doesn’t have parental controls but users can create a 4-digit PIN before they can add new channels to the player.

Remember, however, that the PIN cannot be used to prohibit which content can be played on the Roku stick by children.

Voice Command Feature

Amazon has packed the Firestick with the Alexa Voice Remote feature.

roku vs firestick - voice command

This lets you launch apps and search movies, music, and shows, and adjust the soundbar through voice command recognition.

For example, if you want to have a classic comedy night with your friends, simply say, “Alexa, find movies by Charlie Chaplin.”

Roku meanwhile supports voice search via the free Roku mobile app and is also available for the Roku stick models but not for the Express and Premier series.

Roku vs Firestick – Streaming and Picture Quality

The Firestick’s 4K Ultra HD streaming quality that can accommodate 720p, 1080p, 2160p and reach up to 60 frames per second (fps), provides outstanding picture clarity, splendid and vibrant colors, and excellent HDR10, HDR10+, and HLG quality for richer pixels.

This feature will work with compatible Ultra HD televisions only.

Most Roku devices also feature 4k streaming capabilities as well for high-definition viewing.

To achieve such high-quality viewing, you need a 4K Ultra HD TV, a stable and high-speed internet connection, and the correct HDMI port on the TV.

Audio Quality

The Fire TV and Firestick 4K support Dolby Audio for crystal clear sound.

The Roku stick also has superb audio features, which support digital stereo over HDMI, DTS Digital Surround, and Dolby Audio.

Mobile App

Amazon provides an accompanying mobile app that features voice search (limited to select countries only), playback controls, easy keyboard entry, and quick access to apps and games.

remote app

This is available for installation on any mobile device including iPhone/iPad and Android:

Firestick Remote App – iOS

Firestick Remote App – Android

On the other hand, you may download the free Roku mobile app so you can use your phone to control your Roku stick, listen with your friends through the private listening feature and also cast your phone’s photos, recorded videos, and stored music on your phone to your TV.

Roku Mobile App – iOS

Roku Mobile App – Android

Content Programming

When comparing Roku vs Firestick, it is important to know what content is available with each device.

Amazon Prime members can enjoy exclusive access to movies and shows from Amazon Originals using their Firestick not to mention premium cable channels such as Cinemax, HBO, STARZ, and SHOWTIME.

Amazon Prime Video

Music streaming is also made easier with Prime Music.

For paid channels, Firestick users can choose to start with a free trial first before paying monthly or annual subscription fees.

Roku, on the other hand, provides access to more than 450,000 movies and TV programs from thousands of on-demand streaming services.

Best Roku Channels

It is important to remember that Roku users can only install apps located in the Roku Channel Store.

This varies from the Firestick that has the ability to install APK’s via sideload.

Additional Accessibility Features

Firestick users with visual impairment can access the device’s features using the VoiceView screen reader.

Roku also has the same support using the device’s Audio Guide feature.


Firestick comes with a limited 1-year warranty and service and an optional 2- and 3-year extended warranty for buyers in the United States.

On the other hand, the Roku stick hardware comes with a 2-year warranty.


When comparing Roku vs Firestick there are a ton of various factors to look at.

Many prefer Roku devices because of the price but with the newest addition of Fire TV Stick Lite, the Firestick is clearly a better choice.

If you want to get the most out of your media device, we suggest the Amazon Firestick for all your streaming needs.

What Are Streaming Devices?

A streaming device is a physical media device that is used in conjunction with your television to provide apps and content.

This is done, for example, by connecting your TV to the Internet so you can watch a movie, play top 40 hits, or listen to a top-rated podcast on your device.

Streaming technology comes in different forms. They can be built inside the smart TV or gaming device such as new versions of Xbox and PlayStation.

You can also use a separate streaming device such as the Amazon Firestick or Roku stick to view content.

Simply plugging a streaming device into an HDMI port on your television will allow you to play movies, tv shows, news, live events, game, and more.

The most popular streaming devices among cord-cutters are the Amazon Firestick, Fire TV, Roku, NVIDIA Shield, MECOOL KM3, Tivo Stream 4K, and several Android TV Boxes.

Roku vs Firestick – Why You Need a Streaming Device

Using a streaming device lets you access movies, news, TV shows, Live TV, Podcasts, music, and more, all without having to download them to your hard drive.

This saves you a lot of storage space on your devices.

roku vs firestick - streaming device

Real-time access is another advantage. Depending on your internet speed, you can watch or listen to media right away instead of waiting for the file to be downloaded completely.

You can also save different apps and content on your streaming device.

A streaming device also allows you to watch your favorite shows and movies on the go as you can use your device anywhere with just a TV and wifi connection.

This is perfect for those who travel for business and pleasure as you can easily use your device in hotels and more.

Check out the links below for the best apps and APKs that you can download.

Best Firestick Apps – Movies, TV Shows, Games & More


Finally, there is unlimited content you can choose from to suit your video and audio streaming preferences.

Apps for Movies and TV Shows, Live TV Services, 24/7 Sports, Music, and more are available to turn your streaming device into your own personal media hub.

Roku vs Firestick – Why Use a VPN?

Whenever installing third-party applications to any device, TROYPOINT recommends a VPN to secure your identity.

Unfortunately, it isn’t possible to install a VPN application on a Roku device but it is possible on the Amazon Firestick.

In order for your Roku device to be protected by a VPN, you will need to set up a VPN through your router. Refer to our guide below for that.

How to Install VPN for Roku

If you would like to learn How To Install a VPN on your Firestick, Fire TV, or Fire TV Cube use the link below:

How to Install VPN on Firestick/Fire TV

Roku vs Firestick FAQ

Is Roku Better than Firestick?

Right now, the Amazon Firestick is the best streaming device due to its low price point and side-loading capabilities. The Firestick/Fire TV is more popular among cord-cutters than Roku devices.

Is Roku Cheaper than Firestick?

Some Roku devices are cheaper than the firestick but don’t provide the same capabilities as the Amazon device.

Can I Stream 4K on Firestick or Roku?

The Amazon Firestick and Roku Streaming Stick+ both have 4K UHD abilities as long as your television supports 4k streaming.

Is there a Monthly Fee?

Neither devices require a monthly fee. However, some applications require subscription payment for use.

Can I get Local Channels?

Yes, with the right service or IPTV app, these devices will allow for the streaming of local and national channels.

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