Fire TV Stick 4K Max review: the most powerful streaming stick fromAmazon

Our opinion on the new Fire Stick 4K Max (2021)

Fire TV Stick 4K Max

Discover the new Fire TV Stick 4K Max | Streaming device, Wi-Fi 6, voice remote control Alexa (with TV control buttons)

Price as of: May 24, 2022 8 h 52 min

The family of streaming devices fromAmazon never ceases to grow and expand. After the announcement of Fire TV televisions in the United States, here in France the latest addition to the range is the Fire TV Stick 4K Max, a boosted version of the 4K key announced as 40% more powerful. Of course, its role remains unchanged (audio and video streaming, games, control of your connected devices ...), but there are some well-regarded new features such as live video overlay in your program.

This latest generation brings out the big game with a processor Quad-Core 1,8 GHz, 2 GB of RAM, 8 GB of storage, taking charge of Wi-Fi 6, the 3rd generation remote control and the high-end standards in video and audio that are the Dolby Vision, Atmos and HDR10 +… Enough to comat on the sofa for hours, provided you pay the price: € 64,99 at launch.

Fire TV Stick 4K Max: a powerful streaming stick

Unboxing

Like all products in the range, the Fire TV Stick 4K Max (coming from Indo-European steyg, who can say pierce, slice ... cool right?) is delivered in an orange cardboard packaging, thus incorporating the color code of the range. We have a product visual on the front as well as the highlights like Wi-Fi 6, 4K and use cases through targeted apps. On the back and sides, nothing very folichon but there is a touch of HDR, Dolby Vision and Atmos and a zest of quad-core.

Inside this 100% recyclable packaging, you will find the stick as such. Its size and shape do not differ from those of its predecessors: 99 x 30 x 14 mm (count 10,8 cm if you add the length of the HDMI plug), for a 48 gram weight. The quality of the finishes is very good and that of the materials rather correct.

Like all Fire TV Sticks, it will plug into HDMI ARC (High Definition Multimedia Interface, Audio Return Channel) to your TV. So for devices with cathode ray tube, it sucks a bit. Considering its size, it can quickly become annoying if your television is near the wall. Amazon therefore provides you a flexible connection to avoid this. About 11 cm, it will fit between your TV and the Fire to allow it a certain versatility in the installation.

Its power supply will be brought to life by a micro-USB which will be connected, via the cable, to an AC adapter. Like the others then. This is the standard adapter in the range. It therefore does not require more resources. Even if it is possible to connect it to the USB of your TV, we recommend the connection to the mains to avoid lag caused by too low power.

It also comes with a 3rd generation remote control. With its dimensions of 38 x 142 x 16 mm and its weight of 43 grams without the batteries, it remains quite compact. But it is full of surprises! The voice remote control Alexa allows you to control your Fire TV Stick 4K Max and some features (like power and volume) on a wide range of compatible infrared devices, including TVs and soundbars, as well as Home cinema Amazon Echo.

You heard the activation keyAlexa, in blue at the top, but also 4 pre-set buttons to launch 4 streaming applications with one touch (most used): Prime Video, Netflix, Disney + and Amazon Music. And when a brand starts to put logos in hard on its material, it is that it counts!

You also have the other more standard buttons to increase the volume, go to reception, move forward and back, play / pause… In short, we won't do them all for you. It also comes with 2 AAA batteries.

Technical sheet :

  • Stick dimensions: 99 x 30 x 14 mm (housing only) | 108 x 30 x 14 mm (connector included)
  • Weight : 48,5 grams
  • Processor : Mediatek MT 8696. This is an important change because the latter is a 1.8GHz Quad-core processor while the previous one was a 1,7 GHz quad-core. The graphics part is an IMG GE8300 GPU, 750 MHz instead of a 650 MHz. This will give you a more responsive and fluid device.
  • Memo : 2 GB of RAM, 8 GB of internal storage. That's 0,5 GB more RAM than its predecessor.
  • Connectivity : BTE 5.0 + LTE and dual-band Wi-Fi 6
  • Voice commands : Yes, with voice remote control Alexa including
  • Audio formats : Dolby Atmos, 7.1 surround sound, 2-channel stereo and up to 5.1 pass-through HDMI sound. But be careful, this is only possible when you are connected to a compatible device. Audio codecs: AAC-LC, AC3, eAC3 (Dolby Digital Plus), FLAC, MP3, PCM / Wave, Vorbis, Dolby Atmos (EC3_JOC).
  • Resolution : 2160p, 1080p and 720p up to 60 fps
  • Supported video formats : Dolby Vision, HDR 10, HDR10 +, HLG… These 4 formats are types of High Dynamic Range, allowing you to have a wider range of brightness. Also supports H.265, H.264, VP9, ​​AV1 formats. And for the photo: JPEG, PNG, GIF, BMP

Rather nice on paper, Amazon offer us a Fire TV Stick 4K Max supporting Wi-Fi 6 for a faster and more stable network, but also Ultra HD and different types of HDR. It is therefore very versatile and will be perfect with compatible equipment. Indeed, even if the Stick can read and render 4K, if your screen is in HD or FHD, it will not transform it for all that. Ditto for HDR, the limiting factor remains your television for the video and audio part to a lesser extent (except if you have a Home cinema). Note also that this will also depend on the content you are watching. Not all of them are HDR, Vision, Atmos or watchable, they are so bad… However, even if you are not at the top of these aspects with a Full HD TV, you will benefit from the best possible picture and above all from a power gain.

Test carried out on an LG Nanocell TV with Alexa integrated:

€899,99
€949,00
In stock
2 new from € 899,99
Refurbished from 1
May 24, 2022 8:52 a.m.
Buy
Amazon. Fr

Fire TV Stick 4K MAX: still easy to use

Installation and use

Installing the Fire TV Stick 4K Max is really simple:

  1. Connect the streaming stick to your TV and to the mains (yes),
  2. Select your HDMI input.
  3. Choose your language and enter your Wi-Fi credentials.

Once done, two possibilities:

  • Create an account Amazon if you are not a customer. Prime Video is included in the Prime membership, which is pretty cool.
  • Select your account if you are already a customer.

You will then have a double check. Connect to the site www.Amazon.fr / code and enter the code that appears on your TV. Once done, let the update do it. There is a minimum of 5 minutes. And it's done ! Or almost. If you have other Fire TVs, you can duplicate your info, reinstall applications… It's very fast.

“The Fire TV Stick 4K Max is a real pleasure to use. "

Once the applications are installed (Prime Video, Netflix, Disney +, Amazon Music…), you can go to settings to see what your TV allows you to do. Settings -> Display and Sound –-> Audio and Video Diagnostics. You will see if you can display Dolby Vision, listen to Atmos…. Or not.

We let you explore the settings in more detail, but you can get an idea via the Fire TV Cube video test.

In use, two things are obvious. The first concerns the fluidity and speed in navigation. It's really impressive, you don't have any "lag" or "black box" when you load the menus. As soon as you press the preset buttons on the remote, you are within seconds on the selected application. It is really impressive. When Amazon says it's the most powerful and the fastest Sticks, they are right. The Fire TV Stick 4K Max is a real pleasure to use.

The second is the picture quality. There really is no fault. She is really very beautiful and fluid. It's hard to write about it, but it's a real pleasure. Its power allows you to directly launch your film in 4K without latency. Take a look at these few photos to get an idea.

Of course, for audio, via a written test, it's a bit like squaring the circle by watching Les Marseillais à Trinidad et Tobago… It's not super suitable.

Of course, a good part of the performance of your FireTV 4K Max will depend on your network. Since it only works in Wi-Fi, if it is quite sluggish in your home, you may be quite frustrated. You will have no other choice but to go through a Wi-Fi 6 router like the Eero 6 for example. It is difficult in these conditions to talk to you about the depth of the image, the brightness or other because it depends above all on your TV.

The remote control also allows you to use Alexa for search for content or even control your connected home. But that is also true on other Fire TVs ...

We refer you to our video to see this new generation in action. Don't hesitate to subscribe to our YouTube channel and like the video!

To conclude this test, with 40% power in addition, it is fair to say that the new Fire TV 4K Max is the most fluid and the fastest of the range. It is also the only one to take charge of the Wi-Fi 6, more stable and faster. Thanks to its boosted hardware, it allows a display in 4K Ultra HD (2160p up to 60 fps) with technology support Dolby Vision, HDR, HDR10 + and Dolby Atmos audio… On compatible devices of course. In terms of sound, you can count on the Dolby Atmos, 7.1 surround sound, 2-channel stereo and up to 5.1 pass-through HDMI sound. It is also possible to access the stream of a camera connected to Alexa without interrupting streaming thanks to the live video overlay. To pilot it, Amazon provides the remote control Alexa 3rd generation, with the "voice" button Alexa and 4 predefined buttons. It is without a doubt the best Fire TV Stick, but it still falls short of the Fire TV Cube and we would have appreciated an Ethernet connection. Although his price of 64,99 € on Amazon. Fr may seem a bit expensive to some, it seems to us to be totally justified because it is a real pleasure to use.
Did i choose Alexa or did she choose me? Let's say that as a beta tester, it's a bit of both! And I do not regret having met our favorite assistant nor this adventure undertaken with Alexien Modo. Technophile, self-taught and loving popularization, I try to make our common passion easy to access!