Which streaming stick is best? Google Chromecast vs Amazon Fire TV Stick vs Roku Streaming Stick

After using the Chromecast, Fire Stick and Roku Stick, I wanted to compare the 3 to see which one is the best. I did not use these sticks especially to review them. This comparison is based on using the sticks for around 6 months.

Tech Specs Comparison

Let’s start off with comparing the hardware specs for the TV sticks

Chromecast 2 Amazon Fire TV Stick Roku Streaming Stick
Output HDMI HDMI HDMI
Processor 1.2Ghz dual ARM Cortex-A9 1.2Ghz dual ARM Cortex-A9 BCM2835 600 MHz
RAM 512MB 1GB 512MB
Storage 256MB nyem 8GB 256MB
Max. Resolution 1080p 1080p 1080p

Amazon has the best hardware and this also reflects in the user interface as there is hardly any lag in the menus and apps. The Chromecast with the minimalistic interface also performs quite well. The Roku Stick’s UI works fine but can get laggy in apps, due to the lesser CPU and RAM.

Amazon Fire Stick TV

Amazon Fire Stick TV

User Interface

The Amazon Fire Stick has the best looking interface and is slick to use with the Fire Sticks hardware. It also has the voice control which works well. The interface however is aimed at Amazon content and you will see the Amazon content dominate the Home Screen.

The Chromecast has no interface navigation as it relies on casting from your phone, tablet or the Chrome browser.

The Roku stick has the simplest of interfaces. It has no voice search. Apps are easy to find.

Roku Streaming Stick

Roku Streaming Stick

The Amazon Fire Stick TV is the easy winner here, with voice search and the besting looking and performing interface.

Apps

Amazon Fire Stick TV has Amazon Video as standard. It also has Netflix & Plex. It has YouTube but it is not the official app and is the web version. BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, My5 & All 4 are also available. Kodi can also be installed but has to be sideloaded.

The Chromecast has a lot of content including Netflix, Now TV, BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, My 5 & All 4 are all available. There is no Amazon Video for the Chromecast.

Google Chromecast (Gen. 2)

Google Chromecast (Gen. 2)

Roku stick has all the apps available as mentioned above except for Kodi.

Conclusion

All 3 work well and it is down to your preference and content that you watch.

I watch Amazon Video and Now TV a lot. The Fire Stick does not have Now TV. The Chromecast does not have Amazon Video. The Roku has both Amazon Video and Now TV so this was the device that I used the most. In fact for my purposes the Chromecast and Amazon Stick remained idle for most of the time and I was reaching for the Roku remote every time I wanted to watch something, this is despite the lowest hardware spec.

The Roku stick also seems the most impartial for content. Amazon Stick is very much focused on Amazon Video. If you are using Kodi then the Amazon Stick is the one to get. The downside of the Chromecast is that you have to have a smartphone, tablet or Chrome browser. If you don’t have battery power in the device that you are going to use with the Chromecast then you are going to be disappointed.

The Roku remote controls batteries last for about 1 year, it also has the option to cast from a smartphone or tablet like the chromecast and it has the apps I like, therefore it was the best for me.

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