Prime Day officially starts tomorrow, but all stand-alone Fire TV streaming devices and many Fire TV Smart TVs are already on sale at their Prime Day prices. While there are many all-time low prices this year, there are certainly some that are much better deals than others. With Firestick prices as little as $2 apart and Fire TV Smart TV prices as little as $10 apart for what seem to be nearly identical devices, it’s sometimes hard to tell which deals to get and which ones to avoid. Here’s a breakdown of the different Fire TV device categories and resolutions with clear suggestions for the deals to skip and the ones to get instead.
1080P Fire TV Stick
Avoid: Fire TV Stick Lite for $14.99
Get Instead: Fire TV Stick for $16.99
Why: It might be tempting to get the Fire TV Stick Lite for $14.99 if you’re just looking to get a basic streaming device for as little as possible. Before jumping on the cheapest Firestick available, you should seriously consider spending $2 more to get the regular Fire TV Stick for $16.99. While the streaming stick itself is identical between the two models, with a few tiny software differences, the included remotes are quite different. The Fire TV Stick comes with a remote that can turn your TV on and off, raise and lower the volume of your TV or soundbar, and mute the volume. The remote can also change your TV or soundbar input by voice. Those extra remote features are well worth the extra $2. The Fire TV Stick Lite has also been as low as $11.99 in the past, while the Fire TV Stick at $16.99 is as low as it has ever been, so the Fire TV Stick Lite just isn’t that great of a deal for this year’s Prime Day.
4K Fire TV Stick
Avoid: Fire TV Stick 4K for $22.99
Get Instead: Fire TV Stick 4K Max for $24.99
Why: Similar to the 1080p Fire TV Stick options above, it may be tempting to just buy the cheapest 4K-capable Fire TV device, which would be the Fire TV Stick 4K for $22.99, but you’re much better off paying an extra $2 and getting the Fire TV Stick 4K Max instead. On the surface, it may seem like these two devices are fairly identical apart from WiFi 5 on the 4K model and WiFi 6 on the 4K Max model, but there are several more advantages to the 4K Max. For starters, the Fire TV Stick 4K Max is about 25% more powerfull than the Fire TV Stick 4K. That leads the 4K Max to launch apps about 35% faster than the regular 4K Firestick. This is due to both the more powerful processor and the extra RAM, which is 2GB in the Max compared to 1.5GB in the regular 4K. The Max also runs Fire OS 7, compared to the regular 4K which is the last Fire TV device to still run Fire OS 6, leading to additional advantages, like Dolby Atmos support in Netflix on the Max and not on the Fire TV Stick 4K. I could go on and on but any one of the advantages already mentioned is reason enough to pay an extra $2 for the Fire TV Stick 4K Max.
720p Fire TV Smart TV
Avoid: 32in Amazon 2-Series 720p Fire TV for $129.99
Get Instead: 32in Insignia F20 Series 720p Fire TV for $79.99
Why: When it comes to budget Fire TV Smart TVs in small sizes, there’s very little that differentiates one from the other so getting the cheapest one is often the best approach. While 35% off the retail price of the Amazon 2-Series Fire TV for $129.99 might seem like a bargain, especially because it has never been priced lower, my suggestion is to get the Insignia F20 Series for $79.99 instead, which is also as low as it has ever been. There simply isn’t anything in the Amazon-branded TV that justifies paying $50 more. The Insignia TV is also rated slightly better by customers, probably because Insignia, which is Best Buy’s house brand, has been making these budget Fire TV Smart TVs since 2018 and has them down pat.
1080p Fire TV Smart TV
Avoid: 40in Amazon 2-Series 1080p Fire TV for $189.99
Get Instead: 42in Insignia F20 Series 1080p Fire TV for $129.99 or 43in Toshiba V35 Series 1080p Fire TV for $139.99
Why: If you’re not ready to step up to a 4K TV but still want something a little larger than the smallest 24-32in Fire TVs, then you might be considering the 40in Amazon 2-Series 1080p Fire TV for $189.99. While 24% off the retail price may sound appealing, you’re better off getting either the 42in Insignia F20 Series 1080p Fire TV for $129.99 or the 43in Toshiba V35 Series 1080p Fire TV for $139.99. You’ll be saving at least $50 compared to the Amazon-branded TV and will be getting a larger screen in the process. While 2-3 extra inches doesn’t sound like much, that equates to 10-15% more screen area in the 42in and 43in TVs, respectively, compared to a 40in TV. The specs for all these TVs are also very similar so you’re better off going with the least expensive option.
4K Fire TV Smart TV
Avoid: 50/55in Amazon 4-Series 4K Fire TV for $289.99/$339.99
Get Instead: 50/58in Hisense Fire TV for $299.99/$349.99
Why: The Amazon 4-Series Fire TVs are great budget 4K TVs but, as of this writing, the deals on them just aren’t good enough. For just $10 more than the $289.99 you’ll pay for the 50in Amazon 4-Series Fire TV, you’re much better off getting the 50in Hisense Fire TV for $299.99. In doing so you’re going from an average Fire TV to one of the best Fire TVs when it comes to picture quality. That’s because the Hisense uses a QLED panel with full array local dimming and 600 nits of brightness, while the Amazon 4-Series uses a standard LCD panel with a direct lit backlight that produces about half the brightness as the Hisense. The two TVs are simply in different leagues and the comparison gets even further apart when you pit the 55in Amazon 4-Series against the 58in Hisense Fire TV because that extra 3 inches gives you 11% more screen area with all the same added benefits as the smaller sized TVs. That’s all without even mentioning that the Hisense supports Dolby Vision and a variable refresh rate, which the Amazon 4-Series TVs do not.