REVIEW: Fire TV Stick 2020, new cheap TV-Stick for Full HD 1080p Streaming


Fire TV Stick 2020 is the new Amazon TV-Stick of which we present today in his review. The new 3rd generation Fire TV Stick is small device that is identical to the Fire TV Stick 4K but limited to Full HD 1080p resolutions and that comes to replace the Fire TV Stick Basic Edition that already had a very outdated hardware. Without a doubt a product designed to fight against the Xiaomi Mi TV Stick that is its maximum rival. This new Stick has two versions, one denominated Fire TV Stick Lite that in its Alexa remote does not have controls for TV’s and another identical  NonLite that if it has control buttons for the TV and IR emisor. Let us see in our review how this device behaves and how it defends itself with respect to its rivals.

PRODUCT DETAILS

ModelFire TV Stick 2020
Basic SpecsSoC: Mediatek MT8695 Quad Core A53 @ 1.69 GHz (64bit) / GPU PowerVR GE8300 MP4 / 12 nm
OS: Fire OS 7 based on Android 9
RAM, storage and network: 1 GB RAM DDR3 + 8 eMMC / Wifi ac MiMo + BT 5.0
Ports: HDMI 2.0 / microUSB OTG
Extras: HDMI Extender / Manual / DC Adapter 5,25V 1A / USB cable / Alexa BT remote / AAA batteries
Materials and dimensions: Plastic / 38 x 142 x 16 mm / 43,4 gr

Unboxing

The small Android TV-Stick Fire TV Stick 2020 comes in a generic cardboard Stick with a image of the device in the top, inside we found the TV-Stick, Alexa BT remote, HDMI extension cable, Manual and a DC 5.25V 1A adapter and two AAA batteries.

Description

On the front of the Fire TV Stick 2020 it maintains the identical design to the 4K version, it has a really compact and simple size. On the front we only have the male connector HDMI 2.0b limited to 1080p video and is compatible with HDR information. In one of its sides the only micro USB 2.0 OTG port that allows us to connect some peripherals.

This version of the 3rd generation Fire TV Stick has been introduced with two versions of the BT Alexa controller. One is called Lite and has a slightly trimmed control without buttons for the TV. The normal version offers us the control with buttons to control our TV thanks to an IR emitter that it has in the frontal part and that we can configure with our model of TV.

  • Fire TV Stick Lite brings us a BT Alexa remote but it does not have keys for TV of volume, mute and power on/off.
  • Fire TV Stick brings us a BT + IR Alexa remote with all the buttons to control the TV.

As the only port we have a microUSB OTG connector that allows us to connect extra peripherals thanks to a special microUSB cable. On the motherboard we can see the Wifi aC MiMo + BT 5.0 chip and an internal antenna to get coverage. If our TV has a USB with 5V 1A power we can try to connect the TV-Stick without the power adapter, but if the system restarts or shuts down in the middle of the use we will have to use the official power supply.

  • Remote Control: BT control without IR in Lite model / NO Flymouse / YES microphone
  • Alternative control: We can connect a flymouse, mouse, gamepad or bluetooth keyboard or adapter, although the mouse is not seen on the desktop of Fire OS only when entering into apps such as Kodi or a browser.

SYSTEM AND PERFORMANCE

Environment and Android system

We connect the Fire TV Stick 2020 and it starts automatically, the system indicates us how to configure it. After configuring it we arrive at the Fire OS launcher based on rows of rectangles where we have very little customization and the upper row is where we have our most used apps. We have few apps installed by default, basically a few streaming services. We check that Fire OS 7 performance is good if we do not demand speed in the change of apps but for a normal use we can say that it is enough.

  • Launcher: We can’t use a alternate launcher / Android UI rendering at 1080p.
  • Multitasking and access: Multitasking NOT available / NO lower or upper Android bar.
  • Languages and apps store: All the international Android languajes / Amazon Fire OS store for apps.

System

We check the system data and the options it includes as far as root is concerned, we also observe what ignition systems this device allows us. When starting the TV-Box we have to install several updates via OTA that correct errors.

  • On / Off: Only Sleep Mode / Off NOT configurable in settings.
  • Version and root: Fire OS 7 based on Android 9 (32 bit) / NO root / Build P7223/1740 / Model sheldonp.
  • Support: Amazon Official Support / Firmware only upgradeable by OTA.

Network, storage, RAM and ports

The small TV-Box Fire TV Stick 2020 has 1 GB RAM DDR4 and for internal storage we have 8 GB eMMC. It has a single micro USB 2.0 OTG port. In the network section it has a wireless adapter Wi-Fi AC MiMo + BT 5.0, we can connect an Ethernet adapter via USB. As we see in the tests the results give good figures, the wifi reach a good speed with an acceptable range for an internal antenna.

  • Storage: Total 8GB  – Free 4GB / Not xpandable with a USB or SD external memory.
  • RAM: Total 1GB – Free 400 MB / DDR4.
  • Network: Good speed with one internal wifi antenna / Range 38dBm, OK. / Bluetooth OK.
  • We recommend reading our Tutorial SAMBA on Android networks if we are going to use files from our network PC.
USB 2.0USB 3.0microSDSATA
Read / Write21/17 MB/s

Power and performance

In terms of performance the mini TV-Box Fire TV Stick 2020 has the SoC Mediatek MT8695 Quad Core with ARM Cortex-A53 processors at 1.7 GHz and in the graphics section a PowerVR GE8300 MP4 GPU that is in the medium range. This SoC is manufactured in 12 nm, as we have verified the cooling system is adequate and the temperatures are low, the chip scales correctly the speeds and maintains the performance with no problem. In general we have enough power for usual streaming apps or KODI.

  • Thermals: Min. 51ºC / Working 62 ºC / Max.68ºC / Maintains performance up to 93% / Heat zone on the top / Noise 0db
  • Consumption: Off 1.1W / Min 1.2W / Working 1.9W / Max. 2.9W
  • Games and emulators:  NO possible to play titles such as PUBG even with low settings / Emulators up to Wii / YES Vulkan support.
  • Controls: Compatible with Gamepads with cable.

VIDEO AND AUDIO TEST

Video playback test

For the video playback section, the Fire TV Stick 2020 has the Mediatek MT8695 SoC which has a VPU that can decode H.265 / VP9 and has HDR modes supporting HDR 10, HDR10+ and HLG. It does not have video quality settings but the image quality is good. We can use players like KODI or PLEX, to install KODI we will have to do it manually with your APK. As for audio we can play Dolby sound up to 7.1 by the HDMI port, no support for DTS.

Video results

FormatsResult
h.264 / 1080i / 8bitOK
h.264 / 1080p / 4K / 8bitOK
h.264 / 1080p / 10bit (anime)Frameskip (SW)
h.265 / 1080p / 8bitOK
h.265 / 1080p / 10bit (anime)OK
h.265 / 4K@24fps / 8bitOK
h.265 / 4K@60fps / 10bit HDROK
VP9 P1 / 4K@24fps / 8bitFrameskip
VP9 P2 / 4K@60fps / 10bit HDRFrameskip (SW)
VP9 P2 / 8K@60fps / 10bit HDRFrameskip (SW)
AV1 / 4K@24fps / 10bitFrameskip (SW)
Max. Bitrate100 Mbps = 12.5 MB/s.
  • The maximum bitrate depends on the port used to connect or the limitations of SAMBA Networks.
  • SW = does not have hardware acceleration and may have have some frameskip in very heavy files.

Audio test results

FormatsDD / DTS 5.1DD+ / DTS MADD True / DTS HRDD Atmos / DTS X
HDMIOK / PCMOK / PCMOK / PCMOK / PCM*
Optical
  • PCM – Stereo only doing downmix from DD or DTS
  • Core – Only the core of the format is played back with what we passed to the Dolby / DTS base system, more info.
    * Our AV receiver does not support these native formats but we verify that it is played back to 7.1

Streaming services

We perform several tests on streaming services to check how the most popular services work. The 3rd generation Fire TV Stick has all the necessary certificates for most streaming services. We can easily install Prime Video, Netflix, Youtube, Disney+ and others to use them up to 1080p. In the case of HBO we must manually install its Android TV APK which is fully compatible.

Streaming serviceVideo / AudioResultManual
YoutubeFullHD (1080p) / StereoOK.
Google Play MoviesFullHD (1080p) / StereoOK.
NetflixFullHD (1080p) / 7.1OK, installing the apk with mouseNetflix on Android
HBOFullHD (1080p) / StereoOK.HBO on Android
Disney+FullHD (1080p) / 5.1OK.Disney+ on Android
Amazon Prime VideoFullHD (1080p) / 5.1OK.Amazon Prime video on Android
DAZNFullHD (1080p) / StereoOK.
IPTVFullHD (1080p) / StereoOK

CONCLUSIONS AND BUY LINKS

Score

Fire TV Stick 2020

0.00
7.1

Design

6.5/10

Hardware

7.0/10

Conectivity

6.5/10

Support

7.5/10

Price

8.0/10

Pros

  • Small
  • Cheap
  • Streaming apps support
  • Alexa BT Remote
  • Amazon Support

Cons

  • Fire OS
  • KODI and HBO only with external APK

Opinion

After testing the new Fire TV Stick 2020 we can say that we facing a clone of its brother Fire TV Stick 4K with some downgrades. This small device has enough hardware for multimedia use up to 1080p, use players like KODI, PLEX or for IPTV streaming. The system is Fire OS moves properly and as we know this system has many limitations compared to Android TV, a point that we will have to take into account if we want more or less freedom when installing different applications.

In terms of raw power the Fire TV Stick 2020 we can run the apps or simple games in Fire OS without performance problems but heavy games like PUBG are something impossible because of its OS and his available hardware. The Alexa Bluetooth remote included is simple but practical and we must take into account that the Lite version does not have controls for our TV. This TV-Stick keeps the temperatures very controlled, a positive point that gives security and reliability in the long term.

In short, the Fire TV Stick 3rd generation is an interesting product if we use 1080p streaming apps and if we want a device with long term support, although unfortunately it has Fire OS as operating system.

Where to buy

Add-ons

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

2 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Alle

Automatic refresh rate works only with prime video? No Netflix and youtube like usual? Thanks