If you are shopping around for a media-streaming player, it is likely that you are going to narrow your available options down to the Amazon Fire TV and the Apple TV. While these two are not the only streamers available, they are very popular, cost under $100 and offer plenty of value for your money.
When comparing the Amazon Fire TV vs Apple TV, you will notice that the two streamers have some similarities and a handful of differences. Whichever media-streaming player you decide you buy, you will want to use it all the time.
EDITOR’S SIMPLE ANSWER – JUST BUY THE AMAZON FIRE TV
Despite the Apple TV being about $30 cheaper than the Amazon Fire TV, the increasing app selection, powerful hardware and the Android operating system is why we like the Amazon Fire TV better.
The Amazon media-streaming player remains our favorite. When compared to some of their popular competitors – Roku 3, Apple TV and Google Chromecast, the Amazon Fire TV is the only streamer that offers 2 GB of memory, a captive portal, an optional dedicated game controller and hundreds of fun games.
That said, the Amazon Fire TV is not necessarily the best choice for every buyer out there. Your actual needs and preference are going to play a role in your decision.
So, let us compare the similarities and differences between the Amazon Fire TV and the Apple TV.
WHAT DO THE AMAZON FIRE TV AND APPLE TV HAVE IN COMMON?
Since you are reading this Amazon Fire TV vs Apple TV comparison review, I am pretty sure that you know that both of these products are media-streaming players that ultimately do the same thing in the end – both are capable of giving you access to TV shows, movies, music and games.
Besides being popular media-streaming players, the Amazon Fire TV and the Apple TV both:
- Use an HDMI output of up to 1080p
- Have an optical audio output
- Support wired and wireless connection
- Feature popular apps such as Netflix, Hulu Plus and YouTube
WHAT THE AMAZON FIRE TV DOES BETTER?
Memory and internal storage: The Amazon Fire TV offers 2GB of memory and 8GB of internal storage space. Sadly, the Apple TV offers 512MB of memory and no internal storage. However, if you do not plan on saving anything, these are just numbers.
Faster processor: The Amazon Fire TV features a quad-core processor which is about three times faster than Apple TV’s single-core processor. Although, several other factors play a role in the actual speed, having a better and faster processor gives you a solid advantage.
Voice searching: The Amazon Fire TV features a simple voice searching option that actually works well. Their box enables you to search by speaking into the remote. There are several apps that are also compatible with voice searching.
However, Netflix and some of the other streaming services are not compatible with voice searching.
Video content loads faster: Amazon’s “ASAP (Advanced Streaming and Prediction)” feature is able to load your videos almost immediately after clicking play. Most other streaming devices have a short buffering period prior to the video starting. The ASAP feature comes in handy when you are fast-forwarding and rewinding videos.
Gaming support: The Amazon Fire TV is also built for fast and fluid gaming. It features over 700 games that are ready to play on the big screen. If you want a complete gaming experience, you might want to invest the $40 in the optional gaming controller.
The Apple TV does not feature any games.
More apps: The Amazon Fire TV features over 1,600 apps. Some of the popular apps include Netflix, HBO GO, YouTube, Hulu Plus and Amazon Instant Video. Eligible users can also benefit from a 30-day free trial for Amazon Prime. When compared to the Apple TV, the Amazon Fire TV wins this battle by offering a larger app selection.
However, I was a bit disappointed that they do not have a Vudu app yet.
WHAT THE APPLE TV DOES BETTER?
Apple TV is cheaper: The price is one area that the Apple TV beats the Amazon Fire TV. The Apple TV runs for about $68 – that is roughly $30 cheaper than the $99 Amazon Fire TV. So, if you have a limited budget, it is one reason of why you may find the Apple TV more appealing.
However, if you want to stay with the Amazon product but do not want to spend a lot, you may want to look at the Amazon Fire TV Stick that runs for about $40.
More compact in size: The Apple TV is about half the size of the Amazon Fire TV. To be exact, the Apple product has the following dimensions – height is 0.9 of an inch, width is 3.9 inches and depth is 3.9 inches, making it more compact in size and much easier to store.
Compatible with other Apple products: If you own an iPhone, iPad, Mac, have an iTunes account or want to stay in the Apple family, you will find the Apple TV as a great addition to your existing line of Apple products.
The Apple TV works flawlessly with other Apple products by using the AirPlay mirroring feature.
The good thing about making a purchase on Amazon is the availability of reviews from actual customers. At the time of writing this Amazon Fire TV vs Apple TV comparison review, here is how actual customers rated each media-streaming player:
- The Amazon Fire TV has over 30,000 customer reviews, earning a 4.2 out of 5 star rating on Amazon.
- The Apple TV has over 6,500 customer reviews, earning a 4.5 out of 5 star rating on Amazon.
WHERE TO BUY?
While you can shop around on multiple websites, I found that Amazon.com has the best overall pricing. You are also eligible for free shipping with a purchase of either media-streaming player.
Here is the current cost of each media-streaming player (price is taken from Amazon and may fluctuate at Amazon’s discretion):
- The Amazon Fire TV costs $99 (see it on Amazon here)
- The Apple TV costs $67.87 (see it on Amazon here)
THE AMAZON FIRE TV OR APPLE TV, WHICH ONE SHOULD I BUY?
While I prefer and use the Amazon Fire TV, I think that you cannot go wrong by purchasing the Apple TV. Both of these products are incredible media-streaming players and are worth every single penny.
I recommend evaluating your needs and preferences prior to making the purchase. By doing this, you will ultimately narrow your choice down to one of these media-streaming players and choose the one that fulfills most of what you are looking for.
The Amazon Fire TV is a little more expensive, but it delivers more games, apps and is compatible with multiple USB devices. So, if you want a complete media-streaming player that has minor drawbacks, I would recommend looking at the Amazon Fire TV. However, if you want a media-streaming player that is cheaper, takes up less space and are an Apple fan, I would recommend looking at the Apple TV.
Whatever media-streaming player you decide you purchase, I highly recommend buying from Amazon.com. Remember, shipping is free. Here is a direct link to each media-streaming player on Amazon.com: