Over the last few months, the tech industry has seen a spike in the number of Android based home-entertainment devices. These usually range from anything such as the Game Stick to the Ouya. Often, these devices would come out the box with a custom skin on top of android, designed for the living room with only one purpose in mind to either bring apps such as Netflix to the family TV or to deliver a host Android games with the use of a proper controller. Amazon has decided to join this market with their set top box aptly named Fire TV. The Fire TV sports a quad core Snapdragon Krait 300 that is clocked at 1.7 GHz and is paired with 2GB of RAM and an Adreno 320 graphics chip. The device itself is like you would expect, a small black box, with all the standard inputs at the rear including ethernet as well as USB. Out the box, the Fire comes with a power adapter, a voice control remote and a quick start guide. Like all the other devices in the the Fire TV runs Fire OS- an Android derived system with a heavily customised skin – and thus offers Android apps from Amazon’s own store. These include some great titles such as GTA San Andreas, Minecraft, Dead Trigger and many more. However, unlike the Ouya or the Gamestick, the Fire is an Amazon product and is therefor more than just a one trick pony. The Fire TV offers its users access to some great entertainment app such as Netflix, Spotify and of course Amazon Instant Video.
In my own opinion, this may be the best all round set top box out there. The Fire TV does pretty much everything that you could ask it to do. It streams Netflix and Amazon Instant Video, so you don’t have to chose which subscription service you sign up with as the Fire has you covered. Plus, if you already have Prime, then you get unlimited access to all your favourite shows on your TV all in a one off £50 subscription fee. Further more, the Fire TV manages to do a really good job of Android gaming on the big screen. With a host of fantastic games, the playing experience is decent, when you consider that the game will set you back £4.99 and the Device is only £79. This is budget gaming at its very best. However, do not be fooled. Whilst this is a brilliant deal, you must first consider what you want out of your gaming system. If you aren’t too fussed about not getting to play the latest FIFAs or Call Of Dutys then this is a brilliant option for you as this device was made for the casual gamer. If you are however of the gaming disposition, I strongly suggest you look elsewhere. Whilst this is a brilliant device, it’ll never be in the same ballpark as the like of the Xbox One or the PS4. The quality of the games on the proper £300+ consoles will never be surpassed or even matched in the slightest by a device that costs a fraction of the price. Outside of that, the Fire TV blasts its competition into oblivion. The Apple TV costs more without game support, the Roku only streams Content whilst the Chromecast’s abilities to mirror your screen are fantastic, they aren’t good enough to stream your screen without noticeable lag. All in all, the Fire TV is the best set top box out there and provides the best value for money. Granted I’d like to see a screen casting feature, but that would probably be a wish too far.