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If you’re in the market for a new streaming device, you’re probably facing the Roku vs Fire Stick debacle. Both the Fire Stick (aka the Amazon Fire TV Stick) and Roku are media streaming devices that convert your regular TV into a smart TV. So if you’re looking to cut the cable cord like most people these days, they’re both ideal alternatives.
The Roku and Fire Stick have similar features and functions, so to help you decide which is best for you, we compared the two side by side in terms of price, picture quality, memory, and more. And since Prime Day typically features discounts on tech products, we’ll spill the best October Prime Day deals we’ve seen for both Roku and Fire Sticks so you know what to shoot for.
1. Roku vs Fire Stick: What’s the gist?
Fire Stick Wins
- Lower Regular Prices
- Best Value (Fire TV Stick 4K Max)
- Best for Gaming
- More Memory
- Supports Dolby Atmos (most devices)
- Cheapest 4K Option
- More Free Channels Included
2. Roku vs Fire Stick: How do the features compare?
Again, the differences between the two streaming devices are fairly negligible, so it’s more about what deals you can find and what features are most important to you. Here’s a comparison of the features of both devices:
Fire Stick Features
What’s the difference between Dolby encoded and Dolby Atmos?
Dolby encoded (aka Dolby Digital) routes sound through your existing speakers. Dolby Atmos is a newer technology and tends to offer a better sound experience but relies on a compatible receiver and speaker to work properly.
3. Fire Sticks are generally cheaper than Roku at regular prices.
If you’re stuck on the Fire Stick vs. Roku debate simply because of price, the Fire Stick is a slightly cheaper option. You can get the Fire TV Stick Lite for as low as $14.99 during sales events including Prime Day.
On the other hand, the lowest price we saw for Roku devices in 2022 was $16 — only a difference of $1.01 but still higher than the Fire Stick.
4. Buy a Fire TV Stick 4K Max for the very best value.
The Fire TV Stick 4K Max is the best value for the price. It’s Amazon’s most powerful streaming device and has twice the memory of any Roku streaming stick. You get a cinematic picture with vibrant 4K Ultra HD and immersive sound that supports Dolby Atmos audio. Plus, you can stream more than 1 million movies and TV episodes and connect the built-in Alexa to your other Amazon smart home devices.
The Fire TV Stick 4K Max is regularly priced at $54.99, but it dropped to just $24.99 in July — the lowest price we saw for all of 2023.
So you can buy the Fire TV Stick 4K Max for $45 less than the most comparable Roku device (aka the Roku Streaming Stick 4K+, regularly $69.99).
5. If 4K picture quality is what you’re looking for, the Roku Premiere is your cheapest option.
The Roku Premiere gives you 4K picture quality for just a $24.99 regular price. That’s $25 less than the cheapest 4K Fire TV Stick.
But during the holidays, Walmart drops prices on the Roku Premiere, so you can get it for even less. In 2022, Walmart had a Black Friday price of $19.88. But on Dec. 12, the Roku Premiere dropped to just $16 at Walmart for the rest of the holiday season. The lowest price we saw for a 4K Fire TV Stick in 2022 was $24.99. If you can’t wait for the holidays, Prime Day is the second best time to shop.
6. If you’re a gamer, a Fire Stick is hands down the best option for you.
The Amazon Fire TV Stick is one of the most gamer-friendly streaming devices out there with hundreds of new and retro games available via the cloud. You can play games for free with Amazon Prime, and you don’t need a separate gaming console.
Even better, you can buy the Fire TV Stick 4K bundled with Amazon’s Luna gaming controller for as low as $66.98 (regularly $119.98).
7. But Roku streaming devices have a wider selection of channels.
The Fire Stick offers closer to 200 free channels.
8. Trade in your old Fire Stick or Roku for an Amazon gift card and get up to 25% off a new device.
It’s not exactly news, but Amazon is smart. Like SO smart. They’ll not only let you trade in your old Fire Stick for a new one, but they’ll also take your old Roku device if you want to trade it in for a discount on (you guessed it) a new Fire Stick device.
So while Amazon turns the competition into customers, you get to score savings on a new Fire Stick.
I looked up an old Roku Express Stick, and you could get 20% off a new Fire Stick and a $0.99 credit to your Amazon account if you trade it in.
Related: Not sold on the Amazon Trade-In program? Here’s how it all works.
9. Use your Target RedCard to save an extra 5% on Roku and Fire Stick streaming devices.
Target RedCard members get to take 5% off whatever sales and coupons they’re using. So Target is a great place to buy Roku and Fire Stick streaming devices, especially when retailers get competitive with prices during the holiday season.
TIP: Don’t forget about Target’s Black Friday price match guarantee. If you find a Fire Stick or Roku device for cheaper at any of Target’s competitor stores, just bring in proof and ask for the lower price!
10. Roku vs. Fire Stick: The Best Black Friday Deals We’ve Seen
Fire Stick Deals
These are the best Black Friday deals we’ve seen on Amazon Fire Sticks:
These are the best Black Friday deals we’ve seen on Roku streaming devices:
- Roku Express 2022, as low as $17.09 at Target with your RedCard (reg. $29.99)
- Roku Express 2022, $17.99 sale price on Amazon (reg. $29.99)
- Roku Premiere Stick 4K, $19.88 sale price at Walmart (reg. $24.99)
- Roku Streaming Stick 4K (2021), as low as $23.74 at Target with your RedCard (reg. $49.99)
- Roku Ultra LT 4K Streaming Device, $30 sale price at Walmart (reg. $79.99)