Technology has given the consumers many choices and one of which is to convert a television into a smart TV. After all, most people love multi-tasking, such as watching videos while chatting or playing games while streaming films, to name a few.
No wonder manufacturers have come up with various products allowing people to convert their TVs into smart one. Two of the most popular are those running on Android and the one by Amazon. So, if its Android TV box vs Firestick of Amazon, which is better?
Getting to Know Kodi: Android TV Box vs Firestick
Before discussing the merits of Android TV box vs Firestick, one has to know Kodi.
Kodi is open-source and free software for the ultimate consumer who loves entertainment. Simply put, it is a software for fans of sports, movies, and TV shows. It was created for the Microsoft Xbox and previously named as the XBMC, which is short for the Xbox Media Center.
However, these days, a great number of coders from around the globe has modified the Kodi. This means that anyone can customize or install add-ons on Kodi. Now, everyone can work on Kodi including those who use smartphones, laptops or desktops.
This is why when one talks of TV boxes, one has to know Kodi. It is, after all, the most preferred source for video streaming. Kodi lets any tablet, computer or even smartphone into a digital streamer, which allows users to stream various files from the web, local storage as well as a home network.
This is why those who are looking to convert their TVs prefer those that work well with Kodi as there is little or no point at all in turning a TV into a smart one if it will not be used for watching plenty of videos, hell yeah?
A Good Look at the Hardware
As mentioned, users can run Kodi on different platforms, which makes it a very versatile media venue including the Amazon Firestick and the Android TV box.
The Amazon Firestick, as the name suggests looks like a stick or better yet looks more like a USB stick. The first version had 1GB RAM as wells as 8GB storage plus WiFi and Bluetooth. The second generation still has the same memory storage specifications.
In terms of video output, the Firestick’s resolution for both versions is a high definition that can support 720p or 1080. It is small and can easily be plugged into the HDMI port of the TV.
On the other hand, Android TV Box comes in various sizes and shapes. However, in terms of hardware, it is much better than the Firestick, which runs on either Broadcom BCM28145 Dual Core or Mediatek 8127 Quad-core ARM 1.3 GHz processor. One of the most updated hardware for the Android box runs on S805 or a Tegra X1 processor with 3GB of RAM.
Simply put, most Android TV boxes would run faster than the Firestick. Plus, these Android boxes also have remote controls and external file storage, thus allowing users to store more data with it.
Additionally, some of the Android boxes have the Ethernet port in cases where the WiFi signals are bad.
Regarding hardware, the winner would be the Android TV box.
Android TV Box vs Firestick: Ease of Use
Since we already introduced and stressed the importance of Kodi, it is best to know which of the two is better to use with this open software.
Unfortunately for Firestick, users will need to do some sideloading with Kodi to get it to work. This, however, is a very technical process, which arguably, many people may not be able to do or follow.
Plus, Amazon does not provide an easy way of accessing Kodi from its site. The opposite can be said about the Android TV box as one can easily download Kodi from the Google Play Store and install it without any hassle.
Similarly, when one is concerned about the quality of the videos, then it is best to go with the Android box as it can run videos with up to 4k Ultra HD, unlike Firestick which can only support up to 1080p of videos.
In terms of setting up the Kodi, as well as playing videos from the open software, again the Android TV box is the hands-down winner.
There is a significant difference in the two choices’ appearance. As mentioned, the Amazon Firestick is highly similar to a USB concerning looks. It can fit just about anywhere, which means users can bring them along all the time.
On the other hand, Android boxes, while they come in different shapes is around 15 times bigger than the Firestick at the minimum. Its size is almost comparable to a wifi router, and it comes with cables, wires as well as remote control or even a USB keyboard.
The Android boxes are too big to carry around as one will need the entire package with it to get it to work. On the other hand, the Firestick can fit in small purses. If you are the type who watches and uses TVs in different locations frequently, then it is best to get the Firestick.
So, which device should you consider buying? The Android TV box or the Amazon Firestick?
As discussed above, in terms of specifications, then the better product to use with the Kodi is the Android box. Downloading and installing the Kodi is much easier as one only needs to download the software from the Google Play Store and install it. On the other hand, getting the Firestick to work with the Kodi requires so much more and are only best to be done by those who understand the rather technical process.
When talking about the quality of the videos, till recently, the Android boxes have clearly been the better option. Most Android boxes can support up to 4k HD whereas the basic Firestick can only run videos up to 1080p. But the last 4K Firestick version has seriously improved the streaming experience of the Amazon device. It is a very nice and fluid plug and play device for the people who are not too much into pure performance but looking for something simple and fluid to use on their TV. A little downside of the firesticks is they don’t have any ethernet plug to enjoy the fastest spped in case you connection is near your TV. You must buy a separate adaptater to make it work.
- We can’t deny the Firestick has no upside at all. If one values portability with the ability to bring the box to another location, and Netflix compatibility at the best price, then the Firestick has the edge. For those who already have a Amazon Prime account, the 4K firestick will definitly provide a great streaming experience as this device is completly optimized for the Amazon ecosystem with Prime video, Twitch or Alexa. But don’t be cheap and avoid the basic model unless you are really broke. The 4K model is excellent value for the price (Amazon doesn’t really make profits on thoses devices but on the other products they sell).
- Otherwise, if you value flexibility, gaming, accessibility to the large choice of Android apps (we talked about Kodi but you have much more too), and better performance, in most cases an Android TV box will be a clear winner. In the same price range, the Xiaomi Mi box S offers lots of possibilities.
Our favourite picks are those 3 boxes :