Why Is Nobody Talking About the Roku Streaming Stick?

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My Review of the Roku Streaming Stick 4K

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve talked a lot about Apple, that is why I decided that it was time to talk about something a little different.

Smart TVs have gone a long way over the last couple of years, but for some reason, I don’t tend to get on with the smart TV systems that come bundled with the TVs.

Take our living room TV as an example, it’s not the newest TV on the market nor is it the best, but I’m not a fan of LG WebOS. The bedroom TV is no different, I decided to get a Toshiba TV as it was available for a decent price, but I think the interface looks dated, and the overall user experience isn’t great.

That’s where devices such as Apple TV, FireStick, Roku and Google TV come in handy.

Over the last couple of months, I’ve primarily been using a Chromecast with Google TV in the living room, and I must say that the experience has been great! Not only does the device perform extremely well, but there are many apps available!

So you’re probably wondering where the Roku Stick fits in to all of this. I’ve been using an ancient FireStick with the bedroom TV which was seriously starting to show its age, it was slow, buggy and just felt annoying to use.

I was initially considering replacing it with a Chromecast with Google TV, but I went with the Roku Streaming Stick 4K instead, and I think it was a great decision. Here’s why…

I’m not new to Roku

But getting a premium Roku product is like rediscovering the platform entirely.

Roku devices have been around for a while, we used them in the office, and we used them at home. I actually have a basic Roku Express in the spare room, and even the basic model works extremely well.

The exact Roku Stick I purchased for the bedroom was the Roku Streaming Stick 4K which cost £49.99, and I think that based on what you get, that’s actually a superb price. But we’ll discuss why later in this article.

On a side note, I didn’t really do any research before buying this product as I already knew that Roku products were good, so I think it’s fair to say that I was in for a pleasant surprise!

The unboxing and First Impressions

The unboxing experience was pretty good, the Roku stick was well-packaged and presented inside the box.

Speaking about the box, the Roku Stick comes with a voice remote, two AAA batteries, and I was surprised to see a European and UK power adapter as well as a USB power cable with a long-range Wi-Fi receiver.

The main thing that I find frustrating about my Toshiba TV is that the signal from the remote to the TV isn’t great, I had the same experience with the Chromecast remote. But the Roku Voice remote has completely changed that!

The box also contained stickers, which is an incredibly nice gesture from Roku. I know that many people hate stickers, but I think that it is a brilliant marketing tactic, and it’s just something nice to include inside the box. I know that many people appreciate this.

Setting up the Roku Stick was effortless and didn’t take very long. One of the first things I noticed after getting it running is how fast the overall experience is.

Let’s talk about features and apps

The main difference between the Roku Streaming Stick 4K and other Roku devices I used in the past is that it comes with a voice remote. I’m a big fan of this feature, as it allows me to quickly find what I need without having to use a remote to type.

The remote also features volume and power controls for my TV. The experience you get with this feature will depend on your TV. However, it works really well with my Toshiba TV. It actually works a lot better compared to the remote that came with the TV!

The Roku Streaming Stick 4K also works with Apple AirPlay, Apple HomeKit and Hey Google, which is great if you use those services. I haven’t tested it with AirPlay yet nor have I tested it with Google. But I have tested it with HomeKit, and the only option I am seeing is the ability to turn it off and on.

Where Roku really shines is the app, which I tested on my iPhone and Apple Watch. On the Apple Watch, it provides me with a user-friendly remote that I can use to control the Roku.

The smartphone app provides a whole new way of interacting with Roku. You can browse movies, TV Shows as well as apps. The best part is that when you search for a film or TV show, it will tell you what app it’s available on and where available, it will show more than one app.

Speaking about the apps, that is one area where I feel let down, especially if we compare it to the app availability on the Chromecast with Google TV.

In all fairness, it does support all your main apps, such as Netflix, Apple TV, Disney+, Prime Video, YouTube and so on. In terms of the main UK channels, the app availability is actually good. I am primarily disappointed with the App availability, as there are simply more apps available on Chromecast with Google TV.

The Verdict

If you are looking for a great way to make your TV more functional, the Roku Streaming Stick 4K is a great choice, especially in terms of performance. I’ve used many of these devices over the years, but this by far performs best.

I can’t really compare it to an Apple TV, as the last one I used was the 3rd generation, which is ancient and limited. But I can compare it to a Firestick and Chromecast with Google TV as well as the operating systems built-in to TVs.

Based on my overall experience, I think can recommend this product as your main smart TV solution and for any other room in your house.

In terms of usability, I like how straight to the point and clean the system is. One of the main opinions I hear about the FireStick is that it can be very cumbersome, especially for the less tech-savvy.

Speaking about opinions, I’ve also read many opinions online about the system looking dated. I don’t think that at all, I think that it’s the perfect example of a well-designed system that serves its purpose incredibly well.

That is why I can definitely recommend this product and Roku as a whole.

Do you use the built-in apps on your TV or a streaming device, let us know what you use in the comments.

Disclaimer: This article contains Amazon affiliate links.