This article will provide you with some nice Fire TV Stick alternatives due to the fact that these devices have been difficult to come by since the beginning of 2017. The goal of this article is to find quality Android TV Kodi boxes that are equal or better when comparing the specs.
Why is the Fire TV Stick and Fire TV out of stock? My guess is that the explosion of Kodi and its ability to operate so nicely on these devices is the main reason. It is very difficult to purchase a comparable product at the same low price that Amazon offers. More than likely, Amazon is losing money on selling these actual devices but re-coups that revenue through the ads that people see on the Fire TV Stick user interface, Amazon Prime memberships, and probably many more affiliate programs that we are unaware of.
As of this article, the Amazon Fire TV Stick won’t be available to ship until May 13th and the Fire TV won’t ship until May 5th, 2017. One problem is that if you don’t order now, the date will keep being pushed back since Amazon can’t keep up with the demand.
It appears that Fire TVs and Fire TV Sticks are now back in stock at Amazon. Use the links below to order your device before the next shortage.
If you don’t want to wait for a Fire TV Stick or Fire TV, you can always purchase an Android Kodi Box that will perform just as great if not better. If you use Kodi as the main application on your streaming device, you won’t miss anything by not using a Fire TV Stick or Fire TV. If you like using many of the other remote friendly applications on the Fire TV Stick, an Android Kodi Box might not be for you. The reason for this is due to the fact that many Android applications don’t work well with a remote…they are built for tablets and smartphones.
In 2014, Google introduced the Android TV operating system which is a smart tv platform that works well with a remote in a 10-foot interface. You will find the Android TV operating system now installed on devices such as NVIDIA Shield TV, NVIDIA Shield TV Pro Home Media Server, Razer Forge TV, Mi Box, and various Android TV integrated televisions. The Android TV user interface is very similar to the Amazon Fire TV Stick and Fire TV. It works very well with a remote.
Important Note: Kodi can be installed on the above Android TV devices but some of them carry a hefty price tag. Many Kodi enthusiasts rave about the power of the NVIDIA Shield TV mentioned above and wouldn’t use any other streaming device.
Keep in mind that Android TV operating system is not installed on your typical Android Kodi Box. These boxes simply come with the stock Android operating system, which may have been modified slightly by the manufacturer to work better with a remote. When I say stock Android, I am referring to the Android operating system commonly found on smartphones and tablets. But, the good news is that we can install most of the Android TV Applications onto the Android Kodi Boxes and those will work nicely with the remote.
You can often find these Android TV applications by doing a search within the Google Play Store such as “Android TV”. Most Android Kodi Boxes come equipped with Google Play App Store so it is easy to install these remote-friendly applications that are meant for Android TV devices.
If you click the link below, you will see that this search renders Android Applications that are built for the Android TV operating system, which means they will probably play nice with Android Kodi Boxes.
Please understand that even though some of these may show as compatible for Android TV, they still may not function correctly on an Android TV Box. A good example of that is PlayStation Vue where this Android TV application won’t work properly on an Android Kodi Box since the device is rooted. PlayStation Vue will only work on devices that aren’t rooted. Most Android Kodi Boxes come rooted by default.
Since we want to purchase a device that performs as good or better than the Fire TV Stick, we must first know what the specs are for the FireStick.
Amazon Fire TV Stick Specs
Processor: MediaTek Quad-core ARM 1.3 GHz
GPU: Mali450 MP4
RAM Memory: 1 GB
Internal Storage: 8 GB
Supported Resolution: Up to 1080p
Wi-Fi Connectivity: Dual-band, dual-antenna Wi-Fi supports 2×2 MIMO 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth: Bluetooth 4.1
Audio Support: Dolby Audio, 5.1 surround sound, 2ch stereo, and HDMI audio pass through up to 7.1
Expandable Storage: No
After examining the Fire TV Stick specs above, the following would be important to me if I wanted to purchase a similar or better Kodi Box as an alternative.
- Quad-core Processor
- RAM 1 GB – I would personally recommend at least 2 GB as this will help with Kodi buffering.
- Supported Resolution: Up to 1080p – This is a personal preference and depends on the television that you will be using this Fire TV Stick alternative on. I am perfectly fine with resolutions up to 1080p as most streams don’t go any higher than this anyway. Most newer Android Kodi Boxes will support 4K anyway, so this shouldn’t be a factor.
- Wi-Fi – Dual-band support – Nice to have additional support as most good routers provide the dual band feature.
- Bluetooth 4.1 – Important as there are many devices that we can pair with Android Kodi Boxes such as keyboards, gamepads, speakers, etc.
- Audio Support – Much of this depends on the stream that you are accessing and whether or not the format is supported – this may be important for those streaming their own media files and want a certain audio feature.
- Ethernet – No – This is a personal preference and I would not require an ethernet adapter as all of my connections are wireless.
- Expandable Storage – No – Since I stream most of my content and don’t require a ton of storage for apps and games, this isn’t as important for me.
- Android 6.0 or Higher – It is important that your chosen device come with at least Android 5.0 as Kodi Krypton 17 does not support anything lower than that. I would suggest at least Android 6.0 to future-proof your device.
To sum it up, the most important aspects for me personally is to have at least a quad-core processor with 2 GB of RAM Memory. I would also want to ensure that the device would support Bluetooth, and Android 6.0 or higher is installed.
Hopefully, you can see my reasoning above and come to your own conclusions on what is important for you, personally.
Fire TV Stick Alternatives
The first thing that I would suggest doing is searching the Amazon site for the following search term. Simply click my link below and that will open a new tab for you and perform the search.
Once your new tab is loaded in your browser, you can use the “Sort by” filter and adjust the results to your liking based on Relevance, Price, Customer Reviews, and Newest Arrivals. Make sure that you don’t purchase a Roku or any other device that doesn’t support Kodi media center. As long as you stay with the Kodi Boxes that run the Android Operating system, you should be good to go.
Also, another important note is that Kodi 17 only supports Android 5.0 and higher. For safe measure, I would ensure that your device has at least Android 6.0.
Below is a list of my three favorite Fire TV Stick alternatives that cost under $70. Since I require at least 2 GB of RAM, it is difficult for me to remain withing the same price range as the Amazon Fire TV Stick.
T95Z Plus Android Kodi Box
T95Z Plus Android Kodi Box On Amazon – I am linking to an Amazon search as there are many companies branding this product and you can find the one with the best price/shipping options.
Beelink GT1 Android Kodi Box
System: Android 6.0
Processor: Amlogic S912 2.0 GHz Octa Core
RAM: 2 GB
Storage: 16 GB
MECOOL M8S PRO TV Box
System: Android 7.1
Processor: Amlogic S912 2.0 GHz Octa Core
RAM: 2 GB or 3 GB DDR 4
Storage: 16 GB
Tell us in the comments area below if you have a recommendation for the readers based on your experience with Android Kodi Boxes. Thank you!