Both Roku and Amazon Fire are leading names in the streaming device industry. But they’re most popular for their range of external streaming media players. For those who don’t like the hassle of plugging in a separate device to stream content from the internet, you might want to consider getting a TV that runs on the Roku or the Amazon Fire interface.
If you’re not too familiar with these options, this post will fix that for you. We give you a detailed breakdown of Roku TV vs. smart TV with the Amazon Fire interface and help you choose the better option for you. We’ll mainly focus on two of the latest TVs that use the Roku OS and the Fire TV OS. But since you might be interested in other models too, we’ll be highlighting a few additional options.
Roku TV vs. Amazon Fire TV features and specs
|Model||Price Range||Amazon Alexa Remote||Size||Streaming Quality||Dolby Vision support|
|TCL Class 3-Series FHD LED ROKU TV||$169.99 – $389.99||No||Up to 49”||Up to 1080p||No|
|Hisense R8 Series 4K ULED Roku Smart TV||$379.99 – $569.99||No||Up to 65”||Up to 4K||Yes|
|All-New Toshiba Smart HD TV – Fire TV Edition||$139.99 – $279.99||Yes||Up to 43”||Up to 1080p||No|
|All-New Insignia 4K UHD Smart TV – Fire TV Edition||$219.99 – $649.99||Yes||Up to 70”||Up to 4K||No|
Roku TV vs. Amazon Fire TV models and cost
Cost-wise, there isn’t a stark contrast between smart TVs using Roku vs. smart TVs running on Fire OS. Display type, screen size, and streaming quality are the main factors that play into the pricing differences between different Roku TV and Fire TV models. Since you have several brands manufacturing Roku TVs and Fire TVs, this is another factor that’ll play into the cost.
But overall, you won’t find a major difference in price between a Roku TV and a Fire TV with the same features and capabilities. On the lower end of the spectrum, a 32-inch TCL Roku TV that streams up to 720p will cost around $129. And a Fire TV Edition Toshiba TV with those same features i.e., a 32-inch 720p display, also costs around $139.99. So you’ll typically see a price difference of just a few dollars.
Even with high-end TVs, you won’t see a drastic difference in price between Roku TV and Amazon Fire TV models. But the Hisense range of Roku smart TVs tend to cost a bit more, mainly because of premium features like Dolby Vision support.
For instance, you can get a 65-inch 4K ULED from the Hisense R8 series for $699.99. And a Fire TV Edition Insignia 65-inch 4K smart TV will set you back by $549.99. The biggest difference is that the Hisense TV offers ULED (ultra light-emitting diode) display and Dolby Vision support, while the Insignia TV doesn’t.
Roku TV vs. Amazon Fire TV interface and personalization
Interface is where you’ll find the biggest difference between a smart TV that runs on Roku versus one that uses the Amazon Fire OS.
The Roku interface takes a no-frills approach with a minimalist, clutter-free layout. You won’t see large ads taking over half of the screen with this interface. On the home screen, you can easily browse through the grid layout to find the app you want to open. And you’ll find the menu bar on the left-hand side of the screen. From here, you can navigate through different options such as search, settings, and streaming channels.
You can also access “My Feed,” which contains updates and notifications personalized according to your interests. For instance, your feed will give you updates about the latest episodes of your favorite shows. This is one aspect of Roku personalization that you won’t get with a Fire TV.
Plus, you can also reorder the apps on your home screen to put your favorite ones at the top for easy access. And Roku TVs also come with several themes that you can use to personalize the overall look of your TV home screen.
The Fire OS environment is a bit messier compared to that of the Roku OS. On the home screen, you’ll see first-party ads taking up almost half of the page. While this is an easy way for Prime Video subscribers to find something to watch, it can be a little bit intrusive for some users.
You’ll see your apps arranged in a carousel format, which is slightly less convenient to scroll through compared to a grid-style arrangement. But otherwise, navigating other pages isn’t too much of a pain as you can access all the options from the menu bar at the top of the screen.
Fire TVs don’t offer much in terms of personalization. But they give you personalized content suggestions based on your streaming habits, which is nice to have if you often have trouble deciding on what to watch.
Overall, Roku TVs win when it comes to interface and personalization.
Roku TV vs. Amazon Fire TV picture quality
Since you can get Roku TVs and Amazon Fire TVs in a wide range of brands and models, the picture quality is comparable between the two options. The brand of TV and the resolution will play the biggest role in this, so that’s what you need to consider first.
To get the best picture quality possible, consider getting a TV with Dolby Vision support. This gives you even more vivid details with brighter highlights and darker shadows. You can get Dolby Vision Roku TVs with both TCL and Hisense TVs. But for Dolby Vision support with your Amazon Fire TV, you’ll need a Toshiba.
Roku TV vs. Amazon Fire TV apps and streaming
When it comes to app availability, Roku TVs have a slightly larger collection. You can find 10,000+ apps, also called “channels,” in the Roku Channel Store. Besides these, you can also get hundreds of other unlisted apps. These TVs support most of the leading streaming service apps, including Amazon Prime Video, Crunchyroll, Netflix, and more.
Fire TVs don’t fall too far behind either, with 9,000 apps available for installation. And you can use these apps to access leading streaming services such as Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Sling TV, and more.
The final cut
Considering all this, there’s a close competition between Roku TVs and Amazon Fire TVs. Since you can get them in a wide variety of models from different brands, the two options are more or less the same when it comes to picture quality and cost. The biggest difference is in the user interface, so it’s mainly a matter of which OS environment you like better.