It is quite hard to compare the two since they both offer very intuitive user interfaces that are also similar in design.
You will find a column to the left that contains a list with the available content, while other relevant information is located in the center. Navigation is done by using the remote control on both of the devices.
Main Differences between the Roku and the Amazon Fire TV
One major difference is that the Roku mostly streams the videos (there are some channels for pictures, games and music), while the Amazon Fire TV offers significantly more applications, but less streaming content. The Amazon Fire TV can be integrated with the Amazon Prime service, so this is a great device for you if you are already subscribed to Amazon Prime. The Roku on the other hand, will find content in nearly all the major apps that are used to stream videos (the Amazon Fire TV only supports movies that are available on Amazon and Hulu).
Apps, Video Quality and Content
When it comes to apps, both the devices can brag about the quantity of apps available, but the Roku does offer a higher number of less known channels. The apps installed on the Fire TV are more responsive and look more modern. The Amazon App Store had over 160 apps available at the time of the Amazon Fire TV’s launch, with more apps rolling out regularly. The Roku offers less apps but more channels (as mentioned before, they are less known, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that they do not provide quality content). The Amazon Fire TV is definitely the winner when it comes to gaming. It includes over 130 games for you to enjoy, and they play pretty good with the Fire TV’s remote, while the games available for the Roku are kind of hard to play, with its really tiny remote.
Video quality is great on both devices. FullHD is supported on both the Roku and the Amazon Fire TV, and you will have no problems in that field. However, the Roku offers users to stream their own content by plugging a USB stick into the USB port on the device. The Amazon Fire TV doesn’t offer that kind of feature and the users have to subscribe to Plex service in order to do that (Plex allows the user to stream content from their computer to the Amazon Fire TV). Subscribing to Plex will cost you about $3.99 per month, or $74.99 for a lifetime subscription.
Which Device Should You Buy? – Final Verdict
Choosing between the Amazon Fire TV and The Roku will probably come down to your budget. The Amazon Fire TV is a great device, but the box itself will set you back by $99, and if you want more content, you will have to subscribe to the Amazon Prime ($100/year), if you want to play games, you will have to get yourself a controller (it costs $40, but it’s worth every penny of it) and you can subscribe to some other services like Plex that make the Fire TV more enjoyable. The Roku, on the other hand, costs the same as The Amazon Fire TV ($99) and only things that you have to pay for are your favorite channels (if they require subscription). Overall, both the devices are great, but if you are on a budget, then the Roku is the way to go. If you are interested in playing games that the Amazon Fire TV has to offer and you do not have a tight budget, then think about getting the Amazon Fire TV.