Smart TV boxes are here to stay, and picking the right one is essential for the dedicated telly addict. Whether you want to binge on box sets or stream straight from the silver screen, you’ll need a service that performs.
We’re putting two of the top sellers to the test and giving you the lowdown in this handy guide. So, which will come out victorious: Amazon Fire or Apple TV? We’re about to find out.
Round One: Tech specs
We’ll kick off by taking a look at the hardware hidden in each of these boxes.
Apple TV has a pretty underwhelming 8GB of storage. That means you might have to make some pretty daunting decisions about which shows you want to keep and which have to make way. On the plus side, like most Apple products, it’s super simple to use so you can spend more time watching TV than reading the manual.
The Amazon Fire box, on the other hand, boasts a huge 2GB of memory so no issues about storage here! With plenty of memory for hundreds of shows and movies, only true telly obsessives need worry about storage space. And like its rival, the Fire box is super simple to use straight out of the box, even for newbies.
Score: Amazon 1 – Apple 0
Round Two: Value for money
The good news is that neither of these boxes will set you back all that much, especially for what you get. At just £59, the Apple version feels very keenly priced, while you’d expect to pay around £79.99 for the Amazon Fire. Easy win for Apple here.
Score: Amazon 1 – Apple 1
Round Three: Controllers
Apple’s controller is just as you’d expect: simple, stylish, silver and small. With just two buttons and a navigation wheel, it’s a minimalist’s dream. But it does get lost down the side of couch pretty easily!
The Fire box controller couldn’t be much more different. It’s made of chunky, black plastic (but still looks and feels very well made) and is much larger than the Apple version. It’s still pretty simple in design but a few more buttons give you greater control, which is something we like.
This one’s a matter of taste, really. If you love the look of Apple’s products, we’re sure you’ll love their remote, too. But if, like us, you prefer something a little bulkier, then go for Amazon’s model.
Score: Amazon 2 – Apple 1
Round Four: Hey, good lookin’
Both boxes are black, sleek, modern and wouldn’t look out of place in pretty much anyone’s chic setup. There’s little to choose between the two, but we’re giving this one to Amazon. It was a close-run thing, but it just edges it in the looks department.
Score: Amazon 3 – Apple 1
Round Five: Apps
The Fire Box is missing a few notable streaming services, including Now TV and Demand 5, which is pretty frustrating. But the powerful graphics card inside makes it ideal for gaming.
Apple’s offering is definitely more restrictive (as you might expect if you’re used to iMacs and iPhones anyway) and doesn’t include a whole host of apps- mainly from their rivals.
Both boxes fall down when it comes to choice. However, we’ve got to give this one to Amazon simply because it does offer greater variety and can handle even some of the most graphics-intensive video games around.
Final Score: Amazon 4 – Apple 1
That’s a pretty convincing win for Amazon’s Fire box! We doubt this review will sway hardened Apple fanatics to make the switch, but from a neutral perspective the Amazon box offers far more bang for your buck, if you can afford to fork out about £20 more for it.