An inside look into the best streaming devices for 2020. Below is a comprehensive comparison table of features and price points of the best streaming devices for 2020.
In this article we will be comparing the following devices more closely:
- Amazon Fire TV
- Roku Streaming Stick Plus
- Apple TV
- Dabby by DabKick
These are all great streaming devices to use in your house. We’ll see how they perform in the following categories:
- Price point
- Ease of use for streaming
- Catalogue of content for streaming
Amazon Fire TV
Price Point: Amazon’s Fire TV is fairly cheap. It starts at $24.99 and can get more pricer than that. That’s if you want to pair it with other Amazon devices such as the Echo Show, but that’s a whole different story. For what you get this is a fair price.
Ease of use: Fire TV is fairly easy to setup and start using. The package includes a dongle that connects to your tv’s hdmi port and a remote. Amazon’s provided a simplistic menu to navigate around to find content. You switch from one app to another app depending on what you want to watch. Also included is Alexa, however my only issue is that it doesn’t feel fully flushed out. If I tell Alexa to play Stranger Things on Netflix it’ll find the show for me, however I have to use the remote to pick and play the episode I want.
Features: Due to the simplicity of Fire TV there aren’t many features to go into. For content there are apps to use and switch in between. Since it’s based off of Android there’s also a web browser. However I would recommend you use your phone or laptop if you need to browse the internet. Alexa is also included for voice commands but is not very advanced.
Catalogue of Content: Fire TV has access to all the major content providers out there. You’ll be able to watch almost everything you would want to watch. You’ll even have access to Disney Plus which is a major surprise. However Amazon really does push their content over the other providers which can get annoying. Almost as if they were force feeding you.
Price Point: The Roku Streaming Stick+ starts at $49.99 which is more expensive than Fire TV. However Roku does offer two other products that are cheaper and one more that is more expensive. So if you don’t need all the fancy features you can get away with the cheaper versions.
Ease of use: Roku designs their products to be simple. Their remotes even have dedicated buttons for certain streaming platforms, such as Netflix. Their menu layout is also very simple. All my apps are displayed and I can scroll through them. The only issue I have is that the menu tabs are on the left hand side, I would prefer that these would be on the top leaving more space for apps.
Features: There aren’t many features to the Roku devices and that’s not bad. If your goal is to watch content and nothing else then this is the product for you. I will give a plus considering that the Stick+ works with Alexa and Google Assistant. Considering how bad the Roku’s built in voice support is this helps minimize that. But for the price you’re paying I wish there were more features.
Catalogue of Content: Roku has access to all the content you could want, if you have the latest and greatest. If you have an older Roku device you’re out of luck as some streaming platforms don’t support the older hardware, Disney plus is one of them. This is a huge downside as you need to spend more money on getting a new device every couple of years. One knock I do have is you’re unable to watch content like Twitch, this is due to the fact that Amazon doesn’t allow other devices to have app support.
Price Point: Apple TV is more expensive than the previous two devices by a fair amount, but it isn’t the most expensive device. There are two options, the HD version starting at $149.99 and the 4K version starting at $179.99 and topping at $199.99, if you want more storage space. The Apple tax on this product is heavy, just like all their other products.
Ease of Use: Apple TV is extremely easy to use if you are familiar with the Apple ecosystem. And even if you aren’t it’s fairly easy. They’ve simplified the use of their remote by removing unnecessary buttons. You’ll get 5 buttons and a trackpad to use for navigation. All the streaming services are broken down into apps and more are downloadable from their app store, similar to the one on their phones.
Features: The Apple TV does have an edge over the Fire TV and the Roku Streaming Stick+. You’ll be able to access your iTunes catalogue of content and pictures from your iPhotos as well. Something the other two devices cannot compete with. Another useful feature is the addition of Siri which is very similar to the version you get on the iPhones. Other notable features include being able to control your home if you have smart home enabled devices. An example of this would be closing your garage door. Perhaps the most unique feature the other devices don’t have is the ability to play games. With Apple Arcade you can play all the games you could on your iphone, that is if you pay $4.99 a month.
Catalogue of Content: Apple TV has access to any streaming service you would like, including Disney plus. On top of that you’ll have access to Apple TV plus which other devices don’t have access to. However, at its current state it’s not the biggest edge that Apple TV has over its competitors. And just like Roku you won’t be able to access Twitch as Amazon has made that an exclusive for their streaming devices.
Price Point: Out of all the devices we’re comparing today Dabby is the most expensive starting at $399. However I can justify that considering what Dabby can do, just like the price of the Apple TV.
Ease of Use: The biggest issue I’ve had with the previous devices is that the voice support is half baked. Dabby was able to solve this. If I tell Dabby to play Stranger Things from Netflix it will start from the last time I left it off at. There is no need for me to manually pick and play the episode. Dabby’s main focus is the use of voice and touch feedback. DabKick didn’t include a remote. That’s because there are two parts to Dabby. The Dongle and what they call Dabby Touch. Dabby Touch is a touch screen device that you can use to browse content with or even watch content on! Dabby has hit the voice support out of the park. This is quite possibly the easiest device to use out of all 5.
Features: That $399 price point isn’t just for show. With Dabby you get more features too, some will even save you money. To start off Dabby Touch can be used as a standalone device meaning you can use it to watch content, play music from and use it as a photo frame. On top of that Dabby can manage all your subscriptions for you. Canceling ones you don’t use and are costing you money or enabling a subscription if you want to watch a certain piece of content. There are more features I could discuss but it would take too long to go through them all, but you can learn more on their website.
Catalogue of Content: Dabby has the biggest catalogue of content out of all the devices. This is because unlike the rest Dabby isn’t app based, it’s browser based. If a streaming platform has a website, Dabby can play it. This includes Twitch, something Apple TV and Roku cannot do. Dabby can also access content you have locally if you use Plex or other similar services. So if you have a ton of movies on a local server Dabby can play it. The cherry on top is that Dabby can access social media pages as well. That’s content that no other streaming device can access. If you want to watch funny dog videos from instagram now you can with Dabby.
These are all good devices to use. However, if I had to pick one it would be Dabby. The price point can be a turnoff to some people but with the features and the build quality I can say it is well worth the price. Dabby isn’t restricted to apps and doesn’t rely on streaming platforms to continually support apps. Meaning you won’t have to upgrade to the newest Roku to get Netflix to work. Dabby comes loaded with features that aren’t anywhere else on the market. Holding Dabby in my hands I feel that this is a premium product. It’s not made out of plastic like Fire TV or Roku. Even Apple TV feels less premium when I hold it compared to Dabby. At the end of the day you get what you pay for, Dabby proves this with the robust amount of features it provides, the stellar voice support and the amazing build quality.