Roku is frequently introducing new models with updated features. And so now there is a huge lineup of streaming devices with slight variations that are competing against each other.
So how to pick one?
No Roku device is a bad option; it just may not be suitable for you. And considering different models can be tough, so let us take it one at a time.
Today we are going to review two of its different models Roku Express and Streaming Stick. While the Roku Express is a basic set-top box, the other is a streaming stick.
If you are looking for a Roku streaming device that is affordable and has the best of the features, then this guide on Roku Express vs Roku Streaming stick will help you.
Roku Express is a small and most affordable streaming box that you will find in the market.
If you are looking for something basic, easy to use, with standard features, then Roku Express is the right choice.
Another well-known device that gives a modern feel is the Roku Streaming Stick. This flash drive looking device is a low-cost, non-4K streaming solution that is giving tough competition to Roku Express.
Build and design
Roku Express is a tiny and compact set-top box. It comes with an HDMI port that helps you connect to the television set via an HDMI cable.
Since the cable is a bit small you have to keep it close to your TV. Or you can also attach it to the cabinet or television set with the help of a sticky patch on it.
It is about 1.5x 0.75x 3.0 inches in size. However, make sure you keep it in sight of your eyes for the remote to work.
On the other hand, the Roku Streaming Stick is a bit better looking.
Though you won’t be able to see it much, as it is connected at the back of your TV set, we would still give it more points.
The Streaming Stick looks like a USB stick that you can connect to the HDMI port or any other USB port at the back of your TV.
Its connection is easy and without any mess.
But what if your TV doesn’t have a compatible structure for the stick to connect?
Don’t worry as you can get an HDMI extender from the company for free.
CPU and hardware
Roku Express and Streaming Stick run on a Quad-Core Processor. The ARM Cortex A53 processor ensures fast and seamless buffering.
However, when it comes to the RAM, Streaming Stick has 1GB RAM while the Express set-top box has 512 MB.
Thus, Streaming stick is better than Express in terms of buffering and streaming performance. It is indeed a powerful device.
When it comes to connectivity, both devices require Wi-Fi for connection. Depending on the Wi-Fi strength of your home, your device would work.
While Roku Express supports a single-band connection, the Streaming Stick supports a dual-band wireless connection.
Some users have faced issues with Roku Express due to a patchy internet connection.
This was not experienced with Stick or any other streaming box.
And in case there are Internet reception issues in your area or house, then you can get Roku Streaming Stick +. It is equipped with a Wi-Fi Booster that increases the reception range.
The remote control that comes with Roku Express is quite basic.
It works on Infra-red technology that helps you control the system, provided you point it in the set-top box’s direction.
You can navigate through the interface, forward and rewind the videos, play, and pause accordingly. It also comes with in-built channel buttons that allow easy and quick switch between the channels.
It’s one drawback when compared to the latest remote controls is that it lacks voice-enabled search.
On the other hand, the Roku Streaming Stick remote comes along with a voice control feature.
This Voice Remote is a wonderful aid to quickly navigate to your favorite channels. You can even reduce the volume and turn the TV on or off.
The advanced features of the Streaming stick remote allow you to wirelessly connect to the TV, without even pointing the remote in its direction.
There are thousands of channels available on both interfaces. You can stream any video, music, TV shows, movies, sports, and more from platforms like Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Hulu.
Even though the range of channels and content is the same, the responsiveness and speed of streaming can differ. But depending on the specifications of your device, you can see the difference.
Roku hosts the Roku Channel store where you can get all your favorite applications. Add the app as a channel, enter your login credentials and start streaming.
Sound quality and performance
I agree that currently, 4K video content is in trend. However, if you do not own a TV that supports 4K, UHD videos, then buying a 4K streaming box is not a good option.
But the two streaming boxes that we are talking about do not support 4K content. And so without any doubt, you can invest your money.
Roku Express supports 1080p full HD streaming, which is enough for even casual watchers.
Streaming Stick by Roku, on the other hand, hits out till 1080p. However, if you are streaming 720p content, then it even upscales the picture quality to a more sophisticated one.
Coming to the audio quality, both streaming devices serve their users with Dolby Atmos, DTS Digital Surround, and Dolby Audio.
So this was our review of Roku Express vs Streaming Stick. We hope that we have helped you make the right decision.
But before signing off, let us have a quick look at the two streamers and which one would be best for you.
If you are looking for a low-budget device, with basic features then you can get Roku Express.
But, if portability and aesthetics are to be considered, then Streaming Stick is a better choice. It not only looks good but also has minimal variance in terms of features.
Do share your thoughts and experience with Roku streamers with us in the comment section.