Black Friday Roku and Fire TV deals start early: Get the best streamers for $30 or less

This story is part of Holiday Gift Guide 2021, our list of ideas, by topic, by recipient and by price, to help you discover the perfect gift.

Streaming devices make great gifts. They can transform any TV into an entertainment hub where all of your favorite streaming services are easily accessible in one place. Amazon is currently offering some of our favorite streaming devices — including our pick for the best overall streamer, the Roku Express 4K Plus — near or at all-time lows. If you need Dolby Vision, you can now get the Roku Streaming Stick 4K for the same price as the Vision-less Express 4K Plus. And for $5 less than either one, Amazon’s Fire TV Stick 4K is also at an all-time low and offers a good deal of value on a slightly older model. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

Our favorite streamer is now $10 off its normal price and close to an all-time Amazon low. We like the Roku operating system because it has the most streaming app options, the simplest streaming platform interface and the best search. It also has a content-agnostic platform that doesn’t push any one media streaming service provider, like Amazon Prime Video or Apple, over another. The Express 4K Plus is one of the cheapest streaming TV options with 4K HDR. (Even if your current TV doesn’t support those formats, your next one probably will.) Thanks to the AirPlay update, this Roku device is one of the least expensive ways to connect your iPhone or other Apple device to your TV. It makes a great gift for those looking to get the most out of streaming without breaking the bank. 

Read our full review of the Roku Express 4K Plus.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Currently, both Roku Streaming Stick 4K and the Express 4K Plus are on sale for $30 or under. The Roku Streaming Stick 4K offers support for Dolby Vision, while the Express 4K Plus does not. The other main difference between the two is the Streaming Stick 4K’s stick-like design, which plugs directly into an HDMI slot in the back of the TV. The Express 4K Plus comes as a small box with an HDMI output that you can position anywhere around your TV, along with an included HDMI cable. While we think the Streaming Stick 4K is a great device, we’re just not sold on the Dolby Vision upgrade — mostly because we generally don’t think that it provides a major image quality upgrade over standard HDR. But if Dolby Vision is important to you, this device will not disappoint. Right now, the Roku Streaming Stick 4K is at an all-time Amazon low, $21 off its regular price.

Read our Roku Streaming Stick 4K review.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K debuted in 2018 and at the time, we thought it offered great features and value for the money. In 2021, Amazon released an impressive update to the original Fire TV Stick 4K: the Fire TV Stick 4K Max. The Max is slightly more expensive than the Fire TV Stick 4K, but for those looking for a good deal on an Amazon-based streaming device, the original Fire TV Stick 4K is still a good bet. It debuted at $50 and is currently at an all-time low of $25. We liked its voice features and the fact that Echo and Dot owners can control it with Alexa. Its app and game selection is superb, responses are lightning fast and video quality is as good as any streamer. The remote can control volume and power on TVs and soundbars. We thought that the user interface pushes Amazon content too aggressively to beat Roku, but for Alexa fans or 4K HDR TV owners who insist on Dolby Vision, the Fire TV 4K Stick is still a great value.

Read our full review of the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K

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