The best streaming devices allow you to sit back and enjoy the high-def content you love to binge. But is it worth buying a standalone device if you own a smart TV? It certainly can be if your TV’s smart platform is out of date or just a pain to navigate.
A streaming device can imbue your TV with apps and features your television may lack on its own. And if you have a smart home, some streaming devices can serve as a hub and integrate with your entire setup.
Whether you still somehow own a dumb TV or your smart TV isn’t making the grade, a streaming device is a quick and simple way to upgrade without plunking down a lot of cash for a brand new television.
With all sorts of dongles, sticks, and set-top boxes to choose from these days, you may not know where to even start — so we’ve done most of the heavy lifting for you and compiled a list of the five best streaming devices we’ve tried in 2022.
How we evaluated the best streaming devices
Each of the streaming devices on this list has been tested by us using a 43-inch Samsung The Frame TV. (You can take a look at our review for the 65-inch version for an idea of its performance.) The Frame has a built-in streaming platform, Smart TV Powered by TIZEN.
While it’s not a terrible OS by any means, for an enhanced user experience we definitely recommend you pick up any standalone streaming device from this list.
What are the best streaming devices in 2022?
With so many streaming devices available today, finding the best one for your budget and viewing preferences can be overwhelming. Thus, we’ve pared the selection down to five models that we believe are worth your attention (and possibly your hard-earned cash). In compiling our list of top contenders, we took into account ease of setup, general performance, picture quality, special features, and cost.
The Roku Streaming Stick 4K+ is the best streaming device for most people in 2022. It’s simple to set up and use — not to mention, it supports Dolby Vision, HDR10/10+ and HLG so you’ll be able to enjoy 4K content at its finest.
Roku’s voice assistant is very good, but if you prefer to ask Alexa, Siri, or Google to help you, the Roku Streaming Stick 4K works with all of them, too. Comfortably seated in a mid-level price range, it’s the greatest value Roku offers right now.
If you have room to splurge, then we’d suggest the Apple TV 4K if you’re all-in on iOS/Apple or the NVIDIA Shield TV if you’re keen on gaming and Android TV. Meanwhile, the blazing-fast Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max is the online retail giant’s best contribution to the streaming device market yet, while the Chromecast With Google TV balances affordability with high-quality 4K content.