In the golden era of streaming, you need a streaming device that performs like a dream. It has to be designed to look nice in your home entertainment set-up, and it should work with most apps. The Roku Streaming Stick Plus does all of that, and supports 4K HDR, which is why it's the winner of the first-ever Tom's Guide Award for best streaming device.
Roku has a range of devices, including smart TVs. It owns 39 percent of the connected TV devices in the U.S., versus 30 percent for Amazon Fire TV. Roku has achieved that thanks to the quality of its products.
The Roku Streaming Stick Plus is our favorite because it supports 4K HDR and has a beautifully-designed interface, a big wireless range, a huge variety of channels, a decent remote and a mobile app. And all of that comes at a reasonable price.
The design of the Roku Streaming Stick Plus is elegant and unobtrusive. It looks like a slim, black, rectangular, longer USB stick which plugs directly into an HDMI port. An included cord comes with an attachment that amplifies wireless signals. The interface design is similarly slick and easy to use.
The Roku home screen displays the apps you've downloaded, which you can organize however you like (Amazon's Fire TV does not allow such control). The improved search functionality pulls from any of the apps, so you can use it to search Netflix, Hulu and other streaming services.
Roku is compatible with almost every app you can think of; the only recent exception is HBO Max. Plus, with the Roku Streaming Stick Plus, you get access to the Roku Channel, which features free content on demand as well as some live channels, which can be navigated in a new cable-like guide.
The Roku Streaming Stick Plus costs less than other streaming devices that support 4K, such as Apple TV. That marriage of design, functionality and affordability is why we named it the best streaming device in the inaugural Tom’s Guide Awards.