Get the Roku Express 4K Plus, Our Favorite Streamer, for $25

This story is part of Amazon Prime Day, CNET’s guide to everything you need to know and how to find the best deals.

Amazon’s Prime Early Access Sale is in full swing, and one of our favorite streaming devices is seeing a massive discount. The Roku Express 4K Plus, CNET’s current pick as the best overall streaming device, is currently within $1 of its all-time Amazon low price. While it’s regularly priced at $40, the Express 4K Plus is now at $25. This is the lowest it’s been since Black Friday of last year when it was down to $24.

Like its name implies, the Express 4K Plus streams content in 4K, though it lacks Dolby Vision support. If Dolby Vision is important to you, you can check out the Roku Streaming Stick 4K, which is currently at down to $30 versus its normal price of $50.

I actually own both of these devices and use them with different TVs in my house. They both offer almost identical streaming experiences based on Roku’s easy-to-use platform. The Streaming Stick 4K offers support for Dolby Vision HDR, while the Express 4K Plus does not. However, the Streaming Stick 4K lacks the wired Ethernet connection found on the Express 4K Plus. 

The other main difference between the two is the Streaming Stick 4K’s narrow rectangular design, which plugs directly into an HDMI slot in the back of the TV. Both streamers offer a voice remote, 4K HDR streaming and Roku’s excellent interface, which I like much better than Fire TV or Google TV. 

I’ve never personally seen a difference between standard 4K HDR and Dolby Vision, and at CNET we generally feel that it doesn’t provide a major image quality upgrade over standard HDR. That said, if Dolby Vision is something you’re interested in and don’t mind spending the extra $5 to get it, now might be a good time to try it out. 

While these two streaming devices are almost functionally identical, it’s the Roku software that stands out the most to me. I find its home screen to be clean and appealing. I get easily overwhelmed by rows and rows of content, so it’s nice to be able to log in and see my apps first and foremost. I also really appreciate its content-agnostic platform that doesn’t push any one media streaming service provider, like Amazon Prime Video or Apple, over another. It lets me easily pick and choose exactly what I want to watch when I want to watch it. Plus, its robust search functions let me find exactly where my shows are playing and how much they are going to cost. 

That’s not to say that both of these devices are perfect. The Express 4K Plus and the Streaming Stick 4K would both be improved by an included remote-finder feature, such as the one found on the more expensive Roku Ultra or the option included in $30 Roku Voice Remote Pro. Additionally, Roku’s voice assistant is lacking, especially compared with those from Google and Amazon.  

You could certainly quibble about these Rokus, as well as about the platform itself, but I’ve found them to be some of the most used devices in my home. If you’re looking to upgrade the streaming platform on your TV, or know someone who is, either of these streamers would be an excellent choice. But if you don’t feel like you need Dolby Vision, my advice is to save yourself $5 and get the Roku Express 4K Plus. I doubt you’ll be disappointed.

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