Roku Express 4K+ Review


 Roku Express 4K+ Review

Roku has long separated its 1080p and entry-level 4K media streamers into two product lines: Express (1080p) and Premiere (4K). In an effort to simplify its lineup, the company is rolling the Premiere into the Express line, and that brings us the Roku Express 4K+. This $39.99 media hub is effectively the same device as the $49.99 Roku Premiere+ it replaces, able to stream 4K HDR content and accept commands through a wireless voice remote. It’s affordable and easy to use, even if it lags a bit behind other media streamers with its lack of Dolby Vision support and underdeveloped voice features.

Roku Express 4K+ Design and Features
The Express 4K+ is a tiny media streamer, but still slightly larger than the 1080p Roku Express, as well as dongle-like models such as the Roku Streaming Stick+ and the Chromecast With Google TV. It’s a 0.6-by-3.4-by-1.5-inch (HWD) black plastic bar with a glossy front and matte sides and back. It’s designed to be placed in front of your TV, and a two-sided adhesive strip is included for attaching it to your media center.

The front panel contains an infrared receiver for accepting direct remote commands, though you can also use voice commands without needing a direct line of sight. The back holds an HDMI port for connecting to your TV, a micro USB port for charging, and a reset button. A USB cable, HDMI cable, and wall adapter are included.

Roku Express 4K+
The Roku Voice Remote is the same thin black wand you get with most Roku media streamers and Roku TVs (save for the Roku Ultra and Roku Streambar Pro, which have an enhanced remote with a headphone jack and remote locator feature). It features a prominent purple plus-shaped direction pad, with home, back, and power buttons above it, along with a pinhole microphone. Playback controls sit below the navigation pad, with dedicated service buttons for Apple TV, Disney+, Hulu, and Netflix below that. A volume rocker and mute button sit on the right edge of the remote, letting you control your TV’s volume.


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As a Roku streamer, the Express 4K+ uses Roku’s interface and ecosystem for streaming apps and services. It’s probably the simplest media streaming interface, arranging apps and services in big tiles and keeping most content recommendations limited to just one ad on the side of the screen and anything you actively search for on a separate screen. Most of the major streaming services are here, including Apple TV, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, HBO Max, Hulu, Netflix, and (if you want to run your own local media server from your computer) Plex. Gamers should be aware that Twitch remains missing from Roku’s lineup.


The Roku Express 4K+ also supports AirPlay 2, letting iPhone, iPad, and Mac users mirror their screens and stream content to the device. Android users don’t get the benefit of Google Cast, but can stream content through the Roku app, which also provides remote control functions. AirPlay 2 support is a particular benefit the Express has over the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K and Chromecast With Google TV, though they do have access to the Apple TV app for playing Apple content.

Roku Express 4K+
Roku continues to lag behind Amazon Fire TV and Google TV in terms of voice control, but its voice search is still functional enough when you’re looking for something to watch. Just press and hold the mic button on the remote and speak into the microphone near the top to search for content across multiple services. It isn’t a general-purpose voice assistant like Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, though, and it can’t provide useful information or control smart devices.

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