As a few others have pointed out, before writing a strongly opinionated piece against what amounts to a major player in the streaming space, especially as the Tom's Guide senior editor for streaming media, I might have taken a moment to determine what other power users are doing to circumvent trivial annoyances. You would have found that, unsurprisingly, being an Android device after all, it can be customized and "hacked" to more closely fall in line with your preferences and particular use case. You can unlock the bootloader and go crazy with custom OSs, hide ads, run custom launchers... The world is your oyster with just a bit of effort on your part and a visit to the XDA forums. Most of the mods you can make don't even require the slightly more intensive need to root the device, however that is an option and will give the end-user ultimate control/root access.
As is, it comes off as someone that perhaps didn't want to like it or was predisposed to dislike it regardless of what the desired outcome was.
I would've expected more from a senior editor, especially one generally overseeing all media streaming!
PS - I understand you may have been unwilling to do any of the above for the sake of this article but you still could have presented optionsfor circumventing the many downsides you cite. That would've presented a balanced argument to readers perhaps on the fence about making a purchase of the device, especially if they're the type that aren't afraid to roll their sleeves up and get into the muck with rooting and whatnot.