Home Devices Amazon Fire TV Cube Streaming Device Review

Amazon Fire TV Cube Streaming Device Review

by David Miklos Hazi
Amazon Fire TV Cube
4.3

Design

4.5/5

Ecosystem

4.0/5

Features

4.5/5

Performance

4.5/5

Price

4.0/5

Pros

  • Excellent 4K HDR playback
  • TV/AV control center
  • Excellent Alexa microphone
  • Easy setup and intuitive interface

Cons

  • No Vudu or YouTube TV
  • No Dolby Vision
  • Remote required for non-Alexa equipment

2020 Amazon Fire TV Cube Review

The Amazon Fire TV Cube is a streaming device that was released in June 2018 (R). This streaming device is a set-top box that is designed to be the central hub for connecting and controlling all of your home theatre equipment including TV, cable box, and even audio equipment by using the Amazon Alexa voice control technology. Essentially, this is a blend between the Echo Dot and the Fire TV Stick.

Fire TV Cube Device

The Fire TV Cube supports 4K resolutions and HDR10 but does not support Dolby Vision like the Fire TV Stick 4K. This device is primarily for cord-cutters who wish to integrate the rest of their smart home features with their streaming television content and those who particularly enjoy voice-control over a traditional remote.

Amazon Fire TV Cube Hardware

The Amazon Fire TV Cube is a small cube-shaped device that is roughly the size of the Echo Dot. The device connects to your television with an HDMI cable; however, one is not included with the device. The device has the same hardware as the now-discontinued 3rd generation Fire TV.

The Fire TV Cube is powered by a quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 @ 1.5 GHz CPU with 2 GB of RAM. Paired with a Mali-450 MP3 GPU and the device is capable of delivering stunning, crisp 4K resolutions. The device also has a pretty solid Wi-Fi antenna sporting the Dual-band 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac technology which can connect to both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands.

Also included is the all-new Alexa Voice Remote with TV and device control. The remote connects to the device via Bluetooth so you don’t have to be within line of sight of the device. The remote design is small, matte black, with a directional ring, three Android buttons, volume buttons, play/pause, reverse, and fast-forward buttons, and the voice search button.

Amazon Fire TV Stick Performance

The Amazon Fire Cube’s performance is very strong. The device is very snappy and streams picture-perfect 4K resolution with amazing HDR color. Navigating menus and switching applications are almost instantaneous. The device is not as powerful as the Echo Dot, but it is not designed for playing music, it’s designed to combine Alexa with your home theatre streaming set up.

Voice control is where the device really shines. Integrated into the device are eight far-field microphones that are capable of picking up voice commands up to 20 feet away with ease. The voice controls allow you to control soundbars, TVs, and other equipment with relative ease too.

There are a few hiccups in regards to the Fire TV Cube voice control. The devices you wish to control need to be within line of sight of the IR blasters located on the device itself. This may make it difficult to connect and control these other devices, especially if you have them tucked away in a cabinet. The device itself needs to be in a place where it can hear the voice commands too.

Fire TV Cube Hardware

Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Setup

Getting set up with the Amazon Fire TV Cube is very easy and should take less than 5 minutes. Simply plug in the device, connect the HDMI cable to your TV, and you will see the loading screen. The device may take a few minutes to calibrate the very first time you use it.

You will need to pair your remote to the device, which can be done by holding the “home” button down for 10 seconds. When the remote is paired you can hit the play button to begin the setup process. Select your preferred language and you will be prompted to connect your Wi-Fi.

Once you’ve connected to the Wi-Fi you will need to register the device with an Amazon account. If you order directly from Amazon the device will be pre-registered for you. Once registered you can begin browsing the Amazon ecosystem and watching your favorite streaming video and audio content.

After completing this you will have the option to connect the device to all of your other Alexa enabled devices. The device easily connects to these devices for you making set up a breeze.

Amazon Fire TV Stick Channels and Applications

The ecosystem of the Amazon Fire TV Cube is robust but primarily designed around Amazon applications; however, it is much easier with the newer version to navigate and find other content. With this device, you get access to 4K and HDR10 content in addition to thousands of titles in regular HD.

Cord-cutters get access to over 2,000 different streaming channels and apps. There are over 190 built-in channels with access to over 500,000 movies and TV episodes. Some of the most popular channels and apps found on Amazon Fire TV include Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Sling TV, fuboTV, and many more.

Also available are more than 200 games. Users can use the remote control or purchase the Amazon Fire Game Controller. Titles include classics such as Sonic the Hedgehog, Final Fantasy, Crazy Taxi and more. Also, features are newer titles such as Alphadia Genesis, SoulCraft, PBA Bowling, and more.

Notably missing are Google Play Movies & TV, Google Play Music, YouTube TV, and Vudu.

Amazon Fire TV Cube Technical Specs

 
Amazon Fire TV Cube
Size3.4” x 3.4” x 3.0” (86.1 mm x 86.1 mm x 76.9 mm)

Weight16.4 oz (465 g)
ProcessorQuad-core up to 1.5 GHz | ARM 4xCA53
GPUMali450 MP3
Storage16 GB internal
Memory2 GB
Wi-FiDual-band, dual-antenna Wi-Fi (MIMO) for faster streaming and fewer dropped connections than standard Wi-Fi. Supports 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi networks
Audio SupportDolby Atmos, 7.1 surround sound, 2ch stereo, and HDMI audio pass through up to 5.1. Dolby Atmos is not currently supported on Netflix titles.
Output resolution supported2160p, 1080p, and 720p up to 60 fps
Content FormatsVideo: HDR-10. H.265, H.264, Audio: AAC-LC, AC3, eAC3 (Dolby Digital Plus), FLAC, MP3, PCM/Wave, Vorbis, Dolby Atmos (EC3_JOC), Photo: JPEG, PNG, GIF, BMP

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Fire Cube Review Conclusion

The Amazon Fire Cube is a very interesting device. It combines Amazon Echo Dot technology with Amazon Fire TV Stick technology bringing us the best of both worlds. The device is a powerful streamer but slightly less powerful than the 4K stick. The Cube is really for people who are heavily invested in the Amazon Alexa ecosystem because it allows you to sync up your other Alexa voice-controlled home theatre and smart home equipment. The only downside is the Cube is roughly 3 times more expensive than the Fire Stick 4K; however, if you’re looking for a centralized control center for all your living room equipment it is worth the price of admission.

Compare Amazon Fire TV Cube To Other Streaming Devices

Wondering how this streaming media player stacks up vs other devices? Compare our Amazon Fire TV Cube review to other popular streaming TV devices reviews. We have reviewed the most popular devices on the market including brands such as Amazon, Apple, Roku, and more. Check out our full list of device reviews here:

  • AirTV – Dual network tuner that transmits OTA signals to a device connected television. Rating: 7.0; Price: Discontinued.
  • AirTV Player – Unique device that combines streaming television with over-the-air antenna local channels in one platform. Rating: 6.4; Price: Discontinued.
  • Amazon Fire TV Cube – Central hub for connecting and controlling all of your home theatre equipment including TV, cable box, and even audio equipment by using the Amazon Alexa voice control technology. Rating: 8.6; Price: $119.99.
  • Amazon Fire TV Stick – Amazon’s budget streamer for cord-cutters looking to for 1080p resolution. Rating: 8.4; Price: $39.99.
  • Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K – Amazon’s 4K streaming stick. Great value. Rating: 9.0; Price: $49.00.
  • Apple TV – Original set-top box by Apple. Rating: 8.4; Price: $149.99.
  • Apple TV 4K – One of the most powerful set-top boxes on the market. Apple’s 4K version. Rating: 9.2; Price: 32G $179.99 and 64G $199.99.
  • Google Chromecast Dongle that allows users to cast from a separate device. Rating: 6.4; Price: $35.00.
  • Google Chromecast Ultra – Google’s 4K version of the dongle. Powerful but awkward. Rating: 7.4; Price: $69.00.
  • Roku Express – Ultra budget 1080p set-top box. Rating: 7.6; Price: $29.99.
  • Roku Express+ Tiny set-top box for older televisions. Rating: 7.8; Price: $35.00.
  • Roku Premiere – Inexpensive 4K and HDR10 streaming box. Rating: 8.6; Price: $39.99.
  • Roku Premiere+ Upgraded version of the Premiere. Rating: 8.6; Price: $49.99.
  • Roku Ultra Top-of-line 4K and HDR set-top box. Rating: 9.6; Price: $99.99.
  • Roku Streaming Stick Non-4K streaming stick for budget cord-cutters. Rating: 8.6; Price: $49.99.
  • Roku Streaming Stick+ Very powerful 4K streaming stick for power cord-cutters. Rating: 9.6; Price: $49.99.

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