What to Know Before Buying an Amazon Fire TV Cube
The Fire TV Cube is Amazon’s latest intelligent piece of hardware. Combining an Echo Dot with a Fire TV, this device looks to unite your smart home and media consumption under one all-encompassing Amazon device.
But what exactly is it capable of? Is it something you need? Even if useful, is it worth the price? Here’s everything you need to know about the Amazon Fire TV Cube before you buy one.
What Is the Amazon Fire TV Cube?
The Fire TV Cube is a smart device. Using the built-in Alexa assistant, you can control your TV, sound system, video streaming, and more. You can also control an ever-increasing number of smart home devices such as Samsung SmartThings or Philips Hue.
Using the many apps—including Netflix and Prime Video—you can stream thousands of films and TV shows.
This latest gadget does nothing to simplify the Amazon line up, however. With the Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Spot, Echo Show, Echo Tap, Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, and now the Fire TV Cube, it’s a confusing (and possibly frustrating) process figuring out exactly which devices you should buy for your needs.
Check out our guide to the best Amazon Echo devices to help get a better sense of the differences between Echo models, then compare with the rest of the information in this article. That should help clear up some of the confusion.
What Are the Fire TV Cube’s Specs?
The Fire TV Cube appears in many ways to be identical to the Amazon Fire TV. The Cube sports the same 1.5GHz quad-core processor, dual-band Wi-Fi, 4K ultra HD support, HDR-10 support, Alexa voice remote, and Dolby Atmos audio standard.
However, unlike the Fire TV, the Fire TV Cube has 16GB of storage space, an Ethernet adapter, built-in speaker, support for voice control of TVs and other devices, and 2GB of RAM.
The remote controller is identical to the Fire TV, but you get an Infrared (IR) extension unit in the box. This IR unit is really smart—it allows the Cube to control other A/V equipment by emulating the remote control. This is perfect for perhaps slightly older equipment, which doesn’t support the latest standards.
Here are the technical specifications of the Fire TV Cube:
- 16GB internal storage
- 2GB RAM
- Dolby Atmos 7.1 surround sound support
- HDCP 2.2
- HDMI 2.0a
- HDMI audio pass through up to 5.1
- Mali450 MP3 GPU
- Powered by Micro-USB
- Quad-core ARM 4xCA53 processor running at up to 1.5GHz
- Support for 4K UHD at 60FPS
- Support for 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi
How Big Is the Amazon Fire TV Cube?
The Fire TV Cube measures 3.4 x 3.4 x 3.0 inches and weighs 16.4 ounces. For comparison, it’s roughly the same size as the Ouya console, for those with memories good enough to remember that.
It’s larger than both the Fire TV and Fire TV stick, but it’s not unmanageably so. It will easily fit into most spaces. It’s about the same size as three Echo Dots stacked on top of one another.
What Can the Fire TV Cube Do?
The Fire TV Cube can basically do everything an Echo and Fire TV/Fire TV Stick can do, plus a few extra things. You can control compatible TVs, soundbars, set-top boxes, and A/V receivers. You can tune in to live TV channels through your existing cable or satellite service.
You can use your voice to start and stop movies, TV shows, and music. You can even voice command compatible devices through HDMI-CEC, otherwise known as HDMI alt mode.
Make sure you take a look at our Amazon Prime vs. Netflix and Spotify combined guide for some tips on choosing between these streaming services.
You can control your smart lights, smart sockets, cameras, and other compatible smart devices. As the Fire TV Cube is powered by Alexa, there is a whole range of devices that work right now. Take a look at our Alexa compatible gadget guide for some inspiration.
How Do You Buy the Fire TV Cube?
The Fire TV Cube is only available to purchase on Amazon. It’s currently available to pre-order, and will be released on June 21, 2018. It’s not yet available in regions outside of North America, but it’s likely to be made available in the coming months. The Fire TV Cube retails at a price that’s roughly the sum of a Fire TV plus an Echo Dot.
Who’s the Fire TV Cube Meant For?
The Fire TV Cube is for anyone who wants to unify their smart home and TV experience. Think of it like an Amazon Echo and a Fire TV combined into one device. If you’ve already got the smart home (or are looking to expand it), you’re all set to go.
Even if you don’t have much of a smart home, you can still take advantage of this device. By controlling your whole media system, you can have one voice command to start watching a movie and turn on all of your A/V hardware.
If you only have a modest entertainment system, and little to no smart home devices, this may not be the best device for you. You should consider buying the Fire TV or Fire TV Stick instead.
Should You Buy the Amazon Fire TV Cube?
The Fire TV Cube is a cool looking device, but it won’t be for everyone. As mentioned above, if your needs are limited, this may be a waste of money. As it’s so similar to the Fire TV with an echo stuck on top, you may be better off purchasing the two devices separately, which will achieve 90% of the same functionality.
If you already own an Echo, Echo Dot, or a Fire TV, the Cube probably isn’t for you. Sure, you could purchase it, but it would largely be duplicating most of the functionality you already have.
However, if you want to get started with smart home gadgets, or you’ve yet to purchase an Alexa-powered device, the Fire TV Cube would be an excellent choice.