As a site dedicated to all things streaming, a focus on Amazon’s newest offering seemed warranted. The Amazon Fire TV Cube is the latest introduction to the Fire TV series. The device which is not necessarily shaped like a cube features advanced capabilities such as Alexa which makes it so much easier for you to issue commands without a remote. The Amazon Fire TV cube is priced under 120 USD, quite a fair price tag for such a powerful device.
In comparison to its predecessors, the Fire TV cube uses similar internals with regards to hardware as last year Fire TV which was less expensive. The processor is not as good as the one used in the Raspberry Pi 3 hence expect a slower experience. Because of these limitations, some of the applications may take a bit longer to load, and you should expect to have the same issues that had been raised with the Fire TV. You may also have to exercise a lot of patience as searching for content may take a lot longer than devices like Apple TV 4K. This may not be a big deal at the moment, but it sure will be in a couple of years when Amazon adds more features to the Fire TVs operating system.
- It controls your cable box – The IR blaster which comes with the Fire TV Cube provides more support; you can directly place it next to your cable box, and you can then instruct Alexa to tune in to any channel you want by using either the name or number. You can also tell it to scroll up and down through your channels. The Fire TV Cube supports a lot more devices which include those from DirecTV, Spectrum, and Comcast.
- Hands-Free Experience – The FireTV Cube brings Echo Smart speaker capabilities to your TV meaning you can command your TV to do anything including launch apps, pause, play and even raise or lower the volume. You can also search for movies by simply instructing Alexa. After setting up the device, you launch it by calling the name “Alexa.” You can then ask Alexa to do all you want it to do without using a remote. This is also the case if you’re going to switch the TV on, the soundbar or other home entertainment devices. Alexa is capable of giving you a weather forecast report, dates or any other calendar information. It can also control other home devices such as lights and thermostats.
- It offers lots of connections – It has multiple ports where you can plug in multiple devices all at once which include gaming and streaming devices. You can navigate from your PlayStation to Roku without a remote by simply instructing Alexa.
- There’s easy access to Amazon Channels – The Amazon Fire TV Cube allows you to access all Amazon channels. Amazon Live enables you to pay for the live channels separately to let you select the ones you need and leave out the ones you don’t. This is not the case with the Amazon Fire TV cube as all Amazon channels are placed in their dedicated row. In this row, you will be able to get live previews from each channel giving you a taste of each one and allowing you to get an idea of what you need.
- It’s great for Prime members – While your Amazon Prime account lets you get access of all you need to ship as well as access to restricted music, it can be quite challenging to make the best of it. The Amazon Fire TV Cube gives you many ways through which you can find Prime Content. They have a row that is specially created for 4K HDR content on Amazon Prime. This includes the most recent original TV Shows and Music.
- Fire TV Stick is cheaper and pretty good – The Fire TV Cube is on the higher end regarding pricing when it offers similar content to the Amazon Fire TV Stick. The material is pretty much the same except the fact that you will pay for some of the subscriptions if you are using the Fire TV Stick.
- Too Many Ads – The Home screen of the Fire TV cube has a row specially created for ads, mostly promoting specific programs. The ads are a nuisance to users who want to enjoy particular programs without being forced to [review content they did not ask for. On the lock screens of Amazon Kindle e-readers are plastered with ads but have the option of paying $15 to get rid of them; this option is however not available on the Amazon Fire TV Cube. Ads on a set-top box worth $120 are not welcome especially since they are not tailored for the specific user.
- Shouting Commands can get boring – The experience of simply shouting commands can be quite exciting in the beginning. Users, however, get bored with this trend after a while and revert to the good old remote control. When you search deeper, you find yourself in some screaming competition with the TV. It is also almost impossible to navigate between seasons and episodes of a TV show. It is, however, a good alternative, but you can always go back to the remote which comes with the set-top box.
- No Google Apps, YouTube – While the Fire TV cube comes with a wide range of content including streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu, you will not be able to access Google services such as Youtube or Google Play Movies from this device. You might want to think twice before chucking that $120 if you are a Youtube fan.
Unique Features of The Amazon Fire TV Cube
- 4K Resolution – The Fire TV cube will allow you to make the most of your 4K TV. The Amazon Fire TV Cube supports various apps in full UHD resolution. This includes some massive hits like Amazon Video and Netflix.
- HDR Support – High Dynamic Range (HDR) allows users to enjoy richer contrasts and color palettes. The Fire TV cube lets you enjoy full HDR support which is an advantage that the predecessors including the Fire TV Stick did not have.
- Alexa Integration – The assistant Alexa allows you to play TV shows and navigate between programmes by use of a single phrase or command. This is a useful tool especially for those who have multiple devices connected to their device and are tired of having to manually switch from one thing to the other using a remote.
Generally, the Amazon Fire TV cube is a great product and is worth the $120 price tag. With this, you will cut on regular subscription charges and also can enjoy switching from TV to your PS comfortably. You will also have extra features such as the Amazon’s $15 ethernet adapter which you will not get with the 4K Fire TV. The Amazon Fire TV Cube shows how TV is heading to in the future.