Amazon Fire TV Cube (2022) review: Faster and smarter, but with a couple of caveats

By | 09/11/2022

Pros

  • More approachable design

  • HDMI input

  • Fire OS works well for Amazon fans

Cons

  • Limited remote functionality

  • Built-in speaker is only for Alexa

The Fire Television receiver Cube (3rd gen) makes improvements over previous versions in both looks and features.

For the new third generation, Amazon takes things a step farther. The Amazon Fire TV Cube (3rd Gen) subtly adds an HDMI
input, meaning you don’t necessarily have to switch inputs on your TV to apply other devices. Who says Amazon always has to be uninvolved?

Virtually the Amazon Burn TV Cube (tertiary Gen)

The control buttons on top of the Amazon Fire TV Cube sitting on a wooden table.

Credit: Reviewed / Christian de Looper

On the pinnacle of the Fire TV Cube are volume controls, an Alexa microphone mute push button, and the select push button.

  • Resolution:
    4K at 6Hz
  • HDR:
    Dolby Vision, HDR 10, HDR10+, HLG
  • Ports:
    HDMI 2.ane (In and Out), IR Extender, Power, USB-A, Ethernet port
  • Networking:
    Wi-Fi 6E and 802.11a/b/k/n/ac/ax
  • Processor:
    Octa-cadre
  • Audio:
    Dolby Atmos, Dolby Digital Plus
  • Remote:
    Alexa remote with software controls and Prime Video, Netflix, Disney+, and Hulu buttons
  • Smart Assistants:
    Alexa
  • Video Codecs:
    H.265, H.264, VP9, AV1
  • Sound Codecs:
    AAC-LC, AC3, eAC3 (Dolby Digital Plus), FLAC, MP3, PCM/Wave, Vorbis, Dolby Atmos (EC3_JOC), Dolby MAT
  • Storage:
    16GB
  • RAM:
    2GB
  • Dimensions:
    3.38 x 3.38 x two.99 in (W 10 D ten H)
  • Weight:
    1.13lb

The Amazon Fire TV Cube really but comes in 1 variant. In that location are no color options, no storage options, and really no other options at all—a Fire TV Cube is a Fire TV Cube. Y’all’ll get the Fire Television receiver Cube, a voice remote, and a power cablevision in the box. There’southward no external IR blaster included in the box, despite the fact that the Fire TV Cube supports one—so y’all’ll demand to buy one separately, if necessary.

The Burn down TV Cube has a speaker built into information technology, even so, that speaker is actually there equally a way to employ the Cube equally an Alexa speaker when the TV isn’t on. You can’t play your Television receiver’s sound through the speaker (not that you would want to, given the audio quality), and when yous ask Alexa to play music, the device will really plow on your Television set to practise and then. Some will detect that annoying, but the point is that Amazon does non want to emphasize the Fire TV Cube as a speaker starting time.

What we similar

Solid pattern

The full general expect of the Amazon Burn down Television receiver Cube is like to the previous generation, just with some changes that brand it expect closer to other Amazon products, and to assist make it a little more approachable in your living room.

How so? Well, the biggest change is that the front end sides at present take a like cloth covering as the Echo and Echo Dot, which I much adopt to the tedious blackness plastic of previous generations, and the corners have been rounded out a trivial, again, helping make the pattern a little less harsh. The acme edge yet has a light bar to indicate Alexa, which is always handy.

On the tiptop, is the same four-button setup with book buttons, a microphone mute push, and an Action button. On the back are the ports, which we’ll get into in the next section.

The Amazon Fire TV Cube now looks more than refined and more approachable. It looks that extra bit better in most living rooms.

Upgraded port choice

The back connections panel of the Amazon Fire TV Cube.

Credit: Reviewed / Christian de Looper

The 3rd gen Fire Telly Cube comes with more than connections than its predecessor, including an HDMI input.

We kind of skipped over the ports in the last section, but that’s because the ports warrant their own section.

Some of the ports are the same as before, but others are upgraded or replaced with better options. For starters, there are separate USB and Ethernet ports instead of a basic MicroUSB port. That ways that you lot don’t accept to rely on adapters for things like expanding storage and calculation a wired cyberspace connection.

Perchance even more important is the fact that the Burn Idiot box Cube offers an HDMI
input
on top of the HDMI output. That turns the Fire Goggle box Cube into a small hub, significant just one HDMI cable runs to the TV. You lot tin connect a cable box, game console, or anything else to the HDMI input, and so use the Burn Television set Cube remote or Alexa to switch between the Burn Telly interface and whatever is connected to the HDMI input. When using the input, yous’ll withal be able to utilise Alexa and get an Alexa overlay, if that’southward something you intendance virtually. The Burn Goggle box Cube learns what kind of device is connected, and uses the 360-degree infrared equalizer to control that device.

The input and output are both HDMI 2.ane, however they do not support passthrough at 120Hz, and then they won’t necessarily work great with the Xbox Series 10 and PlayStation 5. If a high refresh rate, and a variable refresh rate, are important to you, you’ll want to stick with connecting your console directly to your Television, bold information technology supports a loftier refresh charge per unit and VRR.

I would take liked to see Amazon fully comprehend this concept, though—which would hateful having at least three or four HDMI inputs. Maybe one twenty-four hours the Burn down TV Cube will truly act as an AV receiver, but that would necessitate expanded sound support, too. HDMI passthrough as a concept has had its ups and downs, and while it’s neat in this case, it will be interesting to run into if enough customers cover information technology plenty for it to last the exam of time.

Burn OS works well

The Amazon Fire OS from the Amazon Fire TV Cube on a Hisense TV.

Credit: Reviewed / Christian de Looper

The Burn down TV Cube does a great job running Amazon’s Fire OS.

While Amazon’southward Fire Os operating organisation isn’t what I utilise on a twenty-four hour period-to-day basis, I still more often than not like it, and on the Fire TV Cube, it works quite well.

The interface is relatively easy to navigate. Information technology’southward dissever up into rows of content, with a row of apps at the top. It definitely prioritizes Prime number content over anything else, but you’ll notwithstanding encounter recommended content from your other apps throughout the interface.

On the Fire TV Cube, it runs pretty well too. Amazon has included a new processor in the device that information technology says gives the Cube two times meliorate performance than the Amazon Burn TV Stick 4K Max. Information technology’s a little hard to quantify that, but overall, the interface ran smoothly and never stuttered or skipped.

The interface also has a new gaming interface, which allows y’all to access games from Luna, Amazon’s game-streaming service, and games to play on your continued gaming console. Amazon says y’all’ll also be able to run into content from other game-streaming services. I apply Xbox Game Pass, however, and that app is not currently available on Fire Os. As game streaming becomes more popular, I expect that all services will be available on all devices, like video streaming services are now. That may take a few years though.

Super Resolution Upscaling

Amazon is touting the new Super Resolution Upscaling characteristic as a great way to make Hard disk drive content look similar 4K content. The device is able to upscale both contents played through the installed apps and from sources connected to the HDMI input. That’south particularly helpful for those whose cable boxes max out at 1080p (at best).

Generally, it looks pretty proficient. As is normally the case with upscaling tech, information technology doesn’t look
quite
equally natural as native 4K content, only information technology gets pretty darn close. The result is image quality that y’all might forget isn’t 4K in day-to-twenty-four hours employ. The Fire TV Cube does amend upscaling 1080p than it does 720p content. 1080p content looked pretty good, but while 720p content nevertheless looked great compared to the original video, it did look notably worse than content in 1080p.

What we don’t like

Doesn’t come with fancy new remote

The included remote for the Amazon Fire TV Cube sitting on a wooden table.

Credit: Reviewed / Christian de Looper

The included remote is pretty basic and not the new Alexa Voice Remote Pro.

The Amazon Fire TV Cube comes with an upgraded remote that includes channel upwardly and downwards buttons to control channels through infrared on a connected cable box. It’south a solid remote, but if this is Amazon’due south top-of-the-line streaming device, it should come up with its top-of-the-line remote, the Alexa Vocalisation Remote Pro.

Notably, the included remote doesn’t have Amazon’southward new Remote Finder feature, nor does it have customizable buttons or the headphone push button to speedily pair to Bluetooth headphones. These aren’t bargain-breakers, but it is abrasive to see Amazon skimp. The remote does nonetheless offer everything yous need to control software, and utilise Alexa, and it has quick access controls for Prime Video, Netflix, Disney+, and Hulu, which is nice.

Speaker is only fine

Amazon isn’t billing the Fire TV Cube as a replacement for your Tv set’due south existing audio organisation. In fact, you couldn’t use it as one even if y’all wanted to—and you wouldn’t want to. The Fire Television Cube is fine for Alexa, but the overall speaker quality doesn’t lend itself well to much more than. Even if you try to play music on the Burn TV Cube, it will plow your TV on to do so and instead play through your TV speakers or connected audio system.

Express smart features compared to new Echo devices

One of the coolest new features on the Repeat Dot is the fact that it can deed as an Eero Wi-Fi extender. That’due south one of the advantages of the Amazon ecosystem. But you would expect new features to come to all new devices, and that isn’t the case here. Unfortunately, you can’t apply the Fire TV Cube every bit an Eero range extender.

Should you lot buy it?

Yeah, if you’re embedded in Amazon’s ecosystem

The question about which device of any kind to become increasingly comes down to the ecosystem. If you’re in Apple’south ecosystem, the best smartwatch is an Apple Sentinel. If you lot’re in Google’s yous want a Google Nest Audio smart speaker. And if y’all’re in Amazon’southward, y’all want a streaming device with Fire Bone. The Amazon Burn TV Cube is the all-time streaming device with Fire OS.

At that place are some caveats to that. If your Television already has Fire OS built into it, you lot shouldn’t go a Burn down TV Cube only for the smart speaker characteristic—become an Echo Dot instead and save the greenbacks. If you don’t care about the smart speaker component or more avant-garde features like the HDMI input, a Fire Stick 4K is the way to go.

But if you want the best that Fire TV has to offering, including a built-in smart speaker, inputs, and fast processing, the Burn down Television set Cube is the way to go.

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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published merely may modify over time.

Meet the tester

Christian de Looper

Christian de Looper

Correspondent

@@cdelooper

Originally from Australia, Christian has long had a passion for gadgets and consumer electronics. Christian has experience reviewing products in all areas of the consumer tech world, and is dedicated to helping people find the best products for their lifestyle.

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