Amazon has announced the third-generation Fire TV Cube streaming device, with a wraparound speaker, more power, and the all-new Alexa Remote Pro that’ll be easier to find.
The Fire TV Cube 3, available today for £139.99, maintains the same boxy shape, but this time the speaker grille wraps around the front of the device, replacing the previously glossy exterior.
This suggests it might offer improved sound, a little more akin to an Echo Dot, rather than the low quality sound from previous generations. That was designed for simple Alexa replies, but not for listening to audio.
Amazon says: “Fire TV Cube (3rd Gen) has an upgraded fabric design with an infinity edge light bar and front facing speakers with larger back volume for increased loudness, vocal clarity and bass performance than the previous generation.”
This will also be the first Fire TV product to ship with the brand new Alexa Remote Pro, which includes a speaker to help users track down the controller when it slips down the fide of the sofa. Just say, “Alexa, find my remote.”
If you’re not feeling very chatty, the remote also includes programmable buttons you can use to have Alexa dim the lights or check the weather, for example. “Alexa Voice Remote Pro also includes motion-activated backlighting that automatically illuminates buttons when the remote is picked up in dimly-lit rooms,” Amazon says. If you fancy upgrading the remote but not the box, it will be compatible with most older Fire TV products. It costs £34.99.
As usual the Alexa remote enables voice-controlled on-demand streaming of content. The box supports 4K Ultra HD, Dolby Vision/HDR, and Dolby Atmos audio, but Amazon is now including Super Resolution Upscaling which can make HD content look a little sharper. Whether it’s made for HD films, or your old family photos. We’ll be interested to see how that looks in practice.
The third-generation Fire TV Cube also includes a HDMI input, which the company says is a first for a streaming player. That means you’ll be able to connect more of your home entertainment devices, like set-top boxes and Blu-ray players and control them via the Alexa remote.
The added versatility stretches to an additional USB port designed for a webcam. That will make it easier to make video calls from the TV set with Alexa Communications.
On the inside, the octa-core 2.0 GHz processors are 20% more powerful than the previous generation and there’s support for Wi-Fi 6E, for those homes adopting the emerging new home internet standard. This, Amazon says, is also a first for a streaming device and will enable the enjoyment of content with less interference from other devices in the home.