Amazon has released a new Fire TV Cube streaming player, the third-generation of its Fire TV and Echo Dot hybrid device. Here’s what’s new with the 3rd Gen model.
The new Cube, which is available today (September 28), includes a brand new Alexa remote, more power and more connectivity options. Let’s see how the two set-top box devices compare…
Fire TV Cube now offers better sound.
While the first two Fire TV devices offered small speakers (40 mm), they were an afterthought, designed for simple voice responses to Alexa commands, rather than listening to audio. That may have changed with the third-generation model, which has a speaker grille surrounding the device, replacing the glossy finish.
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 may make the Fire TV Cube more like a true hybrid Fire TV/Echo Dot like device. Amazon is quiet about the audio capabilities and has yet to reveal the full spec list, so that’ll be revealed in testing.
Brand new Alexa Pro Remote
The 3rd-generation Fire TV Cube also gets a new remote! The Alexa Pro Remote will ship with the new Cube and includes a speaker for “Alexa, find my remote” commands. There’s also programmable buttons for Alexa commands (like smart home controls), and smart ambient backlighting. The good news is, it’s available to buy separately for £34.99.
More power and better Wi-Fi
This is the first Fire TV Cube to support Wi-Fi 6E (up from Wi-Fi 5). Amazon says it’s the first media streaming device to support it per se. For those with compatible routers, it’ll mean less interference from other devices on the network when streaming that high-end 4K content. The Ethernet port is also carried over from the previous generation. There’s also a new octa-core 2.0GHz processor that’s 20% more powerful than the previous generation (Hexa-core CPU 2.2 GHz + 1.9 GHz).
Connect more devices to your Fire TV Cube
So, this is quite interesting. This is the Fire TV Cube is the first to support a HDMI input meaning you can physically connect other media devices like a Blu-ray player and control them with your Alexa remote. It might be a good option if you’re short of HDMI outs on your television. So, for example, if you connect your cable box, you could use Alexa voice commands to access specific channels.
The 3rd Gen also adds another USB output, which you can connect a webcam for video calls on the television. So, effectively, it can act like an Echo Show too.
New upscaling support
While the same 4K HDR/Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos tech is on board the new generation adds a new Super Resolution Upscaling tech. Amazon says: “With Super Resolution Upscaling, content—from films originally made in HD to grainy family photos—will look sharper on a 4K display.”
Is the price worth it?
You can get a 2nd Gen Amazon Fire TV Cube for £69.99 at Amazon UK. The new Fire TV Cube is double that at £139.99. Is it worth it? We’ll find out when we get our hands on the device.