Amazon Fire TV Cube -2020 Review.

Amazon Fire TV Cube.

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We may lose the remote from time to time, but the Amazon Fire TV Cube ($ 120) is here to let us know it’s OK. Heck, it’s practically encouraged. This set-top box lets you control your TV, cable box and other audio equipment just by talking to Alexa. And this is what makes it so good that I have to say that the Fire TV Cube is one of the best streaming devices.

The Fire TV Cube packs many Alexa skills and tricks you can see on other Amazon devices and improves it for the biggest screen in your home.

The ability to edit your home screen layout and YouTube application is missing all the cubes. Nevertheless, this little box is a great package and it provides an interesting view of the future of TV.

                     Pros                                                                                         Cons

Alexa’s new home entertainment hardware controls.        Can’t manually customize the home screen.
Excellent 4K HDR picture quality.                                        YouTube App in absentia.
Intuitive interface.
Tons of content.

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VERDICT

The Amazon Fire TV Cube is a great marriage of an Echo speaker and a Fire TV device capable of controlling your living room.

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Release date and price

The Amazon Fire TV Cube is available in the US in June at 1.35 ($ 5, about £ 5 USD), but Amazon is a region outside of North America, but we will definitely revisit this category when Amazon announces.

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Design

Before we press on we should give two clear warning details for this review.

First of all, much of this review will focus on the use of Alexa and how it compares to the traditional chiropractic experience of using remote control, but with a remote like the Fire TV Cube that actually came out on top.

This means that no matter how frustrated you are with Alexa and Fire TV OS’s ability to help push the boundaries, you can simply select the remote and use the navigation buttons wherever you want to go.

The second is available via voice remote on almost every current model of Alexa TV and Fire TV stick featured by Fire TV Cuba – both are available at a lower price than the slightly expensive Fire TV Cube.

These two key points make it easy to brush up on Amazon’s voice-first technology competition. Interested in reviewing, praising and criticizing the Fire TV Cube, but realize that its marquee feature is less available elsewhere and a remote one can – and will be – often a more viable alternative to using voice commands to help keep players in perspective.

Of course, that said, the option of shouting a small, box-sized player’s voice command simply out of hand is an incredible selling point for the Amazon Fire TV Cube, and the TV cube you put in with its eight far-field microphones – it’s Amazon Echo. The show or Amazon is as good or perhaps even better than the Ecoti.

To indicate that Alexa is listening, the Fire TV Cube has a bright blue LED that sits on the top edge of the device, on which you will find four control buttons to mute, increase volume, and detain and charge Alexa. The sides are covered with a reflective, black plastic that can easily shine if you are too diligent while keeping the system near your TV.

Speaking of placement, you need to be rather judgmental when integrating the Fire TV Cube into your home theater setup – it may not be too close to your speakers or it prints out built-in microphones, but still needs to be in line with your soundbar, AVR, and A must-see for TVs such as this is a multi-dimensional infrared blaster and HDA Control is required through the MI CEC

This may sound like a trying process, it can be done relatively quickly, and once you get through it, you’ll have an appropriate control center for your home entertainment setup.

Alexa, through its technical wizard, can change the input of your TV, increase or decrease the volume of your soundbar and change the channel in your set-top box using just the voice command, and the Fire TV Cube helps create a result that is not revolutionary. The package and this is what we found ourselves enjoying – even when Alexa is essentially me That’s down.

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Fire TV content

Once you’ve set up it’s time to browse the pool of streaming player content – which, thankfully, is a fairly deep seam: you’ll find Netflix, HBO, Starz, Hulu, PlayStation View and Crackle, along with smaller services like CW, NFL Network, AMC and many more are regularly added new services.

The notable exception here and one of the deadliest to leave out is YouTube – the cornerstone of almost every streaming device.

If you’ve been following the tech news cycle, you’ll know this because recently there was an overview of Amazon and Google, and one of the consequences was that Google was pulling YouTube from all Amazon devices. There are certainly third-party options on YouTube, but without native support you will be hard-pressed to find an application that supports the service in 4K.

The absence of YouTube is felt – like iTunes’ – but it is not absolutely essential for the functionality of the Fire TV Cube … a place reserved for Amazon Prime Video, Amazon’s own platform. This is one of the things that you will continue to do from time to time, and since Amazon has taken serious steps to highlight content from its other partners, you cannot avoid the ultimate feeling that Amazon Fire TV is another way to sell Cube Prime subscriptions.

If you’re already a major customer, this won’t particularly bother you. You will find some areas that you cannot access and some shows and movies you cannot see on different home screens. If you’re not, the Amazon Fire TV Cube may not be the best fit, and you should return to Roku for more service-anonymous streaming boxes instead.

Last but not least, the Amazon Fire TV Cube has the ability to play some light games. The games are usually available just like in the App Store or Google Play Store (which seems to be a variation of Android as Fire TV OS), but Amazon’s offers are lower in number and lower than you’d like, say, Apple TV 4K or Nvidia Shield, both high quality ( But still provides games).

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Performance

As far as performance goes, the Fire TV Cube is quite a competitor, with Dolby Atmos capable of immersing itself in movie or TV show soundtracks in 60K P4L Ultra HD content and audio files with HDR10 support.

All of these technologies work in conjunction with Fire TV Cube’s Quad-Core ARM Cortex A53 1.5 GHz CPU, Mali-450 MP3, and Amlogic S905Z SC to produce stunning visual and fast load times across OS. From Netflix shows, it takes a few seconds to a 15Mbps or higher Wi-Fi connection to get back to the home screen and to a movie on Amazon, essentially with zero pop-in issues.

Pop into a 4K HDR show like All or Nothing: Manchester City or The Grand Tour, and you’ll be treated to a visual showcase of what the Fire TV Cube can do: The Grand Tour, the inaugural trailer for Shima as a natural vista and million-dollar Cars pass the screen, while Manchester City jerseys release Cerulean blue tunes Iye said.

Editor’s Comment: Soon, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan will provide another 4K HDR option with Dolby Atoms – the first for Amazon Prime Video. After reaching it, Amazon will eventually reach Netflix with Fire TV Cube as a flagship device for viewing prime video content.

Of course, finding 4K HDR content is not always easy. So, to find out if you find yourself watching HD / SDR video, Fire TV Cube does a good job of introducing you to higher resolution with your 4K TV, often to see them exactly as they are in local 4K.

On several occasions we have been convinced that what we were seeing was actually 4K HDR when in reality it was just regular upscaled HD. All or nothing: It happened while watching all the blacks, which stunned us with our very precise color and stretch contrast.

Of course, all this praise brings two huge caveats. First of all, being an Ultra 4K HDR streaming device, you should actually own a 4K HDR TV. It sounds silly and there are still many people who buy an Ultra in anticipation of 4K HDR performance on a 1080p TV. Trust us, it happens.

The second is that you will need 15 Mbps or more connection to watch video on 4K HDR. You may be able to scrap a bit less than that, but if the Fire TV Cube detects very slow connection speeds, it won’t provide you with 4K content.

No matter what your setup, you may not be able to get the Dolby Vision from the Amazon Fire TV Cube – a huge disadvantage compared to the Apple TV 4K that offers both Autos and Vision in one package. Remember, Vision High offers a slightly better version of the dynamic range that supports bright TV and masters content on a behind-the-scenes basis than using a set range for the entire film or show.

Let it be said that no one needs a Dolby Vision and the content here will look almost as good without it, however, does it help? Of course. In a system that fixes a lot of other things, it’s hard to make a small mistake against it.

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Alexa as a smart assistant

Just as important as video video reproduction skills is Alexa – Amazon Fire TV Cuba’s ability to host Amazon with smart assistants. We have seen Alexa in the past on a half-dozen platforms (often only in audio form) but none of its previous iterations have shone as brightly as the Fire TV Cube, providing the perfect home for a smart assistant.

We call it “perfect” because a TV on the big screen gives visual indication as well as audio that you hear on other platforms – an important factor once you have experienced it.

Having a screen means that if you use your Amazon devices for shopping, you’ll be able to see the products before you buy them; Prime Music shows lyrics to any song you see and shows you all the options when you search for shows and movies on Prime Video.

More than just the convenience, having a video component opens up a plethora of new skills. If you have a compatible smart camera, you can use the Amazon Fire TV Cube to show a live video stream of what your camera is watching.

If you want restaurant recommendations or movie times, they will pop up on the screen along with their rating and distance from your home. Alexa can certainly do all of this via voice, but having a screen to display visual information improves the usability of the system.

Unfortunately, however, Alexa is still in development, and its interpretation and navigational skills are sometimes … well, lacking.

An example of what happens when you watch Netflix. You can absolutely tell to open the Netflix app, however, if you have multiple accounts set up, you will not be able to use your voice to select your particular account and you will need to identify the remote.

Something similar happens when the Fire TV Cube goes into sleep mode: the Fire TV Cube stops all the video on-screen and turns on the screen overlay when you pause the video for a few minutes. After you return, you may want to ask Alexa to “resume” or “resume what I was playing” and must go back and identify that content. It’s easier to do than a show like Stranger Things, but even more difficult if you watch a show with a longer title.

To make matters worse, all of Alexa’s progress over the past few years still requires the right language to run. To start an episode from the beginning, you need to say “Alexa, can’t resume this episode” and always say “Alexa, start over” to get the results you want. This is the way for fast-forwarding or rewinding or for any kind of playback control. You need to speak it in Alexa or you need to pick your remote and do it yourself.

All of this happens on top of Alexa’s general misinterpretation and phobility. Asking questions outside of basic trivia can often lead to the dreaded response of “I still don’t know how to help with this” and sometimes a complete response to the quest.

It’s not that Amazon’s competitors – Google Assistant and Siri – don’t have these issues, but they feel more obvious here than on any other platform.

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Final verdict

The Fire TV Cube is by far our favorite Amazon streaming device – in many ways better than Amazon Fire TV dongles released in 2017 that controls for video playback, but can also lift all the heavy control of your home entertainment setup.

Add in the simple-but-brilliant visual cues that Alexa has added to Amazon’s basic skill set, and you have a very strong competitor to the best streaming video player.

Where Amazon Fire TV Cube has been concerned with is the lack of the latest streaming technology – yes it does have Dolby Atmos, but you won’t find Dolby Vision as part of the package. Alexa, all of its power still fails at the most important moment of the moment, the minute you feel comfortable with an all-voice controlled future, you have to go back to the remote.

If you see minor fantasies, the Amazon Fire TV Cube is a smart, visually-efficient streaming video player that can one day replace a remote … and Roku as well. Until that day comes, you’ll only want to have both.

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