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Amazon Fire TV Cube Review: Is It Worth It?

Wondering if the Amazon Fire TV Cube is the right streaming device for you? Read on to find out more.

Hedy Phillips
Amazon Fire TV Cube

Amazon

Pros Cons
  • Supports 4K Ultra HD viewing
  • Compatible with all major streaming services
  • Voice control functionality
  • Bulky design
  • HDMI cable not included
  • Voice control can be hit or miss
  • What is Amazon Fire TV Cube?

    From streaming sticks to cubes to smart TVs, the Amazon Fire TV range is one of the most popular families of streaming devices. Although they offer much of the same functionality, there are some key differences in terms of shape and size, storage size, and capabilities.

    Specifically, the Amazon Fire TV Cube has 16GB of storage, which is more than you'll get with Amazon's more affordable streaming devices, like the Fire TV Stick or the Fire TV Stick 4K. It also supports 4K Ultra HD viewing and offers hands-free voice control functionality, which you can use to flip through channels, activate your lights, check the weather, and more. As you might expect, it's sold at a higher price point than the streaming sticks -- but it also provides an elevated experience that you wouldn't get with a cheaper device.

    Amazon Fire TV Cube Pricing

    The list price of a new Amazon Fire TV Cube from Amazon is $120. However, the company often runs sales on these devices (including on Amazon Prime Day, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday), which can take the price down by about $70 or so. You can also save some money by purchasing a refurbished model, which sells for around $60 on Amazon.

    Outside of Amazon, the Fire TV Cube is also sold by several other retailers, including Best Buy, Kohl's, Target, and Verizon. No matter where you buy it, the device will have the $120 list price, but retailers often choose to sell it at a discount.

    Amazon Fire TV Cube Features

    Setup

    You don't need any technical expertise or tools to set up your Amazon Fire TV Cube. However, it's important to note that the device doesn't come with an HDMI cable -- so you'll need to buy one separately if you don't already own one.

    To set it up, all you need to do is plug the Cube into a wall outlet (using the included power adapter) and your TV (with your HDMI cable). According to Amazon, you should position the device about one to two feet away from your TV's speakers. For most people, this means that the Fire TV Cube will be visible, so it's likely not the best option if you prefer a more discreet setup.

    Then, you'll need to tune your TV to the correct input (based on whichever HDMI port you're using) and follow the prompts to connect your home internet to your Cube. Once you've done that, you can sign into your streaming accounts (Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Hulu, etc.) and start watching your favorite programs.

    Design

    As we've mentioned, the Amazon Fire TV Cube isn't as sleek as some of the other streaming devices. Whereas Amazon Fire TV Sticks (and similar devices) hide behind your TV, the Fire TV Cube is more on display. 

    In terms of specific design features, the Cube has several ports, including Micro USB, Infrared, HDMI, and Power. On the top of the device, you'll find buttons for volume control and Alexa – much like you'd see on an Amazon Echo.

    Remote

    Your Cube also comes with a Fire TV remote, which requires two AAA batteries (included in the box). Alternatively, you can also control your TV with the Fire TV remote app or your voice (more on that later). 

    At the top of the remote, you'll find a power button and a voice control button. When you press the Alexa voice button, it will activate the voice command functionality, and you can start speaking to turn on your favorite channel, switch apps, or discover new titles.

    Further down, you'll find the navigation keys and the select button, followed by a back button, home button that takes you to the Amazon Fire TV main menu, and a menu key. Underneath that, there are fast forward, play/pause, and rewind buttons. The next row contains a guide button, volume control, and a mute button. At the very bottom, there are four preset app buttons, which you can use to quickly access popular apps like Prime Video and Netflix.

    Voice Control

    Since Alexa is such a major part of the Amazon brand, it won't surprise you that the Amazon Fire TV Cube is voice-enabled. There's far-field and near-field voice support, meaning that the Cube should be able to pick up your voice from all across your viewing area.

    The device has a built-in speaker, which you can use to control devices and perform specific commands. To use this functionality, you'll first need to set it up in Fire TV device settings. After that, you can use your "wakeup word" (many times, this is just "Alexa," unless you change it to something else) to play music, find programs, and control other Alexa-enabled devices in your home. By the way: your TV doesn't need to be on to use this functionality.

    Streaming Quality

    With the Amazon Fire TV Cube, you can view up to 4K Ultra HD. It offers HDR, HDR 10, HDR 10+, HLG, and Dolby Vision. You'll just need a high-definition HDMI cable and TV that supports HD viewing.

    Titles

    The streaming options are plentiful with the Amazon Fire TV Cube. In fact, the device offers more than one million TV episodes and movies.

    As you'd expect, you'll be able to use all of the most popular streaming services, like Prime Video, Apple TV+, Disney+, Hulu, and Netflix, as well as live TV streaming platforms like fuboTV, Philo, Sling TV, and YouTube TV. 

    Plus, there are premium streamers like HBO Max, Showtime, and Starz; sports apps such as ESPN+ and Fox Sports; and free apps like Crackle, IMDb TV, and Pluto TV. It's also compatible with other paid services like Discovery+ and Paramount+.

    In addition to viewing TV shows and movies, you can also listen to music and play games with your Amazon Fire TV Cube. If you're a music lover, you can enjoy your favorite tunes through Amazon Music, Apple Music, iHeartRadio, Pandora, and Spotify (if you subscribe to these services). There are some games available as well, but it's worth mentioning that the Cube isn't the best option for serious gamers. It's for casual gamers only.

    Amazon Fire TV Cube Compared

    Amazon Fire TV Cube vs. Roku Ultra

    In terms of features and functionality, the Amazon Fire TV Cube is most comparable to the Roku Ultra. Both products are external 4K HD devices that plug into your TV -- but the Roku Ultra is more compact and easier to tuck away. Like the Cube, the Roku device is also voice-enabled -- but it also works with Google Assistant and Siri, as well as Alexa.

    The Roku Ultra also has a private listening feature, which the Cube doesn't offer. With it, you can plug your headphones into your Roku remote and hear your TV audio so you don't disturb your family members or roommates. Plus, the Roku remote is rechargeable and has a lost remote finder, which lets you push a button on the Roku device to sound a noise on your remote.

    When it comes to titles, the TV and movie options on Roku Ultra are very similar to the Amazon Fire TV Cube. However, the Roku's list price is lower than the Cube's ($100 compared to $120). Interested in learning more? Check out our head-to-head review of Amazon Fire, Roku, and Chromecast.

    Amazon Fire TV Cube vs. Apple TV 4K

    Apple also has a product that competes against the Fire TV Cube: the Apple TV 4K. Like the Cube, it supports 4K HD viewing and comes with a voice-enabled remote (although it's compatible with Siri rather than Alexa).

    With that said, the Apple TV 4K has Apple Fitness+, a standout feature that you won't find on the Amazon device. It allows you to choose from a library of video workouts and follow along on your TV. Also, the Apple product has better gaming options than the Fire TV Cube, while it also lets you control your streaming device with your Apple iPhone, and allows you to listen through your Apple AirPods.

    Otherwise, the Amazon and Apple devices are fairly similar -- especially in terms of titles and supported streaming services. The Apple TV 4K starts at $180 when purchased directly from Apple, but ironically, you can usually find it cheaper at Amazon.

    Our Final Take

    If you're shopping for a solid streaming device with high-quality viewing and voice control, the Amazon Fire TV Cube could be a great option. It's also a worthwhile pick if you have other smart devices and want to link them together. Just be aware that it's priced higher than other devices within the Amazon Fire TV family, but if you can wait until Prime Day or another Amazon sale like Black Friday or Cyber Monday, you could get it at a competitive price.

    (Disclosure: Links to retailers may earn money to support our work.)