Fire TV Cube is the newest and best streaming box from Amazon
Amazon Fire TV Cube Review • £ 109.99
- advantages | Beautiful user interface, amazingly simple setup with your existing TV, Sky Q-box and soundbar
- disadvantage | Expensive, especially for those who already have an echo in the living room
Amazon Fire TV is a very interesting offering – it's a first-rate Fire TV video streaming system that delivers services like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Prime Video and Apple TV + to your Smart TV, but it's also an echo dot with All the usual features you would find in an Alexa-enabled smart speaker.
For some people this is absolutely perfect.
If you want to bring a variety of apps and games to your TV and you do not yet have an Amazon Echo or Echo Dot in your life, this is the perfect way to beat two flies with a cube-shaped flip.
However, if you already have a Fire TV stick connected to the back of your TV, or have an Echo Dot, or prefer a Google Home speaker in your lounge, this will work better with your connected home devices. It's probably better to buy the single component of the Fire TV cube you miss, either the Fire TV Stick 4K streaming stick for £ 49.99 or the Amazon Echo Dot for £ 49.99.
Of course there is a reason why you could still opt for the Fire TV Cube. That's because it's the most powerful, fastest, and feature-rich streaming set-top box from Amazon, powered by a hexa-core processor (compared to quad-core on the other Fire TV streaming devices) and 2 GB of RAM is powered (compared to 1.5GB in Fire TV 4K and 1GB in Fire TV Stick).
And you can feel it the moment You turn it on.
Alternatives to the Fire TV Cube …
With the Fire TV Cube, you can control every aspect of your smart home – it's not just a way to stream Netflix in your living room
Amazon Fire TV Cube Review: Software, Speed
Navigating Fire TV OS on the cube is an absolute joy. For our money, Amazon's set-top box interface is still one of the nicest on the market. She fills the screen and switches to a trailer when she bounces on a tile for a certain show or movie for more than a few seconds. None of this causes the Fire TV Cube to stutter or pause – no matter how fast you race through the UI.
Just like the more expensive Apple TV boxes, Amazon offers quick access to broadcasts and movies you've recently viewed – even if they're not available through your own Prime Video service.
So you can jump back to the latest episode of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt The next time you collapse on the sofa and activate the Fire TV Cube, tap the tile on the main page. You can also put together your own watchlist of shows and movies that you've noticed and that you want to watch someday. These can include a variety of services, including Netflix, BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, the rental of Amazon, or the Prime Video subscription service, just to name a few.
One of our favorite features in Fire TV OS is the ability to see a summary of all the actors in a particular scene, the episode or movie director, and the music that plays in the background or is used in the soundtrack by tapping on a single key. The audience can then play the song in its entirety or click to see more of the actors or the director.
Unfortunately, it is only available in select shows and movies from Amazon. So you can not get the soundtrack at the touch of a button when you look at something in the Netflix app. However, broadcasts to other services are suggested, such as when you get a director's filmography.
It is hoped that other supported video-on-demand services will adopt the technology in the future, so there will be better coherence between the different Fire TV OS apps.
So, send Fire TV OS tricks and gorgeous graphics, what's it like to watch something on the cube? Damn good, as it turns out.
The cuboid design of the set-top box can affect the picture on the screen if your HDTV has very small frames
Amazon Fire TV Cube review: Image quality
Amazon's second-generation Fire TV Cube supports 4K Ultra HD at up to 60 frames per second. Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos – the HDR standard for deeper blacks and vivid colors as well as the (other) industry standard HDR10 +. Movies and TV shows that support the latest technologies are absolutely stunning on the Fire TV Cube. If you've used the built-in app included with your Smart TV for any of these video services, you'll be surprised how phenomenal these can actually look on a world-class streaming box.
All this means that you are future-proof with the Fire TV Cube. Therefore, it should continue to provide the best viewing experience as more and more services support Dolby Vision and upgrade their shows to 4K Ultra. Aside from switching to an 8K TV, Amazon's cuboid set-top box should be able to keep up with upgrading your TV in the years to come.
After all, the added growl in the Fire TV Cube compared to the other Fire TV products in Amazon's portfolio also means that your voice commands can be processed on the device. This means your commands will be processed to the talkative AI assistant Alexa in the cube itself. You do not have to wait for your broadband to transfer them to servers in the US before receiving your response.
And when you use these voice commands, the Fire TV cube really lights up.
Of course, Amazon has sold its Fire TV products with an Alexa Voice Control remote control that lets you press and hold a button to search for shows and actors. This will save you the frustration of having to slow down typing Arnold Schwarzenegger on the keyboard. On-screen keyboard with the small directional keypad. However, the Fire TV Cube is the first to offer hands-free voice control. And it is transformative.
Fire TV Cube comes with a remote control (something you will not get with the Chromecast) and an IR extender so you can hide the box
Amazon Fire TV cube test: Alexa and voice control
With the Fire TV Cube you can say "Alexa, pause" to apply the brake without ripping the sofa to find the remote.
To start with, this works for all content from Amazon, as well as for Netflix, YouTube and My5 with ITV Hub, All 4 and Hayu, which will follow in the coming months. Unfortunately, Auntie has no word on when to control BBC iPlayer shows without clicking on the remote control, as it did in the '90s.
As you might expect, you can perform all the usual searches for actors, directors and genres. However, since Alexa knows what's on the screen, after a search, you can also use your voice to ask if you want to see more, select a particular show, add it to your watchlist, or play episode three, for example.
And these incredibly handy voice controls are not just for the shows and movies on your TV, but for your TV as well.
With Fie TV Cube, Alexa lets you switch between HDMI connections, mute the sound, and switch to a channel on your Sky TV box, PlayStation, or other device connected to the device. We connected the Fire TV Cube to a TV with a connected Sonos Beam. The pairing was by far the most seamless setup process we've ever seen on a TV. Like Apple AirPods levels of smoothness.
The Fire TV Cube asks what kind of soundbar you are using, and then plays a little tune. The screen will ask if you can hear the audio. If you answer yes, the audio will be paused and you will be prompted again to confirm that it is now stopped. And that's it. With two chimes you can now control the volume with Alexa and mute all audio data from your soundbar.
In addition, Alexa can do all the usual things you're used to doing in the Fire TV Cube, including controlling the house's intelligent lighting, ordering taxis and take-aways, and answering questions. & # 39; have informed about the latest headlines or weather updates. You can also request music from your Amazon Music, Apple Music or Spotify library. Local and national radio stations via TuneIn are also supported.
Amazon Fire TV Cube Review: Final Judgment
If you're looking for the most complete Fire TV experience available, the Fire TV Cube is just the ticket. Hands-free control is brilliant and asks your AI assistant to switch between HDMI ports, adjust the volume and dim the flash before deciding on a movie night that feels truly futuristic.
But for 109.99 euros, the latest and best from Amazon is certainly not cheap. Those who already have an Alexa device in the living room and are just looking for a way to watch Ultra HD broadcasts on their shiny new flat screen may be better suited for the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K (£ 49.99) certainly a black will get Friday discount in the coming weeks. If you are a little worried, what the barking of "Alexa, play Fifty shades of gray"From the comfy sofa, you may also want to choose the more traditional options for remote control.
For those who need an Echo Dot or Alexa gadget of similar size and a powerful set-top box to stream content in Ultra HD with Dolby Vision and Atmos support, Amazon has come up with the perfect device. This may not be the largest group of people (for this entry-level Fire TV Stick with 1080p resolution and a price of £ 39.99), but for those who meet the above criteria, there is no better solution than the Amazon Fire TV Cube.
Well, if you want to excuse us, we will finish our box set. "Alexa, play The young and turn up the volume to 11 "