A New Generation
The Cube is the latest addition to Amazon’s Fire TV lineup, mashing together features of the Firestick and Echo in one device. This sleek internet TV box distinguishes itself by allowing you to control your entire entertainment system by voice using Alexa, Amazon’s digital assistant.
Amazon is clearly looking ahead to home entertainment centers relying more and more on voice controls, and are banking on customers wanting more of these options. Time will tell if trends continue this way.
The Cube offers all the functionality of the Firestick and Fire TV, so you can stream all your favorite shows, movies, sports, etc, straight to your TV on Netflix, HBO, etc.. as well as popular software such as Kodi.
It offers excellent 4k and HD quality video, quick speeds thanks to it’s powerful quadcore processors. It also boasts user friendly design and sleek interface, all features we have come to expect from Amazon Fire TV products.
One crucial aspect is the multiple inputs that allow you to sync everything in your entertainment center to the Cube, and access all your home devices from one central device.
The main thing that separates this product, however, is the aforementioned voice control option. Although it includes a remote, the main draw of this box is that you can use this device to operate your TV/DVD/game system completely hands-free.
Amazon clearly intends this unit to be the central hub of your entertainment center. The Cube features a microphone array that is designed to pick out your voice over other noise (such as when your TV is on), allowing Alexa to respond to your commands.
In practice, this yields mixed results. It is nice to activate your TV from across the room without having to fumble for a remote, and Alexa is usually pretty good about finding whatever content you are looking for.
However, it often takes more than one attempt to get it to respond, and sometimes it mishears the speaker, selecting the wrong option. Also, Alexa tends to be a bit laggy, sometimes taking a bit too long to respond, or requiring you to speak slower than normal to get a response.
Depending on the user, this may prove too frustrating, and they may find themselves switching to the old remote instead. Others may not mind the occasional frustrations if it allows them to operate hands-free.
In short, The Amazon Fire TV Cube is a great option for those looking for a reasonably powerful streaming box with voice-control technology. If you are lukewarm on the Alexa option, you may prefer to go with a simpler option, such as the Amazon Firestick or Fire TV.