Amazon Fire TV Cube was officially announced on June 7, 2018, months after some early leaks, and after a few weeks of teasing. Its initial retail price is $118, and it ships June 21.
And, largely, we got what was expected.
The cube-shaped Amazon Fire TV is sort of a mash-up of an Amazon Echo Dot, and the third-generation Amazon Fire TV dongle. The Cube has pretty much the same internal hardware as the dongle. Same processor, same GPU, same basic specs. But this one is meant to be out in the open and not tucked behind a TV, because it's also got a built-in speaker and microphones and the buttons you'd traditionally find on an Amazon Echo Dot.
Previous Fire TV devices had access to Amazon Alexa, of course. You'd just speak into the voice remote, and Alexa would do the thing. What really makes this one interesting is that it's got full CEC control, and works without the TV having to be turned on. And that means you basically can control anything that's physically connected to your Fire TV Cube. Want to turn on, say, an Xbox instead of the Fire TV? Just tell Alexa. Want to change to some other input for some other reason? Go for it. The Fire TV Cube will be able to control more than ever before because of that physical connection — the other devices don't even have to be connected to the internet.
And, in fact, you don't even have to be able to see the other devices. The Fire TV Cube ships with an infrared extender that lets you control other devices that are tucked away inside an entertainment cabinet. That's slick.
Amazon Fire TV Cube specs
We tend not to obsess too much when it comes to specs of streaming hardware, but that doesn't mean they're not worth taking a look at. Here's how the Amazon Fire TV Cube specs stack up against the other Fire TV devices in Amazon's lineup.
|Category||Fire TV Cube||Fire TV Stick 4K|
|Max resolution||2160p (4K)||2160p (4K)|
|Operating system||Fire OS 6 (Android 7.1)||Fire OS 6 (Android 7.1)|
|Bluetooth||BT 4.2||BT 5.0|
|Ethernet||Adapter included||Optional adapter|
|Amazon Alexa||Built in||Via voice remote|
Fire TV Cube in pictures
Fire TV Cube teases and early leaks
In late April 2018 Amazon put up a landing page asking "What is Fire TV Cube." We pretty much had the answer by that point, of course, thanks to some early leaks — one of which came from Amazon itself.
The user manual for Amazon's own microUSB Ethernet Adapter referenced the Fire TV Cube and contained a rough schematic of the back of the box. That gave us a pretty good idea of what to expect — including the IR extender.
But the Fire TV Cube dates back to even before that — AFTVNews leaked its existence way back in September 2017. So Amazon's been sitting on (and or working on) this thing for months before it was actually set forth into the world.
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