The latest Cube comes with a lot of promise, an upgraded processor, a new HDMI port and offers complete autonomy over your entertainment so you literally don’t need to lift a finger. Just shout out to the little black box and everything starts on call. But is the massive price tag really worth the hands-free experience?
Amazon Fire TV Cube 2023 Review
You take my self control
Design + Setup
The glossy design is out and the new Cube comes with the same mesh finish you'd find on the recent Echo speakers. This is a slight issue because it does gather dust and it is annoying if you have pets because the mesh is a pet hair magnet. The physical buttons at the top are familiar and the Alexa LED strip that runs around the top edges looks neat.
Setting it up is as easy as ever and you need to plug in the HDMI wire (not included) to your telly or receiver for it to turn on via voice control. Amazon does a lot of hand holding when you have to connect other IR devices as well so it's not that complicated. When setting up the Cube, you will be prompted to specify your TV and begin the Alexa setup process. This will enable you to easily turn your TV on and off with a simple voice command such as "Alexa, turn the TV on/off". Additionally, you can utilize the assistant to open apps, locate particular content, respond to general inquiries, make phone calls, set timers, and even purchase items from Amazon.
Picture + Performance
The Fire UI layout feels well thought out and intuitive. Amazon hasn't been narcissistic with its recommendations and doesn't just pop up shows and series from Prime Video, but from other apps too. However, in the 'My Stuff' section it's only Prime Video shows that pop up. Netflix and other apps don't show up on this list at all. The Fire Cube's picture performance is decent, but not outstanding. While it manages to do the basics well enough, it appears to lack the effort required to add the subtle touches that can turn an image into a truly captivating and cinematic experience.
Watching Thor: Love And Thunder on Disney Plus in 4K Dolby Vision, there are some positives to the picture, such as sharp and clean skin and environmental textures with well-defined outlines. However, as Gorr enters the paradise oasis, issues with the Fire TV's color handling become apparent. The colors appear lackluster and muted, and the foliage lacks punch and vibrancy, resulting in a flat and unengaging image with mediocre contrast that is not much better than the cheaper Fire TV Stick 4K Max.
While the Fire Cube's picture performance may not be exceptional, there is a noticeable improvement in its motion handling. In the title scene of Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery on Netflix, the juddery motion of Lionel walking down the pier as a boat passes, which was observed on the Stick 4K Max, is not visible. Generally, the motion appears very smooth and stable, likely due to the more powerful components of the Cube.
Overall, the Fire Cube does not provide a convincing reason to justify spending twice the amount of a Fire TV Stick 4K Max unless your priority is the hands-off voice-controlled approach to your entertainment.
The FireTV Cube might be the fastest Fire TV experience and if the hands-off approach is priority it's well worth the money
|Processor:||Octa-core 4x 2.2GHz 4x 2.0GHz|
|Codec Support:||Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos, HDR|
|Input:||HDMI In 2.1, HDMI Out, IR Extender, Ethernet, USB Connectivity Wi-Fi 6 Ethernet Max|
|Resolution:||4K UHD @ 60Hz|