Amazon has announced the all-new 3rd-gen Fire TV Cube with huge improvements to performance, connectivity, and port selection. Being the shape of a cube and having hands-free voice capabilities like an Echo Dot is about the only thing similar between the new and previous Fire TV Cube, as numerous other aspects have changed including the addition of built-in Ethernet, WiFi 6E, HDMI-in, and more.
The new Fire TV Cube loses the glossy black exterior of the previous generation in exchange for a black fabric wrap that resembles what you find on Echo speakers, which makes sense considering the Fire TV Cube still has a built-in speaker for Alexa communication while the TV is off. On top are still the familiar volume buttons for said speaker, a microphone mute button, and an action button for summoning Alexa manually. Around back is where things have changed drastically. Gone is the micro USB port of the old Fire TV Cube, which accepted the included Ethernet dongle, and in its place is finally a built-in Ethernet port and a full-sized USB-A port. Unfortunately, the Ethernet port is still just a 10/100 Mbps port, so there is no gigabit capabilities, and the USB port is still just a USB 2.0 port. As you’d expect, there is still a power port, HDMI out port, and IR extender port. The unexpected addition is a new HDMI in port for connecting other video sources to the Fire TV Cube, such as a cable box for better hands-free control of live TV.
Of course, the new Fire TV Cube is capable of 4K UHD video at 60 fps and supports all the best high dynamic range formats, including Dolby Vision, HDR10+, HDR10, and HLG. New with this model is support for AV1 video decoding which is quickly gaining in popularity over H.265 video thanks to a strong push from Google and YouTube. Powering the new streamer is an Amlogic POP1-G octa-core CPU with 4x 2.2 GHz CA73 cores and 4x 2.0 GHz CA53 cores, along with an ARM G52 MP8 800 MHz GPU. All together Amazon says the new Fire TV Cube is 20% more powerful than the outgoing model and 2 times as powerful as the Fire TV Stick 4K Max. As well as just making apps launch faster and the experience of using the device smoother, the additional power is said to facilitate what Amazon is calling Super Resolution Upscaling, which Amazon says will make HD video look better on 4K screens with “better detail, contrast, and clarity.” Supported audio formats include Dolby Atmos, Dolby Digital Plus, and HDMI passthrough for other formats.
The Fire TV Cube continues to have 2GB of RAM and remains the only Fire TV model with 16GB of internal storage. What has been upgraded, however, is its WiFi capabilities with the addition of WiFi 6E, which is a step up from even the Fire TV Stick 4K Max’s included WiFi 6. Of course, the new Cube is still compatible with the usual 802.11ac and older WiFi 5 routers.
Included with the new Fire TV Cube is the same remote that comes with Fire TV Smart TVs, which is a first for a stand-alone Fire TV device. Compared to the 3rd-gen Alexa Voice Remote that the other Fire TV devices come with, the remote included with the Fire TV Cube 3 gains channel up/down buttons, as well as dedicated buttons for settings and recent apps. Amazon has also announced a new Alexa Voice Remote Pro being sold separately, which I’ll cover separately in another article. The Cube still has an array of 4 microphones for hands-free control if you don’t want to use a remote at all. The Cube continues to have built-in 360-degree IR blasters for controlling TV and soundbar power, volume, and input. There is still an IR extender port on the back, for when the built-in blasters can’t see a device or you put the Cube in a cabinet, but the external IR Blaster itself is no longer included and sold separately for $14.99.
The all-new Fire TV Cube is available to pre-order now for $139.99 and will be released on October 25th.
Pricing & Availability:
- US: Fire TV Cube 3 – $139.99
- US: Fire TV Cube 3 w/ Alexa Voice Remote Pro – $174.98
- UK: Fire TV Cube 3 – £139.99
- Germany & Austria: Fire TV Cube 3 – €159.99
- Canada: Fire TV Cube 3 – $189.99
- Canada: Fire TV Cube 3 w/ Alexa Voice Remote Pro – $234.98
- India: Fire TV Cube 3 – ₹13,999.00
- Italy: Fire TV Cube 3 – €159.99
- France: Fire TV Cube 3 – €159.99
- Spain: Fire TV Cube 3 – €159.99
- Japan: Fire TV Cube 3 – ¥19,980
- Australia: Fire TV Cube 3
Update: This article originally incorrectly stated that the included remote was the same as other stand-alone Fire TV models. It has now been corrected to state that the included remote is the same one that comes with Fire TV Smart TVs.