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Amazon Fire TV Cube (2022) review: The “Pro” Fire TV and Alexa experience

Before Amazon announced the Fire TV Cube (2022) at its Devices and Services event in September, I really thought the Fire TV Cube was dead. More than three years have passed since the announcement of the previous model. And since then, Amazon has introduced a handful of new Fire TV Sticks, including the Fire TV Stick 4K Max, which I thought was going to replace it. But I was wrong.

The new Fire TV Cube is a great streaming device and doesn’t really compete with many Roku devices or Google TV devices. But it competes with NVIDIA SHIELD TV and Apple TV, which are priced similarly. So how well does it stack up against these two streamers? Let’s find out in our full review.

Amazon Fire TV Cube (2022) Review: Setup

Like most of Amazon’s Fire TV products, setting up the Fire TV Cube is actually super easy. You will, of course, be asked to sign in to your Amazon account. You will then be guided through the process of setting up Alexa activation, downloading apps, and so on. The setup process can take a while, especially if your Fire TV Cube has had several updates since it was manufactured. But user input is pretty simple.

The setup process will also ask you to configure your TV and/or sound bar to be controlled using the Alexa Voice Remote (included with the Fire TV Cube). This shouldn’t require much work, at least not in my experience. And I’ve used it with several different UST projectors and TVs.

It’s nice to see that the setup process is still pretty simple, easy enough that even your parents or grandparents could do it.

Amazon Fire TV Cube (2022) Review: Hardware

As I mentioned at the top of this review, the design of the Fire TV Cube is much better this year. Even if it mostly looks the same. What’s new here? Well, the most important thing is that it is now wrapped in cloth. Taking that design choice from their Echo smart speakers. Why is this so important? Powder. Scratches. And really anything else that could happen to him. Previously, it was made of shiny plastic that quickly became ugly. Now many of us will probably put it in our entertainment system and never see it again. However, since Alexa is always on, you’ll want to be able to see, so you know Alexa is listening.

The design is still quite simple. At the top there are four buttons for turning the microphone on and off, as well as adjusting the volume. To be honest, I’ve never used any of these buttons. The Fire TV Cube was very good at not giving false positives to “Alexa”. Even when he’s sitting next to the TV and the commercial is saying the wake-up call. And since I’ve connected it to a projector and connected a Sonos Beam to it, the volume buttons aren’t very useful to me. But it’s good to see them there.

Now the back is where you will find your ports. It has power, of course, with an IR extender above it. On the right is a USB-A port and an Ethernet port. And on the left are two HDMI ports. There is an HDMI input and an HDMI output. Why is there an HDMI input and output port, you ask? Well, for cable boxes. If you haven’t cut the cord yet, you can connect your cable box to it and tell Alexa to switch to a specific channel on your Xfinity cable box. Which is really cool.

It also includes the latest Alexa Voice Remote (unfortunately not the Pro model). Which has buttons for almost everything. At the top is the power button, along with the Alexa button in blue below it. With D-Pad, back, home, menu, as well as play/pause, forward and back buttons. There are also buttons for volume and channels as well as settings. And finally, at the bottom are buttons for Prime Video, Netflix, Disney+, and Hulu. Some of the most popular streaming services.

The only real gripe I have with the design of the Fire TV Cube is the fact that it still attracts a lot of dust. But that’s natural and will happen to everything, unfortunately.

Amazon Fire TV Cube (2022) Review: Software

Amazon’s Fire TV software is pretty lightweight, so it doesn’t need a lot of hardware to run smoothly. This is also the case here. It’s very smooth and I haven’t had any lags or hiccups yet. Of course, this is due to the internal quad-core processor, with 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of memory. It’s great to have the storage, but I’d definitely like to see more on the Fire TV Cube. That’s still more than most streamers — Apple TV aside.

I’m really starting to like the Fire TV. I wasn’t a big fan of it before. But the interface is very good and easy to navigate. It’s also easy to find content to watch, whether it’s content on YouTube TV, new apps to download, or something that’s available on demand. Not to mention the fact that almost every app is available on Fire TV.

Alexa hands-free appears to be a “pro” version of Alexa and Fire TV. The fact that I can walk by the TV and just say “Alexa, play FOX on YouTube TV” while the TV is off, turn on the TV, open YouTube TV and change the channel to FOX is really impressive. Going to a specific channel does not work in 100% of cases. But it will open the correct application.

Since it’s Alexa, you can also ask about the weather, show feeds from your Ring cameras, and more. Now, if you don’t like constantly hearing “Alexa” or whatever wake word you’ve chosen, you can mute the microphone. For this, there is a button on the Fire TV Cube that will change the light to orange at any time. You’ll still be able to use the Alexa button on your remote to talk to Alexa.

Should I buy the Amazon Fire TV Cube (2022)?

You should. It’s one of the best TV streaming devices I’ve used in a long time. Many devices tend to fail because of the RAM and storage it has, but the Fire TV Cube has plenty of both.

You should buy the Amazon Fire TV Cube (2022) if:

You’ve already invested in the Amazon and/or Fire TV ecosystem. You want Alexa in your living room. You want a “professional” streaming experience.

You should not buy the Amazon Fire TV Cube (2022) if:

You prefer Google TV, Roku or another platform. You don’t want to spend more than $100 on a streaming device. You don’t want Alexa always listening (you’d be better off with a Fire TV Stick 4K Max which is much cheaper).

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