- Amazon’s newest entry in its media streaming line is the Fire TV Cube: a smart speaker, media streamer, and universal remote combo.
- The device does not have all the abilities of an Echo Dot, but has most of them.
- It’s available for $120, or for $90 for Prime Members who buy in the next two days.
Last Fall, we heard rumors of a cube-shaped set-top box coming soon from Amazon. Well, the Fire TV Cube – a natural title since it is a cube – just landed at Amazon.com for $120 (or $90 today and tomorrow for Amazon Prime members).
The Fire TV Cube joins Amazon’s other media streaming products like the Fire TV and Fire TV Stick. The Fire TV Cube stands out from the rest of the pack by offering a lot of the capabilities in the Amazon Echo smart speaker line as well as some features from Harmony universal remotes.
It’s clear that Amazon wants the Fire TV Cube to be a catch-all device for your living room theatre experience. You can talk to the cube like an Echo Dot to perform virtual assistant functions; you can turn on or off your home theatre systems using the built-in IR blasters; and you can ask Alexa to play media without ever having to touch a remote control.
However, each one of those features comes with limitations, making the Cube a bit of a confusing product.
For example, although the Cube can do most of the things a traditional Echo speaker can, it can’t do everything. For instance, it has no messaging capabilities, so you can’t ask the Cube to send a text like you can with an Echo Dot.
Another limitation is that the Cube only works with certain cable boxes. Granted, Amazon claims that it works with “over 90 percent” of cable offerings, but that leaves a whole lot of boxes out there that won’t work with the Cube.
Finally, although Amazon pushes hard right on the Cube box art that you can use the Cube without a remote – using voice commands instead – it’s clear that you will still need a remote. The Cube even still comes with a remote, so it’s not quite clear how much easier this Cube is going to make things.
There’s also the question of superfluous systems. Since the Cube has an Echo Dot and Fire TV system built-in, do you really need this if you already have a Fire TV and Echo Dot? Paired together, the two separate products do pretty much everything this unit does, aside from the IR blaster features.
Regardless, this is a great product for people who don’t yet have any smart home systems and are looking to get started. It will be more cost-effective for them to buy this Cube than it would be to buy a bunch of separate peripherals.
Click the button below to order your Fire TV Cube.