Customer Review

Reviewed in the United States on December 21, 2020
*UPGRADES from Generation 1 to Generation 2:

-added HDR10+ and Dolby Vision support
-added Bluetooth 5.0 support (Gen1 was 4.2)
-added Local Voice Control : locally processes some frequently used voice commands, executing them faster - ie "Alexa Go Home" etc.
-Fire OS
-CPU upgrade
-GPU upgrade

The CPU/GPU and Local Voice Control upgrades result in a pretty big difference in speed and responsiveness between Gen 1 and Gen 2. All actions are executed right away. This is the biggest noticeable difference between Gen 1 and Gen 2. HDR10+ and Dolby Vision support are nice to have if you own a TV that supports these HD formats. The BT5.0 should result in longer range for bluetooth connected devices. I find the difference in speed to be worth the cost of a Gen 2, but that is probably personal preference. To me, saving a second or two with every command, and having access to Vision and BT5.0 seemed worth it.
If you are upgrading from FireTV Stick 4K, you are getting a faster processor, 16GB storage over the Stick's 8GB, and all of the Echo functionality.


The Good:

-Setup is super easy. About 10 - 15 minutes of downloading updates, then up and running! There is a check box on the right side of this page here on Amazon that says "Link to my Amazon account to simplify setup." This is usually checked by default, so when you purchase this FireTV Cube it will transfer settings like saved Wifi passwords from other Echo devices in your house. This makes setup very fast and easy. (You can uncheck this option though if you are buying this as a gift for someone else.)
-FireTV Cube is great for controlling multiple devices. The ability to act as an IR blaster to control most TVs and soundbars; in addition to the regular Echo control of smart devices is very useful. Not having to use an additional remote for the TV is great.
-Some regular Echo interactions are much more useful when there is a visual component; like asking about the weather, or seeing song lyrics/album covers.
-I like the ability to use all of the newer Echo functions, like Drop-Ins/Calls, and multi room groups for music. These were not available initially on the Gen 1 FireTV Cube.

The Bad:

-Some apps have less voice control functionality than others. Navagation for Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime were all pretty great; but technically some other apps might not support all of the voice commands, and you might have to use the remote.
-No included HDMI cable. This is minor, but I feel like it could've been included.

Gen 2 is much faster than Gen 1, and has all the new Echo features. Get it if you want a much faster Cube, or Dolby Vision/BT5.0 support.

FAQ- from some of the questions on this page:

-Storage space: Specs say 16GB total. Around 3GB must be used for the OS, because my storage details indicated 12.98 GB internal storage.

-Controlling devices: The Cube has an IR blaster built in that acts a universal remote to send signals to most TVs and soundbars. You can also use the IR extender attachment if you need to to reach other devices not in line of sight of the Cube. Also in your Equipment Control settings, you can choose whether Mute, Volume Up/Down, and Power signals are sent from the Cube itself, or from the Cube's Alexa Remote.
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