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Amazon’s 2nd Gen Fire TV Cube is a great buy — if you don’t have the original

Price $ 119.99 ProductAmazon Fire TV Cube (2019) by Amazon
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Amazon beefed up its Fire TV Cube with a few new accouterments upgrades, auspicious it for the 2019 market. It’s assuredly better — but the changes are so incremental that if you have the original, it might not be worth your money to upgrade.

Everything Tristan said about the original Fire Cube in his review still holds true — it’s a fantastic device, decidedly if you don’t already have a smart abettor and want one that can do basically everything. Alexa connects to cable, music, and alive platforms and the ability to accompanying bark basic demands about the weather  be served a affluence of ball options is just too good.

Playing with the new Cube is delightful. I spent conceivably longer than I should have moving around my house, trying to see how far I could get away before Alexa wouldn’t be able to hear me (spoiler alert: pretty darned far). It can acknowledge to some pretty circuitous commands, though I still had to use its congenital volume buttons manually to get her to lower its damned voice.

One notable thing it lacked? An HDMI cable — can’t fathom why Amazon felt that wasn’t important enough to accommodate with a $120 device.

Credit: Amazon

Here’s the thing: it’s a great device that does just about aggregate you could want from a TV smart speaker/device, YET it makes actually no sense to buy one if you have the aboriginal Fire Cube. There’s a reason I linked to my colleague’s review of the antecedent device and didn’t bother to catalog the device’s perks: I’d basically be bombastic aggregate he said. The only aberration appears to be upgraded HDR and a more able hexacore processor.

But still, that processor — I didn’t have an aboriginal Fire Cube on hand with which to analyze absolute speeds, but it was . There was around no pause amid what I asked and the adapted app loading up. I could ask Alexa article pretty complex, like “Play Lizzo’s Truth Hurts on YouTube” and it loaded the video almost before I’d completed my sentence.

Regrettably, it’s no more of a looker than its older brother — it’s still a characterless black box. Considering it was sitting on a shelf with all of my more bright handhelds, it looked decidedly squat and unsightly. That’s a almost petty complaint in the grand scheme, but these things are important.

Alexa is about a decent voice assistant, but I did notice it got abashed every so often. I asked Alexa to pause a loud YouTube video, which it did. I then gave it addition command, which it couldn’t follow. Then, for some reason, it just started arena the paused YouTube video again.

Another botheration on my end is that, unlike my colleagues, I don’t own a deluge of smart home devices. And if you don’t, the Fire TV Cube doesn’t have appearance that differentiate itself from alive sticks or dongles. I can’t turn on my blu-ray players or game consoles, or even switch anon over to them — I have to bethink which input each one is hooked up to, and say, “Alexa, switch to HDMI 3? or article like that. Troublingly, admitting my TV having a basic input, Alexa wouldn’t admit a “Switch to component” command.

But that feels like a botheration with Alexa in general, not just the Cube. For what it’s meant to do, the Cube is an accomplished all-around smart device that offers adult ascendancy of your home theater. If you wanted both an Amazon Echo and a Fire TV stick, this makes a good aggregate of the two.

Still, if you already have the antecedent bearing Cube, you apparently don’t need to upgrade. Let’s hope the third bearing brings some more absorbing updates.

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Published November 29, 2019 — 16:16 UTC

Price $ 119.99 ProductAmazon Fire TV Cube (2019) by Amazon
Buy now

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