Amazon had one of their most significant launches in years at IFA, not only have they launched a new vs New Fire TV Cube but announced the integration of Amazon Fire TV with several TV brands and the Anker Nebula Soundbar.

The UK never got the original Fire TV Cube, but the new one is now up for pre-order on Amazon for £109.99 with a launch date of October 10, 2019.

Even though I ordered the new Fire TV cube immediately, I was curious to find out if it is worth more than double the price of the Amazon Fire TV 4K HDR from last year.

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New Fire TV Cube 4K Ultra Specification Overview:

  • Fire TV Cube is the fastest, most powerful Fire TV ever, delivering a fast, fluid experience for your favourite films and TV programmes.
  • From across the room, just ask Alexa to turn on the TV, dim compatible lights and play what you want to watch.
  • Control your compatible soundbar and A/V receiver; change satellite channels with your voice.
  • With the built-in speaker, ask Alexa to check the weather, turn off compatible lights and more – even when the TV is off.
  • With an ultra-powerful hexa-core processor, Fire TV Cube delivers instant access to 4K ultra HD content, plus support for Dolby Vision and HDR, HDR10+ and Dolby Atmos.
  • Watch favourites from Netflix, Prime Video, YouTube, ITV Hub, All 4, Curzon and more. Subscriptions may be required.
  • Fire TV Cube is designed to protect your privacy. To electronically disconnect the microphones, press the Microphone On/Off button.
  • With a Prime subscription, watch thousands of films and TV programmes including ‘Good Omens' and ‘Hanna'.
  • Use the included Alexa Voice Remote to control your TV without making a sound.

New Fire TV Cube 4K vs last year’s Amazon Fire TV 4K HDR

There have been some sizeable improvements compared to the stick of previous year, I am not 100% sure it deserves double the price, but the new Fire TV Cube will no doubt continue the tradition of being the best streaming device on the market.

The obvious change is the design, gone is the stick, now we have a cube. This is to accommodate a built-in 40mm speaker (1.6-inch) – this effectively gives you a second-generation Echo Dot built into your Fire TV. So, in this regard, the price isn’t that bad, an Echo Dot will set you back £50 as will last year’s Fire TV.

The inclusion of the speaker and microphones allows you to control everything via voice, as well as get feedback from Alexa even when your main TV and speakers are off.

CPU

There has been a hefty bump in performance too. All previous generations used a quad-core CPU, with the last years Fire TV stick using a 4x ARM Cortex-A53 @1.7GHz CPU.

This year moves to hex-core, and you get 4 x Arm Coretex A73 – 2.2 GHz and 2 x Arm Coretex A53 – 1.9 GHz.

Amazon claim this is twice as powerful as the Amlogic S905Z 4x ARM Cortex-A53 shipped with the US only first-gen Amazon Cube. From my research this is probably correct, the A73 is claimed to offer 90% greater performance across a single core than the A53.

GPU

A GPU comparison is a little harder, but the Mali-G52 MP6 GPU is the same graphics you will find in the recently launched HiSilicon Kirin 810 and it should offer significantly better performance than the PowerVR IMG GE8300 for last years Fire TV 4K or the Mali 450 in the original Fire TV Cube.

Both memory and storage have improved, last years model only had 1.5GB of RAM while this year you get 2GB. Storage has been doubled to 16GB.

Still no ethernet

Sadly, the biggest let down for the Cube, is the lack of Ethernet. Amazon does bundle an ethernet adaptor with it, but this is limited to 10/100mbps. So if you want to play any 4K content that is stored locally, you are probably going to want to use Wi-Fi.

Overall, for more than double the price, it is a tough pill to swallow, but you do get a lot more for your money

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A comparison of all the current Fire TV models available, including US only Fire Cube

 Fire TV Stick 3rd Gen /
Fire TV Stick Lite
Fire TV Stick
2nd Gen
Fire TV Stick 4K Fire TV Cube
Year Launched20202016
Updated 2019 with new remote
20182019
Price£29.99 (Lite)
£39.99 (3rd Gen )
£39.99£49.99£109.99
ResolutionUp to 1920 x 1080 (1080p) - 60Hz720p and 1080p up to 60fps2160p, 1080p and 720p up to 60 fps2160p, 1080p and 720p up to 60 fps
HDRHDR10+, HLGNoneDolby Vision, HDR 10, HDR10+, HLGDolby Vision, HDR 10, HDR10+, HLG
Video CodecsH.265 (HEVC). Hardware-accelerated up to 1080p @ 60fps, 20 Mbps, Main 10 Profile Level 4.1, Color space 8-bit and 10-bit input with HDR10, HDR10+, and HLG.

H.264. Hardware-accelerated up to 1080p @ 60fps, High Profile up to Level 4.

VP8. Supported up to 1080p 30fps. Baseline profile, non-secure

VP9. Hardware accelerated up to 1080p @ 60fps, Profile 2 up to 20 Mbps
H.265 (HEVC). Hardware accelerated up to 1080p @ 30fps, 25 Mbps, Main Profile Level 4.0, Color space 8-bit support

H.264. Hardware accelerated up to 1080p @ 30fps or 720p @ 60fps, 20 Mbps, High Profile up to Level 4

VP8 & VP9 is not listed
Dolby Vision. Dolby Vision support for Profile 4-MEL, 5, 8, 9. (Up to Level 9 for profiles 5 and 8. Up to Level 5 for Profile 9.)

H.265 (HEVC). Hardware accelerated up to 3840x2160p (4K) @ 60fps, 35 Mbps, Main 10 Profile Level 5.1, Color space 8-bit and 10-bit input with HDR10, HDR10+, and HLG.

H.264. Hardware accelerated up to 3840x2160p (4K) @ 30fps, 1080p @ 60fps, or 720p @ 60fps, 20 Mbps, High Profile up to Level 4.

VP8. Supported up to 1080p 30fps. Baseline profile, non-secure

VP9. Hardware accelerated up to 1080p @ 60fps, Profile 2 up to 20 Mbps
H.265 (HEVC). Hardware accelerated up to 2160p (4K) @ 60fps Main Profile Level 5.1

H.264. Hardware accelerated up to 2160p @ 30fps or 1080p @ 60fps, 20 Mbps, High Profile up to Level 4

VP8

VP9. Hardware accelerated up to 2160p @ 60fps (with limitations)
AudioDolby Atmos, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital+ surround sound (not on Lite model)

HDMI Audio pass-through for Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital+ and Dolby Atmos.
Dolby Audio, 5.1 surround sound
2ch stereo, and HDMI audio pass-through up to 7.1
Dolby Atmos, 7.1 surround sound
2ch stereo and HDMI audio pass through up to 5.1.
Dolby Atmos, 7.1 surround sound
2ch stereo and HDMI audio pass through up to 5.1.
SpeakerNoNoNoBuilt-in 1.6'' (40 mm) speaker
Voice ControlYesYes, with Alexa Voice Remote or paired EchoYes, with the Alexa Voice Remote or paired echoFar-field and near-field voice support
ProcessorMediaTek MT8695D
Quad Core
4x ARM Cortex-A53 @1.7GHz
32-bit
MediaTek MT8127D
4x ARM Cortex-A7 @ 1.3 GHz
MediaTek MT8695D
4x ARM Cortex-A53 @1.7GHz
Amlogic S922X
Hex-core
4 x Arm Coretex A73 - 2.2 GHz
2 x Arm Coretex A53 - 1.9 GHz
GPUIMG GE8300Mali 450 MP4PowerVR IMG GE8300 Mali G52-MP6, 800 MHz
Storage8GB8GB8GB16GB
Memory1GB, DDR41GB1.5GB2GB
Wi-Fi802.11ac dual-band MIMO Wi-Fi - dual-antenna802.11ac dual-band MIMO Wi-Fi802.11ac dual-band MIMO Wi-Fi802.11ac dual-band MIMO Wi-Fi - dual-antenna
Ethernet No - Ethernet adaptopr limited to 10/100No - Ethernet adaptopr limited to 10/100No - Ethernet adaptopr limited to 10/100
PortsHDMI, Power, Micro USB, Wired Infrared supportHDMI output, micro-USB for power only.HDMI output, micro-USB for power only.HDMI, power, micro-USB, wired infrared support
BluetoothBluetooth 5.0Bluetooth 4.1BT 4.2 and BLEBluetooth 5.0 + LE.