In this post, I’ll compare the similarities and differences between the All-New Fire TV Cube 2nd Generation vs 1st Generation Cube.
But what has really changed in going from Gen 1 to Gen 2? First, key Alexa TV commands are processed on the Cube instead of requiring a trip out to the Cloud, leading to faster response time. Second, is improved hardware including a faster Amlogic S922z Quad-Core processor (up to 2.2GHz) and a better graphics processor (GPU). Finally, the latest 4K Ultra HD standards are also supported, including HDR Dolby Vision, HDR10+, and HLG.
In the rest of this post, I’ll explain how these hardware enhancements relate to a better overall user experience.
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This Cube Is on FireIf you aren’t familiar with Amazon Fire TV Cube, it is essentially a marriage between Amazon’s Fire TV streaming media platform and Amazon Echo/ Alexa.
The biggest benefit of the Amazon Fire TV Cube is that you can use it to control your TV hands-free (i.e., no remote control required). Instead, you issue commands like “Turn on the TV” and “Tune to Netflix” to Alexa instead. You also get a ton of content available through Prime and other services. And you can also use the Cube like you would any other Echo device to get news, weather, sports, play music and more.
However, it does make an excellent voice control substitute for your universal remote, and you can use it to control a wide range of smart home devices too.
Gen 2 Cube: An Even Better Mousetrap
This past week, Amazon upped the ante on the Cube. They announced an “All-New” 2nd-Generation Fire TV cube that contains some heavy-hitting hardware upgrades, support for the latest streaming technologies, and more.
In this post, I’ll lay out the details of what’ changed from the 2nd Gen vs the 1st Gen cube. I’ll start with a basic comparison chart, and then outline what’s new along with what Amazon carried over from the 1st Gen.
Fire TV Cube 2nd Gen vs 1st Gen: Quick Comparison Chart
Here is a quick comparison table highlighting the major differences of FireTV Cube 2nd Generation vs 1st Gen.
What Hasn’t Changed
Here is a summary of some common features of both the 1st-Gen Fire TV and 2nd-Gen Fire TV Cube:
- The design and dimensions of the Cube haven’t changed, with the size and weight of both devices being identical (see chart for specs)
- Both devices include the Alexa voice remote in the box; the remote works using Bluetooth signal from the remote to the device.
- They both share the same video resolution support of 720p/1080p/2160p (up to 60fps), and they both support HDR 10+.
- The audio experience is pretty much the same which is controlled by Dolby Atmos, 7.1 surround sound, 2-channel stereo, and HDMI audio pass-through up to 5.1
- Memory and storage are the same at 2 GB and 16 GB respectively
- Both Fire TV Cube Gen 2 and Gen 1 have eight microphones that support “far-field” technology [meaning that Alexa can hear you over your surround system, background noise and even your obnoxious friend at the football gathering]
- They both contain a single standard speaker.
- Both Fire TV Cube 2nd Gen and 1st Gen leverage the Android operating system.
- The port configuration also has not changed with an HDMI 2.0a, Power, Micro USB, Wired Infrared support
- Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support remain the same.
📚Related: If you want to see the full specifications of Fire TV Cube Gen 1, you can see them at our partner site here.
Fire TV Cube 2nd Gen vs 1st Gen: What’s New?
Here is a list of what changed between the 1st Gen Fire TV Cube vs 2nd Gen Fire TV Cube:
- Perhaps the biggest change in hardware is to the processor. The 2nd Generation makes the jump to a blazing fast Hexa-core Amlogic S922z processor (Quad-core at up to 2.2GHz + Dual-core at up to 1.9GHz).
- This is nearly twice as fast as the 1st Gen’s quad-core at 1.5GHZ.
- The on-board graphics processing unit (GPU) also receives a nice upgrade going from Mali450 MP3 to ARM Mali G52-MP6, 800MHz.
- Fire TV Cube 2 also ups the ante in the High Dynamic Range (HDR) support. In addition to adding support for HDR 10, Fire TV Cube 2nd Gen support for HDR Dolby Vision, HDR10+, and HLG. This means that shows and services that leverage these technologies will stream more seamlessly and look better
- Neatly all of the hardware upgrades above will make the voice control viewing experience better from the perspective of picture quality as well as the performance of the device.
- And, as mentioned previously, with Alexa now on-board the Cube for Fire TV commands, she will be more responsive resulting in less lag from command to action.
In the following video review, Craig from Craig’s Tech Talk hammers home some of the points outlined above. I agree with him on all but his suggestion that it may not be worth the upgrade for existing owners of the Cube. The new performance features alone make this a worthy upgrade IMHO. I have already pre-ordered mine and can’t wait to get it in October.
Bluetooth and Wifi
Neither Bluetooth and Wi-Fi specifications have not changed for the Fire TV Cube 2nd Generation vs 1st Gen. Here are the specs:
- Bluetooth 4.2 + LE
- Wi-Fi IEEE 802.11 b/g/n
Both Gen 1 and Gen 2 leverage the Android Operating System.
Fire TV Cube 2nd Gen vs 1st Gen: Dimensions and Weight
Interestingly [and unlike other Echo devices], Amazon kept the design of the Fire TV Cube the same. The dimensions and weight of both devices are identical. While many customers love the Cube’s design, it’s no surprise Amazon didn’t change it up. (Hey, If it ain’t broke….don’t fix it!)
The Cube’s dimensions are 3.4” x 3.4” x 3.0”.
And it weighs 16.4 oz.
Amazon offers a 1-year Limited Warranty for both devices. Check the Amazon product page for details.
Pricing and Availability
The 1st Gen Cube is available now, and it was recently discounted with the announcement of the 2nd-Gen Cube. You can check the current price on Amazon here.
The 2nd-Gen Cube is being released on October 10, 2019. However, you can pre-order one now and see the latest price on Amazon here.
Amazon Fire TV Cube 2nd Gen vs 1st Gen – Your Turn
So what do you think Amazon Fire TV Cube 2nd Gen vs 1st Gen?
Do you like the idea of being able to control your TV with Alexa? Perhaps you already own a 1st Gen Cube and are thinking about upgrading like me?
If so, how do you like the 1st Gen Cube? If not, and you are considering buying one of these Alexa devices, do it! I don’t care if you use my affiliate links, but I am 100% sure you will love being able to control your TV hands-free with Alexa.
I write about smart devices all day, and this is one of my favorites for sure. It’s just liberating for someone who constantly “loses” the remote.
Anyhow, I sincerely hope you found this article helpful. Please leave a comment below and let me know. Thanks!
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About the Author
Tim Brennan, Technical Writer & Blogger
Tim “Tec Timmy” Brennan is the founder of Writeinteractive, Inc., a technical writing consulting agency. He is a senior technical writer with over 20 years of experience writing for companies and organizations in and around Greater Boston, including GE and MIT. In addition to actively writing for this smart home blog, Tim is also a regular contributor over at UniversalRemoteReviews.com. Tim holds a BA in Journalism from Northeastern University. There is a strong chance that he is developing a crush on Amazon Alexa. Brennan is a father to two sons, an active blogger, a Star Wars nut, and loves a good taco🌮. He gets super excited about asking Alexa to turn on his Smart TV using his voice.