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Fire TV Cube 3rd Gen vs 2nd Gen [2021 vs 2019 Model]

In Fire TV, Home Theater by Tim Brennan

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In this article, I compare the Fire TV Cube 3rd Gen (2021) vs the 2nd Gen (2019) model.

Key Differences At a Glance

I love my Fire TV Cube and being able to control my TV with my voice using Alexa. But then I started thinking, did I get a raw deal when I bought the Fire TV Cube 3rd Gen vs 2nd Gen Cube? So I did some research — and another blog post was born.

So what are the main differences between the Fire TV 3rd vs 2nd Gen Cube?

Unlike the 2nd Gen Fire TV Cube, the Gen 3 model features a faster Amlogic S922z Quad-Core processor, a faster GPU, and support for the latest 4K-HD standards (HDR Dolby Vision, HDR10+, and HLG). The 3rd Gen Fire TV Cube also processes key Alexa TV commands locally instead of in the Cloud, making most voice command responses faster.

With these significant product updates, the 3rd-Gen Cube is a worthy upgrade in my opinion, even if you own the 2nd-Gen Cube. And it costs just a few bucks more.

In the rest of this post, I’ll explain how these hardware enhancements relate to a better overall user experience.


This Cube Is on Fire

If 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.

firetv-cube-2nd-gen-vs-1st-e1575241805489-3489280The 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.

There are some notable exceptions, such as limitations with multi-room music, Alexa calling, and drop-in features.

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.

In this post, I’ll lay out the details of what’s changed from Fire TV Cube 3rd Gen vs 2nd Gen. I’ll start with a basic comparison chart, and then outline what’s new along with what Amazon carried over from the 2nd Gen model.

📚 Related: Easy Fixes for Fire TV Black Screen Issues


Cube 3rd Gen vs 2nd Gen: Features Comparison

Here is a quick comparison table highlighting the major differences of Fire TV Cube 3rd Gen vs 2nd Gen. I’ll include a more detailed technical specifications chart below, as well as a dynamic price comparison table so you can compare Amazon’s latest pricing of both cubes side by side.

Fire TV Cube 3rd Gen (2021 release)
FireTV Cube 2nd Gen (2019 Release)
Fire TV Cube, Hands-free streaming device with Alexa, 4K Ultra HD, includes latest Alexa Voice Remote
Certified Refurbished Fire TV Cube, hands-free with Alexa built in, 4K Ultra HD, streaming media player, released 2019
Supported Video /Resolution
720p/1080p/2160p (up to 60fps)
720p/1080p/2160p (up to 60fps)
Microphones (for Listening)
8
8
Speakers
1
1
Smart Home Control
Processor
Amlogic S922z
Amlogic s905z
CPU & GPU
CPU: Hexa-core (Quad-core at up to 2.2GHz + Dual-core at up to 1.9GHz GPU: ARM Mali G52-MP6, 800MHz
CPU:Quad-core 1.5GHz
GPU: Mali-T820-MP2
High Dynamic Range
Dolby Vision, HDR10, HDR10+, HLG
HDR10
Frames Per Second (FPS)
60 FPS
60 FPS
Storage
16 GB Internal
16 GB Internal
Memory [RAM]
2 GB
2 GB
Ports
HDMI 2.0a, Power, Micro USB, Wired Infrared support
HDMI 2.0a, Power, Micro USB, Wired Infrared support
Alexa Voice Support
Yes. Far-field voice control of Fire TV & devices Yes. Far-field voice control of Fire TV & devices
Yes. Far-field voice control of Fire TV & devices Yes. Far-field voice control of Fire TV & devices
Audio Support
Dolby Atmos, 7.1 Surround Sound
Dolby Atmos, 7.1 Surround Sound
Wi-Fi Connectivity
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac; 2x2 MIMO (2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz dual band)
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac; 2x2 MIMO (2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz dual band)
Ethernet
Port included
Port Included
Operating System
Fire OS 6 (Android 7.1)
Fire OS 6 (Android 7.1)
$69.99
$59.99
Fire TV Cube 3rd Gen (2021 release)
Fire TV Cube, Hands-free streaming device with Alexa, 4K Ultra HD, includes latest Alexa Voice Remote
Supported Video /Resolution
720p/1080p/2160p (up to 60fps)
Microphones (for Listening)
8
Speakers
1
Smart Home Control
Processor
Amlogic S922z
CPU & GPU
CPU: Hexa-core (Quad-core at up to 2.2GHz + Dual-core at up to 1.9GHz GPU: ARM Mali G52-MP6, 800MHz
High Dynamic Range
Dolby Vision, HDR10, HDR10+, HLG
Frames Per Second (FPS)
60 FPS
Storage
16 GB Internal
Memory [RAM]
2 GB
Ports
HDMI 2.0a, Power, Micro USB, Wired Infrared support
Alexa Voice Support
Yes. Far-field voice control of Fire TV & devices Yes. Far-field voice control of Fire TV & devices
Audio Support
Dolby Atmos, 7.1 Surround Sound
Wi-Fi Connectivity
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac; 2x2 MIMO (2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz dual band)
Ethernet
Port included
Operating System
Fire OS 6 (Android 7.1)
$69.99
FireTV Cube 2nd Gen (2019 Release)
Certified Refurbished Fire TV Cube, hands-free with Alexa built in, 4K Ultra HD, streaming media player, released 2019
Supported Video /Resolution
720p/1080p/2160p (up to 60fps)
Microphones (for Listening)
8
Speakers
1
Smart Home Control
Processor
Amlogic s905z
CPU & GPU
CPU:Quad-core 1.5GHz
GPU: Mali-T820-MP2
High Dynamic Range
HDR10
Frames Per Second (FPS)
60 FPS
Storage
16 GB Internal
Memory [RAM]
2 GB
Ports
HDMI 2.0a, Power, Micro USB, Wired Infrared support
Alexa Voice Support
Yes. Far-field voice control of Fire TV & devices Yes. Far-field voice control of Fire TV & devices
Audio Support
Dolby Atmos, 7.1 Surround Sound
Wi-Fi Connectivity
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac; 2x2 MIMO (2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz dual band)
Ethernet
Port Included
Operating System
Fire OS 6 (Android 7.1)
$59.99

Last update on 18/06/2022 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Feel free to use this information as you see fit. If you wouldn’t mind including a link back to this post if you do, I would be much obliged as it helps out with search engine rankings.

References: HD ReportAndroid Central


Fire TV Cube 2021 vs 2019: Similarities

fire-tv-cube-glamour-v1-e1575241963151-2395217

In comparing Fire TV Cube 3rd Gen vs 2nd Gen, here is a summary of common features:

  • The design and dimensions of the Cube are the same, with the size and weight of both devices being identical (see the chart for specs)
  • Both devices include the Alexa voice remote in the box; the remote works using a 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 3 and Gen 2 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 3rd Gen and 2nd 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: Amazon Fire TV Stick vs Cube vs Recast


Fire TV Cube 3rd Gen vs 2nd Gen: Differencesfire-tv-cube-glamour-v1-e1575241963151-2395217

Here is a list of what changed between the 3rd Gen Fire TV Cube vs 2nd Gen:

  1. Perhaps the biggest change in hardware is the processor. The 3rd 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).
  2. This is nearly twice as fast as the 2nd Gen’s quad-core at 1.5GHZ.
  3. The onboard graphics processing unit (GPU) also receives a nice upgrade going from Mali450 MP3 to ARM Mali G52-MP6, 800MHz.
  4. Fire TV Cube 3 also ups the ante in the High Dynamic Range (HDR) support.  In addition to adding support for HDR 10, Fire TV Cube 3rd 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
  5. 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.

Video Reviews

In the following video review, Craig from Craig’s Tech Talk hammers home some of the points outlined above.

Note: I agree with Craig on all but his suggestion that it may not be worth the upgrade for existing owners of the Cube. After testing both Cubes on my own, the new performance features alone make this a worthy upgrade IMHO.

Erin Lawrence (my secret YouTube crush ❤️) also does a great job in her review of the 2nd Generation Cube (2019 model).


Deeper Dive into Key Feature Differences

Bluetooth and Wifi

Neither Bluetooth nor Wi-Fi specifications has changed for the Fire TV Cube 3rd Gen vs 2nd Gen Cube. Here are the specs:

  • Bluetooth 4.2 + LE
  • Wi-Fi IEEE 802.11 b/g/n

Operating System

Both Gen 3 and Gen 2 leverage the Android Operating System.


Fire TV Cube 3rd Gen vs 2nd Gen: Dimensions and Weight

Interestingly [and unlike many other Echo devices] which receive yearly design updates, Amazon kept the design of the Fire TV Cube the same. The dimensions and weight of both devices are identical.  As many customers love the Cube’s cool 3-D design (like me!), 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.


Warranty

Amazon offers a 1-year Limited Warranty for both devices, so these are the same when considering Fire TV Cube 3rd Gen vs 2nd Gen. Check the Amazon product page for details. (I’ll include a couple of links below)


Pricing and Availability

An obvious consideration when comparing Fire TV Cube 3rd Gen vs 2nd Gen… is the price!

Here is a simple price comparison table that compares the cost of both Cubes side by side*. The data in the table is pulled in nightly via direct integration with Amazon’s API. Click the button in the table for the up-to-the-minute price.

Prices pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

*Editor’s Note: Amazon is no longer actively promoting the 2nd-gen Cube but they will still support it. You  can still pick one up here while supplies last.


Fire TV Cube 3rd Gen vs 2nd Gen: A Better Mousetrap?

fire-tv-cube-1st-gen-vs-2nd-gen-6808974My take: Amazon really upped the ante on the Cube when they announced the 3rd Generation Fire TV cube that contains some heavy-hitting hardware upgrades, support for the latest streaming technologies, and more.

So what do you think about Amazon Fire TV Cube 3rd Gen vs 2nd Gen?

Do you like the idea of being able to control your TV with Alexa? Perhaps you already own a 2nd Gen Cube and are thinking about upgrading like me?

If so, how do you like the 2nd 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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