fire tv cube 2nd gen vs 1st gen

Fire TV Cube 2nd Gen vs 1st Gen: What’s the Difference?

In Reviews by Tim Brennan8 Comments

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Fire TV Cube 2nd Gen vs 1st Gen 2020 Update: 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?  Key Alexa TV commands are processed on the Cube instead of out in the Cloud, leading to faster response time. The 2nd-Gen Cube features a faster Amlogic S922z Quad-Core processor (up to 2.2GHz), a faster GPU, and it supports the latest 4K HD standards: HDR Dolby Vision, HDR10+, and HLG.

With these significant product updates, the 2nd-Gen Cube is a worthy upgrade in my opinion, even if you own the 1st-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.

Amazon Fire TV Cube 2nd Generation vs 1st Gen 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.

There are some notable exceptions, such as no support for Spotify as well 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.

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 Gen vs 1st Gen.

Fire TV Cube 1st Generation
Budget Runner Up
Alexa Remote: Yes
Microphones: 8
Video Resolution: 720p/1080p/2160p
High Dynamic Range: HDR10
Frames Per Second:60
Audio: Dolby Atmos, 7.1 Surround Sound
Processor: Amlogic s905z
CPU: Quad-core 1.5GHz
Graphics Processor: Mali450 MP3
Storage/ Memory: 16GB/2GB
Fire TV Cube 2nd Generation
Better Performance
Alexa Remote: Yes
Microphones: 8
Video Resolution: 720p/1080p/2160p
High Dynamic Range:Dolby Vision, HDR10, HDR10+, HLG
Frames Per Second:60
Audio: Dolby Atmos, 7.1 Surround Sound
Processor: Amlogic S922z
CPU: Hexa-core (Quad-core at up to 2.2GHz + Dual-core at up to 1.9GHz
Graphics Processor: ARM Mali G52-MP6, 800MHz
Storage/ Memory: 16GB/2GB

What Hasn’t Changed

fire tv cube 2nd gen vs 1st generation

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 the 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?fire tv cube 2nd generation vs 1st gen

Here is a list of what changed between the 1st Gen Fire TV Cube vs 2nd Gen Fire TV Cube:

  1. 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).
  2. This is nearly twice as fast as the 1st Gen’s quad-core at 1.5GHZ.
  3. The on-board graphics processing unit (GPU) also receives a nice upgrade going from Mali450 MP3 to ARM Mali G52-MP6, 800MHz.
  4. 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
  5. 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.
  6. 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

Operating System

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 (links below).

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 was released on October 10, 2019 so it is also now available. You can get yours and read the latest customer reviews 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!

Related Posts

If you liked this post comparing Fire TV Cube 2nd Gen vs 1st, you might also like some of these articles:

Amazon Nebula vs Sonos Beam: Which Alexa Soundbar Sets the Bar Higher?

Amazon Fire TV Stick vs Cube vs Recast 

How To Connect Alexa to Your Samsung Smart TV [7 Cool and Easy Ways, One Is Free]

Echo Studio vs Echo Plus: Which Premium Alexa Speaker Is Better?

Logitech Harmony Elite vs Ultimate Home: 2019 Smart Remote Control Comparison

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About the Author

Tim BrennanTim Brennan, Technical Writer & Blogger

Tim Brennan [a.k.a. "Tec Timmy"] 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 Tim holds a BA in Journalism from Northeastern University. Brennan is a father to two sons, an active blogger, a Star Wars nut, and loves a good taco🌮. There is a strong chance he is developing a crush on Amazon Alexa. You can learn more about Tim here.


  1. I believe the gen 2 adds the latest Bluetooth 5 + LE, meaning you can connect to multiple speakers.

    1. Author

      Hi Mike,

      Thanks for writing in….that’s a great point! I’m going to update this post with that info.

      Thanks again,
      Tec Timmy

  2. I am waiting for the 2nd Gen Cube. Was wondering if it will switch between inputs on my Denon AV receiver?

    1. Author

      Hey Cornell, Thanks for writing in. I know I have the 1st Gen Cube and am waiting for mine as well. According to Twitcast network it should be able to do it. Check out this video – even with the 1st Gen it sounds like it will do it.
      They specifically mention a Denon receiver.

  3. Great article! So with that new CPU can we finally install Kodi 64bit?

    My Fire TV 2nd Gen has been great running 4k all these years but it’s starting to choke on HDR with anything above 60Mbps. Looking forward to this upgrade. It’ll be huge for me!

    1. Author

      Hey Justin, Glad you enjoyed the article. Did you mean that you were running the 1st Gen Cube up until now? The newer one is the 2nd Gen. Anyhow, Tom’s Guide has a step-by-step tutorial on how to install Kodi on Fire TV Cube. Hope you find it helpful!

      Enjoy your new Cube! Hope you will write us back and let me know how you make out.

      Tec Timmy

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