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In this post, I will attempt to dispel some misinformation about the differences between the Fire TV Cube 3rd Gen vs 2nd Gen vs 1st Gen models of this cool little box with Alexa built-in.
It’s a bit confusing how this has gone down, so hear me out, and I’ll break it all down in the next section with a little Fire TV Cube History lesson.
Fire TV Cube History LessonI love my Fire TV Cube. It’s great to control my TV using everyone’s favorite voice assistant. I just say, “Alexa, open YouTube,” and boom YouTube is on my screen after a few seconds.
I have owned all three versions of the Cube and recently upgraded to new 3rd Gen model. However, there has been some confusion over the (now) three generations of the Cube, so I will attempt to help set the record straight.
Ok, next I’ll break down the differences between Fire TV Cube 3rd Gen vs 2nd Gen vs 1st Gen in a nifty comparsion table.
Fire TV Cube 3rd Gen vs 2nd Gen vs 1st Gen: Comparison Table
The following table compares key specifications of the Fire TV Cube 3rd Gen vs 2nd Gen vs 1st Gen side by side. For full hardware and compatibility specifications, refer to the links at the bottom of this table.
Last update on 09/27/2023 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
For detailed specifications:
Fire TV Cube 3rd Gen vs 2nd Gen
The Fire TV Cube 3rd Generation is the latest Cube generation from Amazon. It is a significant refresh since the 2nd Generation 2019 Cube was released.
I am loving mine and the better responsiveness with Alexa.
Both the 3rd Gen Cube and the 2nd Gen Cube let you control your TV using Alexa and support 4K Ultra HD, Dolby Vision, and Dolby Atmos audio.
There are three major differences between the Fire TV Cube 3rd Gen vs 2nd Gen Cube.
First, the 3rd-Gen Cube’s octa-core processor is 20% faster than the 2019 model, according to Amazon. Second, the new Cube also includes an HDMI input, which allows you to free up an HDMI port on the back of your TV. Third, the newest Fire TV Cube also has Video Super Resolution (VSR) upscaling, which gives older quality content a clearer, sharper picture.
The new HDMI port is a game changer for me, as I constantly swap out HDMI cables in the back of my Samsung TV.
Here’s a short video that I just made showing off the new ports.
And here is a unboxing video that I did of my new Fire TV Cube 3rd Gen over on my YouTube channel. Please subscribe for a fun take on all things tech!
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Fire TV Cube 2nd Gen vs 1st Gen
When the 2nd Gen Cube was announced in September of 2019, Amazon announced the five key performance improvements that Amazon’s development team made to Cube 2nd Generation over the 1st.
This included some significant hardware and Alexa software updates that increased the performance of the Fire Cube for Amazon’s customers.
Local Alexa TV commands started getting processed right on the device rather than in the Cloud, and the latest HDR standards are supported, including HDR Dolby Vision and HLG.
Significant hardware upgrades included a faster Amlogic S922z Quad-Core processor (2.2GHz) and an improved GPU (ARM Mali G52-MP6, 800MHz). These same upgrades ship in the Fire TV Cubes being sold on Amazon today.
Here is my old 2nd Gen Cube, which I have since traded in using Amazon’s device buyback program.
The Gen 1 Cube is discontinued and no longer available.
Evolution of the Fire TV Cube Remote
The latest remote that ships with the 3rd Generation Fire TV Cube is the 4th Gen Alexa Voice Remote. Amazon added some customizable action buttons to the remote (four buttons at the bottom). You can use to launch your favorite apps, like Netflix, Amazon Prime, YouTube, and more.
In 2021, Amazon began shipping the 3rd generation Alexa remote with the 2nd Gen Fire TV Cube. This remote also had app buttons at the bottom, but you were limited to specific networks. It looks like this:
The 2nd Gen Alexa Voice Remote shipped with the early 2019 version of the 2nd Gen Fire TV Cube up until they started including the 3rd Gen remote (above) in 2021. The 2nd Gen remote looks like this (no preset app buttons at the bottom):
As of this writing, this remote still ships with some refurbished 2nd Gen Cubes.
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Fire TV Cube Version FAQs
Q: What are the main differences between Fire TV Cube 3rd Gen vs 2nd Gen?
A: The Amazon Fire TV Cube 3rd Gen has several upgrades over the 2nd Gen model. Firstly, it has a faster processor, a hexa-core processor as opposed to the quad-core processor in the 2nd Gen. It also comes with support for Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0, which are faster and more efficient wireless technologies. The 3rd Gen also has a new feature called Local Voice Control, which allows you to control compatible smart home devices without the need for an internet connection. In terms of design, the 3rd Gen has a more streamlined look with a glossy finish, as opposed to the matte finish on the 2nd Gen.
Q: Can the Amazon Fire TV Cube 1st Gen still run the latest apps and software?
A: The Amazon Fire TV Cube 1st Gen can still run the latest apps and software updates. However, it may not perform as well as the newer generations due to its slower processor and less memory. Additionally, it may not support some of the newer technologies such as Wi-Fi 6 or Bluetooth 5.0. While the 1st Gen can still be used, it may not provide the same level of performance or features as the newer generations.
Q: Is the performance of the Fire TV Cube 3rd Gen significantly better?
A: The performance difference between the Amazon Fire TV Cube 3rd Gen vs 2nd vs 1st gen models is quite significant. The 3rd Gen has a faster processor, more memory, and support for newer wireless technologies, which allows for smoother and faster streaming and app performance. It also has new features like Local Voice Control and enhanced Alexa integration, which add to the user experience. While the 2nd and 1st Gen models can still be used, they may not provide the same level of performance and features as the 3rd Gen.
Q: Are there any new features or functionalities on the Amazon Fire TV Cube 3rd Gen that are not available on the previous generations?
A: The Amazon Fire TV Cube 3rd Gen has several new features that are not available on the previous generations. The Local Voice Control feature allows you to control compatible smart home devices without an internet connection, which is a new and convenient feature. When comparing Fire TV Cube 3rd Gen vs 2nd Gen, the 3rd Gen also has improved Alexa integration, which allows you to use voice commands to navigate and control your TV and smart home devices more easily. Additionally, the 3rd Gen supports Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0, which are newer and more efficient wireless technologies.
Q: Is it worth upgrading from the Amazon Fire TV Cube 2nd Gen to the 3rd Gen?
A: Whether or not it is worth upgrading from the Amazon Fire TV Cube 2nd Gen to the 3rd Gen depends on your needs and usage. While the 3rd Gen has several new features and improved performance, the differences may not be significant enough for some users to justify the cost of upgrading. However, if you are looking for faster and more efficient streaming and app performance, as well as new features like Local Voice Control and improved Alexa integration, then upgrading to the 3rd Gen may be worth it. I am loving Alexa’s faster and more consistent response time with the 3rd Gen Cube.Video Review: Here’s a nice video overview of the 3rd Gen Fire TV Cube from Doc Squiffy. OK, what’s really in that box, man?
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What’s In the Box?
The box contents for each generation of the Cube are essentially the same. Here’s what you get regardless of whether you have the Fire TV Cube 3rd Gen vs 2nd Gen vs 1st Gen Cube:
⚠️Important: It is important to note that you will, at a minimum, need an HDMI cable to connect this device to your television. The cable is not included with the Fire TV Cube and must be purchased separately if you don’t have a spare hanging around.
Optionally, if you want to use an IR extender or Ethernet cable with the Cube, these must also be purchased separately.
Product Dimensions and Weight
Here is another table comparing the product dimensions and weight between Fire TV Cube 3rd Gen vs 2nd Gen vs 1st Gen.
Last update on 09/27/2023 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Fire TV Cube 3rd Gen vs 2nd Gen vs 1st: Solved?
I hope this article on Fire TV Cube 3rd Gen vs 2nd Gen vs 1st Gen helped you better understand the generational differences.
I think where the confusion happened is that when Amazon started shipping the 3rd Gen Alexa remote with the 2nd Gen Cube, people thought there was a “3rd Gen Cube” at that point. But no—it was still the same hardware, just a different remote.
But now we have the new 3rd Gen to look forward to (woo).
Are you as excited as I am to start using the new 3rd Gen Fire TV Cube? I have a bunch of high-end remotes, but my 2nd Gen Cube is my favorite way to control my TV with Alexa.
Anyhow, I hope this was helpful. Please leave me a comment below and let me know what you think.
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Tim Brennan is a technology blogger and hosts the @TecTimmy YouTube channel. He writes about smart homes at oneSmartcrib, home theaters at UniversalRemoteReviews, and AI in writing at Writeinteractive. A graduate of Northeastern University School of Journalism, he has written about technology for 30 years. Tim lives on the ocean in Nahant, Massachusetts.
Please subscribe to my YouTube channel for a fun take on all things tech.