There’s a new, very important baby in town. No, it’s not another royal baby. It’s better.
Meet the Amazon Fire TV Cube — or, as Mashable’s Ray Wong has assessed, the love child between the Amazon Fire 4K Streamer and the Echo. It finally made its debut on Amazon, and is available for pre-order for $119.99.
And, until June 8 at 11:59 pm EST, Prime members get an extra special $30 discount, making their pre-order just $89.99. The recently jacked-up $119/year Prime price is already paying for itself.
(For comparison, if you were to purchase the newest Echo and the Fire TV 4K streamer separately, you’d be paying $169.98. So yeah.)
If you thought life with Alexa was easy now, you’re in for a *very* pleasant awakening. The Fire TV Cube, or as Amazon is calling it, “the first hands-free streaming media player with Alexa,” combines the hands-free Alexa voice commands of the Amazon Echo, with the 4K Ultra HD (up to 60 fps) streaming and Dolby Atmos audio that comes with Fire TV devices.
The box itself looks like a super fancy Gamecube and we are into it. It’s black, shiny, tiny, and will be totally inconspicuous chilling with your TV and other media center items. It even has the Echo’s signature LED blue strip that lights up when it hears you say “Alexa.”
Mashable’s Ray Wong (who was trying the Cube out in front of the VP for Amazon Fire) writes in his hands-on review:
“I had a go, and though I didn’t show it in front of Gupta, I was absolutely floored inside. The Fire TV Cube is exactly the kind of hands-free TV viewing experience we’ve all been waiting for. No more remote controls — just tell your TV what you want and it does it all for you.
Amazon’s Fire TV Cube looks to be the gadget to rule our entertainment setup. It might actually inch us closer to never needing a remote control ever again. And to that, I say good riddance. How many times have you lost your TV remote? Who can even look at a cable remote and not vomit from the million buttons?”
Amazon wanted to make sure that customers wouldn’t have to redefine the way they do things with the devices they already have — so, when you say “Alexa, turn on ABC,” the Fire TV Cube will automatically change the TV’s input to the cable box. “All of this happens invisibly and in a split second so that you don’t even notice the digital handshake between the Fire TV Cube, TV, and cable box,” Wong says about the seemingly magic feature. How the Cube only costs $119.99, we do not know.
Yes, you can obviously use Alexa with the current Fire TV’s Alexa Voice Remote, but it’s not hands free like the Echo is — and connecting Echo to your smart TV and all of its external crap is a pain. The Fire TV Cube brings everything together: It controls the TV, external sound bars and speakers, cable and satellite boxes, and A/V receivers, and has a built-in speaker allows you to talk to Alexa even when the TV is off. It’s Alexa’s biggest feat yet.
The Fire TV Cube comes with all the same media that you can access with current Fire TV devices: Netflix, Prime Video, HBO, Amazon Channels, etc., apps with live content like PlayStation Vue and Hulu, and access to sites like YouTube, Facebook, Reddit, and more with Silk and Firefox browsers. Of course, it’s not just for TV — all of Alexa’s skills are still present and better than ever.
To wet your appetite even more, check out the just-released promo video:
We’re not drooling, you’re drooling.
The Fire TV Cube won’t be available to the public until June 21, but you can be fancy and pre-order it here for $119.99. For a limited time, Prime members can save $30 and pre-order for just $89.99, and make sure they have it on the day it comes out by checking “free 2-day shipping” at checkout. Note: The $30 off deal ends on June 8 at 11:59 pm EST, so you should probably get on that.