Amazon has renewed the design of the Echo Dot smart speakers with a spherical shape, as we told you in the review of the version with a clock. However, its most complete device has not changed in appearance. It has been adapting to new developments in hardware, software, and relevant streaming platforms such as Apple TV and other local ones.
What distinguishes this model from others in the Amazon catalog is that it combines the functionalities of two series of products, Fire TV devices and smart speakers. This merger resulted in a “streaming media player with voice control through Alexa and Ultra HD 4K, ” the manufacturer described.
a major absence
This hybrid model provides all the benefits of an intelligent speaker. Among them are giving orders to Alexa to play music, jokes, guided meditations, raise the blinds, or turn on the lights. Beyond the classic functions of these devices, the best thing is that it allows you to control any television (even if it is not a Smart TV) with your voice. This makes your life much easier to turn on and off without resorting to the remote control. It also plays music through the TV speakers at your request (and displays song lyrics if available for that particular topic) and YouTube videos. You can ask it to open your favorite streaming platform and play the series or movie you want, raise and lower the volume… In short, it replaces the remote control or control. If, for whatever reason, you deactivate the microphone so that Alexa does not listen, you can continue talking to her and ask her for things by pressing the specific button to talk to her (the one with the microphone icon).
To write this review, I connected it to an old TV in a bedroom, and thanks to this, I could watch almost all the streaming platforms I did on the main TV in the living room. The device sold on Amazon Spain comes with Movistar+, Netflix, Apple TV+, Prime Video, Twitch, Disney+, Dazn, Plex, Spotify, Filmin, Atresplayer, Michele, Infinity, Plex, arte, Molotov. Tv and 2DF apps. Among many others that you can download. However, among the apps, you will not find HBO. I have tried to download it once but to no avail. To do this, first, you need to download the Downloader application (you get the first one when you search for HBO in the device’s browser), then Google Play (it asks for a Google account), and finally, search for HBO there. And so far, so good. But when you download the latter, it stays downloading forever and doesn’t install. I will try again, and if everything goes well, I will tell you about it in this review.
Like other Amazon devices, this model is straightforward to install at home and set up very simply and quickly. It is enough to plug it into the mains, to the HDMI (note, the cable is not included), and, in our case, to the Ethernet network. Then you only have to create an Amazon account if you do not have one and enter the password that it indicates. Once registered and connected to your home Wi-Fi, choose the free apps you want to display. Then, to see the contents, you must log in to the platforms you have contracted. If you’re not subscribed, you can’t see them.
The only requirement that Amazon indicates to work correctly is to place the Fire TV Cube 30-60 cm away from the TV speaker.
For the safety of children, this device allows you to activate parental controls by entering a code to play Prime Video content, open apps, buy digital content or use the Amazon shopping app.
Intelligence for your old TV
Amazon Fire TV Cube is an inseparable companion to television, bringing it to life by giving it a voice. Its design is committed to discretion, with a black plastic cube shape, and measures 86.1 x 86.1 x 76.9 mm. It has a glossy finish on all sides except the bottom and top. This coating, typical in some parts of televisions, gives it an elegant and stylish look. But its appearance is cloudy because fingerprints are very marked, and the worst thing is that it excessively attracts dust and other particles. They adhere quite a lot, and it is tough to remove this dirt altogether.
As if it were an intelligent speaker, it comes with the buttons (at the top) to regulate the volume, the Action button (when you don’t want to use your voice), and the microphone on and off switch. Also, some microphones and a light bar turn blue when Alexa is listening. In the back, below, it incorporates all s the inputs to connect it (IR port, micro USB, HDMI, and power port).
Along with the device, Amazon includes a black remote control, with a small size that is very manageable and light, as well as a power adapter, an Ethernet adapter, and an IR extension cable (“to control components that are within the closed cupboard,” explains Amazon).
The remote works great, it responds very quickly, and for some actions, it is better than voice, for example, turning the TV volume up and down. With it, you can perform all the usual commands (scroll through the menu and applications, go back, move forward, configure settings, talk to Alexa…).