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3rd Gen Amazon Fire TV Cube Review – Could Be Better

3rd Gen Fire TV Cube Review

This 3rd Gen Amazon Fire TV Cube Review was written by Troy after using it on a continual basis for two weeks.

This product was purchased by Troy and you will find both the good and bad in this unbiased review.

TROYPOINT Patrons and Founding Members can find my First Impressions Video at the following link.

Troy’s First Impressions Video of 3rd Gen Amazon Fire TV Cube

3rd Gen Amazon Fire TV Cube Features

3rd Gen Fire TV Cube Ports

  • CPU: Octa-core 4x 2.2GHz 4x 2.0GHz
  • Storage: 16 GB
  • RAM Memory: 2 GB
  • GPU: Mali G52
  • WiFi: Wi-Fi 6E Tri-band. Also supports 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax wifi networks. For Wi-Fi 6E support, Fire TV Cube must be connected to the 6 GHz band of a Wi-Fi 6E network using WPA3 encryption.
  • HDMI In: Connect & control your devices (cable box, game console, webcam, etc.)
  • Bluetooth: Bluetooth 5.0 + LE. Pair with compatible Bluetooth speakers, headphones, video game controllers, and more.
  • Voice Support: Far-field and near-field voice support
  • Voice Control Compatibility: Controls a wide range of IR-enabled devices, including TVs, soundbars, cable and satellite boxes, and A/V receivers.
  • Live View Picture-in-Picture
  • Video Upscaling
  • Hands-free with Alexa
  • Ports: HDMI 2.1 Input, HDMI 2.1 Output, IR Extender, Power, USB-A 2.0, Ethernet port 10/100Mbps
  • Audio Support: Dolby Atmos, 7.1 surround sound, 2-channel stereo, and HDMI audio pass through up to 5.1.
  • Video:  Supports 4K Ultra HD & Dolby Vision (HDR for ultravivid picture quality)
  • Output/Input Resolution Supported: 2160p, 1080p and 720p up to 60 fps

3rd Gen Amazon Fire TV Cube Review

I’ve been excited to dive into the new Amazon Fire TV Cube ever since it was announced.  This device packs more features than its predecessor and those are the items that this review will be looking at.

Legal Disclaimer: TROYPOINT does not develop, operate, host, distribute, or administer any streaming application, add-on, website, or service. Furthermore, we cannot determine the legality of any streaming platform reviewed on this website. TROYPOINT specializes in educational tech reviews, tutorials, and news which is protected by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. The end-user is solely responsible for media accessed and TROYPOINT assumes that all visitors are abiding by copyright laws set forth within their jurisdiction. Users should only stream works not protected by copyright when using unverified streaming solutions.

I’m not going to cover every single feature in this review as you can see all of those at a quick glance above.

Here are some FAQs that many of you will have so I will start with those.

Can I side-load apps onto the new 3rd Gen Amazon Fire TV Cube such as Kodi?

Answer: Yes

Can I play 4K video?

Answer: Yes

Does the Ethernet port support Gigabit speeds?

Answer: No, it is standard 100 Mbps max

Does it support new AV1 codec?

Answer: Yes

Do 3rd Party Launchers Like Wolf Launcher Work?

Answer: Yes


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Can you control TV, soundbar, AV systems with Remote Control?

Answer: Yes

Purchase 3rd Gen Fire TV Cube

Powerful Processor

The first feature that I want to talk about is the strong processor that comes built into this system.

The CPU is a Octa-core 4x 2.2GHz 4x 2.0GHz that will allow you to watch 4K video and play resource intensive games without a problem.

Many people refer to the Antutu benchmark ranking when it comes to processor power and here’s a quick comparison.

3rd Gen Fire TV Cube: Antutu Bench = 167,397

NVIDIA SHIELD TV PRO (2019) = 238,323

You will see that the NVIDIA SHIELD TV PRO is still more powerful but the new Fire TV Cube packs a powerful punch as well.

Trust me, this processor will be overkill for most people and you are well taken care of in this area.

HDMI-In Port

New to the 3rd gen model is the addition of an HDMI-In port.

This allows us to connect game systems, cable boxes, and control those through the Fire TV interface.

3rd Gen Amazon Fire TV Cube HDMI-In port

Elias over at AFTVnews reported that there is approximately 35 milliseconds of input lag when peripheral devices are connected to the HDMI-In port on the new Cube.

More than likely, gamers will still want to connect their consoles directly to the TV rather than through the Fire TV Cube.  You probably won’t notice any problems on other devices.

There is a setting that should be changed if you are connecting game consoles.  Game Mode/ALLM should be set to ON.

3rd Gen Fire TV Cube Game Mode

USB Port

Also new to the 3rd Gen Fire TV Cube is the addition of a USB-A 2.0 port.  This is a welcome change because in the past we were required to use an OTG Cable if we wanted to connect USB devices.

Many people will want to use this port for increasing storage or attaching a Gigabit Ethernet adapter.

The new USB port on the Cube will support NTFS drives which is a nice addition.  For those of you who record IPTV, etc. this should help with the 4 GB limit that we see with FAT32 drives.

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Unfortunately, there is a bug where USB devices lose power when the Cube is asleep.  This will be most noticeable for those using USB Gigabit adapters as Alexa capabilities will stop working.  The solution is to have WiFi setup so when it disconnects, it can roll-over to WiFi and still have a connection.

Purchase 3rd Gen Fire TV Cube

Expandable Storage

Since we’re talking about the USB drive, now is a good time to chat about Expandable storage.

The 3rd Gen Fire TV Cube comes with 16 GB of internal storage.  Although this is double the amount of any Firestick, it still may require expanding internal storage for some people.

You can connect a USB drive to the device and expand internal storage so you can run applications off your USB drive.

I tried this with a 256 GB SanDisk USB Drive and had quite a few problems.

The first few times, I tried, the formatting completely failed which you will see in my First Impressions Video.

After trying this numerous times, it finally worked but there’s one big problem.  If the app that you want to move to USB drive doesn’t provide support for it, you can’t move it.  It seems to me that you can’t move most applications unfortunately.

Android TV works so much better in this area and I give Amazon a big thumbs down on this feature.  They really need to work on this.

Media Player

The new Fire TV Cube comes with a built-in media player specifically meant for files residing on a USB drive.

3rd Gen Fire TV Cube Media Player

This is a generic player that can automatically detect video, images, and audio on the USB drive.

Media Files

This is a nice addition that will allow you to quickly access media on a USB drive.  However, there are other apps that will do a better job at this such as MX Player, VLC, and Kodi.

3rd Gen Fire TV Cube Video Upscaling

This is the main reason why I use an NVIDIA SHIELD TV PRO in my media room.  NVIDIA has done a great job with their upscaling feature and it works.

Upscaling is the process of intelligently scaling lower resolution video to your TV’s native resolution. With this new feature, HD movies on Netflix or Prime Video will look sharper on your 4K display.

On the new 3rd Gen Fire TV Cube, this is referred to as Super Resolution and the default is set to ON.

3rd Gen Fire TV Cube Upscaling - Super Resolution

After testing this for multiple hours on end, I can’t see any difference with this turned on or off.

Another thumbs down for this new feature.

Smart Home Control with Alexa

As with the previous two Fire TV Cubes, this one comes with a built-in speaker and microphone so you can use Alexa capabilities.

In my testing, this is extremely snappy and works very well.

This is a nice feature for those who have a shelf, counter, or entertainment center where the Cube can be positioned and connected to a television.

I’m still not trained to use these voice features on any device so this isn’t a big win for me but it may be for you.

If you want to conceal your streaming system behind your television, this is not practical.  You will want to use a Firestick or another small streaming device instead.

The Fire TV Cube is designed to sit on a counter next to your TV where you can also take advantage of its Alexa voice command features with it’s built-in speaker and microphone.

Wi-Fi 6E on 3rd Gen Fire TV Cube

The 3rd Gen Fire TV Cube is touted as the first streaming device with Wi-Fi 6E support.

WiFi 6E

This new technology is supposed to eliminate interference from other devices in the house providing a more consistent streaming experience with no buffering.

Wi-Fi 6E is advertised to deliver faster speeds, lower latency, and more bandwidth.

See speed tests below.

Download & Upload Speed Tests

I used the Analiti Speed test app for the following tests.

I have one GB Fiber download speed plan through my Internet Service Provider.

During the WiFi tests, I am connected to the 5Ghz band on my Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 Router. This router resides in the same room as my 3rd Gen Amazon Fire TV Cube (approximately 20 feet away from the wireless router).

I’m using Surfshark VPN as my VPN on Chicago Server.

Fire TV Cube Upload Speeds


VPN On: Download = 91.89 Mbps & Upload = 92.41 Mbps

VPN Off: Download = 91.87 Mbps & Upload = 89.99 Mbps


VPN On: Download = 376.15 Mbps & Upload = 180.70 Mbps

VPN Off: Download = 425.30 Mbps & Upload = 218.35 Mbps

Note:  The reason for faster WiFi speeds is because the Ethernet port is only capable of 100 Mbps.

I’m absolutely blown away by these download and upload speeds!

What really stands out to me is no decrease in speed with VPN on when using Ethernet.  You will also see very little decrease when connected to WiFi.  This is probably the strongest download speed that I’ve seen when testing streaming devices.

Purchase 3rd Gen Fire TV Cube

Webcam Integration

The new USB 2.0 port allows for peripheral devices such as webcams.

Webcam calls

You can use a compatible webcam to play video calls with Alexa Communications.

Say, “Alexa, call Naomi,” to start a video call right from your couch.

Coming soon – video calls with Zoom.

What I Like

  • Powerful processor
  • Ethernet port
  • USB 2.0 port
  • Supports NTFS drives
  • Can side-load applications
  • 3rd party launchers work with Launch on Boot app
  • Wi-Fi 6E with screaming fast download/upload speed
  • Feature-packed remote control
  • HDMI-In port
  • Smooth 4K playback
  • Responsive voice control
  • Supports Dolby ATMOS & VISION
  • Webcam support

What I Dislike

  • High price
  • Expandable storage doesn’t work well
  • Missing shortcuts for side-loaded apps
  • Lag for HDMI-In connected devices
  • Bad user interface

What’s In The Box

  • 3rd Gen Amazon Fire TV Cube
  • Fire TV Alexa Voice Remote
  • 2 AAA Batteries
  • Power Adapter
  • Quick Start Guide

*HDMI and Ethernet cables are sold separately. 

3rd Gen Amazon Fire TV Cube Price

The new Fire TV Cube is currently selling for $139.99.

As usual, be on the lookout for upcoming Black Friday / Cyber Monday sales if you’re interested in one of these new Cubes.

Purchase 3rd Gen Fire TV Cube

3rd Gen Fire TV Cube Specs

3rd Generation Fire TV Cube Specs

  • Size: 3.38” x 3.38” x 2.99” (86 mm x 86 mm x 77 mm)
  • Weight: 513g (1.13 lbs)
  • Processor: Octa-core 4x 2.2GHz 4x 2.0GHz
  • GPU: 800MHz
  • Storage: 16 GB internal
  • Memory: 2 GB internal
  • Wifi: Wi-Fi 6E Tri-band. Also supports 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax wifi networks. For Wi-Fi 6E support, Fire TV Cube must be connected to the 6 GHz band of a Wi-Fi 6E network using WPA3 encryption.
  • Bluetooth: Bluetooth 5.0 + LE. Pair with compatible Bluetooth speakers, headphones, video game controllers, and more.
  • Voice support: Far-field and near-field voice support
  • Voice control compatibility: Controls a wide range of IR-enabled devices, including TVs, soundbars, cable and satellite boxes, and A/V receivers.
  • Cloud storage: Free cloud storage for digital content purchased from Amazon.
  • Ports: HDMI 2.1 Input, HDMI 2.1 Output, IR Extender, Power, USB-A 2.0, Ethernet port 10/100Mbps
  • Audio support: Dolby Atmos, 7.1 surround sound, 2-channel stereo, and HDMI audio pass through up to 5.1.
  • 4K Support: To watch movies and TV shows in 4K Ultra HD, you need a compatible 4K Ultra HD TV. All services may not be available in 4K/HDR. Certain services are subject to change at any time, may not be available in all areas, or in 4K/HDR, and may require separate subscriptions.
  • Content formats supported: Video: Dolby Vision, HDR 10, HDR10+, HLG, H.265, H.264, VP9, AV1, Audio: AAC-LC, AC3, eAC3 (Dolby Digital Plus), FLAC, MP3, PCM/Wave, Vorbis, Dolby Atmos (EC3_JOC), Dolby MAT, Photo: JPEG, PNG, GIF, BMP
  • Output/Input resolution supported: 2160p, 1080p and 720p up to 60 fps
  • System requirements: High-definition television with available high-speed HDMI input, high-speed internet connection via wifi or built-in Ethernet port, power outlet (compatible TV/sound/cable equipment for control by infrared or voice). High-speed HDMI cable rated 18Gbps or higher, and 4K TV with high-speed HDMI connector required for 4K viewing and more reliable device control. Wi-Fi 6E router needed for Wi-Fi 6E support. Auto-Low Latency Mode is included in the HDMI 2.1 standard.
  • TV compatibility: TV must support minimum HDCP requirements for protected content playback. Compatible with 1) 4K ultra high-definition TVs with HDMI capable of 2160p at 24/25/30/50/60 Hz and HDCP 2.2 or 2) high-definition TVs with HDMI capable of 1080p or 720p at 50/60 Hz.
  • Warranty and service: 1-year limited warranty and service included. Optional 2-year and 3-year extended warranty available for U.S. customers sold separately.
  • Content availability: Certain apps and services are subject to change or withdrawal at any time, may not be available in all areas and languages, and may require separate subscriptions.
  • Accessibility features: VoiceView screen reader enables access to the vast majority of Fire TV features for users who are blind or visually impaired. Screen magnifier enables viewers to zoom in and out, and pan around the screen. Text Banner consolidates onscreen text into a compact, customizable banner that appears on the screen. Watch videos and TV shows with closed captioning displayed. Use Audio Description for verbal descriptions of what is happening on the screen, including physical actions, facial expressions and scene changes. Captions and audio descriptions are not available for all content. Fire TV Cube (2nd and 3rd Gen) supports audio streaming for select compatible Bluetooth hearing aids for a private listening experience. You can also listen to Fire TV with compatible Bluetooth headphones.

3rd Gen Amazon Fire TV Cube Final Thoughts

In my opinion, the big selling points for the Amazon Fire TV Cube are the following.

  • More internal storage at 16 GB
  • Ethernet Port
  • USB Port
  • Video Upscaling
  • Alexa with voice control

Unfortunately, the USB port is somewhat compromised because expanding internal storage doesn’t work that great out of the box.  Plus, the sleep issue that I mentioned above is a problem.

I don’t notice any difference with Video Upscaling when it is turned on.  This is the main new feature that I was interested in.  Unfortunately, I don’t see any difference like I do on my NVIDIA SHIELD.

If you need a streaming device to also serve as a voice controlled Alexa device with a speaker, this may be right for you.  I personally like concealing my streaming devices behind the TV or rest them on the edge of the television at the top.

I wouldn’t personally recommend buying this device for $139.99.  This is a high price for many features that can be found on the Fire TV Stick 4K Max for $80 less.

If you want a better streaming device than a Fire TV Stick, I would recommend thinking about the NVIDIA SHIELD TV PRO.  But, you may want to delay for awhile to see if they release a new model.  The current device is already 3 years old so hopefully we will see an updated SHIELD soon.

Also, the new Formuler Z11 Pro Max is now out and I’m expecting big things from this Android TV Box.  If you’re a TROYPOINT Patron or Founding Member, you can find my First Impressions Video here for the new Z11 Pro Max.

I’m going to start using a new ranking system for reviews which will be the following.


My ranking looks at the features offered, how well those features work, and price.

I rank the new 3rd Gen Fire TV Cube as Good.


Do you own a new 3rd Gen Fire TV Cube?  Tell use what you think in the comments below.

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19 thoughts on “3rd Gen Amazon Fire TV Cube Review – Could Be Better”

  1. You are not able to download any application apart from those available in Amazon store, which in fact is rubbish or at least available on any smart TV
    You can’t download application like Tivimate to stream live TV.
    For me this box is useless.

  2. Anyone else having issues with the new Firecube and Bose soundbar? Swapped out HDMI with no effect and cant run the cable box through it or the same broken sound comes through it s well. By itself, connected to tv arc to Bose soundbar is fine…..the issue appears to be new Firecube to Bose soundbar…..

  3. For the average user the only improvements are the built-in ports and Wi-Fi 6. Building in the USB and network ports will make for cleaner installation. Make the wife happier. $140 I’ll wait for a sale and trade in offer.

  4. Sir.K.of.Scottsdale

    After Troy’s initial review of the Mecool KM2 I switched most of my devices over abd have never regretted it. Still support a few family members Prime Stick 4k, they continually come up with new problems I have to iron out. MeCool KM2 fan, worth the extra $$. No Amazon junk for me.

  5. I hope someone can guide me on this, although this is not related to the 3rd gen.
    I recently got a generation 2 Fire TV Cube; followed all yours steps Troy to unsuccessfully add storage to it. USB flash drive 3.0 with 128 gigabyte storage.
    Is the process not working because of the USB storage capacity? Is it too big for the cube?

  6. I have been using the cube for couple of months now. The problem I have is still buffering. I get get the great download speed but it is not stopping the buffering. on live TV. I have it plugged into the router. Any suggestions??

  7. Amazon anything streaming. Just so much bloatware and advertising. Just get a simple box with good specs for a lot less to buy and your good to go for streaming and VOD. Keep it simple,is best.

  8. Sent my back after two weeks it locked up and I couldn’t reset to factory settings, ordered early for $100 I was somewhat pleased with it but my ONN box and older sticks work well for my purposes maybe I’d buy if the price was more in line with the 4K Max.

  9. I cannot get it to record my IPT V service I ran the ADB code and split the Thumb drive storage In half. My IPTV (Eternal TV) service appWill not let me switch to a different Storage. I can record stuff it just won’t play back at all. Anyone have Any thoughts? Thank you so much.

  10. Can an older TiVo (Series 3) be connected via the new Fire Tv Cube’s HDMI In port? Would available TiVo recordings and live channels show on, and be accessible from, the Fire TV Home Screen? Presumably the TiVo remote would still be required to control the TiVo.

  11. I see you drawing correllations between the 3rd gen Fire Cube and Nvidia Shield Pro (2019). In your opinion, which is the better of the two?

    1. Nvidia is always better. Than any streamer. But Nvidia is a gaming device first,tv streamer second. Just overkill for streaming. You really do not need to spend that much for live tv and vod

  12. I had one and sent it back. I had problems with turning it off the controller only turned the tv off. Also I started unplugging it at night and when I plugged it back in it wanted to keep loading. After about 5 minutes I finally just reset the box. Unfortunately it did it to me twice so I just sent it back and purchased a Nividia Pro .

  13. I’ve been trying to get my hands on a Z11 Pro or Pro Max here in Ontario, Canada, for several days now :(

    There is only one advertisement for them listed anywhere in Canada and they do not reply to my inquiries. If anyone could assist I’d appreciate it!

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