If you want to stream videos, TV shows, movies, or music, you can rely on Amazon’s Fire TV to deliver a great viewing experience. Amazon currently offers three Fire TV variants: the Fire TV, the Fire TV Stick and the Fire TV Cube.
And we are focusing on the Stick and the Cube today. Which one is the better buy?
Contents (Jump to)
- 1 Fire TV Stick
- 2 Fire TV Cube
- 3 Comparing the Fire TV Cube and Fire TV Stick
- 4 Final say
Fire TV Stick
The Fire TV Stick allows you to enjoy at least 500,000 TV episodes and movies from different services such as Prime Video, Netflix, HBO, Hulu, NBC, and SHOWTIME, among many others. The Fire TV Stick includes Silk, Firefox, and other browsers, making it possible to visit all the websites you want.
For only $39.99, the Fire TV Stick now comes with the Alexa Voice Remote, which allows you to use voice commands to play the content that you want. You can use voice commands such as “Launch Hulu” or “Play Orange is the New Black.” You can also search for movies and music, and check out show times.
Fire TV Stick uses universal search results, allowing you to pull content from different services. You can also continue watching your favorite series where you left off, pause movies and TV shows, and even bring your Fire TV Stick no matter where you go. You can just plug the device into any high-definition TV and be able to stream instantly.
The Fire TV Stick also comes with VoiceView. This screen reader makes it easy for visually impaired or blind people to watch their shows. It also features a screen magnifier that allows viewers to pan around the screen, and zoom in or out. You can even watch your content with closed captions when these are available.
What you need to use the Fire TV Stick
- High-definition television.
- HDMI input.
- Wi-Fi connection.
- Power outlet.
What’s in the box?
- Fire TV Stick.
- Alexa Voice Remote with 2 AAA batteries.
- USB cable and power adapter.
- HDMI extender.
- Quick start guide.
Fire TV Cube
Fire TV Cube aims to give you a streaming media player that you can operate hands-free. Just tell Alexa what you want to watch, even when you are at the other end of the room. The Fire TV Cube works with your HDTV, delivering a great TV watching experience with 4K images and crisp sounds. All that for only $120!
What you need to use the Fire TV Cube
- HDTV with high speed HDMI input.
- High speed Wi-Fi connection or Ethernet port.
- Power outlet.
What’s in the box?
- Fire TV Cube.
- Alexa Voice Remote.
- Power adapter.
- Quick start guide.
- Marketing guide.
- 2 AAA batteries.
- Infrared extender cable.
- Amazon Ethernet Adapter (10/100).
Comparing the Fire TV Cube and Fire TV Stick
Both the Fire TV Cube and Fire TV Stick give you the chance to enjoy TV shows and movies with utmost convenience and ease. There is an $80 price difference between the two devices, though. Why? And which one should you get?
Both of these devices are dual band and have dual antenna MIMO Wi-Fi. This means that both the Cube and the Stick can use the 5.0 GHz frequency just in case you have too many devices connecting to your Wi-Fi. This gives you a faster, buffer-free viewing experience with few or no dropped connections. Both devices support 802.11a/b/g/n/ac networks.
When it comes to size, however, the Fire TV Stick is less bulky than the cube. The Stick could probably fit in your pants pocket, while the Cube’s 3.4-inch dimension on all sides would require you to find a bigger space. The Cube is also much heavier at 465 grams, compared to the Stick’s 32 grams. This makes the Stick a whole lot more portable than the Cube.
The Fire TV Cube, however, comes with a slightly faster processor than the Stick, and it has double the internal storage available for your content and files. This is important because the free cloud storage for these devices is only for the content that you buy from Amazon.
|Model||Fire TV Stick||Fire TV Cube|
|Price||$39.99 (Check out the latest price here!)||$119.99 (Check out the latest price here!)|
|Dimensions (inches)||3.4 x 1.2 x 0.5||3.4 x 3.4 x 3.0|
|Processor||Quad-core ARM 1.3 GHz||Quad-core up to 1.5 GHz | ARM 4xCA53|
|GPU||Mali450 MP4||Mali450 MP3|
|Internal storage||8 GB||16 GB|
|Dual antenna MIMO||Yes||Yes|
|Free cloud storage for content bought from Amazon||Yes||Yes|
Audio and video support and formats
The Fire TV Stick has Dolby Audio 5.1 surround sound with two-channel stereo, while the Cube has Dolby Atmos, delivering 7.1 surround sound. This means that, with the Cube, you can get better sound quality from the multiple speakers, giving you an all encompassing surround sound.
|Audio support||Fire TV Stick||Fire TV Cube|
|Surround sound||Dolby Audio 5.1||Dolby Atmos 7.1|
|HDMI audio pass through||up to 5.1||up to 7.1|
Both the Stick and the Cube can play H.264 and H.265 videos, but the Cube also has HDR support. HDR means high dynamic range protocols. With HDR, you have richer colors and very vibrant contrasts. This makes images even more spectacular.
|Video formats||Fire TV Stick||Fire TV Cube|
Additionally, both of these devices can display images in JPEG, PNG, GIF, or BMP formats.
|Audio formats||Fire TV Stick||Fire TV Cube|
|AC3 (Dolby Digital)||Yes||Yes|
|eAC3 (Dolby Digital Plus)||Yes||Yes|
The Cube and the Stick both have HDMI output, delivering streamed TV shows and movies in the best quality possible. They both have a micro USB port, but the Fire TV Stick has it only to provide power for the device, not as an input or output device. On top of that, the Fire TV Cube also has wired infrared emitter that allows it to control and communicate with different gadgets with IR control.
Both devices can deliver 720p and 1080p images, but the Fire TV Cube can also deliver 2160p video resolutions.
|What||Fire TV Stick||Fire TV Cube|
|Micro USB||Power only||Yes|
|Output resolution supported||up to 1080p at 60 fps||up to 2160p at 60 fps|
When it comes to gaming, you will find out that the Fire TV Stick supports fewer games than the Cube. The Cube can handle resource hogging and demanding games like Grand Theft Auto, Max Payne and Minecraft, along with other popular games. The Fire TV Stick cannot.
The Fire TV Stick can handle at least 1,300 games, but that is still a whole lot less than what the Fire TV Cube can handle, which is at least 1,700 games.
If you own a 4K TV, then the Fire TV Cube is a better choice for you. The Cube allows apps that use full UHD such as Netflix, YouTube, and Amazon Video. This means that you have more content available on the Cube than on the Stick.
Both the Cube and the Stick allow you to use voice control to serve your preferred content. However, the Fire TV Cube’s Alexa capabilities include switching inputs on your command. It can work with other set top boxes that are connected to your TV. The Fire TV Cube also has its own set of far-field microphones and a built-in speaker, which makes it closer to an Amazon Echo than the Stick.
|Feature||Fire TV Stick||Fire TV Cube|
|Alexa-based Voice Controls||Yes||Yes|
|Alexa-based Hardware Controls||No||Yes|
|Ethernet Adapter||Not included||Included|
|Far-field voice control||No||Yes|
|Warranty and service||90 days||1 year|
Between the Fire TV Cube and the Fire TV Stick, the Cube stands out because of its built-in speaker, far-field voice recognition, and included Ethernet cable that gives you an option if you have unstable Wi-Fi at home. It also shines because of the HDR support and the 4K resolution support. It gives you more content even in full UHD, as well as more games.
Do not take us wrong, though. The Fire TV Stick also works very well, and for a much lower price.
However, if you are looking for alternatives, you can check out the Roku Streaming Stick+ 4k viewing, or the budget-friendly Google Chromecast.
Further read, The Best Kodi Builds for Amazon Fire TV
Patrick Sinclair is a geek; make no mistake about that. He runs All Home Robotics in his spare time so he doesn’t have to think about his depressing cubicle and it gives him an excuse to buy expensive gadgets to review!