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Streaming devices offer the same core functionality of delivering your services to your media center. There are some massive differences in how that delivery is achieved, however. Multiple popular devices are on the market currently, and the Apple TV 4K and Amazon Fire Cube are among some of the top sellers. These are wildly different devices in their intent and use cases, but they occupy a similar niche within the market.

The Apple TV 4K is the ideal streaming device for those fully within the Apple ecosystem and offers a familiar and easy-to-navigate user experience. For those in Amazon’s ecosystem, the Fire Cube presents a familiar interface and fully integrates with its line of Echo devices. They are both centered around providing a multimedia interface in a smart home’s infrastructure. So, let’s take a closer look at these devices and their capabilities.

Apple TV vs Amazon Fire Cube: Side-by-Side Comparison

Apple TV 4KAmazon Fire Cube
ProcessorApple A15 Bionic2GHz Octa-Core
Operating SystemApple tvOSFire TV OS
Supported Resolution4K4K
Dolby AtmosYesYes
Music ServiceApple MusicAmazon Music
Gaming SupportApple ArcadeAmazon Luna
Storage64 and 128 GB16 GB
Ethernet SupportYesYes
Voice AssistantSiriAlexa

Apple TV vs Amazon Fire Cube: What’s The Difference?

Both of these devices center around delivering a rich multimedia experience to your TV, so where do they diverge? The Apple TV 4K and Amazon Fire Cube rely on you having at least some stake in their respective ecosystems.

Apple’s offering assumes you’re already within their ecosystem of laptops, smartphones, and tablets and features tight integration of those services and extend the functionality to the Apple TV.

Likewise, the Amazon Fire Cube assumes you’re already using Fire and Echo devices and tightly integrates with those to provide a richer multimedia experience.

Apple TV 4K

2021 Apple TV 4K with 32GB Storage (2nd Generation)
$132.50
  • Dolby Atmos for immersive, room-filling sound
  • A12 Bionic chip gives a big boost to audio, video, and graphics, for even better game and app experiences
  • 4K High Frame Rate HDR with Dolby Vision for fluid, crisp video
  • Apple Original shows and movies from Apple TV+
  • The latest hits from Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, and more
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
01/26/2023 04:31 pm GMT

The Apple TV 4K is a premium streaming device in terms of presentation. The user interface and the user experience have been finely tuned to create a streamlined multimedia device that is at once familiar to iPhone users. Supported resolutions are the standard 4K or 2160p. Dolby Atmos is also supported, mirroring Apple’s massive push towards tighter integration of Atmos.

Services

Apple TV 4K offers an app for every major streaming service on the market. If you’re looking for Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video, and others, they’re all present and have a bespoke app for the Apple TV.

Those who are looking to leverage some form of gaming have access to Apple Arcade for additional monthly rates. This offers up a plethora of steadily growing exclusive games you can also access on the iPhone and iPad.

The tight integration of Apple Fitness+ is also present, allowing your TV to act as a central hub for a variety of experiences beyond just films and music.

Drawbacks

There is the underlying assumption when purchasing the Apple TV 4K that you are already deeply integrated into the Apple ecosystem. It permeates through every facet of the device and doesn’t really provide a platform-agnostic experience for those who are seeking one.

There is support for additional video purchasing services like Prime Video, of course, but it isn’t deeply integrated and at the forefront like Apple’s own offerings through their marketplace. If you aren’t part of the ecosystem and have zero Apple devices, this can be a bit tough to recommend.

The user experience is greatly enhanced by a more than passing familiarity with the way Apple structures and handles its devices. AirPlay and Siri integration are a natural extension for Apple’s devices, so if you’re an Android user you might find yourself wanting something a little more enriched towards your mobile device preferences.

Amazon Fire TV Cube

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01/26/2023 05:51 pm GMT

The Fire TV Cube is similar in some aspects to the Apple TV 4K. It occupies a similar price niche, while also making the same aims of being the primary device centered around your multimedia experience in the smart home. Alexa integration is tightly integrated into the user experience and can be controlled further through external Amazon Echo devices.

The ethos behind the device greatly differs from the Apple offering, however, with more deeply integrated advertising and marketing materials permeating through multiple layers of the user experience.

4K resolution is natively supported, which is only a boon as televisions supporting the resolution become more affordable. Like Apple, there is also support for Dolby Atmos, signaling the push towards a different paradigm and implementation of surround sound and directional audio processing.

The user experience is innately familiar if you’ve used any of Amazon’s standalone devices like the Fire tablets. A similar general design philosophy is present throughout and makes it at least familiar if you’ve used any of their devices.

Services

Amazon doesn’t have quite the same market presence for smart home devices that Apple does, but it does offer up a good few services for streaming purposes. Users can expect the usual suspects like Hulu, Netflix, Disney+, and others.

Music streaming services like Amazon Music are also present. Fitness integration isn’t present natively, but third-party apps can extend this functionality to the device.

Amazon Luna, their cloud gaming service, is provided to those who already maintain an Amazon Prime extension. This differs from the Apple Arcade offering by having actual PC and console games available to stream to the device. Provided your connection is strong and stable, you can enjoy a constant rotation of free titles provided to the service on a monthly basis.

Drawbacks

As previously mentioned, the pervasive ads present at multiple levels of the device are a bit of a detriment. It is certainly understandable because it is Amazon’s service, but it tempers the experience in a negative way.

On-board storage is also lacking compared to the 64 and 128 GB offerings from Apple. Considering the price range these devices occupy, it makes it a little less enticing to consider the paltry local storage.

If you aren’t part of Amazon’s ecosystem, the advantages of the system can also lose their luster. Alexa integration runs deep through the user experience and the Fire Cube is almost expecting you to have standalone Echo devices to leverage as additional means of playing sound and controlling the device.

Apple TV vs Amazon Fire Cube: 6 Must-Know Facts

  1. Apple TV 4K has 64 or 128 GB of onboard storage, whereas the Amazon Fire Cube has 16 GB.
  2. Apple TV has native fitness application support.
  3. Apple TV has native integration of Siri, whereas the Amazon Fire Cube has native integration of Alexa.
  4. The Apple TV is AirPlay compatible.
  5. Amazon Fire Cube has Amazon Luna support for console gaming.
  6. Amazon Fire Cube can stream media from iPhone and Android devices.

Apple TV vs Amazon Fire Cube: Which One Is Better?

So, with all this in mind, which is the best choice? These are both more than capable streaming devices intended to be the center of your media experience. There are certainly some similarities between the two in terms of capabilities and media support. It really does depend on what you’re after in a streaming device, however.

Why Should You Get the Apple TV?

If you are after something to take advantage of your family of Apple products, and you can’t live without Siri, then the Apple TV is a great choice. It is more affordable than the Amazon Fire Cube and offers up some functionality you won’t find in Amazon’s offering.

Native integration of fitness telemetry and functionality is a great boon. There is also the lack of advertisements on multiple levels, where you’ll only really see new releases on the store pages.

The ample local storage and extensive support for other Apple devices make it a great choice, and will certainly serve your home media center well.

Why Should You Get the Amazon Fire Cube?

The Amazon Fire Cube is more expensive than the Apple TV 4K, but there’s no denying the ease of use when considering its integration of the Amazon Echo family and other Amazon devices. The integration of advertisements is a bit of a drag, but if you can get past that it is certainly a capable device.

Luna sweetens the pot as well, providing console-quality gaming with a Prime subscription. The storage space is lacking, sure, but it is no less capable of it. If you’re okay with the way Amazon curates its user experience, the Fire Cube is a welcome addition to the household.

Which One Is Better?

For the money, the Apple TV 4K gets a strong recommendation. It offers a far more premium experience in terms of user experience while also being a friendly and approachable device to use.

There is a certain loss of luster if you aren’t an owner of at least one Apple device, but it can certainly operate on its own. Apple Arcade isn’t quite as robust as Amazon Luna in terms of game offerings, but the other features on offer more than make up for it.

Apple TV vs Amazon Fire Cube: Which Streaming Device Is Better? FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Which device is better for streaming 4K media?

Honestly, during testing, there wasn’t an appreciable difference in terms of picture quality for the 4K video output. You will notice more of a difference with a lesser connection than you will with the device.

What is Amazon Luna?

Amazon Luna is a cloud gaming service offered to subscribers of Amazon Prime. It is similar in concept to the recently discontinued Stadia but doesn’t require users to purchase titles to play them, as Prime customers get free titles on a monthly basis to play.

Which device has better support for Dolby Atmos?

Both can integrate smart speakers to deliver high-quality Dolby Atmos audio if you don’t already have a surround system. Atmos itself is crystal clear on both devices when using a wired ethernet connection or a strong wireless connection. There was no discernible difference in audio quality on playback when listening to Atmos-enabled music mixes or films.

Which is the better choice overall?

During testing, the Apple TV 4K had a more overall pleasing user experience. If you’re looking for a device that is easy to use for of all ages, it provides the best overall experience. That isn’t to criticize the Amazon Fire Cube, but there is a certain lack of focus and refinement to the Fire Cube’s hands-on experience.

How do both of these devices compare to the Roku family of streaming devices?

Roku offers a more platform-agnostic experience without relying on purchasing into a specified ecosystem to take full advantage of advanced functionality. The user experience lacks a certain refinement compared to the Apple TV, but it has a great variety of streaming apps available for users to enjoy their shows and movies.

There isn’t any overt gaming support available for the Roku that’s akin to Apple Arcade or Amazon Luna. This might not be a strong consideration for you if you already have standalone gaming devices.

They’re all certainly capable devices that support a wide degree of functionality. The core differences come from how they present the experience to the user.

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