The Amazon Fire TV Cube has got a neat new feature, enabling support for two-way video calls with other Alexa-enabled devices – such as Echo Show smart displays, Fire tablets, and even smartphones featuring the Alexa voice assistant.
The Fire TV Cube doesn't have a screen, of course, but it is used in tandem with your television display to replicate the video calling capabilities of its Amazon Echo Show devices, and to watch their Ring security camera video in full-screen by saying “Alexa, show me [Ring device name]”.
Up to this point you've been able to use the speaker/streaming box hybrid to make audio calls, but this is the first time Amazon has attempted to bring video calling to its flagship streaming device.
The feature will begin rolling out to customers over the coming weeks in Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
- Read our full Amazon Prime Video review
- See what we think of the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K
- Read our Google Chromecast (3rd Generation) review
Some assembly required...
That said, however, what makes the whole process tricky is that the Amazon Fire TV Cube doesn’t have a full-size USB port on it, which means you’ll need to supply your own adapter, and if you were using that port for an ethernet adapter, you’ll need to buy a new adapter that has both a USB and ethernet ports.
Once you get the adapter you’ll need a webcam that supports either a 720p or 1080p resolution with UVC support and at least 30 frames per second video. Amazon isn't recommending 4K cameras at the moment, but it does recommend that the webcam you pick has a 60-90 degree field of view (FOV).
The end result means you'll be able to use your Fire TV like a regular Amazon Echo Show when it comes to video calling, but it does require a bit more effort than the smart displays that come with the feature right out of the box.
- Read our Fire TV Stick Lite review