Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED Series 4K UHD Smart TV.
I’ve been testing AmazonThe new Fire TV 65-inch Omni QLED Series 4K UHD Smart TV. If you’re a regular TV watcher like me, the new Fire TV is easy to use and has great picture quality for the price.
And speaking of price, at the time of publication it was on sale for $550, about $250 off its launch price, making it cheaper than last year’s model that Amazon still sells. There’s also a more expensive 75-inch model that costs $1,100.
The company invaded Amazon-branded TVs last year with a model that was good, but not great. This year’s version has plenty of updates that make it an even better buy. Significantly, the picture has improved, there is new artwork for the surround display and the speakers have improved.
But Amazon doesn’t make much money from hardware. It is a cloud company and online retailer. Instead, its hardware serves as a gateway to its services, such as Prime Video and even the Amazon Store. You can talk to Alexa, and it’s built in. It’s one big Amazon window that you can hang on the wall. And people who use a lot of Amazon services might like it.
Here’s what you need to know about it.
what is good
The new Fire TV will fit right into your smart home ecosystem if you already use the company’s Alexa voice assistant through other products like the Amazon Echo. The TV features hands-free voice commands, so when you can’t find the remote, you can simply shout, “Alexa, turn off the TV.” More complex orders are also possible. I was able to tell the TV to “play the next episode” of “The Devil’s Hour” on Prime, so I didn’t have to sit through the end credits.
This feature is not new. Last year’s TV also featured hands-free Alexa, but it’s still a nice feature and I was able to use it with ease. You can turn off the microphone if you don’t want to use the Alexa function.
The current TVs are hard to watch in my living room, which gets a lot of natural light. But the Fire TV was very bright, so I was still able to watch TV clearly even with plenty of sunlight.
There’s a new “ambient” experience in this year’s model that uses sensors to detect when you’re in a room. It’s a little scary in theory, but now I see the value in having the largest screen in my living room as decoration, or even a space to display important information like calendar events and digital sticky notes.
Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED Series 4K UHD Smart TV with Display Widget.
There are some great features of the ambient mode. One that turns your TV into a piece of art. The art was pulled from a collection of 1,500 photographs and fine art, including from the National Gallery of Art and the Art Institute of Chicago. Samsung’s “The Frame” TV has this feature too, but you have to pay to view the art, whereas Amazon TV’s art gallery is free.
Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED Series 4K UHD.
You can view your photos on the TV which is a nice but common feature found on other sets. You can customize widgets on your screen with news, reminders, sticky notes, and calendars, and you can add control centers for your smart home devices. I used the sticky notes option to leave my husband a reminder to pick up oat milk at the grocery store.
Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED Series 4K UHD.
You can also play music from the TV even when the screen is not on. I wasn’t expecting to use this feature since I have a pretty powerful stereo system, but I was impressed with the sound quality and volume of the TV’s built-in speakers. I have standout speakers on the other two TVs in the house because the speakers are pretty bad, but I didn’t feel the need for one here. The new Fire TV gets louder and clearer. However, soundbars provide a deeper, richer sound.
What is bad
Alexa couldn’t always hear my commands when the TV’s volume was on high, which makes sense but still a bit frustrating. You will have to use the remote control to pause to talk to Alexa.
Also, this TV isn’t the best choice for people who aren’t already interested in Alexa or who don’t subscribe to Amazon Prime. All Fire TVs feature Prime content prominently on the main user interface. You’ll see suggestions for shows to watch, like Amazon’s “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.”
As you can see from the image below, there are a lot of ads for Prime Video shows, there’s a row of Tubi-supported movies, and I’ve often seen other ads. It can get annoying if you aren’t interested in her.
While the brightness and picture will be sufficient for casual TV viewers, there are other TVs in the same price range that can get much brighter. Others may provide better and smoother gaming experiences. Hisense’s 65-inch Class ULED Premium U7H QLED Series Quantum Dot Google 4K offers a 120Hz refresh rate, for example, while the Omni QLED only offers 60Hz. Likewise, the U7H’s $700 price tag has deeper blacks and more realistic colors, too.
Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED Series 4K UHD Prime UI.
Should you buy it?
You will love it if you delve into Amazon’s ecosystem of products and services. I appreciate that it makes the largest screen in your house useful thanks to its “surround” experience. It is very easy to set up and using Alexa to navigate is a breeze. The new Amazon Fire TV Omni is a huge improvement over last year’s model, especially when it comes to the screen, and its current price cut makes it an even better deal for its capabilities and size.
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