Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED TV review: Good picture, great experience
- Accurate color of quantum dots
- Super intuitive user interface
- Effective voice remote control
- Slow guide and media player thumbnail enumeration
- Poor video processing
While its picture quality is merely on par with similarly priced smart TVs, the Amazon Fire TV’s Omni QLED user interface and Alexa voice remote deliver a truly superior user experience.
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Best Prices Today: Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED TV
The Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED 4K TV is the top dog in Amazon’s TV lineup. Quantum dots provide better color accuracy on LED-backlit TVs, and arguably OLED TVs as well. A list price of $600 for the 55-inch model reviewed here puts Amazon’s Fire TV Omni QLED series in the “I want something a little higher than entry-level, but I’m not crazy” category. to spend two thousand dollars on a television” category. It’s a hotly contested space that usually offers the best value for money, and this TV packs a lot of that.
For those looking for a larger or smaller TV, the Fire TV Omni QLED is also available in a 43-inch configuration for $450, there’s a 50-inch model for $530, a 65-inch for $650 and $900. nets you a 75-inch display. Each of these models consists of a 10-bit panel with a 60Hz refresh rate; HDR support in both Dolby Vision IQ and HDR10+ forms; Amazon’s Fire TV Smart TV operating system; and full local dimming (the latter feature is not included on the 43-inch model).
The 55-inch Fire TV Omni QLED has two widely spaced feet, which is great for stability, but you’ll need a fairly wide surface to set it up. Hanging it on the wall with its 300 x 300mm VESA mount, on the other hand, should be easy as it weighs just 30 pounds. Anyway, know that its bezel, thin on top and on the sides, but rather thick on the bottom, has a shiny pewter surface that reflects quite a bit of light, as you can see in the picture . below.
This review is part of TechHive’s in-depth coverage of the best smart TVs.
In the image above, you’ll see the module at the bottom of the TV that houses the sensors that detect user presence and ambient lighting conditions. These are used to control various automatic functions, such as brightness adjustment.
Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED Series Specifications
The Fire TV Omni QLED has four HDMI ports, one of which supports eARC (we explain Enhanced Audio Return Channel at the previous link). According to Amazon, all four interfaces are HDMI 2.1 and support both variable refresh rate and auto low latency modes. The image on the product page, however, indicates that three of them are only HDMI 2.0. Amazon tells us that since these ports don’t support a 120Hz refresh rate, they intentionally mislabeled them to avoid increased gamer expectations.
There’s a single USB 2.0 port with support for mass media playback, keyboards and mice; one RJ-45 port for 10/100 Ethernet; coaxial for cable/satellite connections or an over-the-air antenna (on-board tuner is ATSC 1.0); one 3.5mm headphone jack, one S/PDIF optical digital audio output; and an IR emitter port. This last port lets you control external devices with the TV remote (assuming they don’t support HDMI-CEC). There’s also a Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) adapter on board, as well as a Bluetooth 5.0 radio that supports Bluetooth headphones. You can adjust the audio/video synchronization according to your needs, and the TV surprised me with the support for aptX and aptX HD codecs. It’s a welcome feature if you have headphones that support the same.
Fire TV Omni QLED supports Dolby Vision and HDR10+ high dynamic range formats that provide scene-by-scene, frame-by-frame metadata. HLG HDR is also supported. On the surround audio front, Dolby codecs up to Dolby Atmos are supported in pass-through mode, but Amazon didn’t mention DTS.
The Fire TV Omni QLED implements all of Amazon’s technologies, including its Alexa voice assistant. Both the TV and its remote have built-in microphones (with a mute switch for privacy). Amazon has also created an “ambient” mode – a la Samsung – that lets you use your TV to display art, moving art, etc., rather than being a black void that encroaches on your space.
Configuration, interface and Omni QLED remote control
I don’t usually go into great detail about the tuning experience of the TVs I review, but the Fire TV Omni QLED has one remarkable trick I feel compelled to mention: it automatically detects your ZIP code during setup. of the channel guide. It then took an abnormally long time to populate said channel guide; but hey, no one is perfect.
This TV also took a long time to generate thumbnails for test videos on our USB stick, perhaps indicating that the Omni QLED is just a shadow light in terms of multitasking power. Other than that, it read all the files perfectly.
Setup was generally painless, with none of the network issues we’ve encountered with Vizio TVs. Of course, you have the option of logging into your Amazon account, but you don’t have to. You’ll have more features available if you do, but I appreciate the option and the fact that it’s prominently displayed, unlike some competitors.
As for the Fire TV OS UI: Move over Roku and WebOS, I have a new favorite. I love that the essential home, input and settings buttons are all unobtrusively available from the home row. I also like how the settings menu slides elegantly down the right side of the screen in a semi-transparent gradient as content continues to play. It’s very smooth.
All functions are logically grouped together, although I would have preferred to have all forms of devices (Bluetooth, etc.) under one button.
The voice remote is very similar to Roku’s in terms of functionality, as well as being significantly slimmer and a bit longer. Rewind, Play/Pause, and Fast-Forward buttons are lined up below a circular toggle switch with a Select button in the middle. The similarities to Roku’s user interface are probably why I got used to Fire TV so easily. That said, my preference would be to have the transport controls below the TV controls, as I use them a lot. It’s not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, as the Fire TV UI and Amazon’s Alexa Voice Remote synergize more fully and effectively than any combo I’ve tried.
Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED picture quality
The Fire TV Omni QLED’s picture is roughly on par with other LED-backlit LCDs in this price range, its main strength being the precise, saturated color of the quantum dots. The weaknesses, such as they are, occur in video processing; although very rarely in the real world.
Contrast is good for a mid-range TV, with blacks tending towards a darker gray than on many competing TVs. The TV delivered the moving star field test well. The background wasn’t black like you’d see with OLED TVs, but it didn’t show the cloudiness you’ll see with TVs that have a more granular backlight; for example, Samsung TVs.
The Fire TV Omni QLED also performed well in Sony’s contrast demo, which features the Las Vegas skyline at night. I saw a minimal bloom at the junction of the inky firmament and bright neon lights. Although this TV supports HDR, it doesn’t display it particularly spectacularly as it only has 400-500 nits of peak brightness.
I observed extremely minor backlight artifacts here and there when displaying small bright objects on an all-black screen. And as I’ve seen with Roku’s newer TVs, the entire screen never fully lit during full display sync. But it’s not something that affects mundane hardware that I know of.
Jon L. Jacobi
As for the weaknesses I mentioned earlier: I encountered quite a few processing artifacts during our stress tests. The shimmer and moire, depending on the material, ran the gamut from less to more than usual. There were also color shifts in large areas during the Dolby Vision “Little Space Gal Fights Monster to Get Home” demonstration video.
Static electricity was noticeable in some small areas of thin lines during Spear & Munsil testing. You’ll see these flaws on most TVs, but they were a bit more pronounced on the Fire TV Omni QLED.
Screen uniformity was good for a $600 TV. Viewing angles, although not OLED-like, are better than some in the price range; moving 15-20 degrees off center with this TV is no problem.
It’s my job to point out a TV’s weaknesses, but at the end of the day, as with almost all TVs these days, the Fire TV Omni QLED produces a worthy viewing experience with real-world hardware.
Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED audio performance
This TV is equipped with two speakers powered by an 8 watt amplifier. I used its EQ feature to boost the 5kHz band for clarity; otherwise, it was easy to listen to out of the box. There was even a very modest amount of bass.
If you’re picky about audio – or just enjoy home theater sound – you can replace the internal speakers with an affordable soundbar (be sure to read our favorite soundbars), but I encourages you to live with it for a week. or so before spending more money.
It’s a good TV with a great user experience
The Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED offers excellent colors, but that’s to be expected from a QLED TV in this price range. Amazon’s Fire TV operating system and its Alexa voice remote, plus the easy setup, ambient mode, and overall experience they enable, make this TV a cut or two above the competition. . I like it.