A year after launching its first in-house TVs with the Fire TV Omni line, Amazon is back with an all-new lineup that promises even better picture quality and improved intelligence. Dubbed the “company’s smartest TV line,” Amazon’s new Fire TV Omni QLED series features a more advanced Quantum Dot display for immersive movie nights. But the real selling point might be the new Fire TV Ambient Experience, which could make the Omni the centerpiece of your smart home and a legitimate competitor to Samsung’s excellent The Frame TV.
For those happy with their current TV, Amazon also has a new Fire TV Cube streaming player with faster performance and a new Alexa Voice Remote Pro that should be easier to find in the dark. There’s a lot to break down in Amazon’s new TV lineup, so here’s what you need to know.
Where to pre-order the Fire TV Omni QLED and Fire TV Cube
The Fire TV Omni QLED line is available for pre-order now, starting at $799.99 for the 65-inch model and $1,099.99 for the 75-inch version. The TVs will ship on October 27th.
If you just want a new streaming player, the new third-generation Fire TV Cube is available for pre-order now for $139.99, with orders shipping on October 25. Finally, the new Alexa Voice Remote Pro can be ordered now for $34.99 (or $49 with a Red Remote Cover), and will arrive on November 16th.
As the first TV line designed entirely by Amazon, the Fire TV Omni series is built from the ground up with Amazon and Alexa services in mind. This means you can control virtually every aspect of your TV with a quick voice command (like “Alexa, turn on the baseball game” or “Alexa, which actor is this?”) instead of having to reach the remote control. The new Fire TV Omni QLED line has the same basic concept, but promises some major improvements to both picture quality and the overall smart home experience.
For starters, and as the name suggests, the new Omni TVs feature a 4K QLED display, which uses quantum dots to deliver far better color and contrast than you’d get from a typical LED TV. It features 96 independently adjustable local dimming zones, allowing for better detail and contrast in dark scenes that can often be muddy on cheaper TVs. The lack of local dimming was one of our biggest criticisms of last year’s Fire TV Omni, so we’re happy to see it make it to the new QLED model.
Aside from the improved screen, the Fire TV Omni QLED supports all the latest formats, including HDR10+ and HLG. It’s also the first Fire TV to offer Dolby Vision IQ and HDR 10+ Adaptive, both of which can adjust picture quality based on the ambient lighting in your room. But the Fire TV Omni QLED doesn’t just want to be your primary TV; it also wants to be the center of your smart home.
The Omni QLED is the first Fire TV to get Amazon’s new Ambient Experience, which uses a series of built-in sensors to detect when you’re in the room and display things like artwork, useful widgets (like calendars and reminders) and content suggestions when found. knows you’re near
Amazon’s new TV can double as a digital art display, capable of displaying your personal photo collection or a selection of over 1,500 “gallery-quality” photos that include real museum collections like the National Gallery of Art and the Art Institute of Chicago. It looks like a direct response to Samsung’s The Frame TV, which also offers an extensive library of over 1,400 digital pieces from real galleries that you can enjoy when you’re not watching shows. We love The Frame TV, which can be mistaken for a real work of art when gallery mode is active, so we’re eager to see how the Omni QLED compares in this area. Samsung requires you to subscribe to its art store to use this feature, so the fact that the Omni’s collection is free could be a big selling point.
But the Omni doesn’t just show pretty pictures when you’re not watching TV. Like Amazon’s Echo Show devices, the Omni QLED lets you take advantage of Alexa widgets, which display quick information like calendars, reminders, and sticky notes reminding loved ones to take out the trash. Think of it as a familiar but digital bulletin board, and one that can also control smart devices in your home, like your thermostat or Ring doorbell. There are also widgets that can suggest TV shows and movies, as well as the ability to pull up music from top streaming services simply by asking Alexa with your voice.
Naturally, we wouldn’t blame you for being wary of a TV that can detect and listen to you at all times. Fortunately, you can disable the Omni QLED’s far-field microphone whenever you want and customize presence detection to your liking, whether you only want it to be active during certain hours or not. During its September 28 presentation, Amazon said the Omni QLED is smart enough to turn on when you walk into your living room during the day, and you know it’s out if you’re just walking around the house late at night for a snack.
Fire TV Cube (3rd generation) and Alexa Voice Remote Pro
For those looking for a new streaming player, the Fire TV Cube (3rd Gen) is poised to be Amazon’s most powerful and robust option yet. This $139 streamer features a new octa-core processor, which Amazon says is twice as powerful as the popular Fire TV Stick 4K Max. It’s the first streaming device to support Wi-Fi 6E (a new Wi-Fi standard built for even faster speeds), and it’s the first player of its kind with HDMI input control (meaning you can control your connected HDMI devices with the included remote). ). It also includes dedicated Ethernet and USB ports, ideal for fast wired internet or connecting a webcam to make video calls from the TV.
Finally, there’s the new $34.99 Alexa Voice Remote Pro, which could solve our age-old problem of constantly losing our TV remotes. Ask, “Alexa, find my remote,” and the accessory will start beeping, helping you find it even deep in the couch cushions. The new remote also has backlit buttons, making it easier to use (and find) when watching movies in the dark or at night. Other notable features include two customizable shortcut buttons that can instantly activate your favorite streaming apps, as well as a dedicated headphone button for quickly pairing your Bluetooth headphones when you don’t want to wake anyone in your house. The new remote works with most Fire TV devices, with a few exceptions including the first and second generation Fire TV.
When we reviewed the Fire TV Omni last year, we were very impressed with its intelligence, but not so much with its picture quality. The Fire TV Omni QLED seems to directly address these concerns while adding some promising smart home features and even borrowing our favorite feature from Samsung’s The Frame. When you put that together for a starting price of $799, you’ve got a serious contender in our best TV rankings, and one we can’t wait to try out.
We found previous versions of the Fire TV Cube to be impressive, but also a bit overkill for the average user. That’s likely to remain the case with the new third-generation model, though Wi-Fi 6E support and improved ports could be a big boon for power users who need the latest and greatest tech. Ultimately, the new Alexa Voice Remote Pro may be the real star of Amazon’s new TV lineup, because seriously, how often do we lose all our remotes?