Amazon is getting more serious about TV hardware. The company has long offered great streaming sticks on a budget for those in its ecosystem — but last year, it announced the new Omni series, aimed at those who want a complete TV experience, with Alexa and all your favorite Amazon services, from end to end. This year, it’s iterating on that concept with the new Fire TV Omni QLED — which brings quantum dot technology to its relatively inexpensive TVs.
With a low price tag and, at least on paper, reasonably high-tech features, the Fire TV Omni QLED could be a home run. But it also faces stiff competition, including some of the best TVs of the year from the likes of Hisense and TCL, which also exist in this price range. Can the Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED do enough to compete? We’ve been testing it to find out.
Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED review: Pricing and configurations
The Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED, unfortunately, is only available in two different sizes — 65 inches and 75 inches. Amazon has yet to announce smaller sizes, but hopefully it will in the near future. Pricing for the two available TVs can be found below, however keep in mind that they’ll be routinely discounted, and could even get discounts during the upcoming Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping events.
- Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED 65-inch: $799.99
- Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED 75-inch: $1,099.99
These are relatively competitive prices, especially for TVs of this size. It does mean, however, that the TVs compete with the likes of the Hisense U7H and the TCL 5-Series.
Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED review: Design
The design of the Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED is nothing to write home about, but it’s also not ugly. The TV offers decently small gray bezels around the display, with a larger bezel on the bottom that houses a range of sensors.
The legs on the TV are attached via two screws, and are relatively far apart – meaning that you should have enough space for even a large soundbar like the Sonos Arc between them.
Most of the build of the TV is plastic, but it doesn’t necessarily feel cheap, and it looks fine from the front.
Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED review: Ports
Thankfully, the port selection on the Fire TV Omni QLED is pretty solid. As we’ve come to expect of TVs in this price range lately, you’ll get four HDMI ports, and they all support HDMI 2.1, with one of them being an eARC port. Since they’re all HDMI 2.1, gamers will be able to take advantage of features like auto low latency mode and a variable refresh rate, however since the panel only supports a refresh rate of 60Hz, gamers are probably best looking elsewhere anyway.
Apart from the four HDMI ports, the TV offers an Ethernet port and a USB 2.0 port. Unfortunately, the Ethernet port is a 10/100 connection, not a gigabit Ethernet port that is becoming increasingly common.
It’s a fine selection, and enough for most people, though competing options do offer more ports.
Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED review: Performance
The Fire TV Omni QLED offers full array local dimming with 80 zones in the 65-inch model we’re reviewing. It also leverages quantum dots to make for a more vibrant image. And, it supports all expected HDR formats: HDR10, HLG, HDR10+ Adaptive, and Dolby Vision IQ.
In day to day use, I found that the Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED performed fairly well. Images were detailed and crisp, and colors were bright and vibrant. Having previously reviewed the Hisense U7H and U8H, however, I found it to be a little lacking in overall image quality and backlight control, and if you’re looking for a TV with the best image quality in this price range, it is worth looking at an option from Hisense.
The Fire TV Omni QLED generally delivered a bright image, in both SDR and HDR, beating out much of the more expensive OLED competition and some of the similarly-priced LED competition, like the Vizio M-Series Quantum. That said, the Hisense U7H beat the Amazon TV in all brightness tests, including in SDR and HDR viewing.
For example, the Fire TV Omni QLED achieved a brightness of 425.9 nits in HDR Filmmaker mode at 100% of the display, the Vizio M-Series Quantum reached 322.8 nits and the LG C2 only 165.5 nits. The Hisense U7H outdid all of them, at 617.3 nits, for a similar price.
The Fire TV Omni QLED does have some redeeming qualities. It managed to cover more of the color gamut than the U7H in many of our tests, though to be fair it usually didn’t cover that much more. I personally find the much better brightness and backlight control to be more important than the slightly larger color coverage.
None of this is to say that the Fire TV Omni QLED looks bad. On the contrary, it looks quite good. Just not good enough to beat the best options in this price range. Not everyone will consider image quality as the most important factor in buying a TV – and if you care more about the operating system and smart features, you’re still getting a great-looking TV.
Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED review: Audio
If you’re looking for an excellent audio experience, you won’t really get it from the Fire TV Omni QLED. The TV actually delivered a little more bass response than I was expecting, but as is usually the case with TV speakers, bass response still wasn’t deep, and the detail in the high end wasn’t that great.
If you can afford to do so, I would recommend getting a soundbar or a pair of speakers for use with the Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED. A great pairing would be this TV with the Sonos Beam, for example. You could even get a Sonos Sub Mini to pair with that, if you really want bass.
Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED review: Fire TV and smart features
As you would expect, the Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED comes with Amazon’s Fire OS built into it. That means that it’ll put Prime content front and center, and it allows you to use Alexa to control the TV itself, and control smart home devices and find out information from the web. It can essentially be used like an Amazon Echo when the TV is off, too, so you don’t have to buy an Echo for the same room unless you want it for something else.
The Fire TV Omni QLED comes with a number of sensors that allow for more advanced features. Amazon has created a new ambient experience for the TV. That displays a wallpaper and informative widgets that can be shown when you’re not actively watching something. That’s also where some of the sensors come in – there’s a radar-based presence sensor that can detect when there’s noone in the room, and turn off the display altogether – then turn the ambient display back on when someone enters the room again. It’s an interesting feature, and Amazon wants it to help prevent your TV from simply being a big black box in your living room when it’s not in use. I think most will find keeping the TV on all the time difficult to get used to, but the widgets can be helpful. For example, you can show weather information, and tell Alexa to leave post-it notes for others in the home.
Fire OS in general works fine, and I don’t mind the general interface. It shows rows of content under a row of your apps, and it’s generally easy to navigate. It prioritizes content from Prime, but it doesn’t totally leave other content behind, which is nice. It also seemed to perform pretty well here, and while when I first started using the TV it was a little slow, I didn’t really run into that much afterwards.
Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED review: Remote
The remote that comes with the Fire TV Omni QLED is easy to navigate, though unfortunately not as advanced as Amazon’s new Voice Remote Pro. It basically offers software controls and quick-access buttons to some of the more popular streaming services.
And, it supports voice controls, so you can ask Alexa to control different aspects of the software, change the volume, and more.
I do wish Amazon included its higher-end remote with its higher-end products. I understand not including it with the cheaper streaming devices, but it should come with Amazon’s TVs. The Voice Remote Pro offers features like Bluetooth tracking, backlit buttons, and a dedicated headphone button.
Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED review: Verdict
The Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED is a solid TV. The image quality is generally good, and it offers a few unique features, like the ambient mode. If image quality is a top priority for you, then you should consider the Hisense U7H or stretch to the even-better U8H instead. You could even get a Hisense TV and couple it with an Amazon Fire TV Cube. But if you want a native Fire OS experience in a solid-looking TV, the Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED is the way to go.