Fire TV Omni QLED review: Amazon's flagship TV combines great color performance with Alexa smart features (2024)

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After years of making some of the best streaming devices, it's no surprise that Amazon now sells its own in-house smart TVs. The brand's latest model is the Fire TV Omni QLED, which is built to compete with the best 4K TVs in the midrange market from rivals like TCL and Hisense.

Designed as a step-up option from the 2021 Fire TV Omni, the Omni QLED series adds local dimming and quantum dots for better contrast and color performance. While the TV has its faults, it's a vast improvement over the standard Omni.

When it comes to picture quality, it's not the best TV you can get for the money, but the Omni QLED is a solid contender in the lower midrange class. Its smart features and voice control will especially appeal to those already tied into the Alexa ecosystem. And best of all, it's frequently on sale. Amazon offers big price drops on this model during deal events, so it could hit a new all-time low on Prime Day.

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Amazon 65-inch Omni QLED Fire TV

Amazon’s latest TV has advanced features like local dimming, quantum dots, and hands-free Alexa. There are better-looking TVs in this price range, but the Omni QLED is a solid pick for buyers who want convenient Alexa integration.

What we like

  • Solid contrast and 4K color coverage
  • Loaded Alexa smart features
  • Relatively intuitive interface
  • VRR and ALLM gaming features

What we don’t like

  • Poor off-axis viewing
  • Underpowered HDR brightness for the money
  • Underwhelming upscaling
  • 60Hz panel rather than 120Hz

Simple setup, simple design

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Pulling the Fire TV Omni QLED from its box reveals a relatively basic design, with slim silver bezels around the top three sides, and a bit of flash at the base. Its styling looks similar to older models in TCL's 5- and 6-Series lineup. The panel is relatively slim for an LCD with full-array local dimming, while the backside isn't much to look at, layered in cheap matte plastic.

Setup is simple enough; Amazon's interface walks you through the basics in minutes (as long as you have an Amazon account), and although it doesn't come preloaded with a ton of services, you'll likely find all your favorites in the app store.

When it comes to physical setup, a minor word of caution about the included feet stands: they're pushed relatively far out to the sides, and they don't have an option for reversing them inward. You'll need a console that stretches at least 57 inches across to accommodate a 65-inch model, or you'll be forced to mount it. The TV is also available in 75-, 55-, 50-, and 43-inch screen sizes.

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Alexa integration turns your TV into a smart home hub

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Amazon's Fire TV operating system (OS) has been evolving rapidly, and the latest incarnation is its most sophisticated, especially if you're interested in building an entire smart home setup with Alexa at its core.

The Fire TV Omni QLED allows you to call up Alexa not only via a key on the remote, but also through built-in microphones on the TV for hands-free control of streaming services, inputs, content searches, and even smart home devices. It works pretty well, if slightly slower than just using the remote. Content search is similar to what you'll get with Roku and others, while the ability to call up "HDMI 2" without the remote can come in handy.

While we generally find the remote to be the easiest point of entry, if you're the kind of person who relies on Siri as your modus operandi on your phone, this system will likely appeal. If an always-listening TV makes you nervous, the microphones can be easily muted via a switch on the TV's bottom bezel.

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The latest Fire TV OS also adds a feature called "Ambient Experience." Backlit by a catalog of more than 1,700 free art pieces and photographs, this pre-stage home screen allows you to add custom widgets for things like weather, a calendar, and even sticky notes. By default, the Ambient Experience comes on when you power the TV down; to fully turn the TV off, you've got to hold the power button, though this is adjustable in the settings.

The TV even has a sensor to automatically power down and on when you leave and re-enter the room. This works as advertised, though it takes at least a few minutes of alone time to fade to black. For those with larger houses, this may be useful, but it's not like the TV takes a long time to boot up manually.

The TV's smart features are all (unsurprisingly) tied to an Amazon account, and multiple profiles are available to customize the experience. If you have a lot of Alexa devices, the Omni QLED is ready to be your primary command center.

As for the TV's main interface, while it puts Amazon content at the top of the screen, the app store offers all the services you'll need. As with most interfaces, apps are arrangeable manually, and they also let you preview some of the content when highlighted.

Though we prefer Roku's interface, the system works well. And unlike last year's Omni TV, we didn't experience any boot-up issues. While some reviewers have noted a lagging cursor or jerky navigation, we encountered very few hiccups, possibly due to software updates.

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Decent gaming features, but it's missing high frame rate support

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Like a lot of TVs in its class, the Omni QLED adds some gaming features for PCs and consoles like the PS5 and Xbox Series X, including VRR (Variable Refresh Rate) and ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode).

VRR allows the TV to keep pace with your game's frame rate. Since the Omni QLED is limited by a 60Hz panel, the refresh rate can only navigate between 48fps (Frames Per Second) and 60fps, so you're not likely to notice a massive difference in fluidity. While it can't keep pace with high frame rate games, it should keep gameplay relatively smooth.

ALLM allows the TV to automatically detect a signal from newer gaming devices to minimize latency down to around 11ms (according to Rtings). That's a massive jump from its regular latency of around 130ms, so you'll want to make sure you're in Game Mode when playing games.

While these features are a helpful addition for casual gamers looking to maximize performance on the cheap, the panel's 60Hz refresh rate keeps it from being a top choice for those looking to take full advantage of the latest gaming consoles. You'll typically have to jump up a bit in price to get a 120Hz panel elsewhere. Our best budget TV pick for gaming at 120Hz is the TCL Q7, which costs about $100 more than the Omni QLED typically sells for.

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Colorful images and good contrast, but there are brighter TVs for the money

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The Fire TV Omni QLED is something of a mixed bag when it comes to image quality. While it's not the model we'd recommend first for those looking to sneak in videophile performance on a budget, it has some notable skills that make it worth consideration.

For reference, we did the majority of our testing in the Movie Bright mode with local dimming set to Medium. We disabled the majority of enhancement settings, including Smart HDR and Adaptive Brightness.

Give the Omni QLED some powerful high-dynamic-range (HDR) content, and prepare for an impressive feast of color and contrast. One of our favorite 4K Blu-ray test discs, "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2," is reproduced in vivid brilliance. Gold gleams with sparkling luster, rainbows of color burst forth without oversaturation, and black levels are rich.

Thanks to the TV's 80 dimming zones, contrast is a huge step up over the standard Omni model we previously reviewed. While there's certainly some blooming (the haloed gray you'll see around bright images appearing on dark backgrounds), it's kept to a minimum when viewed head-on. Even "Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows: Part 2," a notable torture chamber for contrast, is served up with solid shadow detail and deep black levels.

Where blooming is concerned, the most notable issue comes from the TV's slow-paced dimming zones. If you look closely, you'll note that searing white images take a second or so to fully dissipate, something that can be distracting for purists. Still, it's a modest issue for casual viewing.

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The panel we received also offers satisfying screen uniformity, especially for brighter colors and whites. That said, darker grays, such as the Disney Plus load screen, do exhibit some dark squares and muddy artifacts toward the bottom of the panel.

Likewise, moving up, down, or to the sides of the screen will not only accentuate panel blooming but also dim the colors significantly, accounting for one of the TV's main drawbacks. Narrow viewing angles are something you'll have to deal with on most LCD panels at this price point, but it's worth noting. The 60Hz screen also blurs fast-moving text, though again, it's not all that noticeable outside test demos.

A bit more distracting, however, is the display's lackluster HD upscaling. Broadcast TV at 720p reveals smearing artifacts, and the TV even has issues with 1080p content, especially via streaming. Thankfully, artifacts are less common with 1080p Blu-rays and video games.

The last issue we'll raise is more of a limitation: peak HDR brightness. Offering a max of around 500 nits, the TV can still serve up some solid spectacle in HDR. But, the Omni QLED's brightness isn't on par with some competitors. Hisense's cheaper U6K 4K TV edges out the Omni QLED with about 600 nits, not to mention step-up models like the TCL Q7 and the Hisense U7K, which can hit 1,000 nits or more.

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Should you buy the Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED?

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Amazon's Fire TV Omni QLED is the brand's best Fire TV display. It offers drastic improvements over the 2021 Omni TV, with much better contrast, an expanded color gamut with quantum dots, a relatively bright screen, and a modicum of HDR punch. Whilethe Fire TV interface still overly favors Amazon content, we appreciate new touches like the Ambient Experience and the ability to preview videos before starting an app.

However, those seeking comparable HDR performance can find similar TVs from other brands for less money, like the Hisense U6K. And if you're willing to go up a tad in price (or down a size) to the TCL Q7, you can get nearly double the peak brightness, a higher refresh rate, and better overall picture quality.

That said, the Omni QLED does have an edge in smaller screen sizes, as it's one of the few TVs in this performance class that comes in 50- and 43-inch models. Just keep in mind that the 43-inch version lacks local dimming, so contrast won't be as high as it is on the larger models.

But no matter what size you go with, those looking to delve deeper into the Amazon ecosystem will find an ally in the Fire TV Omni QLED. Especially if you can find it on one of its, ahem, fire sales, you'll be getting good value for your money.

Ryan Waniata

Freelance Writer

Ryan is a professional writer, editor, video host, and product reviewer. Since transitioning from audio engineering in Nashville in 2012, his portfolio has spanned the gamut, from entertainment op-eds and trends pieces to gadget how-tos and reviews on TVs, audio gear, smart home devices, and more. The author of hundreds of articles, his work can be seen on Business Insider, Reviewed, How to Geek, Digital Trends, and others. While writing and editing are his primary gigs, he's also a seasoned video host and podcaster, having shot and written dozens of videos. In 2016 he created the entertainment podcast, Between the Streams, which ran for 150 episodes. Since becoming a product reviewer, he's been on a constant quest to find the perfect product (which he has yet to do). He feels a deep responsibility to find readers and viewers of his work the absolute best tech for their money, whatever the budget. When he's not writing, editing, or evaluating the latest gadget, Ryan can be found singing and playing guitar or adventuring in the lush green forests and sandy beaches of the Pacific Northwest.

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Fire TV Omni QLED review: Amazon's flagship TV combines great color performance with Alexa smart features (2024)
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