I’ll confess — I’ve never been a TV fanatic, which is probably why I was still using a plasma TV in my bedroom until recently. The 42-inch Samsung plasma TV hanging on the wall was almost 12 years old, a dinosaur by today’s standards. Yet, I haven’t had the itch to replace it — until a month ago.
That’s when I said hello to the 55-inch version of the Amazon Fire TV Omni, bringing me once and for all into the smart TV era. I may not be as picky about my TVs as I am with my other tech gadgets, but my eyes are the ones that need to be convinced. After spending countless hours relishing this 4K smart TV at night, I’ve learned to appreciate the picture quality you get with a TV made in the last decade.
Amazon’s new Fire TV Omni is the first TV (but not the last) produced by the e-commerce giant. Amazon originally released this TV in October 2021, and the company sent SPY the 55-inch model to review.
• Dimensions: 48.6 x 28.5 x 3.6-inches
• Weight: 25lbs
• Resolution: 3840 x 2160
• HDR Support: HDR 10, HLG
• Refresh Rate: 60 Hz
• HDMI ports: 3 HDMI 2.0 + 1 HDMI 2.1 with eARC
Adequate Image Quality for the Non-Picky
I’ve been mesmerized by the glistening glow from smart OLED TVs showcased at tech conferences like CES. Knowing that, I will admit that the Amazon Fire TV Omni didn’t initially give me the same reaction. That’s not to say it’s a dud right from the beginning.
For someone who has been watching content on a 1080p plasma for the last decade, I was actually astounded by the superior difference of the Amazon Fire TV Omni. Details are plentiful with its 3840 x 2160 resolution, but it lacks the high contrast and iridescent colors that I’ve seen produced by OLED TVs. I’m not dissuaded from using the Fire TV Omni, just because it’s technically using your standard LED panel.
Still, its support for HDR 10 does decently to balance exposure across the highlights and shadows — but don’t expect the same deep black tone that OLED panels produce. I’m not one to complain about the design, but it’s predictably boring with its boxy looks and hard lines.
Superb Smart Home Control
Powered by Alexa, it’s what I would consider a worthier contender as a command center for the home. The included Fire TV Alexa Voice Remote comes in handy navigating through the Fire TV software, but I love how I can still send voice commands to Alexa. There’s a built-in microphone that lets me do things like turning on the TV, playing music, and asking about my calendar appointments — you know, the same functions as any other smart speaker.
The Amazon Fire TV Omni was designed to control the smart home if you’re a diehard Alexa user. I found it useful to check up on my security cameras right through the TV and turn on some lights with a quick voice command. Considering that this is technically my first smart TV, the amount of connectivity it has with my other smart home gadgets is a tremendous asset.
Support for all Your Favorite Streaming Services
I often dreamt about the day of cutting the cord with my cable provider. With streaming services continually adding quality content, that day will come. Even though I’m not yet ready to do that, the Amazon Fire TV Omni has everything I need for a quiet evening.
All of your popular services are there, like Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, and of course, Amazon Prime Video. Did you expect anything less from an Amazon-branded TV? I didn’t think so. However, I have to admit I was really excited to find the Xfinity app because it means ditching the cable box — everything’s streamed all over Wi-Fi.
Whether you’re a chronic channel surfer or just need a quick distraction, you’ll find the Amazon Fire TV Omni ready for all your requests.
The Verdict: Value with Tons of Smart Features
The Amazon Fire TV Omni may not have the same draws as some other high-end TV sets, but it doesn’t need them. Instead, it wins on the merits of being a usable, modern smart TV that satisfies most people’s needs.
So Should You Buy it?
Absolutely, if you’re looking for a budget model with an excellent smart TV interface. If you’re not too nitpicky about image quality, the Amazon Fire TV Omni has a lot to offer. It’s affordably priced to begin with, but this smart TV is often discounted by as much as $140.
• Aggressive starting cost
• Access to Alexa at any time
• Sharp details with 4K content
• Lower contrast image quality
• Boring design
How Long Will It Last?
Constructed primarily out of plastic, the frame feels tough enough to last a decent while. It’s on the thinner side, though. Of course, its low cost would make anyone skeptical about how well it’ll hold up long term, but it comes with a 1-year limited warranty.
What Are Some of the Alternatives?
The most obvious alternative is TCL, which, interestingly enough, is the company Amazon has tapped to manufacture its TV. There is a resemblance to TCL’s 5-Series smart TV. The only significant difference here is that it runs Roku, which some people may prefer over the Fire TV experience.
Vizio M7 Series
Vizio has always had this reputation of offering affordable TVs with good value, so you may want to consider the Vizio 55-Inch M7 Series Quantum Color LED Smart TV. Colors are certainly punchier in tone, but it’s great too for supporting Apple’s AirPlay and Google’s Chromecast for quick and easy streaming control from your mobile devices.