When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.
After years of making streaming devices and increasingly large smart displays, it’s no surprise that Amazon now sells its own in-house TVs. The latest is the Fire TV Omni QLED, which is designed to compete with displays from popular value brands like TCL and Hisense.
A step-up model from Amazon’s 2021 Fire TV Omni, the 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 model.
You can still do better for your money from a picture quality standpoint, but the Omni QLED is a solid contender in the mid-tier budget TV market. Its smart features and voice control will especially appeal to those already tied into the Alexa ecosystem, while its improved handling of 4K HDR content makes it a real step forward for Amazon’s fledgling TV line.
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 needs work:
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 TCL’s 5- and 6-Series models. 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.
Amazon’s Fire TV operating system 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 in the TV itself 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.
The latest Fire TV OS also adds a new feature called “Ambient Experience.” Backlit by a catalog of art 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 smart features are all (unsurprisingly) tied to an Amazon account, with multiple profiles available to customize the experience. If you’ve got 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.
It’s a pretty handy system, 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 had few hiccups, possibly due to recent software updates.
Like a lot of TVs in its class, the Omni QLED adds some gaming features for supported 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. That said, you’ll typically have to jump up a fair bit in price to get a 120Hz panel elsewhere.
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 well 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 4K 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 HDR luster, the rainbow of colors burst forth without oversaturation, and black levels are rich.
Contrast is a huge step up over the standard Omni model thanks to the TV’s 80 dimming zones, and 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.
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. This is something you’ll deal with to some degree 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 of 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, this issue is 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 sparkling spectacle in HDR. But, the Omni QLED’s brightness isn’t on par with some competitors. TCL’s latest 5-Series outdoes the Omni here, not to mention step-up models like the 6-Series and Hisense’s U7H, which can hit 1,000 nits or more.
Amazon’s Omni QLED TV offers drastic improvements over the 2021 Omni, with much better contrast thanks to its local dimming, as well as expanded color reproduction with quantum dots, a relatively bright screen, and a modicum of HDR punch. It does its best work with top-quality 4K HDR content, and especially for those new to the technology, it delivers its share of wow factor.
The TV also offers some modern gaming features, and the Fire TV OS works better than expected. While the interface still overly favors Amazon content, we appreciate modern touches like the ability to preview videos before starting an app.
For those who watch a lot of HD content, or conversely, those seeking a more impactful HDR experience, there are better looking TVs for similar and even lower prices, like TCL’s latest 5-Series. If you’re willing to go up a bit in price (or down a size) to TCL’s 6-series or Hisense’s U7H, you’ll be rewarded with nearly double the peak brightness and better picture quality in general.
That said, 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.
Sign up for Insider Reviews’ weekly newsletter for more buying advice and great deals.
You can purchase logo and accolade licensing to this story here.
Disclosure: Written and researched by the Insider Reviews team. We highlight products and services you might find interesting. If you buy them, we may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our partners. We may receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. We operate independently from our advertising team. We welcome your feedback. Email us at email@example.com.