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 smarts. Dubbed the company’s “smartest TV lineup ever,” the new Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED series packs a more advanced Quantum Dot display for immersive movie nights. But the real selling point just might be the new Fire TV Ambient Experience, which could make the Omni the center of your smart home — and a legit competitor to Samsung’s excellent The Frame TV.
For those who are 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 ton to break down in Amazon’s new TV lineup, so here’s what you need to know.
Where to preorder the Fire TV Omni QLED and Fire TV Cube
If you just want a new streaming player, the new third-generation Fire TV Cube is available for preorder now for $139.99, with orders shipping Oct. 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 Nov. 16.
Fire TV Omni QLED
As the first TV line designed entirely by Amazon, the Fire TV Omni series is built from the ground up with Amazon services and Alexa in mind. That means that you can control virtually every aspect of the television with a quick voice command (such as “Alexa, turn on the baseball game” or “Alexa, which actor is this?”) rather than having to reach for the remote. The new Fire TV Omni QLED line has the same core concept but promises some major improvements to both the picture quality and the overall smart home experience.
For starters, and as the name implies, the new Omni TVs feature a 4K QLED display, which uses quantum dots to provide much better color and contrast than you’d get from a typical LED television. It features 96 local dimming zones that can adjust themselves independently, which allows for better detail and contrast in dark scenes that can often get 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 come to the new QLED model.
Improved display aside, 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 your room’s ambient lighting. But the Fire TV Omni QLED doesn’t just want to be your main 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 number of onboard sensors to detect when you’re in the room and display things like artwork, useful widgets (like calendars and reminders) and content suggestions when it knows you’re nearby.
Amazon’s new TV can double as a digital art display, capable of displaying your personal photo collection or a selection of more than 1,500 “gallery-quality” photos that include collections from real museums like The National Gallery of Art and The Art Institute of Chicago. This seems like a direct response to Samsung’s The Frame TV, which also offers a vast library of 1,400-plus 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 an actual piece 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 comes free could be a major selling point.
But the Omni doesn’t just display pretty pictures when you’re not watching TV. Just like on Amazon’s Echo Show devices, the Omni QLED lets you take advantage of Alexa widgets, which display quick bits of glanceable info like calendars, reminders and sticky notes reminding your loved ones to take out the trash. Think of it like a family bulletin board but digital, 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 by simply 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 like, and customize presence detection to your liking — whether you only want it active during certain hours or not at all. During its Sept. 28 presentation, Amazon said that the Omni QLED is smart enough to turn on when you enter your living room during the day while knowing to stay off if you’re simply roaming the house late at night for a snack.
Fire TV Cube (3rd Gen) and Alexa Voice Remote Pro
For those in the market for a new streaming player, the Fire TV Cube (3rd Gen) is poised to be Amazon’s most powerful, 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 packs dedicated Ethernet and USB ports, ideal for fast wired internet or connecting a webcam for video calling from your 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 ringing — which should help you find it even within the depths of your 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 pull up your favorite streaming apps as well as a dedicated headphone button for quickly pairing your Bluetooth headphones for when you don’t want to wake anyone in your house up. The new remote works with most Fire TV devices, with a few exceptions that include the first- and second-gen Fire TV.
When we reviewed the Fire TV Omni last year, we were really impressed with its smarts — but not so much its picture quality. The Fire TV Omni QLED seems to directly address these concerns while also adding some promising smart home features and even borrowing our favorite feature of Samsung’s The Frame. When you put that together for a starting price of $799, you have a serious contender to our best TV rankings, and one we can’t wait to test.
We’ve found previous versions of the Fire TV Cube to be impressive, but also a bit excessive for the average user. That’ll likely remain the case for the new third-gen model, though the Wi-Fi 6E support and improved ports could be a boon for power users who need the latest and greatest tech. Ultimately, the new Alexa Voice Remote Pro just may emerge to be the true star of Amazon’s new TV lineup, because seriously, how often do we all lose our remotes?