Amazon Smart TV review: Users love this 4K TV, but is it worth the $500 cost?

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Amazon 50″ 4K TV review

Even though smart TVs have been around for over a decade, if you haven’t made the switch yet, the thought of upgrading can be a little daunting and the cost can be a bit pricey.

Amazon doesn’t think that should be the case. The company’s 50-inch smart TV makes upgrading easy and affordable. Amazon promises that with the Omni Series 4K Smart TV, you get access to over a million movies and TV episodes, cable-free live TV, personalized viewing recommendations and a variety of other practical features.

It sounded like exactly what we were looking for, so we tested the Amazon Fire TV 50-inch Omni Series 4K Smart TV to see if those claims were true. Here’s what we found.

Amazon Fire TV review

Although our tester has experience using a modern smart TV when visiting family, he has a Vizio that’s almost a decade old. This TV pales in comparison to modern smart TV technology – the software is outdated and can only stream Netflix, and performance is sluggish and unreliable. Our tester is looking for an upgrade that can reliably run all streaming apps, connect to an Xbox One, and use Alexa features.

For this article, we asked our tester to use the Amazon Fire TV for a few weeks to get familiar with its features. During that time, they took detailed notes in areas like setup, image quality, audio quality, accessibility features and more.

What is Amazon Fire TV?

The Amazon Fire TV 50-inch Omni Series 4K Smart TV is a UHD smart TV that features a streamlined technology design. In our experience, this is a value option, not a premium model filled with premium bells and whistles. However, that doesn’t mean this 4K TV is below average. It has a wide range of desirable features that enhance the user experience.

The model we tested has a 50-inch LED display with a 60Hz refresh rate and 3840 x 2160 resolution. It works with Apple AirPlay, offers hands-free Alexa control, and supports HDR10. The TV supports Dolby Digital Plus sound with pass-through of Dolby encoded audio and is compatible with Echo Studio, Echo (3rd Gen), Echo (4th Gen), Echo Plus (2nd Gen), Echo Dot (4th Gen) ) and Echo Dot (4th Gen) with clock.

Amazon Fire TV price and where to buy

If you just want the TV, Amazon’s 50-inch Omni Series Fire TV is $509.99. When you add a wall mount and remote cover, that brings the price to $562.97. The expert wall mount costs an additional $99.99 per unit. All of these options are available on Amazon.

How to Use Amazon Fire TV

Install

Setting up the Omni TV was easy. We found the toughest challenge was getting it out of the box – it arrives very well packaged. Once you position it where you want it, plug it in, and log in to your Amazon Prime account, you get a series of step-by-step instructions. From start to finish it only took 30 minutes and the only tool needed was a screwdriver.

Menu layout

On first use, we found that the home screen was aimed – and rightfully so – at Prime Video users. It takes a bit of time and dead ends to create a directory of favorite apps to personalize your home screen experience. Once you have everything the way you like it, navigation is much easier.

Navigation

Amazon’s remote features a clean design. It doesn’t miss any buttons and it’s not overcrowded. Built-in Alexa makes navigation easy: just tell Alexa where you want to go, and you’re there. You can also adjust the volume, rewind, fast forward and more. Alexa will even answer general questions and get non-entertainment related information if needed. This was especially helpful in our situation, as we don’t have Echo devices at home.

Image quality

Unfortunately, the image quality of our model wasn’t as impressive as we’d hoped. We watched identical programs side-by-side on our old Vizio TV, and while there was a marked improvement in quality, it wasn’t dramatic enough to have a huge impact on our overall viewing experience. We found brighter colors in bright hues, but greens and blues, as well as darker content, were a little hazy.

Audio quality

The Omni TV’s stock speakers were disappointing. Also, the dialogue was hard to understand if the volume wasn’t turned up. Due to the slim designs, this is a common problem with many modern TVs, but not necessarily something that would be a deal breaker. Adding a soundbar, for example, is a quick and easy fix. You can also use an Alexa device to create a makeshift surround sound setup.

Games

There are limitations with the TV’s 60Hz refresh rate, but it’s adequate for most gaming systems. We haven’t played anything that required a higher refresh rate (no handheld shooters). first person, etc.), so our gaming experience went well. An avid gamer might not be so accommodating with the low-end refresh rate.

Accessibility Features

We have tested all accessibility features. Screen magnifier and text banner are very useful for those who need help. While the VoiceView worked great, it sometimes mispronounced words and sounded clunky and robotic. But again, this feature would benefit someone who needs it.

Benefits of Amazon Fire TV

The Amazon Fire TV 50-inch Omni Series 4K Smart TV is an affordable way to upgrade to Smart TV functionality. If you have an older model, this will satisfy (and perhaps surprise) you. Built-in Alexa hands-free navigation is a game-changer. Plus, easy setup, Ethernet connectivity, the ability to watch live TV at no additional cost, and accessibility features add and enhance the overall user experience.

Disadvantages of Amazon Fire TV

As good as this TV is, it’s not without its drawbacks. For us, the image quality wasn’t as impressive as the other 4K options. That being said, it’s not bad, and people upgrading from an older TV will likely be happy. While the built-in speakers aren’t impressive, that’s not so much a model-specific flaw as a design limitation. If audio is important, you’ll want to purchase external speakers. The other two issues we had with this model were accessing the accessibility features – they worked, but it was hard to figure out how to engage them and using the AirPlay feature – we could use screen mirroring , but we never figured out how to transfer files.

Should You Buy Amazon Fire TV?

If you have an old TV and are on a budget, but are looking for value and want to upgrade, the Amazon Fire TV 50-inch Omni Series 4K Smart TV comes highly recommended. It’s also a solid choice for a secondary TV, a model for a vacation home, a young family member, or an occasional viewer. If you’re an entertainment connoisseur looking for the best picture quality available, there are better options.

Consider other products

SAMSUNG Class 50 inch QLED LS03A The Frame Series

SAMSUNG Class 50 inch QLED LS03A The Frame Series

If you’re looking for a “best of the best” model, this high-end TV not only has a quantum dot picture for a remarkable viewing experience, but it displays as an illustration in a frame when the TV is turned off.

Sold by Amazon

LG NanoCell 75 Series 50-inch 4K Smart TV

LG NanoCell 75 Series 50-inch 4K Smart TV

This model costs a bit more than the Omni, but you get a few perks, such as a low-latency gaming mode, immersive sound, and NanoCell technology for a more vivid picture.

Sold by Amazon

Amazon Fire TV 75 inch Omni Series 4K Smart TV

Amazon Fire TV 75 inch Omni Series 4K Smart TV

If you like the quality and value offered by Amazon but are looking for a bigger screen that supports Dolby Vision, this 75-inch model should be at the top of your list.

Sold by Amazon

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Allen Foster writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their buying decisions, saving them time and money.

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