Fits into the Amazon ecosystem
Modest amount of gaming support
Picture is good enough for casual viewing
A great pick for Alexa aficionados, but not for picture purists.
The Omni has more tricks up its sleeve than the average Alexa-integrated TV. You can use hands-free voice commands to search for content, switch inputs, or launch apps, among other uses. But the Omni also slots right into a suite of Amazon-powered smart home gadgets—an approach that’s sure to entice folks who already share their home with Alexa.
Although this year’s Omni sports a better picture than last year’s model, there are still a host of notable issues, from light bloom to poor uniformity. Fire OS is also a bit of a headache, thanks to an overstuffed user interface and intermittent navigational slowdown.
Given that most of the Omni’s closest competitors offer better performance, better software, and in some cases, better gaming features, the Omni is best suited for those who see themselves taking full advantage of its Alexa integration.
About the Amazon Fire TV Omni
The Omni is available in just two sizes: 65 inches and 75 inches. We received a 65-inch unit on loan from Amazon. Here’s how the two models stack up in terms of pricing:
- 65-inch (Amazon QL65F601A), MSRP $799.99
- 75-inch (Amazon QL75F601A), MSRP $1,099.99
While we don’t expect there to be major differences in performance between these two sizes, it’s worth noting that they’re equipped with a different amount of dimming zones. Despite the fact that the number of zones tends to increase proportionally to a TV’s size, a difference in zone count could spell slight differences in how the 65-inch and 75-inch models perform, particularly when it comes to contrast.
According to Amazon, the 65-inch Omni features 80 local dimming zones, while the 75-inch model features 96.
With sizing and pricing out of the way, let’s take a look at the TV’s specs:
The Fire TV Omni arrives with a fairly basic remote control. There’s a handful of dedicated app buttons and a built-in microphone for voice commands, the latter of which will be useful if you decide to disable the TV’s on-board, hands-free microphone (which is located at the bottom of the TV’s panel).
Like its remote, the Omni itself features a rather basic design: A pair of angular, gray-toned feet prop up the panel. There’s an adequate amount of clearance for a soundbar, which is appreciated, and the TV’s bezels are pleasingly narrow. If you’re expecting a posh look, however, you ought to manage your expectations; the Omni’s form factor is chunky in stature and utilitarian in appearance. In fairness, most TV’s in the Omni’s price range feature a similarly ho-hum design.
The Omni comes equipped with a standard set of connectivity options that will work with the average user’s setup, but A/V enthusiasts should make note of the limitations here. Three of its main inputs are HDMI 2.0, with only its dedicated eARC port carrying the HDMI 2.1 designation.
Here’s what you’ll find in a cutout on the rear of the panel:
Before testing each TV, we make sure the panel is on and receiving a continuous signal for at least two hours. Our 65-inch Fire TV Omni received this standard warm-up time before any readings were taken. In addition, the TV received the latest firmware updates at the time of testing.
For both SDR and HDR tests, we’re using the Omni’s Movie Bright picture mode. We’ve chosen this setting because of its accuracy, but performance may vary depending on which picture mode is enabled. For example, you might experience a brighter picture with different settings enabled, but it may interfere with color temperature and overall color accuracy.
To get a sense of the TV’s average performance, we use a standard ANSI checkerboard pattern for most of our basic contrast tests. We also use white and black windows ranging from 2% to 90% to test how well the contrast holds up while displaying varying degrees of brightness.
Our peak brightness measurements are taken with sustained windows to represent the TV’s peak brightness over a sustained period of time. Specular highlights (like brief flashes of reflected light) might reach higher brightness levels, but not for sustained periods of time.
All of our tests are created with a Murideo Seven 8K signal generator and tabulated via Portrait Displays’ Calman Ultimate color calibration software.
I’ll expand on our test results throughout the review, but for now, here are some key takeaways:
- ** HDR contrast (brightness/black level):** 401.6 nits/0.051 nits (ANSI checkerboard)
- ** SDR contrast (brightness/black level):** 316.5 nits/0.034 nits (ANSI checkerboard)
- ** HDR peak brightness (sustained):** 496 nits (10% white window)
- ** HDR color gamut coverage (DCI-P3/10-bit):** 94%
- ** SDR color gamut coverage (Rec.709):** 100%
For both SDR and HDR tests, the Omni’s Local Dimming setting was set to High. In addition, for the TV’s brightness-related settings, Adaptive Brightness, Dynamic Contrast, and Local Contrast Enhancement were disabled. Gamma was kept at its default (-2), and Contrast was kept at 60.
The following Clarity settings were disabled for both SDR and HDR tests: Super Resolution, Edge Enhancer, MPEG NR, Noise Reduction, Banding Reduction, and Natural Cinema.
In SDR, I maxed out the display’s Backlight setting to get a sense of the TV’s peak brightness while receiving an SDR signal.
What we like
Versatile smart home integration for Alexa-friendly households
The Omni’s bread and butter is its out-of-the-box Alexa and smart home integration. The Omni is designed to act as a control center for nearly all of your devices, and it succeeds. With compatible devices, the Omni can manage Ring doorbells, Echo smart speakers, Amazon smart thermostats, and Alexa-compatible smart light bulbs. If you own a compatible webcam, you can even make video calls on your Omni using Alexa Communications or Zoom.
Users can activate the Omni’s Alexa assistant two ways: with the TV’s hands-free microphone or via the remote control’s built-in microphone. (If you’re squeamish about the Omni’s onboard microphone, you can disable it with a switch on the bottom of the panel). At best, I’m a casual user of smart home products and voice commands in general, so I was pleased with how easy it was to engage with some of these features despite my lack of experience.
Asking Alexa to find Tom Cruise movies, for instance, will pull up an exhaustive list of Tom Cruise movies available to stream, with labels informing you of those that are free to stream based on your service subscriptions. Asking Alexa to “find Tom Cruise movies on Netflix” will take a little longer, as the TV will need to open Netflix and process that search request within the Netflix app.
Once I got into the swing of things, the Omni’s Alexa support proved to be relatively easy and surprisingly versatile. If this style of use is what interests you the most about the Fire TV Omni, you’ll probably feel right at home.
Decent gaming support
While you’ll have to spend more on something like the Hisense U8H or the TCL 6-Series for true bang-for-your-buck gaming support, the Omni is a fine gaming TV for casual players.
It comes equipped with three HDMI 2.0 inputs and one HDMI 2.1 input that serves as the TV’s dedicated eARC support. Auto Low Latency Mode, and Variable Refresh Rate are included, but due to the TV’s 60Hz panel, the Omni doesn’t support 4K gaming at 120Hz. At this price point, that’s not exactly surprising. (Something to keep in mind: the Hisense U7H, which we’re in the process of evaluating, is reported to support 4K gaming at 120Hz, and it’s significantly cheaper than the Omni.)
If you plan on immersing yourself in next-gen gaming over the next several years of the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 lifecycle, it might be worth looking into the U7H, the U8H, or the TCL 6-Series for added flexibility, but if you’re more of a casual gamer, the Omni will treat you just fine.
Performance-wise, it gets the job done for casual viewers
The Omni is a QLED TV, and the “Q” stands for quantum dots. These color-enhancing nanocrystals allow for brighter and better-saturated colors. In its most-accurate picture mode, the Omni’s colors are indeed well-saturated; it covers about 94% of the HDR color gamut (DCI-P3). Its white point is right where it needs to be when the TV is in its Warm color temperature, and there’s only a modest amount of color error in neutral tones across the grayscale. Its black levels are consistently deep, too; I measured a black level of around 0.03 to 0.05 nits in both SDR and HDR, which bolsters the TV’s perceived brightness, especially during dark-room viewing.
In both SDR and HDR, the Omni tops out at around 500 nits of brightness. There are other TVs at this price range (or slightly above this price range) that get brighter than the Omni. The 65-inch Vizio M-Series Quantum X, for example, is about $50 more than the Omni and gets about twice as bright on average in HDR. The Hisense U8H and the TCL 6-Series—both about $100 more than the Omni—surpass 1,000 nits in HDR with ease.
To me, the Omni is a smart home device first and foremost, which makes its relatively dim HDR performance easier to swallow. Your mileage may vary, of course, but I think most folks will be fine with the Omni’s relatively modest brightness. HDR content doesn’t pop the way it would on a higher-end TV, but if your TV-watching habits are casual in nature (and your living room isn’t drenched in sunlight), the Omni looks fine during the day and even better in a dark room.
The best thing I can say about the Omni’s performance is that the picture will pass the eye test for most people, particularly those that are upgrading to 4K for the first time. With that said, there are some key performance issues with the Fire TV Omni that ought to be considered if the notion of a “good-enough” picture gives you pause.
What we don’t like
Picture quality won’t satisfy discerning viewers
While the Omni sports a good-enough picture for most viewers, its shortcomings may be distracting for those with a keen eye for picture quality. Technically speaking, it performs at a lower level than its price would indicate.
Despite a relatively high amount of dimming zones for a TV of its class, the Omni struggles to limit light bloom when bright picture elements meet a dark background—particularly with title cards, subtitles, and on-screen playback icons. While the light bloom is less noticeable when viewed head on, from an off-axis position it’s more severe. The bloom often takes on a blue- or magenta-colored tint, which can be mightily distracting. If you’ve got high hopes for group viewings, this is something to keep in mind.
The Omni also struggles to upscale sub-4K content, particularly when there’s a moderate amount of film grain in the mix. The Omni’s noise reduction software is very aggressive, which often causes large areas of the picture to take on a flat, artificially smooth texture. The effect isn’t consistent, either; half of a wall or part of someone’s face, for instance, might have all of the detail smoothed out, while the other half doesn’t.
The issue is at its most severe while streaming content. Despite a seemingly robust selection of picture settings that might have helped to minimize the problem, I was unable to fix it.
Lastly, let’s talk about panel uniformity and the “dirty screen effect.” Uniformity is a tricky thing to talk about in a TV review, as it can vary from one unit to the next (even within the same series). I can’t say for certain that my Omni will look as dirty (or as clean) as yours.
However, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that our review unit is one of the least-uniform screens I’ve encountered in quite some time. Typically, toward the end of my evaluation, I use various test patterns to get a sense of the TV’s uniformity. Before even making it to this stage of my evaluation process, I spotted the Omni’s poor uniformity during actual content (a snowy landscape in a nature documentary).
Unsurprisingly, a gray test slide revealed that the entire upper third of the Omni’s display is marred by dark blotches. It’s noticeable whenever large portions of the picture are taken up by uniform color, so hockey rinks, football fields, and golf courses are where these blemishes are most likely to rear their head.
Fire OS can be frustrating to use
From a content standpoint, Fire OS is fairly robust. The platform supports a wide variety of software, including the most popular streaming apps (though you’ll have to install most of them during the setup process).
Navigation is a different story. If you opt to scroll through Fire OS’s content by hand instead of using Alexa commands, the process can feel somewhat herky jerky, as you have to wait for the content tiles to visually magnify and shrink based on cursor placement. On several occasions, app installation seemingly stalled out for minutes at a time, even with a high-speed internet connection at my disposal.
When not using the TV’s hands-free navigation functionality to hop around Fire OS, I found myself yearning for the speed and simplicity of Roku or Google TV. If you’re interested in the Omni’s Alexa integration first and foremost, you’ll probably be able to deal with Fire OS’s shortcomings. If you’re an Alexa agnostic, there’s not too much upside here.
Should you buy the Amazon Fire TV Omni?
Probably not, unless you’re an Alexa aficionado
There is a narrow sliver of shoppers for whom the Amazon Fire TV Omni is a slam-dunk option: folks who are shopping for a mid-range TV, use a number of Amazon-backed smart home products, and won’t be distracted by the TV’s performance-related shortcomings. If you meet all of these criteria, you should definitely give the Omni a look.
If, however, you’re only shopping for a mid-range TV, there are better options to maximize your dollar. The newest TCL 5-Series delivers a slightly better picture, easier to use software (if you don’t intend on using Alexa), and roughly the same selection of gaming-related features. Crucially, the 5-Series is currently $100 cheaper than the Omni.
For $50 more, you could invest in the Vizio M-Series Quantum X, which offers a brighter, cleaner picture, and more gaming upside thanks to its 120Hz refresh rate. For $100 more, the Hisense U8H and the TCL 6-Series are even better. Both of these models are built with gamers in mind, and their picture quality is leagues ahead of what the Omni is offering.
Whether or not the Omni is right for you comes down to its smart home integration. There really isn’t another TV on the market that compliments an Amazon smart home ecosystem better than the Omni, so most of its potential upside is tied to that specific functionality. As far as Amazon TVs go, it’s the best. As far as budget-friendly TVs go, there are several better options.
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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.
Meet the tester
Senior Staff Writer
Michael Desjardin graduated from Emerson College after having studied media production and screenwriting. He specializes in tech for Reviewed, but also loves film criticism, weird ambient music, cooking, and food in general.
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