Amazon reveals its own smart TV lineup and an updated 4K Fire TV Stick
Last week, industry reports claimed that Amazon was working on its own brand of smart TVs for the United States, but details were unclear on how the TVs would be any different from existing Fire TV products. Amazon has now officially announced its new TVs, plus an updated Fire TV Stick built for cloud gaming. We’ve rounded up all of Amazon’s new hardware below, but the company is also rolling out updates for its Luna game streaming service, which you can read about over here.
Fire TV Omni Series
Amazon is calling its main TV lineup the ‘Omni series,’ and for the most part, it works just like all the other Fire TV devices already available. It can install apps and streaming services from the Amazon Appstore, ask Alexa questions, use Picture-in-Picture mode with select apps, and so on. You can connect the Echo Studio or other Echo smart speakers for improved sound, which is also possible with other Fire TVs.
The main unique feature here is that Alexa can listen to commands without pressing or holding down a button first, which is required on most other smart TVs. Amazon’s Omni TVs have built-in microphones for Alexa, so you can open apps, switch inputs, and more without having a remote nearby. The same functionality is possible when an Echo speaker is paired to any Fire TV, but having it all built-in is certainly convenient.
Amazon is selling the TV in many sizes, including 34″, 50″, 55″, 65″, and 75″. All of them support 4K, HDR10, HLG, and Dolby Digital Plus. The 65″ and 75″ models have a slimmer bezel, as well as Dolby Vision support, but are otherwise identical to the other sizes. The images and specifications show four HDMI ports on the back (only one with eARC/ARC), Ethernet, an IR emitter (for controlling other TV devices), and a cable/antenna connection. Pricing starts at $309.99 for the 43-inch model.
Fire TV 4-Series
Besides the Omni-branded TVs, Amazon is selling another lineup branded as ‘4-Series.’ These TVs don’t have the hands-free Alexa mode or two-way video calling from the Omni series, so they’re more or less the same as any other Fire TV. You still get all the same software features and connectivity options, including four HDMI ports and Ethernet, plus a remote with an Alexa button.
The 4-Series is a bit cheaper than the Omni lineup, with the cheapest 43-inch model priced at $369.99. Only three sizes are available: 43″, 50″, and 55″. Given that $370 is already a somewhat-competitive price for a 43-inch smart TV, and Amazon usually discounts its products by 15-30% every time there’s a ‘Prime Day’ sale, I’m sure Jeff Bezos will sell a lot of these.
Fire TV Stick 4K Max
The last new product from Amazon is an updated version of the Fire TV Stick 4K, which was first released near the end of 2018. The new model has “40% more power” than the current Fire TV Stick 4K, with a newer quad-core 1.8GHz chipset, 2GB RAM, 8GB internal storage, and Wi-Fi 6 support.
The new Stick also has all the usual Fire TV functionality, including an Alexa voice remote, access to the Amazon Appstore, and support for most streaming services. Amazon is playing up Luna support with the new stick, as the Wi-Fi 6 support and ‘Auto Low Latency Mode’ are intended to improve the cloud gaming experience.
The new Fire TV Stick 4K Max will go on sale in the United States starting October 7th, with a retail price of $54.99. It seems like the current Fire TV Stick 4K will remain available, at least for the moment.