Amazon has just lifted the lid on its the top-of-the-line Omni QLED Series TVs for 2023 in the UK and Germany, featuring 4K Quantum Dot Technology (QLED) display, hands-free Alexa controls and the Fire TV Ambient Experience… oh, you don't quite get the last bit?
Here's what you need to know: the new 2023 Fire TV Omni QLED Series is the first TV series to feature the Fire TV Ambient Experience, and what it does is turn the TV into an "informative personal display that offers glanceable information" (calendars, notes), Alexa-powered widgets, automatic brightness tweaks according to the weather (and your very presence in the room) and a canvas for artwork and photos when not streaming.
We've previously reviewed the Amazon Fire TV Omni Series, but that was before these particular features joined the party…
So, aside from its 4K Ultra HD resolution and support for HDR 10, HLG and Dolby Digital Plus, as well as Dolby Vision IQ for the first time in a Fire TV (those specs are good, but fairly standard these days) it's when it's not streaming content that things get interesting with the Fire TV Omni QLED. Idle black screen? Not at all.
Think artwork you can ask Alexa about (don’t like it? Simply tell Alexa to change the background), a montage of your family photos – or just that one favorite child – and more. With albums such as 'Elastic Gradients', 'Architecture Motion', 'Super Mario Bros', or just that cracking fireplace loop video you discovered over Christmas, it’s all about getting personal.
And here's the thing: it evolves with you.
A question of art
Daniel Rausch, Amazon's VP of Entertainment Devices and Services, said that Amazon's next-gen. Dynamic Art (arriving later this year on Fire TV Omni QLEDs) is done through Amazon voice control and in partnership with artist Sam Stubblefield.
The concept is blending digital artwork and evolving it to a handcrafted algorithm that changes what you'll see, over time… so, starting from the same image, each of us would get a different result (environmental factors, what we watch, whom we're watching with), should this TV sit in our lounge for a few weeks. Which is either brilliant or a little intimidating, depending on your viewpoint.
Wanna create a background of the Northern Lights over Big Ben? A Medieval Castle on Mars? Ask Alexa, it’ll only take a few seconds. And you can even help it become better at knowing what you (and the world at large, to a degree) like best, by selecting from a range of options such as a watercolour or an ink sketch.
It's something Rausch calls "democratising art" with Alexa.
See, presence sensors detect when you’re in or out of a room, while ambient light sensors can adjust your TV’s brightness. Thus, it could bring up your calendar, a piece of artwork, or a combination of widgets when you walk into the lounge of a morning.
Intrigued? Scared? Well, people are actually using this particular new software now; Rausch told TechRadar that 98% of new users in the US are fans of it – a sure sign of a hit, then.
And Amazon is expanding the TV in smaller sizes! It's available to preorder in the UK and Germany today, in 43-inch, 50-inch, 55-inch, and 65-inch options. Prices start at £550 / €600, with shipping from April 12.
Analysis: Amazon's affordable TVs wowed the US, but can its AI arty TVs tempt Europe and the UK?
To date, 200 million Fire TV devices have been sold worldwide. Just over a year ago at CES 2022, Amazon claimed it had sold over 150 million Fire TV Devices, and 260 million Fire TV OS TVs have been shipped globally – so the things keep on selling.
But 2021 was the year Amazon launched its own Amazon-branded TVs – which the company claims is its fastest-growing segment of Fire TVs overall. It'll be interesting to see how the new flagship Omni QLED stacks up against class-leaders such as Sony, LG and Samsung in the best TV stakes for 2023.
But that's not all, folks! Next month, Amazon is bringing a complete lineup of Amazon-built Fire TVs to the UK and Germany, including the Amazon Fire TV 4-Series, with 4K UHD and Alexa Voice remote. It'll be available in 43-inch, 50-inch and 55-in models. Pricing starts at £429.99 / €499.99 and preorders are open now.
Next, there's the all-new Fire TV 2-Series, which is available in a 32-inch HD resolution display, and interestingly, a 40-inch FHD display. Preorders are open now, with prices starting from an affordable £250 / €280, and shipping from April 12.
Finally, there's the flagship Fire TV Omni QLED Series: 4K QLED, full-array local dimming of up to 80 zones (depending on model size) and practically every format you can imagine, including Dolby Vision IQ for the first time in a Fire TV. Again, prices here start at £550 / €600, with shipping from April 12.