TL;DR: Amazon has announced a new version of its Omni Series QLED Fire TVs, now featuring full-array local dimming and Ambient Experience. Pre-order the 65-inch model for $799.99 or the 75-inch model for $1,099.99 starting Sept. 28 with shipping starting Oct. 27.
Amazon took forever to start making its own smart TVs (as in Fire TVs that are officially branded as "Amazon" and not affiliated with a brand like Insignia or Toshiba).
But now, just a year or so after the introduction of the very first Omni Series TV, Amazon is expanding far past bare bones QLED technology. On Sept. 28, the retail giant crept into Samsung territory with the announcement of an upgraded Fire TV Omni QLED with full-array local dimming and a gallery feature similar to that of The Frame.
For now, the new Omni iteration is available to pre-order in 65 and 75 inches, going for $799.99 and $1,099.99, respectively. Shipping and mainstream online availability start on Oct. 27.
Because the release date falls after Amazon's second Prime event of the year on Oct. 11 and 12, a Prime Day discount on the new Omni TV is more of a wildcard than a possible sale on the new Roomba (since iRobot is under Amazon now). Still, even at full price, you could buy two 65-inch Omni QLEDs with Ambient Experience for less than a single 65-inch The Frame.
Two words: Ambient Experience.
That pairing of ambiguous buzzwords probably means nothing to you upon first read, but it's a pretty huge extra for anyone who hates barren wall space. When the device is not in use as an actual TV, Ambient Experience transforms the screen into a canvas to display artwork (thousands of free pieces are available on the app), personal photos, or oversized Alexa widgets like you'd see on an Echo screen.
The concept of an aesthetic multitasking TV isn't Amazon's — Samsung has run that game since The Frame came out in 2017. However, the price at which Amazon is offering the experience is noteworthy, and further solidifies the company's stake in the budget-friendly TV market.
As for actual viewing quality, the 2022 Omni Series seems like a solid choice for both streaming and gaming.
The color range is vivid yet realistic, enhanced by customized brightness depending on how light or dark the room currently is. Amazon's new Adaptive Brightness tech uses a built-in ambient light sensor to tweak lighting intensity to optimize contrast, tones, and dark details for your watch party environment. Up to 96 full-array local dimming zones across the 65- or 75-inch screen help to ensure that customized contrast doesn't miss a spot in any scene.
In addition to HDR10+ and HLG, this is the first Fire TV that supports Dolby Vision IQ and HDR10+ Adaptive.