A year after it started pushing its TVs, Amazon is expanding its lineup with pricier, premium options. The Omni QLED TV series announced yesterday at Amazon’s invite-only hardware event shows the tech giant upping the ante with quantum dot displays and more flexible features for smart homes.
Amazon’s first self-branded TV arrived last September, from the best budget 4-Series, which started with 370 inches by 43 inches, and the Omni Series, which cost $1,100 for the larger model, at 75 inches. 4K TVs are not unique. They are HDR TVs and include HDMI 2.1, with eARC sound bars, and variable refresh rates from just 48-60 Hz in 4K. Amazon Alexa is there, of course. Alexa can work when the TV is off, allow voice control, and work with Alexa Routines but it is not Amazon-exclusive among today’s TVs.
Amazon pays little attention to image quality with the Omni QLED Series; it still avoids certain claims, however, such as brightness or color coverage. The new 65-inch and 75-inch TVs use Samsung’s QLED Display technology with multi-dots to claim enhanced color, and full dark spots to enhance contrast.
We won’t know how local dimming works on the Omni QLED TVs until we see them in person, but they include enough dark spots to be comparable to big TV players, like Samsung. Samsung’s 2022 65-inch QLED TV, the Q80B, has 48 black points, according to Rtings Update, while carrying a high MSRP ($1,200).
Amazon could have squeezed more dark spots into the new displays if it had opted for a smaller LED light. Samsung’s 65-inch QN95B ($2,600 MSRP), for example, is said to have 720 black spots with its Mini LED flash. And Amazon has yet to enter the pricier Micro LED or OLED space.
Amazon has added support for Dolby Vision IQ and HDR10+ Adaptive, which uses the TV’s brightness sensor to adjust brightness based on room brightness. Like previous Amazon TVs, the new ones also support HDR10+ and HLG HDR formats.
Sensors, widgets, and graphics
Amazon’s latest TVs also include features wrapped under Amazon’s advertising umbrella as Ambient Experience. It starts with presence sensors that can turn on the TV when someone enters the room.
“Instead of a blank screen, the TV uses the power of Alexa so you can see useful information, control your smart home, listen to or find new content, and look at art or family photos,” Amazon explained.
It points to a catalog of 1,500 “gallery quality” images and images that are offered to users to display on TVs, although not as artistically structured as the Samsung TV Frame.
In tutorial mode, users can ask Alexa questions about catalog images or questions about personal photos, such as when the photo was taken.
The new TVs can display Alexa widgets, such as Calendar, Reminders, and sticky notes, and control supported home devices, such as Amazon’s Ring. It’s like having a larger Echo Show 15, including apps for streaming audio, like Spotify and Apple Podcasts.
Amazon’s announcement claims that you can turn off the TV remote’s microphone with a switch, and turn off other features of the Ambient experience, such as presence detection.
Amazon’s QLED TVs will begin shipping on October 27 for $800 for the 65-inch and $1,100 for the 75-inch.
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