Amazon is charging into the 2022 holiday buying frenzy with 3 new products that should be on your radar including Amazon-branded Omni QLED 4K TVs and a brand new Fire TV Cube and wider range of Echo devices.
Omni QLED Series TVs
Amazon began offering its own branded 4K UHD TVs in 2021. Their sets are divided into the entry-level 4 series and mid-range Omni series. However, Amazon has decided to take things a step further and expand its Omni Series to include two models that incorporate Quantum Dot color enhancement, which is sometimes provided on higher-end sets from other brands. However, in Amazon style, these sets carry a very reasonable price.
Here are the core features of the Amazon Omni Series QLED TVs.
LED Backlighting and Quantum Dots: All Omni Series sets, including the QLED models, are LED/LCD TVs with LED backlighting. However, what makes the QLED models different is that the backlight supports full-array local dimming and a Quantum Dot layer is placed between the LED backlight and LCD display panel. That is where the Q in QLED comes from. The QLED layer is composed of red, red, and blue nanoparticles. These particles enable a QLED TV to display a more precise color than a standard LED/LCD TV.
HDR: In addition to 4K display resolution and Quantum Dots, Amazon’s Omni Series QLED TVs support the Dolby Vision/Dolby Vision IQ, HDR10/10+/10+ Adaptive, and HLG.
Built-in Fire TV OS: Just as with previous Amazon-branded TVs, all of the capabilities of a Fire TV Stick are built into the TV. This means you don’t have to plug in a separate Fire TV stick to get access to thousands of streaming apps.
Alexa Always On: Similar to Amazon Echo devices, Alexa is accessible hands-free through voice commands as the needed microphones are built into the TV. If you prefer not to have Alexa Always On activated, you can turn it off and opt to press the microphone button on the TV’s remote to access Alexa voice commands and information. Alexa Two-Way Video Calling is also supported.
Audio Support: All Omni Series models support Dolby Digital Plus decoding and pass-through of several Dolby Audio formats.
HDMI: Omni Series models include 4 HDMI inputs. Three of the HDMI inputs are ver 2.0 compliant and 1 HDMI input is ver 2.1 eARC compliant.
Wireless Speaker Connectivity: Wirelessly connect compatible Amazon Echo Smart Speakers, including the Echo Studio to use as surround speakers.
Availability and Pricing: The Omni Series QLED TVs are available in 65 and 75-inch screen sizes. Pre-orders are now available – shipping is expected to begin on October 27, 2022.
Fire TV Cube (3rd Generation)
For those that don’t have an Amazon-branded TV, the new 3rd Generation Fire TV Cube may be of interest. Here are key upgrades and new features not included on the previous Fire TV Cube models.
Better Audio: The speaker system of the previous Fire TV cube models was optimized for responding to voice commands, but the Gen 3 has upped the quality so that music and related audio sounds better with better clarity and bass response. The Fire TV Cube also passes Dolby Atmos and other surround sound formats via HDMI output to compatible playback devices.
More Power and better Wi-Fi: This is the first Fire TV Cube to support Wi-Fi 6E (up from Wi-Fi 5). This means less interference from other devices on the network when streaming, especially 4K content. There’s also a new octa-core 2.0GHz processor that’s 20% more powerful than the previous generation.
HDMI Input: An HDMI input is included. This allows you to connect other media devices like a Blu-ray player and control them with the Cube’s Alexa remote. For example, if you connect your cable box, you can use Alexa voice commands to access specific channels.
2nd USB Input: The 3rd Gen includes a 2nd USB output. This allows you to connect a webcam for video calls on a TV.
Super Resolution Upscaling: This provides internal upscaling for lower resolution video content before it is sent to a connected TV or video display device.
This item will be released on October 25, 2022, for a price of $139.99.
Alexa Video Remote Pro
The 3rd-generation Fire TV Cube comes with a new Alexa Pro Remote. The remote includes a speaker for “Alexa, find my remote” commands. There are also programmable buttons for Alexa commands and smart ambient backlighting.
Tip: The Alexa Voice Remote Pro is also available separately for other compatible devices for $34.99.
Fire TV Update for Echo Show 15
Amazon announced that via a forthcoming free firmware up, full Fire TV functionality will be added to the Echo Show 15.
With the update, users will be able to play shows, movies, and live TV with Alexa voice commands, as well as through touch control. A new Fire TV widget will include shortcuts to recently used streaming apps, content you watched lately, and your watchlist, just like you can with a Fire Edition TV, Fire TV Stick, and Fire TV Cube.
If you don’t have an Echo Show 15 it is available for $249.99.
The Echo Studio has been upgraded with a new spatial audio processor. This allows the speaker to deliver better stereo sound with greater width and depth as well as better midrange clarity and deeper bass. This version of the Echo Studio will ship beginning on October 20th with a $199.99 price tag.
Echo Dot (5th Generation)
Improved sound has also been included in Echo Dot models. Somehow, Amazon has managed to squeeze in a larger speaker for improved bass and vocal clarity.
Other new features include:
- More accurate temperature sensor.
- Improved Wi-Fi reception and coverage with Amazon eero Built-in,
Tip: The Echo Dot with Clock has an improved display of weather info and song titles.
Amazon is also releasing two new Kids’ versions that go on sale next month for $59.99.
Additional Amazon Product Announcements
- Halo Rise – $139.99 – Bedside Sleep Tracker with Wake-up Light and Smart Alarm.
- Echo Auto (2nd Generation) – $54.99 – Smaller Size and the addition of Roadside Assistance.
- Ring Spotlight Cam Pro – $229.99 – 3D Motion detection, Two-Way Talk, Dual Band Wi-Fi, and more. Available October 26, 2022)
The latest Kindle e-book reader is called Kindle Scribe. It provides a larger display, as well as a pen that allows users to write on the screen. This allows note-taking, list creation, and document markup.
The new Kindle Scribe will be released on November 30, 2022.
Related reading: Product Announcements from CEDIA 2022