Amazon's own brand Fire TV models are spreading their wings, escaping the US and Canada where they were first launched and expanding to the UK and Germany. The 4-Series is Amazon's best-selling model, offering an integrated Fire TV experience for a super-connected smart TV experience out of the box.
We spent some time with the Fire TV 4-Series at its European launch in London.
Amazon Fire TV 4-Series
The Fire TV 4-Series comes in a range of attractive sizes with attractive prices. It's not the most technically adept display, but it offers great connectivity and plenty of smart features so you can quickly and easily stream your favourite content.
- Good value for money
- Fire TV user interface
- Build a little cheap
- No Dolby Vision
Design and build
- 43, 50, 55in sizes
- 3x HDMI 2.0, 1x HDMI eARC 2.1
The Fire TV 4-Series doesn't quite stretch to the premium build of the Omni Series with its metallic finish, instead opting for a black finish. There's a slightly plasticky look to things, but considering the low prices for these TVs, it's typical for this segment of the market.
The stand comes in the form of two feet at either end of the screen, but we suspect that many these days will wall-mount this TV instead for a more seamless finish. With that in mind the connections are well on the back of the TV, so you won't have visible cables hanging out the side.
In terms of that connectivity, there are three HDMI 2.0 and one HDMI 2.1 with eARC which will allow for connection to audio devices such as a soundbar. There's optical and Ethernet connections too, although Wi-Fi is also available to connect to your home network.
It's not the thinnest of TVs, but it suits the price point, while there's a range of sizes that will be popular: many will opt for 55-inch as a main TV, but the 43 and 55-inch models will suit smaller rooms.
We've not had the chance to experience the speaker performance on this TV.
Display quality and performance
- 4K LED
- HDR10, HLG
The Fire TV 4-Series is a 4K TV, but it's noticeably less punchy than the Omni QLED TV that Amazon offers as its flagship. Indeed, the 4-Series has a peak brightness of 300 nit, which isn't hugely bright, but again, that's not so uncommon for a TV at this price.
While the LED panel will provide the 4K resolution so there's plenty of detail, it also supports HDR10 and HLG - hybrid log gamma - so it will be able to deliver a little more punch when handling decent content. That should make the colours more impactful, but it lacks Dolby Vision compatibility, something that the higher-positioned Omni does.
During our time with the Fire TV 4-Series we didn't get the chance to experience much content, so we can't judge the performance of this display so far. We'll be updating with a full review as soon as we've had the chance to give it a proper testing.
Content and services
- Fire TV integrated
- Freeview Play (UK)
- Amazon Luna support
The big attraction to a TV like this is that Fire TV is integrated throughout it. There's no need to plug in a separate dongle and you don't have to fight with outdated apps like you might on a smart TV. Instead, you're straight into Amazon's TV user interface, giving you access to all the major streaming services. Fire TV is a hugely popular experience which many have encountered on Fire TV Sticks and extending it natively to the whole TV makes sense.
This is joined by a terrestrial tuner and in the UK where we saw the 4-Series this offers Freeview Play access. There's no DVR access, so you can't record any live programming, but you can go back through the EPG to programmes you've missed, press play and the respective streaming service will open so you can start watching that programme. It's standard Freeview Play functionality, but it's good that it's in place.
Beyond those services, Amazon Luna has also launched in the UK and Germany, so the cloud gaming service is also offered on the 4-Series in all regions that it's sold.
Alexa and that voice remote
- Alexa Voice Remote
- Alexa Skills
To control the Fire TV 4-Series, it ships with an Alexa Voice Remote. This isn't the same as you'll find on the top-level Fire TV Stick because it's expanded to offer additional buttons, such as all the numbers to help you select channels. But it does feature an Alexa button, so you can search for content, with the TV returning all your watching options for the titles you ask for.
Alexa's skills extend beyond just programming, because you can also get the Fire TV 4-Series to return information and the sort of results that you'd get from an Amazon Echo. There's no handsfree option, however, unlike the Fire TV Omni QLED, which acts as a giant Echo.
But just being able to access Alexa's skills through the Voice Remote means you'll still be able to turn the lights on and off or adjust the heating, without the need for another Alexa device in the room.
Amazon Fire TV 4-Series
We didn't have long with the Fire TV 4-Series so we haven't had the chance to fully assess its performance, but we'll update with a full review as soon as we have the chance. Having used the Fire TV Stick for many years, the appeal of a dedicated TV with integrated Fire TV services has immediate appeal.
There are some downsides to this TV: the brightness might not be up there with the best and you don't get complete support for formats like Dolby Vision - but at this price, that's not uncommon. The Amazon Fire TV 4-Series is currently available pre-order with deliveries from 12 April; there's an introductory discount that could save you up to £170 on the 55-inch model.