These days, if you have $300 to spend at Best Buy, you would consider yourself lucky to come away with a decent soundbar or a laser printer.
But an all-around solid smart HDTV?
But there’s no reason to fret—in addition to the rock-bottom pricing, this HDTV has proven that it has plenty of meat on its bones. It indeed is a great value play—and it could be a perfect addition to any bedroom, den, or kitchen.
When compared to the much-vaunted OLED or QLED panels, the picture quality of the Fire TV is obviously lacking and won’t necessarily blow you away. Even when put up against lower-tier TCL, Hisense, or Vizio panels, it can, at times, struggle to keep up.
Keep in mind, however, that you are still getting a 4K display that comes with HDR capability. The screen action is fairly smooth and the color gamut is on full display, but be aware that there is no local dimming, which limits how well the panel renders detail in dark scenes. Moreover, the set’s wide-angle viewing will probably disappoint.
However, for most folks out there, this Fire TV is more than passable for everyday TV-watching and family movie nights—and don’t forget about all the money you saved with this purchase by not going all in on one of that ultra-expensive OLED or QLED panels.
What really separates Insignia’s Fire TV from the competition is the clever tie-up it forged with e-commerce giant Amazon. If you’re already a big fan of Amazon Alexa, there’s no reason why you wouldn’t enjoy this particular set.
There is a mic built into the remote control, and with Alexa handling all communication between you and the TV, it’s like having an Echo or an Echo Dot without actually paying for one. It can also control smart-home devices, get sports scores and weather reports, and answer all kinds of general questions.
It seems like Roku TVs are getting more love these days, but the Fire TV option really holds its own. It is fully capable of giving you access to all of your favorite apps like Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+, as well as obviously Amazon Prime Video. Similar to Roku TV and Android TV, Amazon’s streaming content choices are seemingly endless—likely more than you could possibly handle.
Ethen Kim Lieser is a Minneapolis-based Science and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek and Arirang TV. Follow or contact him on LinkedIn.