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Amazon’s new 65-inch Fire TV is better and currently costs less than last year’s model

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Amazon’s Fire TV Omni QLED Series 4K UHD smart TV.


I’ve been testing Amazon‘s new 65-inch Fire TV Omni QLED Series 4K UHD smart TV. If you’re a casual TV watcher like me, the new Fire TV is easy to use and has great picture quality for the price.

And speaking of price, at the time of publication it’s on sale for $550, about $250 off its launch price, making it cheaper than last year’s model that Amazon still sells. There’s also a more expensive 75-inch model that costs $1,100.

The company made its foray into Amazon-branded TVs last year with a model that was fine, but not great. This year’s version has a lot of updates that make it a better buy. Most noticeably, the picture has improved, there’s new ambient display artwork and the speakers are an improvement.

But Amazon doesn’t make a lot of money from hardware. It’s a cloud company and an online retailer. Instead, its hardware serves as a portal into its services, like Prime Video and even the Amazon store. You can talk to Alexa, which is built-in. It’s one big window into Amazon you can hang on your wall. And people who use a lot of Amazon services might like that.

Here’s what you need to know about it.

What’s good

The new Fire TV will fit right into your smart home ecosystem if you already use the company’s Alexa voice assistant through other products like the Amazon Echo. The TV features hands-free voice commands, so when you can’t find your remote, you can simply shout, “Alexa, shut off the TV.” More complex commands are possible too. I was able to tell the TV to “play the next episode,” of “The Devil’s Hour” on Prime, so I didn’t have to sit through the end credits.

This feature isn’t new. Last year’s TV also featured hand-free Alexa, but it’s still a nice feature and I was able to use it easily. You can turn off the microphone if you don’t want to use the Alexa function.

My current TVs are hard to view in my living room, which gets lots of natural light. But this Fire TV was plenty bright so I was still able to clearly watch TV even with lots of sunlight shining in.

There’s a new “ambient” experience on this year’s model that uses sensors to detect your presence in the room. It’s a little creepy in theory, but I now see the value in having the biggest screen in my living room serve as décor, or even a space for displaying important information like calendar events and digital sticky notes.

Amazon’s Fire TV Omni QLED Series 4K UHD smart TV with widget display.


There are a few cool ambient mode features. One turns your TV into a piece of art. Art is pulled from a collection of 1,500 photos and fine art, including from the National Gallery of Art and The Art Institute of Chicago. Samsung’s “The Frame TVs” have this feature, too, but you have to pay to display the art, whereas Amazon’s TV art gallery is free.

Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED Series 4K UHD.

Sofia Pitt

You can display your own photos on the TV which is a nice but common feature found on other sets. You can customize widgets on your screen with news, reminders, sticky notes and calendars, and you can add control centers for your smart home devices. I used the sticky note option to leave my husband a reminder to pick up oat milk from the grocery store.

Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED Series 4K UHD.

Sofia Pitt

You can also play music from the TV even when the screen isn’t on. I didn’t expect to use this feature since I have a pretty robust stereo system, but I was impressed by the sound quality and volume of the TV’s built-in speakers. I have sound bar speakers for my other two TVs at home because the speakers are so bad, but I didn’t feel the need for one here. The new Fire TV gets loud and the sound is crisp. Still, sound bars provide deeper bass and richer sound.

What’s bad

Alexa couldn’t always hear my commands when the TV volume was loud, which makes sense but can still be a little frustrating. You’ll have to use the remote to pause in order to speak to Alexa.

Also, this TV isn’t the best option for people who aren’t really into Alexa or who don’t subscribe to Amazon Prime. All Fire TVs prominently feature Prime content on the main user interface. You’ll see suggestions for shows to watch, like Amazon’s “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.”

As you can see from the image below, there are a lot of ads for Prime Video shows, there’s a row of sponsored movies from Tubi, and I frequently saw other ads. It can get annoying if you’re not interested in them.

While the brightness and picture will suffice for casual TV viewers, there are other TVs in the same price range that are able to get brighter. And others might provide smoother better gaming experiences. The Hisense 65-inch Class ULED Premium U7H QLED Series Quantum Dot Google 4K offers a 120Hz refresh rate, for example, while the Omni QLED only offers 60Hz. The U7H is similarly priced at $700 and the picture has deeper blacks and more realistic tones, too.

Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED Series 4K UHD Prime UI.

Sofia Pitt

Should you buy it?

You’ll like it if you’re deep into Amazon’s ecosystem of products and services. I appreciate that it makes the biggest screen in your house useful with its “ambient” experience. It’s very easy to set up and using Alexa to navigate is a breeze. The new Amazon Fire TV Omni is a big improvement compared with last year’s model, particularly when it comes to the screen, and its current price cut makes it an even better bargain for its capabilities and size.


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Two children and two adults survive after Tesla plunges 250 feet off California cliff

View from the helicopter during a rescue operation after a vehicle carrying two adults and two children went over a cliff in Devil’s Slide, San Mateo county, California, U.S., January 2, 2023, plunging hundreds of feet, according to the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, in this still image obtained from social media video.

CHP – Golden Gate Division | Reuters

Two adults and two children were rescued from a Tesla that plunged 250 feet off a cliff Monday morning in San Mateo County, California, officials said. 

The car was traveling southbound on the Pacific Coast Highway when it went over the cliff at Devil’s Slide, south of the Tom Lantos tunnel, and landed near the water’s edge below, the Cal Fire San Mateo-Santa Cruz Unit said. 

The car flipped and landed on its wheels in the fall, CAL FIRE/Coastside Fire Incident Commander Brian Pottenger said. Witnesses saw the accident and called 911. 

As crews were lowered down, they were able to see movement in the front seat, through their binoculars, meaning someone was alive.

“We were actually very shocked when we found survivable victims in the vehicle. So, that actually was a really hopeful moment for us,” Pottenger said. 

Fire officials called for helicopters to help hoist the survivors to safety. As they waited, firefighters rappelled to the scene and rescued the two children.

Rescue teams are seen at the scene as a Tesla with four occupants plunged over a cliff on Pacific Coast Highway 1 at Devils Slide on January 2, 2022 in San Mateo County, California, United States.

Tayfun Coskun | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

The California Highway Patrol shared video on social media showing helicopters lower first responders to the scene to extricate and rescue two adults inside. 

All four were hospitalized. The San Mateo Sheriff’s Office said the two adults suffered non-life-threatening injuries and the two children were unharmed.

It’s not clear what caused the car to go over the cliff. CHP is handling the investigation. 

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Tesla shares tumble more than 10% following deliveries report

Tesla vehicles are shown at a sales and service center in Vista, California, June 3, 2022.

Mike Blake | Reuters

Shares of Tesla dropped 13% on Tuesday morning, a day after the electric auto maker reported fourth-quarter vehicle production and delivery numbers for 2022.

Deliveries are the closest approximation of sales disclosed by Tesla. The company reported 405,278 total deliveries for the quarter and 1.31 million total deliveries for the year. These numbers represented a record for the Elon Musk-led automaker and growth of 40% in deliveries year over year, but they fell shy of analysts’ expectations.

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According to a consensus of analysts’ estimates compiled by FactSet, as of Dec. 31, 2022, Wall Street was expecting Tesla to report around 427,000 deliveries for the final quarter of the year. Estimates updated in December, and included in the FactSet consensus, ranged from 409,000 to 433,000.

Those more recent estimates were in line with a company-compiled consensus distributed by Tesla investor relations Vice President Martin Viecha. 

Some Wall Street analysts think Tesla’s deliveries miss spells trouble for the electric vehicle maker, but others see a buying opportunity for the company in 2023.

Baird analyst Ben Kallo, who recently named Tesla a top pick for 2023, maintained an outperform rating and said he would remain a buyer of the stock ahead of the company’s earnings report, which is scheduled for Jan. 25.

“Q4 deliveries missed consensus but beat our estimates,” he said in a Tuesday note. “Importantly, production increased ~20% q/q which we expect to continue into 2023 as gigafactories in Berlin and Austin continue to ramp.”

Analysts at Goldman Sachs said they consider the delivery report to be an “incremental negative,” and view Tesla as a company that is “well positioned for long-term growth.” Goldman reiterated its buy rating on the stock in a Monday note and said that making vehicles more affordable in a challenging macroeconomic environment will be a “key driver of growth.”

“We believe key debates from here will be on whether vehicle deliveries can reaccelerate, margins and Tesla’s brand,” the analysts said.

Shares of Tesla suffered an extreme yearlong sell-off in 2022, prompting CEO Musk to tell employees in late December not to be “too bothered by stock market craziness.”

Musk has blamed Tesla’s declining share price in part on rising interest rates. But critics point to his rocky $44 billion Twitter takeover as a bigger culprit for the slide.

Morgan Stanley analysts said they think the company’s share price weakness is a “window of opportunity to buy.”

“Between a worsening macro backdrop, record high unaffordability, and increasing competition, there are hurdles for all auto companies to overcome in the year ahead,” they said in a note Tuesday. “However, within this backdrop we believe TSLA has the potential to widen its lead in the EV race, as it leverages its cost and scale advantages to further itself from the competition.”

CNBC’s Lora Kolodny and Michael Bloom contributed to this report.

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Tesla makes China boss Tom Zhu its highest-profile executive after Elon Musk

Tom Zhu Xiaotong, Tesla’s current executive in charge of China, speaks as a new Tesla experience store opens on Aug. 18, 2015 in Hangzhou, China.

Visual China Group | Getty Images

Tesla’s China chief Tom Zhu has been promoted to take direct oversight of the electric carmaker’s U.S. assembly plants as well as sales operations in North America and Europe, according to an internal posting of reporting lines reviewed by Reuters.

The Tesla posting showed that Zhu’s title of vice president for Greater China had not changed and that he also retained his responsibilities as Tesla’s most senior executive for sales in the rest of Asia as of Tuesday.

The move makes Zhu the highest-profile executive at Tesla after Chief Executive Elon Musk, with direct oversight for deliveries in all of its major markets and operations of its key production hubs.

The reporting lines for Zhu would keep Tesla’s vehicle design and development — both areas where Musk has been heavily involved — separate while creating an apparent deputy to Musk on the more near-term challenges of managing global sales and output.

Tesla did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Reuters reviewed the organizational chart that had been posted internally by Tesla and confirmed the change with two people who had seen it. They asked not to be named because they were not authorized to discuss the matter.

Elon Musk needs to go back to Tesla and have others run Twitter, says Jim Cramer

Zhu and a team of his reports were brought in by Tesla late last year to troubleshoot production issues in the United States, driving an expectation among his colleagues then that he was being groomed for a bigger role.

Zhu’s appointment to a global role comes at a time when Musk has been distracted by his acquisition of Twitter and Tesla analysts and investors have urged action that would deepen the senior executive bench and allow him to focus on Tesla.

Under Zhu, Tesla’s Shanghai plant rebounded strongly from Covid lockdowns in China.

Tesla said on Monday that it had delivered 405,278 vehicles in the fourth quarter, short of Wall Street estimates, according to data compiled by Refinitiv.

The company had delivered 308,600 vehicles in the same period a year earlier.

The Tesla managers reporting to Zhu include: Jason Shawhan, director of manufacturing at the Gigafactory in Texas; Hrushikesh Sagar, senior director of manufacturing at Tesla’s Fremont factory; Joe Ward, vice president in charge of Europe, the Middle East and Africa; and Troy Jones, vice president of North America sales and service, according to the Tesla notice on reporting lines reviewed by Reuters.

Tesla country managers in China, Japan, Australia and New Zealand continued to report to Zhu, the notice showed.

Zhu does not have a direct report at Tesla’s still-ramping Berlin plant, but a person with knowledge of the matter said responsibility for that operation would come with the reporting line for Amsterdam-based Ward. Ward could not be immediately reached for comment.

Zhu, who was born in China but now holds a New Zealand passport, joined Tesla in 2014. Before that he was a project manager at a company established by his MBA classmates at Duke University, advising Chinese contractors working on infrastructure projects in Africa.

During Shanghai’s two-month Covid lockdown, Zhu was among the first batch of employees sleeping in the factory as they sought to keep it running, people who work with him have said.

Zhu, a no-fuss manager who sports a buzz cut, favors Tesla-branded fleece jackets and has lived in a government-subsidized apartment that is a 10-minute drive from the Shanghai Gigafactory. It was not immediately clear whether he would move after his promotion.

He takes charge of Tesla’s main production hubs at a time when the company is readying the launch of Cybertruck and a revamped version of its Model 3 sedan. Tesla has also said it is developing a cheaper electric vehicle but has not provided details on that plan.

When Tesla posted a picture on Twitter last month to celebrate its Austin, Texas, plant hitting a production milestone for its Model Y, Zhu was among hundreds of workers smiling on the factory floor.

Why China is beating the U.S. in electric vehicles

Allan Wang, who was promoted to vice president in charge of sales in China in July, was listed as the legal representative for the operation in registration papers filed with Chinese regulators in a change by the company last month.

Tesla board member James Murdoch said in November the company had recently identified a potential successor to Musk without naming the person. Murdoch did not respond to a request for comment.

Electrek previously reported that Zhu would take responsibility for U.S. sales, delivery and service.

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