Streaming services are an integral part of televisions these days, with the affectionately known as “dumb TVs” becoming increasingly difficult to find among the plethora of smart options. Both Amazon and Sky have taken the smart TV idea a step further by implementing their respective entertainment platforms into these reasonably priced QLED models.
Amazon has crammed its extremely popular Fire TV streaming smarts into the Fire TV Omni QLED, the top model in its own TV lineup. It takes the apps and features you’d get from an Amazon Fire TV Stick, and puts them front and center as the main interface to the TV.
Sky has gone a slightly different route and created a subscription TV model using Sky Glass. This monthly hardware and entertainment service package bundles a 4K QLED TV with access to Sky’s live TV service and on-demand library. It is a unique proposition, which makes sense for those who want an all-in-one no-nonsense solution.
Sky Glass has been around for about a year and a half and has been thoroughly tested by our team of experts. The UK launch of the Fire TV Omni QLED was only announced last month, so we haven’t put it through our full testing process yet. We’ve seen it in action, though, and can use that experience along with a deep dive into the specs to give an idea of how it might compare to its Sky rival. And we’ll of course update this page once we get the Omni TV in for its full comparison review.
Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED vs Sky Glass: price
The Omni and the Glass are quite different propositions when it comes to purchasing, so comparing them on price is a bit tricky. The Fire TV is a standard one-time purchase from Amazon (and other select retailers coming soon). It costs £650 / $530 for the 50-inch set, £650 / $530 for the 55-inch and £1000 / $800 for the 65-inch. However, Amazon is currently running an introductory offer in the UK, meaning you can get the smallest Omni for just £349 right now.
The Sky Glass, on the other hand, requires a monthly subscription in addition to a small upfront payment – think of it like a phone contract. All models require a £10 prepayment, with the 43-inch model costing £14 per month, the 55-inch model £19 per month and the 65-inch model £24 per month. However, that monthly fee only covers the hardware, so you’ll need to add a Sky Entertainment package on top of that, including Netflix. Sky offers the first three months of this for free, but after that it costs £26 a month for an 18-month contract or £29 for a 31-day ongoing contract.
The Sky Glass is clearly more of a commitment – you have to be all in on Sky if you want to go with the Glass. The Fire is the way to go if you’re getting cold feet when it comes to TVs and don’t want to commit yourself to a recurring payment service. That said, the Fire Omni is geared towards super streaming, especially when it comes to Amazon Prime content, so be prepared for some optional recurring costs.
It’s also worth noting that Sky Glass is a UK exclusive, and also that neither set is coming to Australia for now. The Fire has been on sale in the US for about six months now.
Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED vs Sky Glass: Design
The Sky Glass is one of the more stylish TVs right now. It is one of the few sets on the market available in different colors (black, white, blue, green or pink). There’s also a hot-swappable speaker grille cover, so you can mix and match colors and designs, making this one of the most customizable TVs we’ve come across.
The glass is unashamedly thick in design, with square edges reminiscent of the bold design language seen on the latest Apple iPhones and iPads. The bezels around the screen are quite thin, the thick bottom bezel where the speaker system sits aside. The glass sits on top of a rectangular base that gives the TV a subtle floating effect. It’s possible to wall-mount the unit, although Sky warns that this should be done by a professional installer – something to keep in mind.
The Glass comes in 43, 55 and 65-inch screen sizes, affectionately referred to by Sky as Small, Medium and Large. This is one short of the Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED, which comes in 43, 50, 55 and 65-inch screen sizes, as well as a 77-inch model in the US.
The Omni QLED has a much more conventional design, with a pair of A-frame feet supporting the TV at either end. The plastic housing is only available in silver and is quite unremarkable in terms of design. It can be wall mounted via a standard VESA mount, so it should be easier to hang than the Glass.
Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED vs Sky Glass: Features
Both TVs have many similarities when it comes to picture features, including QLED panels with 4K resolution. Both sets support HDR10, HLG and Dolby Vision HDR formats; the Fire TV gets additional support with HDR10+, as well as HDR10+ Adaptive and Dolby Vision IQ thanks to the included ambient light sensor.
Both TVs also offer plenty of audio features, although the Sky Glass looks more impressive on paper. It has a Dolby Atmos-certified speaker system in a 3.1.2 arrangement – three out-firing, one centralized subwoofer and two up-firing speakers. In our review, we praise the Glass’s sonic performance given the price, with an overall sense of weight and depth, as well as a convincingly spacious approach to Atmos content. We haven’t had a chance to test the Fire TV Omni QLED yet, but it supports Dolby Digital Plus as standard, as well as Dolby Atmos over HDMI pass-through.
Speaking of HDMI, the Fire Omni has a total of four connections, three of which are HDMI 2.0s and one is HDMI 2.1 with eARC. Impressively, Sky Glass has three HDMI 2.1 connections – one more than the top-end Sony A95K, which costs more than twice as much. Gamers shouldn’t hope too much though; the glass is capped at 60Hz, just like the Fire Omni. There’s also no ALLM or VRR support on the Glass – in fact, there are no gaming features at all. The Omni QLED gets VRR between 48Hz and 60Hz; we asked Amazon if ALLM is supported.
Of course, both TVs are heavily influenced by their software and services. The Fire TV Omni uses Amazon’s Fire OS operating system, the same as the Fire TV Sticks and Cube, with all the same streaming apps including Prime Video, Netflix, Apple TV and Disney Plus, as well as UK specific apps like BBC iPlayer and ITV X. You’ll find Amazon products, services and content feature heavily on the Fire TV homepage, but other than that, compatibility should be as good as the existing streamers.
Amazon is adding some exclusive features to the Omni QLED, headlined by the Ambient Experience. This aims to make your set useful even if you’re not using it as a television, with informative widgets and personalized content solutions displayed over various artworks, landscape photos, and even AI-generated art. You can also interact with Alexa at all times thanks to the TV’s far-field microphones – effectively turning the Omni QLED into a super-sized Echo Show in this Ambient Experience mode.
The Glass uses Sky’s proprietary Entertainment OS user interface, which has been developed specifically for the Glass and Sky Stream. It also offers plenty of app compatibility without any significant omissions. There’s also a voice assistant similar to Alexa, which you can summon with a “Hey Sky” command, followed by a request to find or play some content. The software is very Sky-focused, with playlist options for Sky’s own on-demand streaming platforms; third-party streaming apps, however, are intertwined in the user interface.
Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED vs. Sky Glass: Photo
We can’t yet properly assess the Omni QLED’s imaging capabilities, as we’ve only seen it in real life for a short time. Be sure to check back here once our full review is live to see how these TVs stack up in the picture department.
However, we know that Sky Glass produces a decent image for the money. While it can’t rival the best OLEDs when it comes to black depth, or offer class-leading contrast, overall the Sky Glass impresses when it comes to image quality at this level. Skin tones look natural with well-considered shadows and there’s an overall cinematic feel when the TV is paired with the right content.
However, the glass is not perfect. Motion takes a particular hit due to the lack of motion processing options, which can sometimes lead to a smearing effect typical of cheaper LCD sets. We do note that the Glass does not suffer from the dreaded soap opera effect. We also wish the Glass’s picture was a bit more vibrant, as the colors can look a bit washed out in brighter scenes – although we do have to give the Sky props for not going in the way of some other budget TVs that are too overpowered. sharpen and boost colors to offset their cheaper panels. Instead, the Glass takes a more balanced approach that we really appreciate.
Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED vs Sky Glass: Verdict
While we know exactly how we feel about the Sky Glass, it’s too early for us to make up our mind about the Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED. It seems like a reasonable proposition at the moment with decent value, but we can’t say for sure how it will compare when it comes to sound and visuals.
There’s an easy way to choose between these TVs, though, and that’s deciding if you want Sky TV. If you do, then the Glass is for you; if you don’t, go for the Omni QLED. You could use the Glass without Sky TV, but the technology is so ingrained in the device that we wouldn’t really recommend it.
There are plenty of affordable QLED sets on the market from the likes of TCL and Hisense, and the Omni adds fuel to the fire. The Amazon set also has the advantage of being a one-time purchase that is complemented by the streaming services you choose to choose.
Read our full Sky Glass Review
As well as ours Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED hands-on review
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