Element Amazon Fire TV TV Review

Reviewed Aug 07, 2017 at 12:24 pm
Element Amazon Fire TV Picture
Usage Ratings - Version 1.2
6.6
Mixed Usage
Value for price beaten by
: Not at the latest test bench
6.6
Movies
7.3
TV Shows
7.0
Sports
6.7
Video Games
6.0
HDR Movies
4.8
HDR Gaming
6.2
PC Monitor
This TV was replaced by the Toshiba Amazon Fire TV 2018
Type LED
Sub-Type
VA
Resolution 4k

The Element Amazon Fire TV is a decent 4k LED TV that features Amazon's Fire TV smart platform with their Alexa personal assistant. It has good contrast, but its lack of extra features, narrow viewing angles and lack of HDR support gimp its versatility. It also has a lot more advertisements than the average TV.

Our Verdict

6.6 Mixed Usage

The Element Fire TV is an average 4k TV with mediocre picture quality. It's not a very competitive package overall, and it doesn't particularly excel at anything. Its smart features are decent, but they are centered around Amazon's services.

See our Mixed Usage recommendations
6.6 Movies

Mediocre TV for watching movies. The Fire TV has a decent contrast, but it lacks a calibration or local dimming feature. It also cannot play 24p content from any source without judder, which not every user can notice.

See our Movies recommendations
7.3 TV Shows

Decent TV for watching TV shows, the Amazon Fire TV interface is very responsive and intuitive and covers most streaming services. The TV gets decently bright, but it could have a better finish for handling reflections in a brighter room.

See our TV Shows recommendations
7.0 Sports

The Element Fire TV is a decent sports watching TV. Its uniformity is about average so no major dirty screen effect is present to ruin the looks of grassy fields. Its motion is good, but its picture quality degrades at an angle so it isn't the best for living rooms with a wider sitting arrangement.

See our Sports recommendations
6.7 Video Games

Average TV for playing video games. While it has decent handling of motion blur, the Element Fire TV's input lag leaves a lot to be desired. More casual users might not have issues with it, but more demanding gamers will notice the extra "floatiness" caused by the latency.

See our Video Games recommendations
6.0 HDR Movies

HDR is not supported, and the TV doesn't get particularly bright. It lacks a wide color gamut and 10 bits of color depth which stops it from seeing any picture quality improvement from a future HDR supporting update.

See our HDR Movies recommendations
4.8 HDR Gaming

The high input lag and no support for HDR makes the Fire TV a poor choice for HDR gaming.

See our HDR Gaming recommendations
6.2 PC Monitor

High input lag, narrow viewing angles and limited resolution support makes the Fire TV a bad choice for use as a PC monitor. The input lag particularly deteriorates the experience as mouse movement become annoyingly slow.

See our PC Monitor recommendations
  • 6.6 Mixed Usage
  • 6.6 Movies
  • 7.3 TV Shows
  • 7.0 Sports
  • 6.7 Video Games
  • 6.0 HDR Movies
  • 4.8 HDR Gaming
  • 6.2 PC Monitor
Pros
  • High contrast gives deep and uniform blacks
  • Amazon's Alexa is a powerful assistant
Cons
  • Picture quality degrades at an angle
  • Input lag is high
  • Ads are more intrusive than average
  1. Update 3/12/2018: Converted to Test Bench 1.2. Learn more about our versioned test bench system here.
  2. Update 10/5/2017: Added BFI Frequency
  3. Update 8/10/2017: Converted to Test Bench 1.1. Learn more about our new versioned test bench system here.

Check Price

43" EL4KAMZ4317
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50" EL4KAMZ5017
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55" EL4KAMZ5517
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65" EL4KAMZ6517
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Test Results

Design
Design
Stand

The stand is quite wide, but does support the TV well and feels stable.

Footprint of the 55" TV stand: 10.2" x 35.2"

Design
Back
Wall Mount VESA 200x200

The rear of the TV is simple, and has a metallic back similar to the TCL S405. The connections are all fairly easy to access if placed close to a wall as they run parallel to the TV.

Design
Borders
Borders 0.55" (1.4 cm)

The borders have an average thickness, but look nice.

Design
Thickness
Max Thickness 3.31" (8.4 cm)

The TV is quite thick when viewed from the side. It will stick out a bit if wall mounted, but this shouldn't be too much of an issue.

Design
Temperature
Maximum Temperature
100 °F (38 °C)
Average Temperature
96 °F (36 °C)

The TV gets a little warm, especially in a few places on the back; however, this isn't a concern during normal use.

6.5
Design
Build Quality

The build quality of the Fire TV is decent. The TV uses a roughly equal mix of plastic and metallic parts in its construction. It shouldn't present any issues in normal use.

Picture Quality
8.8
Picture Quality
Contrast
Native Contrast
5129 : 1
Contrast with local dimming
N/A

The Fire TV has a great native contrast ratio. With a contrast ratio above 5000:1, this means that it can display really deep blacks, which in turn is great for dark scenes in movies, especially when watching TV in a dark room.

0
Picture Quality
Local Dimming
Local Dimming
No
Backlight
Direct

The Element Fire TV does not have a local dimming feature. The video is for reference only.

7.5
Picture Quality
SDR Peak Brightness
SDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
292 cd/m²
SDR Peak 2% Window
308 cd/m²
SDR Peak 10% Window
309 cd/m²
SDR Peak 25% Window
310 cd/m²
SDR Peak 50% Window
309 cd/m²
SDR Peak 100% Window
310 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 2% Window
308 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 10% Window
309 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 25% Window
310 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 50% Window
309 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 100% Window
310 cd/m²
SDR ABL
0.000

Plot over time

Good SDR peak brightness. The TV remains a constant ~300 cd/m² regardless of the content shown, which is good. This is brighter than many competitors like the TCL S405, but not as bright as the P607.

0
Picture Quality
HDR Peak Brightness
HDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
N/A
HDR Peak 2% Window
N/A
HDR Peak 10% Window
N/A
HDR Peak 25% Window
N/A
HDR Peak 50% Window
N/A
HDR Peak 100% Window
N/A
HDR Sustained 2% Window
N/A
HDR Sustained 10% Window
N/A
HDR Sustained 25% Window
N/A
HDR Sustained 50% Window
N/A
HDR Sustained 100% Window
N/A
HDR ABL
N/A

HDR is not supported.

6.6
Picture Quality
Gray Uniformity
50% Std. Dev.
3.762 %
50% DSE
0.229 %
5% Std. Dev.
1.620 %
5% DSE
0.107 %

The Element Fire TV has an average gray uniformity and while looking at our test picture of the 50% gray, you can see that the 4 corners are darker than the center. The top and bottom part of the screen is also a bit darker than the middle and some faint darker vertical and horizontal bands are also visible, something that we often see on direct-lit TVs.

Looking at our 5% gray test picture, not much come out and the lighter sides are not a uniformity problem but are due to the narrow viewing angle affecting the camera since, in person, it was not an issue.

5.0
Picture Quality
Viewing Angle
Color Shift
34 °
Brightness
46 °
Black Level
9 °

Poor viewing angle, but typical for a TV with a VA panel. Blacks turn gray when the TV is viewed from even a small angle, while colors and brightness degrade at more moderate angles. This TV is not a good fit for a room where people often view the TV from the side.

8.5
Picture Quality
Black Uniformity
Native Std. Dev.
0.764 %
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
N/A

Excellent black uniformity for the Fire TV. Looking at our test picture, the screen is very uniform, even in the corners and edges, where clouding usually happens. This is a very good result and should reflect on dark scene performance.

7.0
Picture Quality
Reflections
Screen Finish
Semi-gloss
Total Reflections
5.1 %
Indirect Reflections
4.4 %

The Fire TV is good at handling reflections. It has a semi-gloss finish which diffuses glare across the screen, reducing its intensity. It should be fine for an average room, but may present an issue in a bright room.

6.7
Picture Quality
Pre Calibration
Picture Mode
Custom
White Balance dE
4.04
Color dE
3.50
Gamma
2.01
Color Temperature
6162 K

Out of the box, the Element Fire TV has a good picture quality. It is not as good as some other more expensive TVs, but it is still reasonable. The level of inaccuracy both in the white balance dE and color dE is high enough so that enthusiasts might notice it.

Those results are base on the 'Warm' color temperature, which we always use to start or review. We measured both the 'Standard' and 'Cool' color temperatures and found them to be both too inaccurate (white balance dE over 10 and color dE over 7 for both).

6.7
Picture Quality
Post Calibration
Picture Mode
Custom
White Balance dE
4.04
Color dE
3.50
Gamma
2.01
Color Temperature
6121 K

There are no advanced calibration options on the Element Fire TV, so the only changes that could be made are the simple changes to the picture settings that were made before the pre-calibration reading, and as such, the measurement stayed the same.

You can see our recommended settings here.

8.0
Picture Quality
480p Input

Upscaling of low-quality content such as DVDs is good. The image is a bit softer than usual, but details are preserved quite well. Only minor halo artifacts are visible along straight edges.

8.0
Picture Quality
720p Input

720p content such as cable TV is clear once upscaled.

9.0
Picture Quality
1080p Input

Upscaling of 1080p content is great. The image remains sharp and detailed.

10
Picture Quality
4k Input

No issues can be seen with native 4k content on the TV.

7.0
Picture Quality
Color Gamut
Wide Color Gamut
No
DCI P3 xy
77.61 %
DCI P3 uv
84.41 %
Rec 2020 xy
55.92 %
Rec 2020 uv
62.56 %

Standard color gamut, only good enough for SDR (Rec 709) content, but it does cover the entire Rec 709 color gamut.

6.1
Picture Quality
Color Volume
Normalized DCI P3 Coverage ITP
70.7 %
10,000 cd/m² DCI P3 Coverage ITP
28.7 %
Normalized Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
50.5 %
10,000 cd/m² Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
20.5 %

Disappointing color volume. The narrow color gamut, lack of local dimming and over-brightening of the 10% brightness colors prevent the TV from achieving a satisfying color volume.

8.7
Picture Quality
Gradient
Color Depth
10 Bit
Red (Std. Dev.)
0.081 dE
Green (Std. Dev.)
0.099 dE
Blue (Std. Dev.)
0.082 dE
Gray (Std. Dev.)
0.094 dE

The Fire TV has a relatively smooth gradient performance, and can show 10 bit gradients very well even though it's an SDR-only TV. Some banding is visible in the dark areas of our test photo, but this is typical for 10 bit TVs, and will pose no problems when displaying SDR content.

10
Picture Quality
Temporary Image Retention
IR after 0 min recovery
0.00 %
IR after 2 min recovery
0.00 %
IR after 4 min recovery
0.00 %
IR after 6 min recovery
0.00 %
IR after 8 min recovery
0.00 %
IR after 10 min recovery
0.00 %

A perfect result on our image retention test for the Element Fire TV. After the 10 minutes burn-in scene, no remains of any of the RTINGS logos can be seen. This result is in line with other VA TVs.

10
Picture Quality
Permanent Burn-In Risk
Permanent Burn-In Risk
No

We don't expect VA panels to experience permanent image retention, as the VA panel in our long-term test appears immune.

Picture Quality
Pixels
Motion
8.3
Motion
Response Time
80% Response Time
5.7 ms
100% Response Time
15.1 ms

The response time of the Fire TV is very good, resulting in a short trail following moving objects, which is great when watching fast-moving content.

3.6
Motion
Flicker-Free
Flicker-Free
No
PWM Dimming Frequency
220 Hz

The Element Fire TV uses PWM at 220Hz to dim the backlight, starting at 99/100 backlight setting. Lowering the setting shortens the duty cycle, while amplitude remains constant. Backlights that use PWM results in duplications following moving objects, but it does help to clear up motion slightly. PWM at 220Hz is unusual, and this is the only TV we have tested so far that uses this frequency. Since it is not a multiple of the panel's refresh rate, which is 60Hz, it results in shaky duplications following fast-moving objects.

4.3
Motion
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
Optional BFI
No
Min Flicker for 60 fps
220 Hz
60 Hz for 60 fps
No
120 Hz for 120 fps
N/A
Min Flicker for 60 fps in Game Mode
220 Hz

This TV has no optional black frame insertion feature to match the backlight's flicker to the frame rate of the content, so the only flicker the TV has is its 220 Hz PWM dimming. Because 220 Hz is a fairly high frequency, and it's not a multiple of 60 Hz, motion doesn't look as clear as on a TV with 120 Hz or 60 Hz flicker.

7.0
Motion
Motion Interpolation
Motion Interpolation (30 fps)
Yes
Motion Interpolation (60 fps)
No

The Fire TV can interpolate lower frame rate content using its 60 Hz panel. To add the soap opera effect to 60 fps content, change 'Motion Smoothing' to any value except 'Bypass' in the Advanced Options menu. Note that any motion interpolation will introduce artifacts, so use a low setting unless you really like the soap opera effect.

7.7
Motion
Stutter
Frame Hold Time @ 24 fps
26.6 ms
Frame Hold Time @ 60 fps
1.6 ms

The Fire TV is good at displaying content without stutter. The response time results in some blur between frames, which reduces the static image time which is good.

2.2
Motion
24p Judder
Judder-Free 24p
No
Judder-Free 24p via 60p
No
Judder-Free 24p via 60i
No
Judder-Free 24p via Native Apps
Yes

The Fire TV can't remove judder from 24p movies no matter the frame rate of the sources, from 24p to 60p and 60i.

0
Motion
Variable Refresh Rate
Native Refresh Rate
60 Hz
Variable Refresh Rate
No
4k VRR Maximum
N/A
4k VRR Minimum
N/A
1080p VRR Maximum
N/A
1080p VRR Minimum
N/A
VRR Supported Connectors
N/A

The Fire TV has a native 60Hz panel and doesn't support any variable refresh rate features.

Inputs
5.3
Inputs
Input Lag
1080p @ 60Hz
69.3 ms
1080p @ 60Hz + HDR
N/A
1080p @ 60Hz Outside Game Mode
86.0 ms
1080p @ 120Hz
N/A
4k @ 60Hz
69.5 ms
4k @ 60Hz + HDR
N/A
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
N/A
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4 + 8 bit HDR
N/A
4k @ 60Hz Outside Game Mode
69.5 ms
4k With Interpolation
142.0 ms
4k @ 120 Hz
N/A
4k with Variable Refresh Rate
N/A
1080p with Variable Refresh Rate
N/A

High input lag, even in the 'PC/Game' picture mode. This is fine for casual gaming, but any game that requires fast reactions will be more difficult than on other TVs with low input lag. Also in 'PC/Game' mode 4k @ 60Hz input shows visual glitches, and sharpening can't be disabled.

1.7
Inputs
Supported Resolutions
1080p @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
No
1080p @ 120Hz
No
1440p @ 60Hz
No
4k @ 30Hz @ 4:4:4
No
4k @ 60Hz
Yes
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
No
4k @ 120Hz
No

Only basic resolutions are supported. 4:4:4 color is not shown properly, even in the 'PC/Game' picture mode. 4k @ 60Hz @ 4:2:0 color is supported, but not at 4:4:4 or 4:2:2 because the TV does not support HDMI 2.0 full bandwidth. Also in 'PC/Game' mode 4k @ 60Hz input shows visual glitches, and sharpening can't be disabled.

Inputs
Side Inputs
Inputs
Rear Inputs
Inputs
Total Inputs
HDMI 4
USB 2
Digital Optical Audio Out 1
Analog Audio Out 3.5mm 1
Analog Audio Out RCA 0
Component In 1 (shared)
Composite In 1 (shared)
Tuner (Cable/Ant) 1
Ethernet 1
DisplayPort 0
IR In 0
SD/SDHC 1
Inputs
Inputs Specifications
HDR10
No
Dolby Vision
No
HLG
No
3D
No
5.1 Passthrough ARC Dolby Digital
Yes
5.1 Passthrough ARC DTS
No
5.1 Passthrough Optical Dolby Digital
Yes
5.1 Passthrough Optical DTS
No
HDMI 2.0 Full Bandwidth
No
HDMI 2.1 Full Bandwidth
No
ARC
Yes (HDMI 1)
USB 3.0
Yes (1)
HDCP 2.2 Yes (HDMI 1,2,3,4)
CEC Yes
MHL No
Variable Analog Audio Out Yes
Wi-Fi Support Yes (2.4 GHz, 5 GHz)
Sound Quality
5.8
Sound Quality
Frequency Response
Low-Frequency Extension
160.00 Hz
Std. Dev. @ 70
5.20 dB
Std. Dev. @ 80
5.20 dB
Std. Dev. @ Max
5.53 dB
Max
93.6 dB SPL
Dynamic Range Compression
4.01 dB

The Element Fire TV's frequency response is below average. The under-emphasized treble region causes the TV to sound a bit dark, but it shouldn't cause any major issues with dialog. There is some dynamic range compression at higher volumes though.

6.8
Sound Quality
Distortion
Weighted THD @ 80
0.040
Weighted THD @ Max
0.302
IMD @ 80