Element Amazon Fire TV TV REVIEW

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.

Test Results
Design 7.0
Picture Quality 6.9
Motion 6.5
Inputs 4.8
Sound Quality 6.1
Smart Features 7.2
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
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com
50" EL4KAMZ5017
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com
55" EL4KAMZ5517
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com
65" EL4KAMZ6517
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com
7.0

Design

Curved : No

The design of the Fire Edition TV is basic, but it looks good. It appears quite sleek when viewed from the front. The stand is quite wide, but is very stable. The controls are all located under the front, and appear more like a PC monitor with buttons for each function.

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"

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.

Borders
Borders : 0.55" (1.4 cm)

The borders have an average thickness, but look nice.

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.

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 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.

6.9

Picture Quality

The Element Fire TV has an average picture quality. It does particularly well when it is set in a dark room since it has an excellent native contrast ratio and black uniformity. When set in a brighter room, it does an okay job too considering that it can deal quite well with reflections and that it gets brighter than its competition. The viewing angle is bad though and the gray uniformity could be better and therefore, this Fire TV would not make a good option for sports fans, since dirty screen effect is visible and the best picture quality is reserved only for a few people sitting directly in front. Finally, this TV does not support HDR but it can do a decent job playing SDR content.

8.8 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 720p Input

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

9.0 1080p Input

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

10 4k Input

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

7.0 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 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 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 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 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.

Pixels
6.5

Motion

Motion performance for the Fire TV is average. The response time is very good, so only a short trail of blur can be seen following fast moving objects. The TV flickers at 220 Hz to dim, so motion isn't as smooth as some other TVs and the flicker frequency not being a multiple of 60 Hz produces visual artifacts for fast-moving objects. This TV is not able to play movies at 24p from any source without judder. The Element Fire TV can use its 60 Hz panel to interpolate 30 fps content.

8.3 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 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 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 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 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 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 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.

4.8

Inputs

Unfortunately, the Element Fire TV can only display basic 4k content, as it doesn't support HDR and can't properly display 4:4:4 color. It also has high input lag making it a poor choice for video games that require fast reactions.

5.3 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 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.

Side Inputs
Rear 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 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)
6.1

Sound Quality

The Element Fire TV sounds about average for a modern TV set. It won't provide a particularly enjoyable and immersive experience, but it shouldn't cause issues with understanding dialog. Any form of upgrade such as a sound bar would improve the sound by  good amount.

5.8 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 Distortion
Weighted THD @ 80
:
0.040
Weighted THD @ Max
:
0.302
IMD @ 80
:
10.99 %
IMD @ Max
:
23.35 %

Passable distortion levels. While there is a noticeable peak at 400 Hz when the TV is set to max volume, the distortion levels of the Fire TV remain within standard range of what's found in TVs.

7.2

Smart Features

Smart OS : Fire TV
Version : N/A

The Element Fire TV runs the Amazon Fire TV smart platform, which has very smooth navigation and a great voice command feature, but pushes Amazon content and ads on the user to an annoying degree. A highlight of the platform is the Alexa voice command feature, which can do many things such as changing between apps and inputs, searching for content, and even more general purpose things such as finding nearby restaurants. The interface is also really responsive, has smooth animations and has an easy to understand layout. However, most of the interface pushes Amazon content on the user, giving tons of suggestions from Amazon Video and apps. It's annoying even if you are an Amazon Prime subscriber.

7.5 Interface
Ease of Use
:
Easy
Smoothness
:
Very Smooth
Time Taken to Select YouTube
:
4 s
Time Taken to Change Backlight
:
6 s
Advanced Options
:
Some
0 Ad-Free
Ads
:
Yes
Opt-out
:
No
Suggested Content in Home
:
Yes
Opt-out of Suggested Content
:
No

The interface has large banner ads in a few places, and pushes a lot of suggested Amazon Video and app content on the user nearly everywhere. This can be annoying even if you do have an Amazon Prime subscription.

7.0 Apps and Features
App Selection
:
Many
App Smoothness
:
Average
Cast Capable
:
Yes
USB Drive Playback
:
Yes
USB Drive HDR Playback
:
N/A
HDR in Netflix
:
N/A
HDR in Amazon Video
:
N/A
HDR in YouTube
:
N/A

Only Amazon apps are installed on the TV out of the box, but many more are available on the Amazon app store, such as Netflix and YouTube. However, Amazon 1-click ordering needs to be set up before any apps can be downloaded, which requires a payment method even when downloading free apps. Navigating apps feels smooth but their stability isn't as good as on many other platforms, as Netflix crashed during testing and had to be force stopped, and casting from a phone or tablet often failed on first try. The TV can play content from a USB drive, but unfortunately it doesn't have a built in media player, so an app like VLC for Fire TV is required for USB playback.

8.0 Remote
Size
:
Small
Voice Control