Apple TV 4K Review: Everything you need to know

Apple TV and Remote

What is Apple TV 4K?

One of the most high-end video streaming devices, the Apple TV 4K comes with Dolby Vision high dynamic range (HDR) to give you exceptional picture quality. Since its launch in 2017, Apple has made several changes and upgrades to this device. Now it even comes with Dolby Atmos to give you immersive sound, complementing the picture and allowing you to get inside the action of your favorite movies and shows.

The Apple TV 4K comes with a robust set of features, including Siri integration, so you can use voice commands to control the device. And the built-in Home app lets you anchor all your HomeKit-enabled devices — like fans, locks, and switches — in one place. This makes the Apple TV 4K more than just a streaming device — it’s an all-in-one smart home hub. 

Apple TV 4K pricing

The Apple TV 4K comes in two storage sizes – 32GB and 64GB, with the 32GB costing $179 and the 64GB costing $199. It’s more expensive than streaming devices like the Amazon Fire TV 4K and the Roku Ultra, but it comes with more features and delivers a better user experience.

In general, the Apple TV 4K costs the same in every store, including Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart, and Apple stores. But Amazon might be most likely to run discounts and offers on the device every now and then, so consider watching out for that.

Apple TV 4K features

To make up for its higher cost, the Apple TV 4K aims to deliver a premium user experience with superior controls and luxurious finishing. But that’s not where its list of offering ends; check out some of the standout features of the Apple TV 4K device:

Sleek, ultra-minimalist design

The Apple TV 4K’s top-end finishing is instantly noticeable. At just 3.9 inches wide and 1.4 inches tall, it’s more compact than competitor streamers like the Roku Ultra and takes up little space.

The Apple TV 4K only has the essentials – an Ethernet port, an HDMI port, and a power input. 

Remote

The modern, minimalist design also extends to the remote, which has only 4 buttons to access essential controls. But what stands out the most about the remote is its touch surface, which allows you to control your device simply by swiping your finger. This makes navigation simple and straightforward, just like using your phone.

Easy and straightforward setup

Setting up your Apple TV 4K device is fairly easy, as it requires just a few things. Aside from the power cable that it comes with, you’ll also need an HDMI cable to connect it to your TV. And if you don’t want to use Wi-Fi or if you don’t have it, you’ll need an Ethernet cable as well. 

Experience superior streaming quality

The Apple TV 4K’s biggest highlight is its superior streaming quality, allowing up to 4K HDR streams with compatible devices and titles. With 4 times more pixels than standard high-definition, 4K gives you a crisper picture and significantly enhanced video quality. And with HDR, you get brighter colors and greater detail to deliver a more lifelike streaming experience.

To complement this superior picture quality, the Apple TV 4K allows you to get fully immersed in your favorite shows with 3D surround sound using any Dolby Atmos-compatible sound system. 

Easy and versatile controls at your convenience

Besides the touch surface controls, the Apple TV 4K remote comes with Siri integration that allows you to use voice commands to get exactly what you need without moving a finger. Let Siri help you browse through categories, find the perfect show, open your favorite app, or play a song that fits your mood, in addition to controlling the volume and other settings.

Plus, the Apple TV 4K offers a lot of versatility in the type of remote you use, allowing you to control the device from your iPad or iPhone as well. So you have the freedom to choose from multiple ways to control your screen and change the settings to your preference.

Access thousands of titles through streaming apps

The Apple TV 4K works with a host of streaming apps in every category so you can enjoy great content in exceptional quality. For on-demand content, browse through the virtually endless lineup from Amazon Prime Video, HBO NOW, Hulu, and Netflix. 

These apps will give you access to thousands of movies and shows — from iconic classics to popular contemporary releases. So you can binge on hit original shows like Carnival Row, Stranger Things, The Handmaid’s Tale, and Westworld.

It even lets you keep up with your favorite baseball and basketball teams through NBA and MLB apps. Get the latest news from Bloomberg and CNN or access live TV through DirecTV Now, Sling TV, and YouTube TV. 

But note that you’ll need a valid subscription to most of these streaming services to access their content. The good news is that the Apple TV 4K also comes with a free 1-year subscription to Apple TV+, the standalone streaming service for original shows and movies. After the free year, you can continue accessing the content for $4.99/mo.

Personalized experiences for multiple users

The new Control Center comes with multiuser support, providing experiences customized for each family member. This allows the Apple TV 4K to display recommendations, Up Next lists, and video and music collections tailored for each user based on their viewing habits. So it’s much easier to find movies, songs, and TV shows even if you share the device with multiple family members.

Smart home controls with the built-in Home app

Another standout feature of the Apple TV 4K is the built-in Home app that enables you to control your smart home through the device. Now you have a single hub to manage all your HomeKit-enabled accessories and devices. So you can control your air conditioning and heat, double-check the locks, shut your garage door, turn on your sprinklers, and more from one place. The Apple TV 4K doesn’t just bring you optimized entertainment; it also makes life easier.

The final cut

Considering the superior streaming quality and advanced features, the Apple TV 4K is worth the $179 investment for those who enjoy getting a premium user experience. With that said, you can still get better value for your money with other streamers like the Amazon Fire TV 4K or any of the Roku streaming devices. It’s all a matter of whether you just want the basics or the finest product on the market without the price being a major concern.

Enjoy the true potential of your Apple TV 4K by streaming your favorite movies and shows on Hulu and Netflix or watching live TV through Sling TV and YouTube TV.

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