Apple TV 4K 2021 evaluation: quicker chip, fancy iPod-like far off

The second one-generation Apple TV 4K will get a quicker processor and future-proofed specifications, however is in point of fact all about its new iPod-inspired Siri far off. And all of it comes at a value.

Costing £169, the Apple media-streaming field may be very a lot on the best of the marketplace regardless of being £10 less expensive than its predecessor, with direct competition priced between £50 and £130. However the Apple TV 4K provides one thing maximum others can not: complete integration with all the iPhone-maker’s products and services together with Siri, iTunes, TV+, Track, Health+ and the AirPlay 2 streaming gadget.

The brand new style seems to be similar to the former era: a nondescript black field with a matt best, shiny facets and has a small LED at the entrance to turn you that it’s on.

Redesigned Siri far off

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The second one-generation Siri far off has again and residential buttons for navigation plus energy, quantity and mute buttons to keep an eye on your TV or sound gadget. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Dad or mum

The far off has been utterly overhauled, introducing extra conventional navigation buttons and a brand new touch-sensitive ring for scrolling paying homage to the “click on wheel” at the previous iPods. This can be a vital development over the previous style.

The brand new “clickpad” on the best of the far off accommodates a pad with up, down, left, proper and a centre button for make a selection. The entire thing is contact touchy so you’ll additionally swipe throughout it to navigate the interface and scrub via video.

In apps that strengthen it, customers can press the pause button after which cling their finger at the outdoor ring for 0.5 seconds sooner than transferring it clockwise or anti-clockwise to wash ahead or backwards via movies, in a similar fashion to the usage of previous iPods. Observe Disney+, YouTube, BritBox and a couple of others don’t but strengthen the brand new gesture.

tvOS 14.5

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The instrument at the Apple TV is a spinoff of Apple’s iOS known as tvOS this is usually simple to make use of and has multi-user account strengthen for various participants of your family. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Dad or mum

Apple’s ace-in-the-hole is complete app developer strengthen that outstretches competition from Amazon, Google and Roku. Necessarily each and every streaming provider is to be had on it, together with large manufacturers equivalent to Netflix, Disney+, Amazon High Video and YouTube (with Google Play Films), plus all of the same old UK TV products and services equivalent to BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4, My5, STV Participant, UK TV Play, Now, BT Game, BritBox, Acorn and others. If you need one field for all of the apps, the Apple TV is it.

Then there are Apple’s iTunes, TV+, Arcade, Track, Health+ and Footage products and services, video games and quite a lot of utilities. It helps AirPlay 2, which lets you ship song and video from an iPhone or different Apple units to the TV, but it surely does no longer strengthen Google Solid.

Specs

  • Processor: A12 Bionic

  • RAM: 3GB

  • Garage: 32 or 64GB

  • Connectivity: wifi 6, gigabit ethernet, Bluetooth 5, HDMI 2.1

  • Device: tvOS 14.5

  • Structure strengthen: as much as [email protected], HLG, Dolby Imaginative and prescient, HDR10 (top body fee); Dolby Atmos, Virtual and Virtual Plus

  • Dimensions: 35 x 98 x 98mm

  • Weight: 425g

A12 Bionic chip from the iPhone XS

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The brand new Apple TV 4K is relatively quicker than its predecessor with the A12 Bionic chip that first gave the impression in 2021’s iPhone XS. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Dad or mum

The brand new field makes use of the most recent HDMI 2.1 specification to connect with the tv, which is needed for higher resolutions, upper body charges and the eARC audio connection which can be more and more not unusual on new TVs and soundbars. However it’s also well matched with TVs that use older HDMI connections.

It additionally has the more recent wifi 6 same old, which must assist the ones with deficient overage get quicker speeds to the Apple TV when they get a brand new router with wifi 6.

Sustainability

The Apple TV 4K makes use of 100% recycled tin within the solder of its common sense board, 100% recycled aluminium within the far off and 20% recycled plastic in a couple of elements. Apple could also be the usage of renewable power for ultimate meeting, and breaks down the streaming field’s environmental affect in its document.

The field is usually repairable costing £146.44 out of guaranty. Restore consultants iFixit gave the Apple TV 4K a repairability ranking of eight out of 10, however famous that changing the battery within the far off used to be tough. Apple provides trade-in and unfastened recycling schemes, together with for non-Apple merchandise.

Observations

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You’ll be able to press and cling the Siri button at the aspect of the far off for voice keep an eye on, together with playback keep an eye on, unified seek throughout all of your streaming apps, or to invite questions as for those who would on an iPhone. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Dad or mum
  • It has a integrated Thread radio for connecting immediately to well matched good house units.

  • A suave characteristic calibrates the color of your TV the usage of the sensors on an iPhone to make the color output extra correct, however isn’t wanted in case your tv helps Dolby Imaginative and prescient.

  • Apps that strengthen top body fee HDR (60 frames a moment in 4K HDR) are very restricted at release.

  • You’ll be able to use an iPhone or iPad as a far off or to go into textual content, together with pasting codes from password managers.

  • Two pairs of Apple’s AirPods or Beats headphones can hook up with the Apple TV for late-night films with out demanding the neighbours, which is a killer characteristic.

  • The field can output audio to AirPlay-compatible audio system as a substitute of your TV, together with the company’s HomePod and HomePod mini.

  • You’ll be able to attach maximum Bluetooth joypads together with Xbox and PlayStation controllers to play video games.

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The brand new far off (proper) does away with the divisive best contact panel of its predecessor (left) and is thicker and heavier with arduous steel facets and a curved again that make it simple to grip. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Dad or mum

Worth

The second one-generation Apple TV 4K prices £169 with 32GB of garage or £189 with 64GB.

The brand new Siri far off will also be purchased one by one for £55.

For comparability, the Apple TV HD prices £139, the Nvidia Defend TV prices £129, the Google Chromecast with Google TV prices £59.99, the Roku Streaming Stick+ prices £49.99 and the (*20*)Amazon Hearth TV Dice prices £109.99.

Verdict

The brand new Apple TV 4K is basically the similar because the previous one, with all its qualities and functions, however with future-proofed specifications and a in point of fact nice, iPod-like far off.

That implies you get a extremely succesful streaming media field with wider app strengthen than competition and whole integration with Apple’s quite a lot of units and products and services, together with killer options like having the ability to use two units of AirPods for late-night listening.

However it is vitally dear when compared with competition, costing lower than part as a lot, and lacks Google Solid, so is much less helpful for Android customers.

It’s not price upgrading from the former style, however for the ones taking a look to exchange older equipment or simply for the most efficient good streaming field to be had for iPhone customers, the second-generation Apple TV 4K is it.

Execs: widest streaming app strengthen, just right far off, Dolby Imaginative and prescient/Atmos, HDR10, HDMI 2.1, wifi 6, AirPlay 2, complete iPhone/Apple products and services integration, Siri/voice keep an eye on, attach two pairs of AirPods on the identical time for personal listening.

Cons: very dear, no Google Solid, no longer as simple to make use of with Android, new far off options don’t paintings with each and every app.

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The nondescript field continues to be a magnet for mud, however will also be hidden out of line of sight since the far off makes use of Bluetooth to be in contact with it. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Dad or mum

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