Apple TV 4K 2022 review: Small changes make a big difference


    Apple TV 4K 2022 review

    Apple TV 4K 2022 review (Image: APPLE)

    The new Apple TV 4K is now smaller, faster and more pixel-packed than ever

    What we love

    • Smaller design
    • A15 Bionic offers a slick experience
    • Improved image quality
    • Fabulous Siri remote
    • Simple set up for iPhone owners

    What we don’t

    • No Wi-Fi 6 is a shame
    • Expensive compared to rivals
    • Ethernet missing on cheaper model

    The new Apple TV 4K is now smaller, faster and more pixel-packed than ever. Apple has crammed its A15 Bionic processor inside this more diddy and energy-efficient device and the results are impressive with animations, app launching and gaming feeling smoother than ever.

    There’s also full compatibility with stunning Dolby Vision and HDR10+ technology which makes content appear richer and full of glorious detail.

    Just like last year, there’s also the brilliant new remote which makes interacting with your TV feel far more intuitive. A simple tap on the Siri voice button also lets you find content more quickly and even offers the option to skip through shows or launch apps without endless scrolling around the screen.

    The Apple TV 4K is a great way of streaming shows and movies to the biggest screen in your home but it does have some drawbacks.

    Unlike the new Fire TV Cube from Amazon, it’s not Wi-Fi 6E compatible. It’s also pretty pricey and you have to spend even more if you want the version with extra storage and an Ethernet port on the back.

    Finding content that is filmed in Dolby Vision and HDR10+ can be tricky and some streaming platforms, such as Netflix, even charge extra for the privilege. Finally, this is not a huge upgrade over last year’s model so it will probably only suit those new to Apple TV or anyone who hasn’t refreshed their streaming device in a while.

    All in all, this is a very nice update from Apple that offers a seriously slick way to stream.

    Apple TV 4K 2022 review

    The new Apple TV 4K is more compact than before (Image: APPLE)

    Apple TV 4K 2022: Full review

    Consumers are now spoilt for choice when it comes to streaming boxes. Amazon has just refreshed its Fire TV Cube, Roku is about to unleash new features to its devices and Sky has finally launched its all-new Stream device which brings a vast array of premium content into homes without the need for a satellite dish.

    Now, to add to this rapidly growing streaming revolution, Apple has fully rebooted its 4K TV set-top box with this device getting a faster processor, smaller design and full compatibility with improved Dolby Vision and HDR10+ content. has been putting this new compact gadget through its paces and there’s certainly lots to like about it.

    Firstly, it is smaller than all of its predecessors which means its tucks neatly alongside or underneath your TV. That’s something we criticised Apple for not introducing in our 2021 Apple TV review, so it’s nice to see things getting shrunk down a little.

    The new design and inclusion of an upgrade A15 Bionic chip have also made it more efficient which not only means it’s quieter than before but also uses less energy – that’s got to be a good thing right now considering the sky-high price of electricity.

    That A15 Bionic processor also makes the new Apple TV 4K feel much snappier and there’s no lag or stutters as you swipe through menus or launch your favourite streaming apps.

    Apple TV 4K review

    The Apple TV 4K is now compatible with Dolby Vision and HDR10 (Image: APPLE)

    Anyone who likes to use the Apple TV for a bit of gaming will also find the power improves the overall experience with things now over 30 percent faster than before.

    Of course, a streaming box is all about watching content and things have been improved in that department as well thanks to compatibility with stunning Dolby Vision and HDR10+.

    This latest TV technology helps improve the picture quality with users getting more vibrant colours, richer blacks, improved contrast and a feeling of greater depth.

    It’s great that the Apple TV 4K now caters for this content but don’t get too excited.

    Although Apple’s library of shows and movies is available in these formats there’s still a long way to go before all of the things you want to watch get this treatment. Yes, Disney+ does broadcast in this format and Prime Video has begun adding shows in Dolby Vision as well but there’s still a vast array of content that doesn’t get this treatment.

    It’s also worth noting that apps such as Netflix charge extra for better image quality and you’ll also need a compatible TV as well. Finally, the more pixel-packed the content, the faster your broadband needs to be and we wouldn’t even consider streaming in full 4K unless you have speeds well in excess of 40Mbps.

    Apple TV 4K review

    The entry-level model has no Ethernet port (Image: APPLE)

    Once you do settle down for a movie in Dolby Vision or HDR10+ expect to be blown away as the quality really is very impressive.

    Other than the design, processor and boost to the content things are very similar to last year.

    That means you get the new Siri remote which changes how you interact with the Apple TV. This channel changer allows you to both physically tap around the outside of the circle – like a directional pad – or use the original swipe gestures in the middle. It’s up to you.

    Once you do settle down for a movie in Dolby Vision or HDR10+ expect to be blown away

    There are also some nice extras including the ability to drag your finger around the circle like the original iPod wheel. This works as a jog control and, frankly, is a touch of genius. It brings pinpoint accuracy when rewinding or fast-forwarding content (not to mention, it’s quite fun too).

    On the side, you’ll find a dedicated Siri button for easy access to the clever assistant and there’s a power button at the top which now lets you turn off, and on, the Apple TV. And that’s not all as this single button finally controls the power to your actual television as well with one single press.

    Apple TV 4K review

    The Apple TV still ships with the brilliant new Siri remote (Image: APPLE)

    Sadly, there’s still no Touch ID fingerprint scanner for a faster way to buy movies and apps but, other than that, this is a solid remote.

    Once powered up you’ll get the latest version of TVOS which not only features Apple’s own TV app but full access to services such as Netflix, Disney+, Paramount+ and Prime Video.

    The App Store is also included which is full of games and other useful applications which can be viewed and played on the big screen – the Apple TV is even compatible with controllers for a full console-style experience and there’s Apple Arcade access as well.

    You can even turn your telly into a gym thanks to the fully interactive Fitness+ app. For those with lots of family members in the house, Apple TV’s profiles help make sure the content is shown to suit each person and a feature called Recognise My Voice is coming later this year, so you can access your profile/content even more easily.

    Apple TV 4K review

    Content such as Fitness is available on the big screen (Image: APPLE)

    One final bonus of the Apple TV comes to anyone already invested in Apple’s ecosystem with this box easy to set up via the iPhone. You can also use Apple’s smartphone to make purchases on the TV and AirPlay lets you beam your MacBook’s screen right to your telly.

    There’s lots to like about the Apple TV 4K but it is pretty expensive especially as the entry-level model (£149) doesn’t feature an Ethernet port – you’ll have to pay £20 extra for that.

    Weirdly, unlike Amazon’s new Fire TV Cube, Apple hasn’t included access to Wi-Fi 6E which allows for more stable and faster streaming.

    Finally, there’s still the slight problem of seeing all your content in one place via the Apple TV app.

    Not everyone has signed up for this service, which is designed to be the main way to jump back into shows you’re watching, suggest new similar content, and more. This streaming one-stop-shop brings is aimed at bringing all of your favourite shows into one place making them easier to find via recommendations.

    It will be an amazing way to bring together things from all of your favourite streaming and catch-up service. However, as it stands, there are still some pretty big hold-outs, including Netflix. So, you’ll have to constantly bounce around the menus to jump between streaming apps, rather than having everything in a single feed, which is synced across your Apple TV 4K, iPad, Mac, and more.

    Apple TV 4K review

    Apple TV 4K review (Image: APPLE)

    Apple TV 4K 2021 review: Final Verdict

    The new Apple TV 4K offers a very solid way to stream shows and movies, play games and even enjoy at-home fitness classes on the biggest screen in your house.

    The extra power from the A15 Bionic, smaller design and Dolby Vision/HDR10+ support are all welcome additions and ensure Apple’s telly box remains a great way to tune into your favourite services.

    We also love the Siri remote, its simple setup via the iPhone plus the easy way to navigate through menus and find your favourite apps via voice search.

    With prices starting from £149, this is still a more expensive way of streaming than its rivals and it’s a shame there’s no boost to the Wi-Fi technology tucked inside. There’s also the slight issue of finding Dolby Vision and HDR10+ content although that’s sure to improve over the coming years.

    All in all, the Apple TV 4K 2022 model is a brilliant choice for those who are heavily invested in Apple products and want a stunning new way to stream.


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