The new Apple TV 4K will start arriving to customers and launch in stores on Friday, November 4. Ahead of time, the first reviews of the latest Apple TV have now been shared by select publications and YouTube channels.
Key new features for the third-generation Apple TV 4K include the A15 Bionic chip, 4GB of memory, HDR10+ support, a USB-C charging port on the Siri Remote, and a slimmer, lighter, fanless design. The Apple TV 4K is now available with 64GB of storage for a lower starting price of $129, sitting below a 128GB model for $149 that also has an ethernet port and support for Thread networking. We have rounded up both written and video reviews of the new Apple TV 4K below.
The Apple TV 4K’s performance improvements were somewhat noticeable to reviewers, particularly when switching apps, but they noted that there is little that can practically take advantage of it other than games. TechCrunch‘s Darrell Etherington:
If you have a 2021 Apple TV 4K, which I do, you probably aren’t feeling the pinch in terms of performance. In fact, I still have a first-generation Apple TV 4K in active use, and despite it now being six years old, I’d be hard-pressed to tell the difference between it and my 2021 Apple TV in a blind test.
That said, the 2022 Apple TV 4K does seem to generally make things snappier when it comes to navigating between the Home Screen and apps, and even potentially within apps as well. It also definitely offers a boost when it comes to using the Apple TV as a gaming device, helping it keep up with the most graphically-demanding Arcade and App Store titles available. With expanded controller support via the most recent tvOS update, the Apple TV is a better gaming console than ever combined with the A15’s performance prowess.
On the other hand, CNET‘s Eli Blumenthal found gaming on the Apple TV 4K underwhelming and noted that the A15 Bionic chip still does not rival games consoles:
NBA 2K23 loaded quickly, and the game finally has commentary which brings some console-like quality that was lacking in earlier editions, but that’s where the similarity ends. In my few games, the title looks and feels a bit slower than the console version. Even with an Xbox controller paired to the Apple TV 4K, there is no direct passing and animations lack the fluidity and sharpness of the game on Xbox One, let alone Xbox Series S/X.
Face models are fine, but lack detail in players’ tattoos like D’Angelo Russell and Marcus Smart. Standard basketball game staples like instant replays and quick or batch substitutions also remain absent as do 2K23 game modes like The City.
Gameloft’s Asphalt 8 Plus similarly loaded quickly and played fine using the Apple TV’s included Siri Remote. But there isn’t ray-tracing or other modern graphical improvements that would make anyone confuse this title for a PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series S/X game.
All told, there doesn’t appear to be anything extra that the A15 Bionic brings to gaming on Apple TV 4K…
The Verge‘s Chris Welch said that while the USB-C charging port of the new Siri Remote is a welcome change, there is still much more that the remote could do:
Other than ditching Lightning for USB-C, the included Siri Remote is identical to the prior generation. This is largely positive: it’s ergonomic and easy to use, and once you get down the clickpad’s rotational gesture for quickly scrubbing through a movie or show, you’ll rarely bother with the old less efficient way of fast-forwarding and rewinding. I do badly wish that Apple had included a U1 chip in the new remote that would’ve made it easy to hunt down with precision using a nearby iPhone. Failing that, even a built-in speaker would’ve been nice for a “Siri, find my remote” command. This remote isn’t as easy to lose as the previous stupidly thin version, but it still happens to the best of us. You can add backlighting and a raised nub on the play / pause button (making it easier to find by feel) to my wish list for the next iteration of the Siri Remote.