I loved it Second-generation Apple TV 4K, but I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone but Apple die-hards. Sure, it has a remote, but it was expensive compared to streaming devices from its peers, such as Google, Amazon, and Roku. It didn’t do too well either.
With the 2022 update, there are plenty of reasons to choose Apple TV 4K over the pack, even if it’s still more expensive than the competition. Apple’s A15 Bionic chip, remote USB-C port, and great gaming performance make this a great addition to any living room, and one that can go beyond the solid OS inside your smart TV.
Obviously, not much has changed between the generations of Apple TV 4K, although if you put them together, you will see that the predecessors are a little bigger and heavier than the new model. This change in weight is so dramatic that it makes you wonder if the next iteration will be a dongle or streaming stick instead of a small black box.
This box is compact enough to fit anywhere you have a little room, and the rubber bottom means it won’t be slippery. On the back is an HDMI 2.1 port, a power cable outlet, and an Ethernet port—that’s if you pay the $20 Apple upcharges to keep the internals with an Ethernet port. The Wi-Fi only version comes with half the storage (64 GB) for $129.
Included is how to pair it with Apple TV 4K, and it’s one of the best built-in features in the business. It feels like an old iPod Nano, made from aluminum with soft-touch buttons and a drag-and-drop center that lets you scroll through menus like a laptop’s trackpad. It looks the same as the previous model, except this time it comes with a universal USB-C port for charging instead of Apple’s power cable. Call it a win for anyone who hates clutter and using a variety of cables to upgrade equipment.
Inside the new Apple TV 4K is where you will find the biggest change: A major upgrade in chip technology with the A15 Bionic—the same one that powers the iPhone 13—to create a search box that can support HDR10+ (the predecessor went up to HDR10). This means better quality from sponsored content, and future proofing of media performance. This is also a big differentiator for the cheaper prices because you won’t experience any stuttering or lag when navigating through menus.
I also like that you get 128 GB of internal storage. Who knows how mobile gaming will grow, but it’s nice to know that I have plenty of room to put away time-wasters from Apple Arcade (Apple offers three months free when you buy an Apple TV 4K). That’s more than what you’ll find on the likes of Chromecast with Google TV.
Image quality is better than ever thanks to the new A15 device, but otherwise, you’ll get what all users have enjoyed from Apple’s flagship devices for years. This includes every app under the sun, easy menu navigation, and the ability to use passwords saved from your Apple keychain to access all of your streaming apps.