Apple TV 4K (2022) In-Depth Review: Unveiling the Ultimate Entertainment Experience You've Been Longing For

(Image: © Henry T. Casey / Tom's Guide)

Apple TV 4K (2022) Review


  • + A15 delivers faster app load times
  • + More affordable price (plus more storage)
  • + Excellent Apple ecosystem integration
  • + The best streaming device home screen
  • + HDR10+ finally arrives


  • - Still expensive
  • - No HDMI cable included
  • - No Find My remote feature

Price: $53.99 (at Amazon)

Storage: 64GB

Purchase Link: Buy on Amazon

It's no secret that the Apple TV 4K (2022) is among the top streaming devices; it always has been. Fortunately, though, Apple dropped the price of its most recent model by $50, making it slightly more affordable. All the while using the A15 Bionic system-on-a-chip to improve performance (not that anybody could call the previous Apple TV sluggish). Even though I've personally always used the Apple TV 4K because to its speed, seamless connection with the Apple ecosystem, and ad-free interface, I found it difficult to suggest the 2021 model to others. The price of $179 was exorbitant and ensured that the term "Apple Tax" was never forgotten.The A15 SoC makes the Apple TV 4K (2022) one of the quickest streaming devices on the market, at least when loading the majority of apps, as this review will demonstrate. Additionally, it will assist you in determining whether to switch from Roku, Fire TV, or Chromecast to an upgraded model of Apple TV. Because despite being more than twice as expensive as some of our other favorites, the Apple TV 4K is among the greatest streaming gadgets. Most recently, I even managed to resolve the annoying YouTube glitch on my Apple TV 4K that was driving me mad.

Apple TV 4K (2022) Comprehensive Specifications Review

Specifications Apple TV 4K (2022): Wi-Fi Apple TV 4K (2022): Wi-Fi + Ethernet
Price $129.99 $149
Resolution 4K Ultra HD 4K Ultra HD
Wireless Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) with 2x2 MIMO, Bluetooth Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) with 2x2 MIMO, Thread, Bluetooth
Ports HDMI out, power HDMI out, power and Gigabit Ethernet
Dimensions 3.7 x 3.7 x 1.2 inches 3.7 x 3.7 x 1.2 inches
Colors Black Black
Audio Dolby Atmos Dolby Atmos
Video Dolby Vision, HDR10+ Dolby Vision, HDR10+
Remote USB-C Siri Remote USB-C Siri Remote

Apple TV 4K (2022): Pricing Details and Release Date Insights

For $129, you can purchase the 64GB Wi-Fi only option of the Apple TV 4K 2022. We tried the 128GB storage variant ($149 Wi-Fi + Ethernet), which is the one you'll want if you want to play games on the Apple TV 4K. If you want a device with Thread network compatibility for the Matter standard, you will also need to purchase the $149 model. Remember that statement is crucial for the future of the smart home even if you don't comprehend it.
(Image credit: Henry T. Casey / Tom's Guide)

Although it's somewhat expensive, that is possibly the greatest improvement over the 2022 model. $50 extra is charged for the Apple TV 4K (2021) versions (32GB/$179, 64GB/$199). One of the greatest streaming devices may be purchased for $50, so I'll compare the Chromecast with Google TV 4K and the Roku Streaming Stick 4K in the performance portion of this review.

Hence, streaming gadgets that cost two or three times as much must provide something extra when those two are close to the top of our list. In addition to being an Alexa speaker, Amazon's $139 Fire TV Cube (2022) allows voice control over streaming services and cable boxes.The Roku Voice Remote Pro and headphones for personal use are included with the $99 Roku Ultra package. For more reliable streaming, both have Ethernet packed.
(Image credit: Henry T. Casey / Tom's Guide)
While the Roku Ultra comes with an HDMI cable, the Apple TV 4K (2022) and Fire TV Cube (2022) do not. Since the Apple TV 4K is now less costly than a streaming stick, anyone transferring from one to the other might not have an extra HDMI cord on hand and will now need to purchase one. Though both Apple and Amazon are eager to sell you one, they may claim that not included one in your purchase results in fewer e-waste.

On February 20, 2024, the Apple TV 4K 2022 was shipped.

Design and Connectivity Ports of Apple TV 4K (2022)

(Image credit: Henry T. Casey / Tom's Guide)
Upgraders with keen eyes will identify four minor variations from the previous Apple TV 4K. With dimensions of 3.7 x 3.7 x 1.2 inches, the Apple TV 4K (2022) is overall smaller than the 2021 model, which is 3.9 x 3.9 x 1.4 inches. Apple has also reduced the size of its branding, removing the "TV" from the top-side branding, which presently consists just of the Apple logo.

The Roku Ultra (4.9 x 4.9 x 0.9 inches) is larger and shorter than the Fire TV Cube 2022 (3.4 x 3.4 x 3.0 inches), which is taller and narrower. 
(Image credit: Henry T. Casey / Tom's Guide)
The $149 Wi-Fi + Ethernet model features an Ethernet connector on the back, which was standard on the $179 and $199 models of 2021. In contrast, the entry-level Apple TV 4K just has power and HDMI connections on the back. Compared to the Roku Ultra and Fire TV Cube's 10/100 Mbps connections, that one is a gigabit Ethernet port. Ethernet connections are absent from the Roku Streaming Stick 4K and 4K Chromecast.
(Image credit: Henry T. Casey / Tom's Guide)

A USB-C connector on the rear of the Apple TV 4K would be very helpful for charging the Siri Remote and maybe integrating a camera in the future for FaceTime SharePlay synchronized group viewing. Furthermore, I can't help but believe that any streaming device costing more than $100 should have an additional HDMI connector for those of us who own numerous game consoles in addition to a DVD player, as Amazon has recently introduced one to the Fire TV Cube. 

Remote Experience of Apple TV 4K (2022)

(Image credit: Henry T. Casey / Tom's Guide)
The Siri Remote that comes with the Apple TV 4K (2022) is almost exactly the same as the much-improved one that was supplied with the model from the previous year. The sole distinction is that it uses USB-C instead of Lightning to charge (much like the future USB-C iPhone) This remote replaced the much-maligned touchpad interface with a set of directional buttons, located beneath a power button. Input on the surface is akin to a touchpad and allows you to swipe through the history of your movies and TV series and navigate.

We're hopeful that a recent Apple TV 4K remote glitch will be resolved soon because it has unfortunately become a pain in the ass.

Apple continues to have few buttons on their devices. Next are the buttons for "back" and "TV," the latter of which may be remapped to function as a "home" button if you don't use the TV app. The TV button may be double-clicked to reveal an app-switcher model. Next, there are controls for volume, mute, and play/pause. There's a Siri button on the side, somewhat disguised. Why the Siri button is nearly always kept to the side, like a cousin you don't want to sit next to at Thanksgiving, is difficult to understand. Perhaps it's because Siri isn't the most well-liked voice assistant.
The Apple TV 4K remotes, showing (L, R) the Lightning port on the 2021 model and the USB-C port on the 2022 model. (Image credit: Henry T. Casey / Tom's Guide)

With its separate fast-forward and rewind buttons and app-specific buttons that always seem to benefit the manufacturer more than the customer, the Fire TV Cube 2022 remote is both better and worse. Amazon (and Roku) must be making a lot of money off these. Additionally, it features a Live TV button, albeit Apple hasn't yet found a purpose for it (more on that later). 

In addition to those pre-programmed buttons, the Roku Voice Remote Pro also features two user-customizable buttons. In addition, Roku provides a headphone jack for private listening—not that Apple much uses the 3.5mm audio line these days. Although its input-switching button is appreciated and recognizes that a streaming device isn't the only item hooked into your TV, I wish Apple would imitate the Chromecast with Google TV remote.
(Image credit: Henry T. Casey / Tom's Guide)

And there's more fun in store for all users of the Apple ecosystem with the Apple TV 4K. You can quickly transform a locked iPhone into a remote by swiping and tapping the Control Center in iOS to locate the iOS Apple TV remote.

Having said that, I'm shocked that Apple's "Find My" feature isn't supported by the Apple TV remote. A comparable capability is present in the Roku Ultra remote and is also present in the recently released Amazon Pro remote, which is not included with the Fire TV Cube. This is the one thing I detest about the new Apple TV 4K, out of the five things I adore about it.

Assessing the Performance of Apple TV 4K (2022)

Apps Apple TV 4K '22 Apple TV 4K '21 Fire TV Cube '22 Roku Ultra '22 Chromecast with Google TV Roku Streaming Stick 4K
Netflix 1 4 1 10 17 17
YouTube 2 3 4 6 6 13
Disney Plus 4 6 5 9 7 13
Peacock 6 6 6 9 11 10
HBO Max 7 9 5 8 7 9
Sling 12 13 14 8 19 9
Spotify 3 4 7 9 3 11
Dead Cells 7 8 n/a n/a n/a n/a
Pathless 18 20 n/a n/a n/a n/a
Editor's Note: After a second round of testing, this table has been updated to include the significantly quicker Netflix load times for the Apple TV 4K and Fire TV Cube.

The Apple A15 Bionic system-on-chip, which takes the place of the A12 Bionic chip from the previous year's model, is the second-biggest update (after price). The A14 and A13 chips included in the iPad 2022 and iPad 2021 are slower than the identical processor found in the iPhone 14, iPad mini, and iPhone SE.

This kind of capability begs the question of whether Apple has more in store for the Apple TV 4K beyond streaming and light gaming. According to Apple, compared to the 2021 Apple TV Plus (and the now-retired Apple TV HD), this processor will provide up to 50% faster CPU performance, up to 30% better GPU performance, and up to 20% quicker app launch times. 
(Image credit: Henry T. Casey / Tom's Guide)
I decided to try this using the previously stated streaming devices that I always have on hand along with a stopwatch app. With a loading speed of under one second, the Apple TV 4K (2022) surpassed the Fire TV Cube and Roku Ultra in this regard.

When it came to loading YouTube, the Apple TV 4K (2022) model outperformed the 2021 model, taking only 2 seconds—33% less than the 2021 model's 3-second speed. Still, it's only a moment. It took an additional second for the Fire TV Cube (4 seconds) to load YouTube, but the Roku Ultra required 6 seconds.
(Image credit: Henry T. Casey / Tom's Guide)
Disney Plus took 4 seconds to boot on the Apple TV 4K (2022), 33% less time than the 2021 model (6 sec.) took. The Roku Ultra (9 sec.) took over twice as long, and the Fire TV Cube (5 sec.) nipped at Apple’s heels. 

More streaming service load times are available in the above chart, but we need to give Roku some flowers for its Sling TV load times. While the Apple TV 4K (2022) and (2021) models took 12 and 13 seconds, respectively, to load our pick for the best cable TV alternative, both the Roku Ultra (8 sec.) and Roku Streaming Stick 4K (9 sec.) needed less time.
(Image credit: Henry T. Casey / Tom's Guide)

If you value quick app loads, the majority of these were achieved by the Apple TV 4K (2022). In addition, the Fire TV Cube (on all platforms except Netflix and Spotify) outperformed the competition when it came to loading HBO Max, taking only a few seconds longer to load than the new Apple TV 4K.

When I tested the A15's gaming performance, I noticed a few little victories that enhanced fluidity. When I pitted an All-Time Knicks roster against an All-Time Heat squad in NBA 2K23, I noticed that the A15 chip mostly eliminated the stutters in the animation. Nevertheless, I noticed a little lag when the players were blocking the path to prevent a layup by Patrick Ewing. Although Asphalt 8 Plus didn't appear particularly smoother, the game loaded between menus considerably quicker.

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When I played certain Apple Arcade titles, such the 3D adventure game Pathless, the polygonal space-shooter Interloper, the third-person mystery game Beyond a Steel Sky, the cartoonish racing Horizon Chase 2, the turn-based RPG Fantasian, and the artistic platformer Stela, I noticed additional minor improvements in smoothness. In Beyond a Steel Sky, I also noticed significantly quicker load times in the middle of the game. The 2022 Apple TV 4K's 50-second load times were reduced to 26 seconds.
(Image credit: Henry T. Casey / Tom's Guide)
Less demanding games on tvOS, such the side-scrolling 8-bit game Dead Cells, could only be made faster when it came to load times (they loaded a touch faster on the 2022 Apple TV 4K). Lego Star Wars Castaways also had faster load times, however the game certainly doesn't need the A15 chip.

Audio and Video Capabilities of Apple TV 4K (2022)

I tested the Apple TV 4K (2022) on my LG OLED 55C7P, and nothing seemed to be amiss or strange. I'm not using a sound bar, but nothing seems off either. I saw every detail in Michael Rooker's worn-out face and long, disheveled hair as I watched the start of The Suicide Squad, and I observed the vortex sparks render in color-correct amber when I streamed Spider-Man: No Way Home. Dolby Vision allowed The Crown's shadowy areas to seem pitch-black.
(Image credit: Henry T. Casey / Tom's Guide)
This year's Apple TV 4K has impressive image quality thanks to its newfound support for HDR10+, a metadata-driven standard for enhanced contrast. Your TV could or might not support it; newer models like the Samsung S95B OLED and Hisense U8H do, but my LG OLED 55C7P and the much sought-after LG C2 OLED do not. In either case, having it keeps the Apple TV 4K (2022) future-proof. Blu-rays, Apple TV apps, and Amazon Prime Video content all currently support HDR10+. 
(Image credit: Henry T. Casey / Tom's Guide)
The Apple TV 4K (2022) now has HDR10+, putting it on par with all of its rivals. Although HDR10+ isn't brand-new, the A15 chip is to blame for its rather belated introduction on the Apple TV 4K.

Have you already embraced the Apple ecosystem? Make sure you are aware of the ease with which AirPods may be used with the Apple TV 4K. After putting on your headphones and pressing the TV button, you can now listen wirelessly. All Roku devices allow app-based private listening, however only the Roku Ultra offers remote-based wired private listening. Whereas Roku's approach lacks dual-device output, Apple's does. In addition to Bluetooth wireless listening, Fire TV will provide private wireless listening via the Alexa Voice Remote Pro.  

Feature Apple TV 4K 2022 Apple TV 4K 2021 Amazon Fire TV Cube 2022 Roku Ultra 2022 Chromecast with Google TV 4K Roku Streaming Stick 4K
4K Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Dolby Vision Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Dolby Atmos Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No

Navigating the Interface of Apple TV 4K (2022)

Because tvOS has a far nicer interface than any of its competitors, you might have to spend more for the Apple TV 4K. With its all-apps layout for the home screen, you may have up to 20 applications open at once (actually, that's all 15, and most of 4) on your screen.

The Fire TV OS home page, in contrast, only displays a little portion of your own apps—six total, I might mention. Roku allows you to see nine applications (and half of the next three) at a time, whereas Chromecast with Google TV 4K allows you to see 7.5 apps at once (the majority of its home screen is devoted to suggested or marketed content).
(Image credit: Henry T. Casey / Tom's Guide)

People that use other applications in addition to paying for all of the top streaming providers will value that. Those who like to maintain control over their device, like me, will also be relieved that they won't have to give their screen up to advertisements for random vehicles, Thursday Night Football, and other things. Furthermore, the Continue Watching row on Chromecast still feels unfinished.

However, Apple still has space for improvement. TV guides for pay live TV providers like Sling and YouTube TV are integrated into Chromecast with Google TV and Fire TV. Apple's app only makes reference to live TV when it comes to sporting events, many of which are exclusive to DirecTV Stream users and sealed behind regional sports networks.

A number of options on the Chromecast also let you manage pending app updates and examine on-device storage, with the ability to install all available updates with a single click. Apple's tvOS simply displays the amount of space that your programs are using; if you want to update an app manually, you must search the app store for it and turn off automatic updates. It's strange that Apple hasn't offered such a page yet, given how they handle program upgrades on iOS and macOS. 


(Image credit: Henry T. Casey / Tom's Guide)
It's simple to search for content on the Apple TV 4K. I asked Siri to recommend movies that included Robin Williams while I was in a nostalgic mood. When I choose Birdcage, the first thing that up was the Showtime Anywhere app. Since I hadn't loaded Showtime Anywhere, I was a little perplexed, but when I scrolled down to the other alternatives, I noticed the Showtime app.

After clicking that, a Showtime pre-roll ad ran before the movie started. As I was watching Nope, I started to wonder whether any of my apps had The Scorpion King, a movie that was mentioned in Nope. A quick search on Siri revealed that I could watch the movie on Peacock.
(Image credit: Henry T. Casey / Tom's Guide)

The most recent tvOS version, which is also compatible with Apple TV devices from 2021 and before, displays Apple's most recent attempt at using Siri. To varying degrees of success, the voice assistant had a little redesign and update.

The primary focus of the latest feature is to assist you in playing the game "who is that?" I pulled on HBO Max, started James Gunn's The Suicide Squad, and then, in an apparently strange way, I asked Siri on the remote, "Who stars in this?" and it displayed the cast in a pop-up menu that took up over a third of the screen.
(Image credit: Henry T. Casey / Tom's Guide)
However, I was not shocked—just a little irritated—when Siri failed to identify the cast members of Netflix's The Crown. I had to Google it to find out the identity of his costar, Claire Foy, who played Princess Elizabeth. It seems that Netflix and Apple are at odds, as the streaming service is not allowed to use numerous Apple products.

With the exception of Sling TV, this functionality functioned in almost every other stream app I tested. I assume this is because TV programming broadcast on channels are a bit too deep. 
(Image credit: Henry T. Casey / Tom's Guide)
However, there is a certain complexity that undermines Apple's clever concept because this is pop culture. I tested this function while watching the most recent episode of Atlanta, "The Goof Who Sat by the Door." Donald Glover (as Earnie "Earn" Marks), Brian Tyree Henry (as Alfred "Paper Boi" Miles), and Zazie Beetz (as Vanessa "Van" Keefer) were the three primary cast members from the FX series that Siri displayed. Although this is the case for many Atlanta episodes, this particular episode tells a made-up side narrative concerning the racial politics of A Goofy Movie rather than focusing on the main cast. 

With this function, Apple has created a tool akin to the X-Ray mode on Amazon Prime Video, which provides you with information about cast members who have just appeared on screen. However, depending on the scenario and the size of the cast, Apple's version may take up too much space. 
Oh, and third-party password managers work fantastically on iPhones connected to the Apple TV. (Image credit: Henry T. Casey / Tom's Guide)

That being said, Roku, Chromecast, and Fire TV do not support voice input for complex passwords; Siri does. And ask anyone who uses a password that is appropriately safe and complex—it is awful to type it in by hand on a remote.

Apps, Games, and Beyond on Apple TV 4K (2022)

(Image credit: Henry T. Casey / Tom's Guide)
The app store for the Apple TV 4K (2022) is jam-packed with every program you could ever want, especially if you're a resident of Cupertino. Apple promoted the TV app as the central core of the system, which is also home to Apple TV's MLS Season Pass. However, Netflix doesn't play along with that app.

Thus, in addition to the greatest streaming services (hello, Netflix, HBO Max, Hulu, Peacock, Sling, etc.), you can also see your iCloud Photo Library (including any shared photo albums you may have) and even use the lyrics from Apple Music to sing along to songs on your TV while doing Apple Fitness Plus exercises. 
(Image credit: Henry T. Casey / Tom's Guide)
Additionally, all other streaming applications and services—such as Vimeo, Twitch, Criterion Channel, Spotify, and Crunchyroll—are available here. Here are full-fledged applications for UK content center BritBox and cineaste streamer Mubi, which are only available on Fire TV as Prime Video Channels (which need a Prime subscription). While Apple does have Letterboxd, a social networking network for movie buffs, Roku doesn't really lack anything.

One thing stands out, though: The Roku Channel, which is required to view Weird: The Al Yankovic Story and other Roku-hosted material, is not available on the Apple TV 4K. Though an app would be preferable, you could still mirror the screen of your Mac or iPhone.
(Image credit: Henry T. Casey / Tom's Guide)

There are games as well. Both those that are paid for and those that are part of the Apple Arcade membership. The main reason I don't feel strongly about Apple TV gaming is that there aren't many games that really appeal to me. Although there are latency issues with Amazon's cloud-based Luna gaming, I don't think Apple offers many games that compare to Tetris Effect: Connected or Control (both of which are on Luna). Even if Gris and Dead Cells are included, I'm not really excited about it and won't be playing games on the Apple TV 4K much until review testing is finished.
(Image credit: Henry T. Casey / Tom's Guide)

In addition, Apple provides smart home capabilities, meaning you can manage Matter and HomeKit devices and get live, picture-in-picture views of your HomeKit cameras. Because of tvOS's support for multiple users, the TV app includes material tailored to each user, a For All of You section that makes suggestions relevant to all users, and a Shared with You section that contains information shared with you via the Messenger app. Voice recognition will be added in a later version, allowing Siri to customize recommendations based on who requests for assistance. 

Final Verdict

One of the greatest streaming devices gets even better with the release of the new Apple TV 4K (2022), but it does it in a very significant way. The Apple TV 4K is now more affordable than ever at just $50 less. Having said that, I would adore the $99 Apple TV 4K as it is almost identical to the Roku Ultra (2022), which does not require an additional $20 for Ethernet and has the lost-remote detecting capability I would want to see in an Apple TV.

While Apple's Ethernet is undoubtedly quicker, this review of the Apple TV 4K (2022) has revealed that its interface is actually its most distinctive feature—something that some people may not truly appreciate or comprehend until they actually have one in their hands. When the Amazon Fire TV Cube (2022) catches up to Apple and, for an additional $10 over the entry-level Apple TV 4K, provides both mentioned Ethernet connector and an additional HDMI port? There is more competition than ever for the greatest high-end streaming gadget.
(Image credit: Henry T. Casey / Tom's Guide)
It's unlikely that owners of older Apple TV 4K models need to update, especially considering their device supports Gigabit Ethernet. Owners of the model from the previous year should probably only give the Apple TV 4K (2022) a thought if they are running out of space because the 64GB disk makes it simpler to avoid having to micromanage your programs.

Who, though, is dissatisfied with the Google TV home screens on Roku, Fire TV, and Chromecast? I'm sure you'll like the Apple TV 4K if you have the extra cash. Not only does it perform really well, but the entire experience is delightful. Just be cautious not to misplace your remote—Siri won't assist you—and make sure you have an extra HDMI cord available, or get one.

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