It has virtually every streaming app save Amazon Prime video, Siri works reasonably well and can answer a wider range of questions across services than the Fire TV 2 or Roku, and playback is super fast. If you just want a new streaming box, you can happily buy a new Apple TV. (I would buy the $149 base model.) You’ll like it. But all of that is very much the best version of television’s present. Apple has a lot more work to do before the future actually arrives.
If you are an existing Apple TV owner and you are ready for a new set-top box, the new Apple TV is a no brainer. Without a doubt, this is a great set-top box with best-in-class universal search and fantastic voice support.
After more than three years, the arrival of an improved Apple TV is something Apple fans will surely cheer. But if you're looking for something less expensive or have or will soon get a 4K TV, you're best turning to one of Apple's streaming rivals.
Ultimately, the Apple TV’s advantage is that it isn’t tied to the idea of channels, live TV or even streaming. It’s the place where developers are able to do the most cool interactive stuff for the widest audience. There’s already a workout show on the Apple TV that’s smart enough to know if you’re really working out. The TV of the future needs to be as powerful and easy to use as an iPhone, and this Apple TV is the first box—and the first Apple TV—to achieve that.
● The Good - The new Apple TV delivers the most polished video experience today, with speedy reactions and a familiar yet attractive interface. It has the best remote on the market. Siri's voice search makes finding stuff to watch even easier, with search results pulled from numerous services beyond iTunes. The selection of TV-based apps is very good, and AirPlay can be used for unsupported apps.
● The Bad - Apple TV costs more than similar devices like the Roku, Amazon Fire TV and Chromecast for basically the same core functions. There's no dedicated app for Amazon or any other a la carte video service beyond iTunes. Non-entertainment apps aren't very compelling yet.
● The Bottom Line - The new Apple TV's awesome remote and voice control make it one of the best entertainment devices, especially for anyone who already owns plenty of Apple gadgets.