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Apple TV 4K review: Is the expensive TV box worth the money?

Soya Cincau logo Soya Cincau 13/4/2022 Dzamira Dzafri
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I use a bunch of Apple products myself, but I don’t use everything. I have a smart TV at home and it has almost all the TV apps that I want, so there’s no real need for me to get the Apple TV 4K. But, after trying it out with Apple TV+, Apple Music, Apple Arcade, and Apple Fitness+, is the expensive RM1,000 TV box worth the money?

The box comes with a sleek and tiny Apple TV remote, a power cord, a lightning cable to charge the remote, and of course… the Apple TV 4K box. The only thing missing that I need for the setup is an HDMI cable—which is “sold separately“. Luckily, I can use the one from my Nintendo Switch setup, but it’s incredibly annoying that Apple just left us like this. However, it’s incredibly easy to set up, and even more so if you’re already elbow deep into the Apple ecosystem.

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What’s the difference between the Apple TV and Apple TV+?

Several people that I’ve talked to about the Apple TV didn’t know the difference, and I don’t blame them—the similar names are pretty confusing. Essentially, Apple TV+ is Apple’s own streaming content platform, a bit like Netflix or HBO Go. As for the Apple TV, it’s a TV box that lets you watch movies and shows, listen to music, and all sorts. It’s similar to the Mi Box or any other TV box you have to watch your streaming content with. The Apple TV 4K is a newer version of Apple’s TV box, except that it lets you enjoy content in 4K.

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The Apple TV 4K is a luxurious item that you might not have the need for if you can’t afford it. But then again, you can say that for virtually everything Apple has to offer, and that’s both a good and bad thing.

Besides enjoying the content by Apple in crisp 4K, it’s got great colour and a super-easy way for colour calibration—something that a lot of people might not know how to do too well. You’re also able to download other apps like Netflix, Spotify, and HBO Go.

But is the Apple TV 4K even worth the money?

The one that I tested out is the 64GB version of the Apple TV 4K—and it is the most expensive one, at RM949. A version with half its storage, 32GB, is RM849. That’s a lot of money. You can get a 4K Xiaomi Mi Box for about RM200-300—a small fraction of Apple TV’s price.

But I can’t say that I’m surprised—it’s a premium price, but for a premium product. I also can’t say that any of us really need something like this, even if you’re an Apple user using more than one Apple product. Still, having one just feels so luxurious.

It’s got that Apple sheen that you won’t really find with any other non-Apple products. The smoothness, the sounds, and how it feels like when you’re tucked on your own couch ready to relax… there’s just nothing like it. You’re basically paying for the high-end Apple experience.

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And if you do get your own Apple TV 4K, I would also recommend getting the Apple One plan instead of subscribing to each app individually. You’d get Apple Music, TV+, Arcade, and 50GB of iCloud storage for RM19.90 a month. But if you want Apple Fitness in the plan, you can go with the Premier version for RM69.90 a month. For this one, you can share with up to 5 other people—so individually, you’d have to only pay RM11.65 a month… if you can find people willing to share with you.

The takeaway is that you probably won’t even be looking at this as an option if you’re looking at the price tag. So, if you’d rather save a few bucks, something like a Mi Box or Mi TV stick would be your best bet. Although it probably won’t feel as nice as the Apple version. Also, most Smart TVs will have very similar functions anyway. If you instead own a dumb TV, the Apple TV 4K would be a terrific, but expensive upgrade.

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