There is no time like the present to invest in an affordable Smart TV that would help make the WFH life a little bit more bearable, especially since most of us continue to stay home as a result of the constantly-changing COVID regulations.
However, with so many brands available in the market, and the emergence of newer and better Android TV models, it can get pretty confusing to find a suitable one for your home, especially when you’re on the lookout for an affordable upgrade that caters to your entertainment needs.
To aid you in your search for a television set that’s most suited to your lifestyle, here’s a comparison between Smart TVs and Android TVs.
SMART TV vs ANDROID TV
Before you decide, it would be good to understand the difference between a Smart TV and an Android TV. While they’re often put in comparison against one another, they are actually more similar we think, with some notable differences, of course.
the smart tv
Smart TVs act as a sort of Internet TV, which allows for it to provide additional programs through internet connectivity. It acts as an all-in-one TV with a simple, user-friendly interface that comes with multiple pre-installed apps, including basic streaming services such as Netflix, Disney+, YouTube, and even MeWatch.
Most models available in the market, from reputable brands such as Samsung and LG, now come with digital pre-set local channels which means that you can do away with the digital set-up box. The only downside to a Smart TV is that they don’t get frequent firmware updates and once it is outdated, you will need to consider investing in a brand new set.
the android tv
An Android TV pretty much functions the same way as a Smart TV, with internet connectivity and built-in apps, except, think of this as an extension to your Android phone. While Smart TVs may have limitations when it comes to the available apps, Android TVs do away with that problem through a direct connection to the Google Play Store — its wide selection of compatible apps thus gives you more options on what you can do with your TV. These use the Android OS as well, which can be updated as easily as you would on your smartphone.
Being connected to Google also gives you Google Play, Music, Movies, etc., as well as Google Assistant. However, some downsides you might want to consider is that an Android TV’s OS might not be as intuitive for non-Android users, while there are fewer manufacturers producing such units as of now, which then limits your TV choices.
Comparing Across Brands
To help get you started, here’s a look at a comparison of affordable Smart TVs and Android TVs from various well-known brands that are within a similar price range.
SMART TV: SAMSUNG vs LG vs PHILIPS
ANDROID TV: XIAOMI vs PRISM+ vs TCL
Which Should You Choose?
Although a Smart TV is a more costly option, it often makes for a more user-friendly experience, especially for those who may be unfamiliar with Android devices. The built-in apps and local channels are usually enough for most households’ basic entertainment needs, and there’s always an internet browser option for everything else. I personally prefer a Smart TV as well, as I’m used to purchasing from a brand that is more well-known — this may apply to you if you’re brand-conscious, trust more reputable brands for their technology innovations and designs, or you feel that they’ve got more reliable customer service.
However, a case must be made for the newer Android TVs. These feel more desirable because of their cost-effective prices, coupled with the wide selection of available apps, while the access to the Google Play Store, along with Google Assistant at your fingertips, is certainly a handy feature. Our NYLON Editor-in-Chief also believes that there are little downsides to Android TVs. To be honest, it doesn’t take a lot to get used to the Android system if you’re digitally-savvy, and while there may be limited manufacturers producing them, brands like Xiaomi and PRISM+ are fast becoming household names. Newer Android TV models are also starting to rival the big brands in terms of design and function, now with more stylish, bezel-less options, as well as 4K-compatible screens, so we might not want to underestimate their growing popularity.
At the end of the day, your choice will ultimately be one that best suits your needs and unique requirements — and budget too.
Header image courtesy of Samsung and PRISM+.