Some of the popular choices while purchasing a television is whether to go for a smart TV or Android TV.
Most of us find it difficult and overwhelming to understand the differences between a smart TV and Android TV. Although these two are very similar, there are slight differences that make them suitable for your homes.
If you are at a crossroads struggling to decide which TV to purchase, this article is going to make it easier for you.
In this ultimate guide to Smart TV vs Android TV, we will explore the significant differences between the duo. By the end of this discussion, you shall be able to comprehend which electrical appliance is perfect for your needs.
Before that, let us try to learn what smart and android TVs are:
What Is a Smart TV?
Smart TV is nothing but an internet TV that comes with a built-in capability to offer additional programs through the internet connection. That means you do not need to install any additional devices or boxes. In simple words, using a Smart TV, you can access, watch and even manage all online content, in addition to the network-based media content. You can access streaming apps like Netflix, YouTube, etc., irrespective of the OS that runs on your device.
What’s more? You can easily navigate the menu on your smart TV to look for the available apps. You can organize all those apps accordingly.
What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of a Smart TV?
Although smart TVs are the most popular and widely used electric devices, they do come with a set of pros and cons. Let us have a look at the benefits and limitations of smart TVs.
Pros of Smart TV:
- Smart TVs are very easy to use.
- They have a user-friendly interface with great features.
- You can use Netflix, Facebook, YouTube, etc., on your smart TV.
- It allows you to access many apps that are not available on normal TV.
- You can integrate your smart TVs easily with voice assistants and other smart devices.
- These devices have all the features organized in one place and do not require any setup.
- It is easy to install.
Cons of Smart TV:
- Smart TVs are very expensive than normal TVs.
- You cannot upgrade the smart TVs.
- You require a secure and firm internet connection to access the streaming apps on your smart TV.
- Smart TVs are more susceptible to cyberattacks because of the less frequent firmware updates.
What Is an Android TV?
Android TV is nothing but another type of smart TV that has similar features as the latter. However, the only difference is that it runs on the Android TV operating system. Just like your android smartphone, you can connect the android TV to the google play store and download the apps that you want. Some smart TV manufacturing brands like Samsung and LG use their own OS. They produce some models based on the Android TV OS. Unlike them, the other brands like Sony and TLC depend entirely on the Android TV OS for their products.
The TV remotes of the Android TV come with in-built microphones that allow you to access the google assistant. You can control your device hands-free.
What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of an Android TV?
Even Android TVs come with a set of merits and demerits. Let us have a look at the benefits and limitations of android TVs.
Pros of Android TV:
- You can connect the android TV to the google play store to download the apps that you want. They have a user-friendly interface with great features.
- It has a vast app library that includes Netflix, Facebook, YouTube, etc.
- Internet browsing is easier in android TV because it has Google Chrome.
- It has Google assistant.
- It allows you to watch all live TV channels without the need for any dish TV or set-top box.
- You do not require Firestick, Google Chromecast, and other media streaming boxes on your
- It is easy to install.
- You get regular firmware and app updates.
Cons of Smart TV:
- Android TVs are not easy to use.
- The android TVs require boot-up time whenever you turn them on.
- They have a complicated user-friendly interface.
- Like your android smartphones, even the android TVs feel slower than the smart TV because of the OS.
What Are The Differences Between Android TV and Smart TV?
Although both Android and smart TVs have similar features, there is a host of differences between the duo. Let us compare these two devices and analyze what makes them different.
Comparison: Smart TV vs. Android TV
|Parameter||Smart TV||Android TV|
|User Interface||Simple||Complex (If you are not familiar with Android OS)|
|Apps supported||Supports 300-600 apps||Supports nearly 7000 apps|
|Reliability||More reliable||Less reliable|
|Remote Control||Complicated to control|
|Simple to control using remotes|
|Smartphone Access||Only on specific models||Available on all models|
|OS Update Frequency||No frequent updates||Regular update|
|File Transfer Mode||Wired connection||Wired and wireless through apps|
|Initial Installation||Easy||Comparatively difficult|
1. App Support
Both android and smart TV support the apps. However, the former offers a vast library of apps that usually come on your smartphone. You have access to everything, including Netflix, Prime Video, Facebook, YouTube, etc. These apps come already available and optimized in the device. And the best part, it offers intuitive controls. Android apps have more than 7000 apps. Moreover, you get regular app updates.
On the other hand, smart TVs have limited apps like Netflix, Prime Video, Facebook, YouTube. These are the only available apps, and apart from these, you cannot access other apps from the app store.
2. Screen Mirroring and Casting
Let us move on to the screen mirroring and casting. Both the android and smart TVs support screen mirroring of Mobiles and Laptops. They enable you to watch photos, videos, and other media from your mobile phone to the TV.
Since android TVs run on Android OS, they have an in-built Google Chromecast that works well with all android smartphones. Newer Android TV models from the Sony brand support both Chromecast and apple airplay.
When it comes to smart TVs, screen mirroring is a hassle. This is because you need to pair your mobile phones to smart TVs. Unlike android TVs, smart TVs have low-quality output and high latency.
While fewer models from smart TV only support apple airplay, others support Chromecast.
The next crucial parameter for considering is the performance. The android TVs load the apps slowly and require boot-up time whenever you turn them on. If you want to open another app, you will have to close the current app to access the other.
Unlike android TVs, smart TVs load the apps faster and do not require boot-up time to start. You can switch between the apps easily and effortlessly.
4. Compatible with Google Assistant And Alexa
Android TVs are compatible only with Google assistant, as they come with an in-built feature. Using this, you can easily manage the apps, switch the channels, search for media and control the device. You can control your device hands-free using the google voice assistant.
Unlike the android TVs, the smart TVs are compatible with both Google Assistant and Alexa. Additionally, you can connect your smart home speakers and control the device using the voice assistant. This allows hand-free management.
Both android TVs and smart TVs have remotes that come with in-built microphones. This allows you to give voice commands and search the required content.
Navigation is yet another considerable feature when choosing between an android TV and a smart TV.
The Android TVs are not that easy to navigate when compared to the smart TVs. Moreover, they have a complex user interface that makes it a little difficult to use this device.
There is one advantage of smart TVs over Android TV. Smart TVs are very easy to use, and they have a user-friendly interface with great features. Hence, they are easier to navigate in comparison to android TVs.
6. Firmware Update
Let us move to the firmware updates.
On android TVs, you get frequent firmware updates. You can have modern apps on your device.
Unlike android TVs, you cannot update the smart TVs. Because of this, smart TVs are to become obsolete shortly. If you want to have newer apps on your TV, you will have to replace the entire device and go for a new model.
Which One is Better – Android TV or Smart TV?
Both Android TV and smart TV have their share of upsides and downsides. However, if you are someone who already uses an android mobile phone, you can opt for an Android TV. Since you got used to controlling an android phone, you will feel comfortable using the android TV, as well.
Moreover, it offers a host of apps to access on the google play store along with regular firmware updates. There are android-based smart TVs available that help you enjoy the benefits of both android and smart TVs. They are worth the investment.
If we talk about smart TVs, they have a user-friendly interface and are very easy to use. If you are someone who does not use an android mobile phone, you can opt for a smart TV. Since you would not want to invest your time and energy in learning a new interface, a smart TV would be the best option for you. If convenience and simplicity are your priority, a smart TV is the best bet, provided budget is not an issue.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Ans: Turning your normal android TV into a smart TV is now an easy feat. However, you need android TV boxes for the same. There are a plethora of devices available like Google TV, Fire TV Stick, etc. You can use any of these to turn your TV into a smart TV in no time.
Ans: Internet Connection is a mandate for a smart TV provided you want to access streaming apps like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, etc. If you are not using any of those applications, you can proceed with the normal local media playback using a USB drive. Without an internet connection, it is impossible to view the streaming apps on any android or smart TV.
Ans: Out of the many brands available, Samsung, LG, and Sony are the best for purchasing smart TVs.
Ans: Smart TVs are usually considered a better option than android TVs. This is because they have faster performance than their android counterparts. Additionally, their interface is very simple and user-friendly, too. Moreover, they have a better boot time when compared to Android TVs.
Ans: In the initial days of android TV, people were under a misconception that android TV was nothing but a media streaming device that runs on android.
However, later it was made clear that Android TV is an operating system based on android. This Android OS comes specially designed for TVs, Media Streaming Boxes, and even Sticks.
That said, Android TV is an OS name synonymously used for Android TV-based Smart TVs.
Ans: Yes. You can browse the internet on your Smart TV or Android TV through the inbuilt browser. If required, you can even install other browsers from the app stores.
Using this browser, you can even watch live TV channels from the websites that support them like, the Airtel Xtreme.
Ans: Yes. Just like a normal TV, you can certainly use Firestick, Google Chromecast, and other media streaming boxes on your smart TV.
Ans: No. It is impossible to watch streaming sites like Netflix and Prime Video on your smart or android TV for free. They have separate subscription charges for watching.
Ans: Yes. You can control both Smart TV and Android TV using any of the smart speakers like Google Home and Alexa.
Ans: Some television manufacturing brands like Sony are providing certified AndroidTV OS. This means that they modify the operating system provided in the device. This modification allows for a better and optimized view of apps on the TV and further improves the performance.
A certified android TV also comes with other features that include built-in Chromecast and the Google Play Store.
Ans: Yes. You can happily download the apps on your smart TV. All you need to do is access the app store from your TV to browse and download your favourite app available.
Ans: Although we have been hearing many people claim that android TV is dead since 2015, technically it is not. The Android TV is the present and also the future. There is no chance to believe the claims that it is dead.
Ans: No. You do not have to pay any monthly fee to access your android TV – it is free. The only price you will have to pay is for the subscriptions or the apps if you installed any. That said, you will have no recurring costs. However, it is advisable to find out what subscriptions your android TV provides.
Ans: Yes. Netflix is available on Android TV, but not as a channel, though. You can install the streaming app and enjoy watching the stream.
Ans: Yes, amazon prime is available on Android TV. Here is a simple trick to remember. If you have amazon prime available on your android smartphone, then you will have it available on your Android TV, as well.
Ans: Yes. You can operate your android TV box without having an internet connection. You will not be able to access the live streaming, though. But still, you can use it for the below actions:
* You can play already installed games offline. Or, you can even connect the gaming consoles to the device.
* You can watch already downloaded content offline on YouTube and other streaming sites like Netflix.
* Watch downloaded content on YouTube and streaming sites like Netflix.
* You can use a USB device to watch movies or play music. You can even access them from the internal storage of the device.
Ans: Yes. You can certainly update your android TV just like any of your android smartphones. The significant advantage of having an android TV over a smart TV is that you can receive regular updates on it.
I hope this article equipped you with all the information related to Android and Smart TVs. Now that you know the significant differences between the duo, choosing the right device will not be a perplexing dilemma anymore. With the help of this write-up, you can make a wise and informed decision. Let us know in the comments which TV you will choose.
Write to us if you have any questions or need more information on android and smart TVs. We will answer all your queries at the earliest.
Share your feedback with us by letting us know your inputs. We would love to learn and hear from you.
Stay healthy and stay safe!!!