Android TV vs Smart TV: what’s the difference

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The debate between Android TV and Smart TV has been going on for many years. For some, the simplicity of smart TV trumps the functionality of Android TV and for the other lot, Android TV is the only way to consume online content on a bigger screen. So which TV platform is better: Android TV or Smart TV? Well, in this article we compare Android TV and Smart TV side by side and find out all the similarities and differences between the two platforms. So without further ado, let’s review the article.

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Android TV vs Smart TV: a full comparison

Here we have listed the two main sections that we have covered in this comparison between Android and Smart TV. You can click on the link below and easily jump to the relevant section.


First of all, we need to discuss the basic similarities and differences between Android TV and Smart TV. First of all, a smart TV is a TV capable of broadcast content on the internet . So any TV that offers content online – regardless of what operating system it uses – is a smart TV.

In this sense, Android TV is also a smart TV, the major difference being that it runs Android TV operating system under the hood. There are all kinds of smart TVs out there – TVs made by Samsung that run Tizen OS, LG has its own WebOS, tvOS that runs on Apple TV, and more. They are basically smart TVs.

As for Android TV, it has carved out a name for itself in the market due to its immense popularity and has almost become synonymous with smart TVs. In a general way, Android TV is a type of smart TV that works on the Android TV platform . Although Samsung and LG have their own proprietary operating systems, they still ship many TVs with Android OS. Sony, meanwhile, is fully committed to the Android TV platform and since 2015 it has shipped all of its TVs with Android TV OS.

In essence, Android TV and Smart TV are basically the same since both offer content on the Internet. As I mentioned above, it’s the underlying operating system that makes all the difference.

Android TV vs Smart TV: differences

In the section above, we discussed the basic difference between an Android TV and a smart TV. Here we will talk about operating system differences and which one makes the most sense to consumers.

From the application library, Android TV has a large library of applications through Play Store support. You will find all kinds of apps that you typically use on your smartphone. From YouTube to Netflix to Hulu and Prime Video, everything is available on Android TV. The best part is that all the apps are optimized for the TV platform and have intuitive controls for the bigger screen.

When it comes to smart TVs that run Tizen OS or WebOS, you getlimited application support . With the exception of some popular entertainment apps like YouTube, Prime Video, and Netflix, you won’t find many apps in its app store. The next point is that updates are hard to find on smart TVs compared to Android TVs. On the other hand, the development of Android TV is quite active and the developers regularly come up with new updates for a variety of applications.

Another major difference between Android TV and smart TV is the screenshot. While Android TV has a built-in Chromecast function and deeply integrated which works seamlessly with Android smartphones, smart TVs have screen mirroring which requires pairing and is a problem to use. Unlike the Chromecast which works in full screen mode with exceptional audio output and quality output, screen mirroring on smart TVs has high latency and low quality output.

Then comes the support of the voice assistant. Google Assistant on Android TV has improved so much that you rarely need to type your query. On the other hand, smart TVs usually don’t have a voice assistant and come with a full-size keyboard for typing and searching for content.

That said, smart TVs have an advantage over Android TV. Smart TVs are relatively easier to navigate and use only Android TVs. You have to be aware of the Android ecosystem to take full advantage of the Android TV platform. Then smart TVs are also faster in terms of performance, which is its advantage.

Finally, come to firmware updates. You are unlikely to get any major updates to your smart TV after a few years which would make your TV obsolete. When it comes to Android TVs, well, it doesn’t have a great track record either, and there’s nothing to write home about. But Android TVs receive much longer app updates, which means you will continue to have modern apps on your Android TV.

A crucial point to note is that if your smart TV becomes obsolete in the future, you can very well plug in an Android TV set-top box or dongle to install the latest Android TV platform on your TV. You can also do the same with your Android TV. However, you cannot get the latest Tizen or webOS operating system by purchasing a separate hardware device, because TV manufacturers do not offer separate hardware devices for their proprietary operating system.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Can we download apps to Smart TV?

Yes, you can download apps to smart TVs. Whether it’s Samsung’s Tizen OS, LG’s WebOS, or Google’s Android TV OS, apps are available on all of these platforms. However, note that the app library is limited in Tizen and WebOS.

Q. Which device turns your TV into a Smart TV?

There are plenty of Android TV boxes like Mi Box, Nvidia Shield TV, and dongles like Chromecast with Google TV and Fire TV Stick that can turn any TV into a smart TV.

Q. Will a Smart TV work without an Internet connection?

Yes, you can use smart TV without internet connection, but only for local media playback via USB stick. Netflix, YouTube, Prime Video, and other streaming apps do not support offline viewing on a smart TV or Android TV.

Q. What is the best brand for Smart TV?

Some of the best brands of smart TVs are Sony, LG, and Samsung.

Q. What is the best quality of Smart TV compared to Android TV?

Smart TVs are generally faster in terms of performance than Android TVs and offer a simple and user-friendly interface. Boot time is also considerably better than Android TVs.

READ ALSO: 10 best apps to mirror Android screen to PC

Android TV vs Smart TV: which is better?

In my analysis, I found that Android TVs provide a lot more choice for consumers, so it’s a better choice compared to smart TVs that run Tizen OS, webOS, etc. From app library to updates and upgrading, Android TV has you covered.

The few downsides of Android TV are performance that falls short of smart TVs, and secondly, users need to have some level of knowledge of the Android ecosystem. So, depending on your needs and preferences, you can choose to use Android TV or Smart TV. Anyway, it all comes from us. If you have any questions for us, please feel free to comment below and let us know.

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